Jan 19, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Articles about who said what to whom continue to make headlines as the debate about what the Pope actually said after he viewed The Passion of the Christ rages on in the press.
The debate began after a breaking story by National Catholic Reporter columnist John Allen in December. In it, Allen reported that Pope John Paul II viewed Mel Gibson’s film in his private quarters and reacted to it saying, “It is as it was.” This statement was to mean that the film accurately portrayed the final hours of Christ’s death.
A supporting article by another columnist soon followed in The Wall Street Journal, attributing the Pope’s personal secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, with having communicated the Pope’s five-word reaction.
However, subsequent articles have appeared in which Vatican officials have denied that the Pope ever reacted to the film.