The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has released a statement denouncing a new television program which purports to show the “tomb of Jesus.” Catholic League President, Bill Donohue, writes that James Cameron, who also directed the movie “Titanic,” has produced a “titanic fraud.”
Donohue says that the Discovery Channel show is just another in a laughable string of Hollywood productions aimed at discrediting the basic tenets of Christianity. “Not a Lenten season goes by without some author or TV program seeking to cast doubt on the divinity of Jesus and/or the Resurrection,” Donohue writes.
“Last April,” the Catholic League President continues, “NBC’s ‘Dateline’ featured the wholly discredited and downright laughable claims of Michael Baigent, and two years ago ABC treated us to a special that questioned every aspect of the Resurrection. Now we have the Cameron-Jacobovici thesis.”
Donohue points out that the supposed evidence Cameron and his Director, Simcha Jacobovici, use was disproved 27 years ago. “Israeli archeologist Amos Kloner was in charge of the 1980 investigation of the tomb that Cameron-Jacobovici have seized on 27 years later to make their allegations.”
“‘The claim that the burial site has been found is not based on any proof, and is only an attempt to sell,’ Kloner says. He adds, ‘I refute all claims and efforts to waken a renewed interest in the findings. With all due respect, they are not archeologists.’”
Indeed, Donohue continues, “Kloner has branded their claims ‘impossible’ and ‘nonsense.’ Moreover, he says there is ‘no likelihood’ that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb.”
Jacobovici has already been denounced by several famed archaeologists including Joe Zias, who spent 25 years as an archeologist for the Rockefeller University in Jerusalem. Donohue included Zias’ comment that “Simcha [Jacobovici] has no credibility whatsoever.”
The director’s archeological credibility is further impugned, Donohue adds, “when one considers that he still believes the 2002 tale about an ossuary with the inscription, ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.’”
“On June 18, 2003, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) condemned this claim as a modern forgery—this was the unanimous decision of a 15-member IAA committee. Agreeing with this decision were Harvard’s Frank Cross and Tel Aviv University professor Edward Greenstein.”
“The Discovery Channel aired the 2002 hoax and now it’s back with the Titanic fraud. It’s time the Discovery Channel discovered ethics and stopped with the sensationalism,” Donohue concluded.