Hikind Calls Vatican Endorsement of Mel Gibson's Film "Unholy Alliance"
Last Year Gibson Denounced the Vatican as "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"

"The Passion" can incite anti-Semitic violence
September 19, 2003

"Questionable and disturbing," said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) of the Vatican's commendations for "The Passion." "Mel Gibson has demonstrated the lowest regard for the Church and yet Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, roundly endorsed the film. That is highly ironic."

Hikind previously called on distributors to reject Gibson's film, citing its venal portrayal of Jews as scheming to kill Jesus. "Millions of Jewish men, women and children throughout the millennia were murdered because of the inflammatory allegation that Jews killed Jesus. Scholars, as well as the laity who have seen this film, say it is dangerous and can incite anti-Semitic violence."

When Mel Gibson was in Italy last year for the making of "The Passion," he was interviewed by the Italian language "Il Giornale" about his views on the Church. In September 2002, Gibson candidly stated that he no longer believed in the Church as an institution. To clarify his vilification of the Church, he further expounded, "I agree with everyone who says the Vatican is a wolf in sheep's clothing."

"Gibson denounces the Vatican and everything it stands for. Twelve months later a Vatican official sanctions Mel Gibson's film which shows Jews as bloodthirsty killers. What kind of unholy alliance is this?"