.- Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” is what today’s generation of youth needs to understand Christ’s message, said the assistant director of Arlington’s diocesan Youth Office.
"It takes a movie for this generation to get it," said Kate Bergman. "We’re so inundated with flashy, loud images and music, it takes making Christ huge and putting him on the big screen to reach certain people," the 26-year-old told Arlington’s Catholic Herald.
The Diocese of Arlington booked two theatres and organized a private preview screening of the film for about 800 faithful last week.
Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde attended the Feb. 24 screening and addressed the audience, challenging them to "get to know and love more the Lord through prayer," to make up for past sins through acts of penance, and to "make His love for you more visible to others."
Diocesan youth director Kevin Bohli recommended that young people watch the film together at the beginning of Lent.
He also observed that adults, rather than teens, had harder time with the movie and left during the screening. While some people felt the film was too graphic, others thought the opposite.
"It wasn’t graphic enough," said Brendan Menuey, considering what Jesus must have gone through. "It’s hard to sit there, and you wince as you see the pain and humiliation He went through for us," said the public school teacher, adding that he didn’t think the film was anti-Semitic.