Vatican Has Not Taken A Position on Gibson's Film 'The Passion', Top Cardinal Assures ADL
New York, NY, September 22, 2003 … A top Vatican official in charge of promoting Jewish-Christian dialogue has assured the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that a recent statement regarding Mel Gibson's film "The Passion" made by a Vatican representative in Rome "bears no official status."
In a letter to ADL, Walter Cardinal Kasper, President of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, indicated that "The view expressed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos is a purely personal one and bears no official status."
Cardinal Kasper wrote the letter in response to recent media reports that Cardinal Hoyos was speaking as an official representative of the Holy See when he made remarks supporting the film. ADL had asked the Vatican to clarify those statements.
The Cardinal assured ADL that "The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews is aware of the debate concerning the release of the film, and of the damage it can cause to Catholic-Jewish relations."
He indicated that the Vatican has not had a chance to view the film, which is not yet released, and has decided not to make an official statement at this time.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.