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Thursday, July 03, 2003

Don't say I didn't warn you.

[If you haven't noticed already, take a gander at the title change, the reason for which is about to become evident. It is temporary, I solemnly assure you.]

Yep. More news about The Gospel According to Mel, this time from the Jewish Daily Forward. Lost in all the fire and fury have been the placid comments of the screenplay's translator, Jesuit Fr. William Fulco. Unlike Boys & The Boys, whose criticism hinges on an unofficial Italian website, Fr. Fulco has actually seen the script. According to Fr. Fulco, Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich makes nary an appearance:

Father William Fulco, a Jesuit priest and professor of ancient Mediterranean studies at Loyola Marymount University, who translated the film's screenplay into Aramaic, insisted that "The Passion" is consistent with current Catholic teachings.

Fulco said that while the writer of the script's original draft drew on Emmerich, neither she nor Mary of Agreda — whom he says he had never even heard mentioned in relation to the project — is an important source for the film. "I don't like her at all," he said of Emmerich, "and I don't think anybody else does."

"Whether some of [Emmerich's] ideas worked in there or not I'm not sure," he said. "I rather doubt it."

Fulco was also dismissive of the concerns that have been raised about the project.

"Everything that has been written so far has been based on having no idea of what the film is like," he said. "Therefore it's hard to take it too seriously."

The ADL (which ought to be acknowledged as an advocacy organization, and not a disinterested ombudsman) and B&TB are going to end up with a whole carton of eggs on their faces if the uninformed criticism isn't taken down a notch. Really: is it that difficult to pick up a phone to call Fr. Fulco? Doesn't say much for the scholarly abilities of all involved that they keep relying on a website and a clearly outdated script instead of going to the best possible source.

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