According to the Committee’s statement, Catholic schools and religious education groups should use these documents if they plan on the film in order to “guide students so they will be familiar with the deep theological significance and complex historical context of the Passion narratives that no single film could fully convey,” says the statement.
The statement also advises “caution” when using the film in the classroom because of its graphic nature. It says it would not be appropriate for elementary or middle school students.
The committee also expressed its joint concern over the persistence of anti-Catholic attitudes in the U.S. in the secular media and in certain intellectual circles; it also addresses the plight of Christians in the Holy Land and the difficulties experienced by Catholic clergy and religious in getting visas to re-enter Israel.
The Catholic-Jewish Consultation Committee is composed of representatives of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Synagogues. Rabbi Joel Zaiman, rabbi emeritus of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, and William Cardinal Keeler, episcopal moderator for Catholic-Jewish Relations of the USCCB, co-chaired the meeting.