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Gibson snips controversial scene from The Passion

Mel Gibson is cutting a controversial scene from The Passion of the Christ, the New York Times quoted a "close associate" as saying this week.

The offending clip: The Jewish high priest Caiaphas declares, "His blood be on us and on our children."

"It didn't work in the focus screenings. Maybe it was thought to be too hurtful, or taken not in the way it was intended. It has been used terribly over the years," the source is quoted as saying.

"Jewish leaders had warned that the passage from Matthew 27:25 was the historic source for many of the charges of deicide and Jews' collective guilt in the death of Jesus," the Times said.

The paper also listed the response of Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman's to Gibson's recent appeal. The actor-director had written: "I hope and I pray that you will join me in setting an example for all of our brethren; that the truest path to follow, the only path, is that of respect and, most importantly, that of love for each other despite our differences."

Foxman replied Monday that "your words do not mitigate our concerns about the potential consequences of your film to fuel and legitimize anti-Semitism."

The Passion of the Christ opens in Australia on 25 February, the same date as its release in the US.

Gibson Snips Controversial Scene From 'The Passion ( 3/2/04)

Gibson to Delete a Scene in 'Passion' (New York Times 4/2/04)
Mystery of Pope's 'approval' of Gibson film (The Guardian 24/1/04)
Vatican ends controversy on Mel Gibson film publicity (CathNews 23/1/04)
Campaign to counter Gibson film planned (USA Today/Associated Press 2/2/04)
Campaign to counter Gibson film (Herald-Sun 3/2/04)
Gibson's heavy cross to bear (Sydney Morning Herald 4/2/04)
The Passion of the Christ (official website)

5 Feb 2004