, Aug 27, 2004 (CNA) - EWTN announced this Friday that Actor and Academy Award-winning director and producer Mel Gibson sat down with Raymond Arroyo this week to talk about the aftermaths of “The Passion of the Christ” on the eve August 31st DVD and video release.
The first time Gibson spoke with EWTN’s Arroyo was in Rome during the film's shooting. The second time was shortly before the film's release and this week's interview was on the occasion of the film's home video release.
During the interview, Gibson discussed the film and its impact on his life, his faith, and the culture.
Arroyo asked, "Was making this film a walk of faith for you?" Gibson replied,
“Well, win or lose, what was the worst downside? It wouldn't work? I was prepared for that to happen, so we just kind of kept forging ahead. I had an idea that it would be all right.”
Arroyo asked Gibson “The pain was necessary for the success of this film? The personal pain you went through watching your name dragged through the press, watching your family dragged through the press?”
Gibson replied, “Yeah, I think probably. You know, you don't trade anything in. Even bad experiences, in retrospect, are sort of good.”
Gibson was asked to comment on what the film's level of success and worldwide embracing of this film has meant for him personally. He said, “I felt like I did something good and the effects have been those that I hoped would be there. This film was about faith, hope, love and forgiveness.”
“These have been the by-products,” Gibson continued. “Despite a lot of people who said the film was going to cause violence, first in the US and then in Europe. I don't know, but it hasn't happened.”
Arroyo asked, “What is the long-term cultural impact of the film, for the viewer, for the audience?” Gibson replied, “I think it's a very vivid reminder of what many people profess and just draw focus on. It may have lasting effects because if you feed anything in, it's going to stay there in some form.”
Raymond commented that the DVD release will mean that everyone will be able to take the movie into their homes, where there is an intimacy that you don't have in the theatre.
Gibson responded, “It's pretty hard material. It's hard to watch. It's an 'R' rated film and I think some people may have been too young to see it. Now you will be able to have parents who can supervise it and talk about it and judge whether or not they show it to them. Some people wanted it to be a private experience and not a shared public experience with popcorn. Not that I think anybody ate much popcorn during this.”
The program will air on EWTN Global Catholic Network on Friday, August 27th at 8:00 p.m. –Central time- on television, radio and the Internet (www.ewtn.com).
Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 27, 2004 (CNA) - The President of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, said this week in Mexico that those promote abortion have no place in the Church.
In a clear reference to so-called “Catholic” groups such as “Catholics for a Free Choice,” the Cardinal said, “Those who encourage abortion, those who obtain abortions, those who perform them, are outside the Church.”
Likewise he said that abortion would never be a “lawful alternative” in the Church. “The Fifth Commandment says, thou shall not kill. Abortion kills, therefore it is murder, and the worst part is that it’s the mother who kills her own, defenseless child,” he said.
As President of the Mexican Theological Society, Cardinal Lozano is participating in a Pastoral Health Care conference organized by the Archdiocese of Morelia.
“Abortion is when someone intentionally and knowingly does it. Natural miscarriages occur, of course, that is normal. Our Lord is not dumb,” he pointed out.
He also underscored the abortifacient nature of the morning after pill and that the best way to prevent AIDS is not through the use of condoms but through conjugal fidelity.“Our Lord designed sexuality only for human procreation, and there is another commandment which says thou shall not fornicate,” he said.
Moscow, Russia, Aug 27, 2004 (CNA) - The much venerated icon of Our Lady of Kazan has arrived in Moscow on the eve of the Eastern Orthodox feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, brought by a delegation of high ranking Vatican officials headed by Walter Cardinal Kasper.
The icon will be handed over to Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and all Russia after Saturday’s festive liturgy in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.
“Like numerous treasures of the Russian Church, it was taken out of the country in the 1920’s, and we’re thankful to the Vatican for this act of good will,” said a Russian specialist on the icon.
“We’ve seen a return to Russia of many icons and liturgical objects that the Russian Church lost in the years of repressions against faith, and this replica of the icon of Virgin Mary is a new instance in that line of repatriations,” he added.
Bishop Alexander of Dmitrov and father Vsevolod Chaplin, the deputy chairman of the department for external relations, came to the Sheremetyevo airport to welcome the Vatican delegation.
Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the representative of the Holy See in Russia, and the Catholic Archbishop, Monsignor Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, also went to greet the delegation at the airport.
Rome, Italy, Aug 27, 2004 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II issued a ''firm condemnation'' of the execution of an Italian hostage, saying he hoped that all ''understand the urgent need to reject violence'' in Iraq, and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denouncing the slaying as “barbaric” and vowed on Friday that Italian troops would not leave Iraq.
Enzo Baldoni, 56, an Italian journalist, was held hostage by ''The Islamic Army in Iraq,'' and was reported to have been killed by the TV station Al-Jazeera, who received a video of the execution. They had issued a statement saying that if Italian troops did not leave Iraq within 48 hours – which passed on Thursday, they could not guarantee Baldoni’s safety.
''There are no words to describe this inhuman act that with one blow wipes out centuries of civilization to bring us back to the dark ages of barbarity,'' Berlusconi said in a statement.
''We will be faithful to the commitments taken with the Iraqi provisional government in the framework of U.N. decisions to give back peace and democracy to Iraq,'' said the Prime Minister indicating that the 3000 Italian troops stationed in Iraq would stay.
, Aug 27, 2004 (CNA) - In a victory for advocates of the unborn, the latest draft of a UN document to protect the rights of people with disabilities contains strong language condemning state-mandated abortions on the basis of "pre-natal diagnosis of disability," reported the Friday Fax.
Article 8 of the draft document reads: "States Parties shall undertake effective measures to the prohibition of compulsory abortion at the instance of the State, based on pre-natal diagnosis of disability."
It also says that "States Parties recognize and protect the inherent right to life of all persons with disabilities” and that "disability is not a justification for the termination of life."
A UN committee is in the middle of a two-week negotiation over the final details of the International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, according to the Friday Fax, a publication of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute. The document is not expected to be complete for another year.
Article 14 of the document states that persons with disabilities must be allowed the right to an abortion.
Santiago, Chile, Aug 27, 2004 (CNA) - Cardinal Jorge Medina, ex-Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, warned Chileans that the devil is present in the world and that he uses euphemisms to destroy respect for life and the family.
“The devil is very present, and he uses lies and euphemisms to deceive. He calls abortion the termination of pregnancy and children burdens. He fosters homosexual marriage and laws allowing for divorce, presenting evil as good and making money a god,” said the Chilean Cardinal.
His comments came as part of a presentation on exorcisms and the demonic at the Catholic University auditorium in Santiago.
He said the action of the devil could be seen in the convincing of people that polls are the result of truth and kindness. “If more than 50% say they are in favor of something, it is automatically accepted, with considering human nature and that not everything can be resolved by voting,” he pointed out.
Likewise, he recalled that the prince of darkness is a person, a concrete being, and not an abstract idea, and that he is devoted to “keeping humanity off of the road to salvation, which is in the cross of Christ.” Therefore, he called on young people “to get used to the idea of going against the flow.”
Havana, Cuba, Aug 27, 2004 (CNA) - In the wake of Hurricane Charley’s devastating path over Cuba, Jose Felix Perez, spokesman for the Bishops Conference of Cuba, announced the Church has launched a relief effort to help provide food, medicine and clothing to the more than 200,000 people affected by the storm.
Maritza Sanchez, director of Catholic Charities in Cuba, said distribution of supplies has already begun in some regions of the country. She added that Catholic Relief Services in the US is organizing a shipment of humanitarian aid, which should arrive in Cuba in September.
The principal recipients of the assistance, she said, will be hospitals, homes for the elderly, pregnant woman and the handicapped, as well as shelters for Hurricane victims.
Hurricane Charley blasted Cuba on August 13, crossing the island’s western region and leaving 4 dead and 200,000 homeless. The 102 mile-an-hour winds destroyed or damaged more than 73,000 homes and buildings as well as crops and fruit farms.
Thousands were left without power, water or phone service.
Kolkata, India, Aug 27, 2004 (CNA) - Hundreds of people streamed by the marble tomb of the beloved Blessed Teresa of Kolkata yesterday to lay gifts of wreaths and flowers, and to pray on the occasion of the 94th anniversary of her birth.
Archbishop of Kolkata Henry D'Souza celebrated a 6 a.m. mass yesterday in honor of Mother Teresa at the motherhouse of the Missionaries of Charity, reported Indo-Asian News Service.
"Mother Teresa remains our guiding force and we continue the work started by her," said Sister Christie, among the poorest of the poor – the orphans, the dying and the lepers.
Last October, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa, who died in 1997. The Missionaries of Charity are looking forward to the day when Mother Teresa is made a saint, but there is no indication yet of a second miracle, which would is required for canonization.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1949. Fifty-five years later, the order now operates 720 charitable centres in 132 countries and is considered to be the fastest growing in the Catholic Church.