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Pope has seen Mel Gibson's 'The Passion' - but hasn't commented
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 Following a flurry of press reports concerning the Pope's opinion of Mel Gibson's forthcoming movie 'The Passion' - the following statement was released this morning by Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls:

"After consultation with the Holy Father's personal secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, I can confirm that the Pope has had the opportunity to see the film, 'The Passion of the Christ'. The film is the cinematographic recounting of the historical fact of the passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel accounts.

"It is the Holy Father's custom not to express public judgments on artistic works, judgments which are always open to diverse evaluations of an aesthetic nature."

Source: VIS
ROME - 22 January 2004 - 115 words
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