Friday, January 30, 2004

Check out this section in the New Pantagruel: Hymns in the Whorehouse for an interesting taking on Mel Gibson's The Passion.

Check this passage:

In fact, the whole concept of The Passion as a ministry and evangelization tool makes the movie into a Hollywood version of the Church itself. One would expect a Catholic Cardinal of all churchmen to recognize this. For the Church itself is to be the place where people are drawn in to be “moved” by an encounter with the Real Presence of the crucified and risen Christ. Most disturbing is Hoyos’s suggestion that he would gladly trade his own homilies on the Passion for the effectiveness of the film. His willingness to denigrate his own role in the Church and his eager grasping for a filmic “tool” suggests a too-easy demoting of the word and of the liturgical drama of the mass. Hoyos’s admissions are no incentive to go to a church stuck in musty old orality! The Passion is Even Better than the Real Thing. Apparently, the much more sensory, communal, participatory experience of the mass can’t touch sitting in a dark theater watching buckets of fake blood: the Terminator one Saturday, Jesus Christ the next.

My biggest complaint with the film is how churches and pastors and self-appointed evangelical spokespeople are all jumping on the bandwagon, many without having seen the movie. I've seen local news stories about churches planning to use the film as an outreach event, but have the leaders of the church seen the film? In most cases not. Then I read this take from the New Pantagruel, which also makes an intriguing point.

Having said all that, I'm certainly going to see this film for myself.

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