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In the March 5, 2004, issue of The Chicago Sun-Times, Andrew Greeley attacks Mel Gibson personally and Gibsonís movie, The Passion of the Christ.
3/7/2004 10:40:00 PM
By Joseph Wemhoff

In the March 5, 2004, issue of The Chicago Sun-Times, Andrew Greeley attacks Mel Gibson personally and Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ. The real objects of Greeley's attacks are the Catholic Faith and Holy Scripture.

Greeley rejects as a "metaphor" Mel Gibson's clear presentation of the idea contained in Article 457 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church (quoting I John 4:10): "The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who 'loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins.'" Greeley denies Scripture; Gibson remains faithful to it.

Greeley blasphemes "what kind of God...would demand such a price from his beloved son." Articles 610 and 614 of The Catechism instruct that Jesus offered Himself up to His Father in freedom and in love.

Greeley dismisses the cornerstone doctrine of Original Sin as being mere "fear of our own mortality." He preaches the Modernist error of universal salvation (an "implacably forgiving God"), ignoring the conversion message of St. John the Baptist, the Sacrament of Penance, and the words of Our Lord Himself about how many will reject the Truth and how few will be saved (Luke 13:24).

In his Religion of Man, Greeley even arrogantly makes God a bit player: "The lesson of Good Friday...is that God suffers with us"-as if human suffering is the standard to measure God by. In fact, it is "Good" Friday because on that day mankind was redeemed, as Article 613 of The Catechism proclaims: "Christ's death... accomplishes the definitive redemption of men."

Greeley demeans Christ's death: "when it is [our] time to die, He will die once again with us." Huh? Such nonsensical, human-centric thinking is not part of Catholic theology. Greeley whines that "God cannot prevent our sufferings." Yes, Andy, Omnipotent God can, but often chooses not to for His Own (unknown) reasons.

Surely, Greeley knows The Catechism; he just doesn't believe in it.

Under The Code of Canon Law, Canon 751, Greeley's writing constitutes heresy (i.e., "the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed") and apostasy (i.e., "the total repudiation of the Christian faith"). He has publicly excommunicated himself under Canon 1364: "an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication" Further, under Canon 194, he is no longer a priest in good standing: "One is removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself...(2) who has publicly defected from the Catholic faith..." Goodbye, "Father" Greeley!

Mel Gibson and The Passion make me proud to be an orthodox, "thinking," Vatican II Roman Catholic. It is precisely because Gibson accurately portrays the Faith and Scripture that he is despised by dissidents with agendas. When will Andy Greeley have the personal integrity to stop calling himself a Catholic? Let us pray for his conversion, repentance, confession, forgiveness, and salvation.

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Joe Wemhoff is a banking executive, and active member of the Chicago orthodox Catholic community. He writes from Oak Park, IL.

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