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Bishop says movies a powerful way to spread Gospel

Film and television offer an "immediate and extraordinary means" to communicate the Gospel to "a global audience of both believers and nonbelievers", a US Bishop said in his pastoral letter for Holy Week.

Bishop Michael Saltarelli of Wilmington, Alabana, said in his 3400 word letter released on Thursday that cinema could have a major role in evangelising the modern world.

He cited many films that, explicitly or implicitly, invite viewers to contemplate the face of Christ such as The Passion of the Christ, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and movies about saints or on Christian themes.

The bishop praised Mel Gibson for his work in directing and producing The Passion of the Christ and said that the film's brutality, "which has been the centre of so much controversy, is itself a visual device to express saving truths about the inconceivable horror of sin, and the boundless love of God."

He added, "We cannot leave this film without understanding that the Mass is both a sacred meal and the unbloody renewal of Christ's sacrifice."

Movies are powerful way to spread Gospel, bishop says in pastoral (Catholic News Service 1/4/04)

Catholic Diocese of Wilmington _ Contemplating the Face of Christ in Film: a Holy Week 2004 Pastoral Letter from Bishop Michael Saltarelli to the People of the Diocese of Wilmington
The power of The Passion (The Age 3/4/04)
People want films like 'Passion,' say Catholic industry insiders (The Tidings 2/4/04)
Return of Christ Novel Seen as Next Jesus Blockbuster (Reuters/Yahoo 4/4/04)
ABC gives religious saga prime time (Seattle Post-Intelligencer 4/4/04)
"The Passion of the Christ" wins over non-Catholic youth ( 1/4/04)
The triumphs and tensions of faith-based marketing ( 29/3/04)
Italian city hopes to capitalize on success of Gibson's 'The Passion' (Catholic News Service 2/4/04)
The Passion's UK opening breaks record (CathNews 31/3/04)
Manila Archbishop Recommends "The Passion" (Zenit 29/3/04)
Catholics and non Catholics welcome "The Passion of the Christ" ( 30/3/04)
Pope meets with 'Passion' star Caviezel (CathNews 17/3/04)
"Passion" Star Caviezel Has a Papal Audience (Zenit 15/3/04)
Jim Caviezel's risky sacrifice (BBC 16/3/04)
Passion star meets Pope (Ekklesia 16/3/04)
US Bishops' mixed assessment of The Passion (CathNews 27/2/04)
The Passion of the Christ

Signis: the World Catholic Association for Communication

5 Apr 2004