In particular, the decision to isolate the Passion from the message of Christ results in not portraying the controversies between Jesus and the Pharisees, the scribes and the Chief Priests: the film presents them at the time of Christ's arrest and trial in a demented rage. Thus, regardless of whether the film is or is not intentionally antisemitic, it can serve to foster antisemitism.
As the film crudely recalls the atrocious effects of torture and death on the cross, it does so with a shocking indulgence in scenes of violence. This violence, which overwhelms the viewer, results in eclipsing the meaning of the Passion and more importantly, the essence of the person and the message of Christ: love carried to perfection in the gift of his willing self-sacrifice.
This extreme violence justifies that the film be forbidden for anyone under 12 years of age. Is it not paradoxical that a film about Jesus cannot be shown to children?
Standing Committee for Information and Communication:
Mgr Jean-Michel di Falco, President of COPIC
Mgr Georges Pontier, Vice-President of the French Conference of Bishops
Mgr Thierry Brac de la Perrière
Mgr Jean-Charles Descubes