I keep thinking I’ve overdone this Passion question, but I owe it to the Greek Archdiocese to say how much I appreciate its official statement on the film, especially after excoriating the the Metropolis of Chicago for this statement earlier this week.
Here’s the nut graph from the national archdiocese:
We have already heard many different answers to these and similar questions. However, despite the lack of consensus, we rejoice in the fact that questions such as these are being discussed in a variety of forums, public and private. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of Mr. Gibson’s film (which in the final analysis is a personal expression of a particular tradition of piety), it has raised to national and international attention matters of vital spiritual significance, bringing to mind the words of St. Paul to the Philippians: “Whether in pretense or in truth, in every way, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice” (1:18).
I much appreciate the balanced and charitable approach, the awareness of the personal input of the artist(s) involved, and the acknowledgment that the film deserves respect for treating important matters with reverence and respect.