Questions to consider in viewing the movie ‘The Passion of The Christ’

Bishop Robert J. Baker took these thoughts with him when he viewed “The Passion of The Christ” on Ash Wednesday. He invites our readers who plan to see the movie to consider these questions:

1. Does the movie distort (i.e. undermine or detract from) or does it enhance (i.e. clarify or deepen) the message of the four Gospels (individually and collectively) about the Passion of Christ?

2. Does the movie help me personally understand better what Jesus did to save me and the human race?

3. Does the movie put blame for the death of Jesus exclusively on one group of people or on one nation rather than the whole human race?

4. Does the movie include a reference to Jesus’ words in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 23:34) which puts the Passion of Christ in the context of God’s great mercy (“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”)?

The Miscellany will publish the Catholic News Service review of “The Passion of the Christ” in its March 4 issue. To read the review prior to that date, go to and click on ‘Movies,’ or visit the U.S. bishops’ Web site at