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Gibson's 'Christ' Puts Vatican in Bind

Mel Gibson's film The Passion of The Christ -- which seeks to portray the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life -- has prompted awkward Vatican denials that Pope John Paul II warmly endorsed the movie after a private viewing. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.

Copyright 2004 NPR

Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.