The leader of the Ukrainian Catholics in America has panned Mel Gibson's "The Passion" as a shallow, violent work that could incite hostility toward Jews.
Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Ukrainian Archdiocese of Philadelphia said he would not recommend it to friends, true believers or children.
Mel Gibson and his Icon Productions for weeks have been requiring viewers of his controversial film "The Passion" to sign a confidentiality agreement barring them from talking about the still-unfinished product.
That hasn't stopped the select group (mostly supportive Evangelicals, conservative Catholics and media personalities) from praising the film about the suffering and death of Jesus and revealing details in newspapers and on radio, television and the Internet.
Fallout continues this week over Mel Gibson's upcoming film "The Passion," about the violent death of Jesus, following a blistering review by the Anti-Defamation League and other viewers after a screening in Houston.
New developments include:
Is Mel Gibson a cynical manipulator or an insensitive true believer? Those are two theories being floated in trying to explain the increasing controversy over Gibson's upcoming film, "The Passion," his bloody retelling of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
Some leading interfaith experts say the film, which the 47-year-old Gibson co-wrote and is due out in February, violates Catholic teachings and will foment anti-Semitism worldwide.
Score one for Mel Gibson.
The Catholic Church's official voice in America has washed its hands of a report by some of its own scholars that warns that Gibson's film about the death of Jesus invokes anti-Semitic images and flouts Catholic doctrine.
The unexpected response by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops comes after Gibson threatened to sue the group over an allegedly "stolen" script given to interfaith scholars, who concluded the movie will foment anti-Semitism.
Hollywood superstar Mel Gibson's upcoming movie about the death of Jesus is anti-Semitic and could lead to increased hatred of Jews around the world, a team of prominent Catholic and Jewish scholars is warning.
In response, the Oscar-winning Gibson has threatened to sue the scholars.
A Jesuit priest working with Mel Gibson on his controversial film about the last hours of Jesus' life says Jews need not worry about being portrayed as Christ-killers.
Father William J. Fulco, a professor of ancient Mediterranean studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, says he is "intimately familiar" with the script of Gibson's upcoming, self-financed movie "The Passion" and there is "no hint" of the deicide charge that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.