Pope likes Gibsons Passion

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rome (ap) | Pope John Paul II has seen the controversial Mel Gibson movie, “The Passion of Christ,” and he liked it, Vatican sources said Wednesday, Dec. 31.

“It is as it was,” the sources quoted the pope as saying.

The National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine, first broke the news. The magazine quoted a senior Vatican official who spoke on condition of anonymity as saying, “The Holy Father watched and enjoyed the film.”

The Vatican has refused to comment on the matter publicly. The magazine reported that the pope watched a tape of the movie provided by the film’s producers.

The film, which depicts the final 12 hours of Jesus Christ’s life, is to be released on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25. It has already come under fire from some Jewish and Roman Catholic groups that are concerned it will fuel anti-Semitism.