Dallas man rents 20-screen complex to show “Passion” to 6,000 people


Arch Bonnema, a member of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church near Dallas, has decided to involve his family in renting a 20-screen Cinemark complex to show Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” to show it to 6,000 people, according to Baptist Press.

Bonnema was to be invited to a preview of “The Passion of the Christ” when a friend had to back out at the last minute. The film had such an impact on him that he wanted to share it with as many people as possible.

“I have been a Christian all of my life, and I have heard people talk about Jesus dying for our sins and sacrificing His life,” Bonnema told Baptist Press. “But when you hear it repetitively, it loses impact. When you see this film, it really hits home the sacrifice that Jesus made for us,” he added.

Bonnema and his wife decided to do something significant and inquired about renting out the Cinemark complex in Plano for the day “The Passion” is released, Feb. 25.

The Cinemark Theater has 20 screens, and Bonnema and his family have rented them all for the showing of “The Passion.”

“We’re going to do the largest two screens twice, so we’ll actually be showing it 22 times between 6:30 in the morning and 9:30 [at night],” he said.

They decided to stagger the show times in 30-minute intervals so that all 6,000 people would not enter the complex at the same time.

“42,000 dollars is a lot of money for us, so it was a big commitment,” said Bonnema, who owns an insurance agency with his son.

He gave all but 1,000 tickets to different religious organizations in the area, and sent an e-mail to a few friends to let them know had some tickets available. “In three days I had 2,300 requests,” he said.

 Spanish Bishops say “Sexual revolution” has not reduced domestic violence

MADRID – Fr. Juan Antonio Martínez, Secretary and Spokesman of the Spanish Bishops Conference, said this week that at one time “it was thought that the so-called sexual revolution was going to fix the problem of domestic violence, but this has not been the case.”

Fr. Martínez lamented that certain statements of the Spanish Bishops’ Directory for the Pastoral Care of the Family have been taken out of context, and he emphasized that “domestic violence existed before the sexual revolution.”

Nevertheless, he insisted that “the sexual revolution has not improved things” because “domestic violence continues,” and this is clearly outlined in the “Spanish Bishops’ Directory for the Pastoral Care of the Family.”

“For 60 years the promoters of the sexual revolution have been promising that when the supposed repression of Christian and Western tradition has disappeared, society would be made up of people who are uninhibited, free, loving and respectful of others,” he said.  “We are the fruits of this promise? This is what we are saying.”

In an interview with the COPE radio network, Fr. Martínez insisted the Catholic Church does not consider to be “positive” a sexual revolution consisting in “commitment-free love, free from fidelity, from marital commitment…in love conceived as an object to be used and thrown away and of having one partner today and another tomorrow.”

After indicating the “comprehensive” position of the Bishops Conference, Fr. Martínez said that “there is not an obsession with these things in the Church.”  He added, however, that the Church will continue offering “with patience and firmness” her arguments on the consequences of so-called ‘free love’, since there is such a “serious” problem of formation in this area.

Meanwhile in statements to Europa Press, Madrid city council member Pedro Zerolo challenged the Church and demanded “a popular reaction against the statements of the bishops, especially by women, Catholic or not, by gay priests and lesbian sisters, because the material in the Directory is an attack on the religious and sexual freedom of people.”  He also called the bishops’ statements “homophobic,” “partisan” and “misogynist.”  “What they are saying goes against nature,” he added.

Fr. Martínez pointed out that “we know there are people who do not share the message of the Church, but to say that it should stay in the pulpits and parishes brings to mind the polices of repressive regimes.  The Church has a right to express herself like everyone in society, without hindrances or limitations.”

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