Men. They lie.
Poor Peggy Noonan. It looks like she got spun like a top/ taken to the cleaners/ sold a load of poles (choose one) about the Pope and his reaction to Lethal Jesus: 2 Fast 2 Jewish:
My Dec. 17 column reported that Pope John Paul II had seen Mel Gibson’s movie on the crucifixion of Christ, “The Passion,” and had offered a judgment on it: “It is as it was.” The quote came from the film’s producer, Steve McEveety, who told me that it was given to him by the pope’s longtime private secretary, Archbishop Stanislau Dziwisz.
At almost the same moment my piece ran, the National Catholic Reporter ran a piece by Rome correspondent John L. Allen Jr., saying the Vatican had given a “thumbs up” to Mel Gibson’s film. It quoted a senior Vatican official who spoke on condition of anonymity: “The Holy Father watched and enjoyed the film. His comment afterwards was, ‘It is as it was.’ “
The next day Reuters reported in a dispatch with a Vatican dateline that it had a Vatican source who said the pope had seen the film, was “moved” by it, and afterward said, “It is as it was.”
A week later, on Dec. 24, reporter Cindy Wooden of the Catholic News Service wrote a piece saying that “a senior Vatican official close to the pope,” who insisted that his name not be used, had denied that the pope said what he was quoted as saying. “The Holy Father does not comment, does not give judgments on art,” Ms. Wooden quoted the official as saying. “I repeat: There was no declaration, no judgment from the pope.” She quoted another Vatican official saying, “The Holy Father saw this film, but did not express any opinion on it.”
Which brings us to this week.
On Sunday Frank Rich of the New York Times, in a column attacking the marketing of the film and those who have supported it, reported that he contacted the Italian translator in the McEveety-Dziwisz meeting. The translator backed the quote up–Archbishop Dziwisz had quoted the pope saying “It is as it was”–and added that the archbishop had also used the word “incredible” to describe the film.
The day after Mr. Rich’s piece ran, Cindy Wooden of CNS returned to the story–with a blockbuster. Archbishop Dziwisz–the man quoted as the source of the papal quote–denied that the pope had told anyone his opinion of the film. “I said clearly to McEveety . . . that the Holy Father made no declaration,” he said.
Remember when you were in high school and that guy said that if you let him touch “them”, he wouldn’t tell his friends? He lied.
Remember when you were in college and that guy told you the next morning that he would call…and then he didn’t? He lied.
Remember when that guy said he would tell you when he was going to c-, well you know…. and then he did, and he didn’t? I’m sure you’re aware by now: he lied.
Remember when President Ronnie said you would always be his little girl? You aren’t. He lied.
Remember your marriage ceremony when you both said “Till death do you part”? Well, you both lied on that one.
Remember when he said they had Weapons of Mass Destruction? Yeah, he lied, although it appears that they have “weapons of mass destruction-related program activities” but that’s not the same…so it remains: he lied.
So when a Hollywood producer that is out promoting a movie that the major studios won’t touch with a ten foot cross, and he calls and tells you that the Pope gave it two thumbs and five Pope Hats up, what do you think happened?
You get two guesses.