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» 03/12/2004
Lebanon
Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir says Gibson's film is not anti-Semitic

Beirut (AsiaNews/Nahar) –  Cardinal Butros Nasrallah Sfeir, Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, said Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" is "not anti-Semitic at all". The prelate also said the film is "very tied to the facts, very moving and painful (to watch)".  

Even before the film was released in American and European the film was branded as anti-Semitic by Jewish groups which asked that it be banned from theaters. The film's author as well as many Christians and Jewish personalities have always denied that there was truth to the harsh criticism.

The Lebanese patriarch commented on Gibson's film after attending a special screening in Jounieh. "The scenes of Christ's last 12 hours of suffering before being crucified are very realistic indeed," he said.

Since many scenes are painful to watch, the head of the Maronite Church says that only adults should watch the film. Yet watching the movie, he says, is an important step for evangelization: "Now Lebanese have the opportunity to see just how much Christ suffered and had to pay to forgive all the sins of mankind."


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See also
03/11/2004 PHILIPPINES
Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"
03/20/2004 ITALY
Jim Caviezel: Under the make-up, a man of Faith
03/30/2004 INDONESIA
Catholics and non Catholics welcome "The Passion of the Christ"
03/18/2005 PAKISTAN
From the Passion of Christ to the fight against social injustice
by Qaiser Felix
04/07/2004 philippines
'The Passion of the Christ': "A milestone in the cinema history"
cambodia
"The Passion: A Great Instrument For Mission Work"
pakistan
Viewers react to " Passion of the Christ"
INDIA
Gibson's film inspires passionate interest in Aramaic
THAILAND
Passion of the Christ raises questions among Buddhist audiences
IRAN
'Passion' opens despite Islamic objections
India
Gibson's "Passion" appreciated by Hindus, seen as antidote to fundamentalism
HONG KONG - TAIWAN – CHINA
"The Passion" : Movie theaters booked by churches inviting non-Christians
Qatar
After seeing "The Passion" Muslims start searching for the Gospel
philippines
'The Passion of the Christ': "A milestone in the cinema history"
south korea
"The Passion" welcomed by Protestants and Catholics
malaysia
Malaysian Muslims offended by "The Passion"
Palestine
"The Passion of the Christ" resounding success as moviegoers search for traces of anti-Semitism
China
"The Passion of the Christ" wins over non-Catholic youth
China
Pirated copies of "The Passion" used to evangelize
philippines
Archbishop Rosales: "Watch 'The Passion!'"
qatar
Gibson's "Passion" arrives in the Middle East
islam - christianity
Islam and Jesus: almost a "love affair" (profile)
lebanon - islam
"Issa's" (Jesus's) crucifix fascinates today's Islamic intellectuals
ITALY
Jim Caviezel: Under the make-up, a man of Faith
PHILIPPINES
Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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