Mel Gibson - Do Not Make A Movie On Fatima

By Richard Salbato

Dear Icon Productions and/or Mel Gibson,

 My name is Richard Salbato.  I live in Fatima and helped get the Passion to the Convent in Coimbra and Mel Gibson's meeting with Lucia.

 I now hear that Icon Productions is going to do a movie on the lives of the children of Fatima, and mostly Lucia.  As one who was converted to the faith by Fatima, this makes me very happy and at the same time concerned.  To be sure my concerns are well founded.  I am going to copy this email to Sister Celina of the Convent of Coimbra.  She will contact me through Sister Isabelle, and maybe they can tell me if I should not worry.

What I worry about is that Icon and/or Mel Gibson has bought the rights to a fiction book called "Stealing from Angels" and I am afraid that this might be mixed up with the truth about Fatima.

I also know that some of Mel Gibson's close friends are in the Gruner or traditional crowd.  I also am a traditionalist but try to avoid over correcting problems to the other extreme - which is also heresy. 

I have lived my life in the shadow of Fatima and in the city for 4 years with almost monthly contact with the convent of Coimbra but I am not an expert on Fatima.  And there are many here in Portugal who claim to be experts on Fatima and are not (and I can illustrate many printed errors by these people).

 There are two experts on Fatima, the nuns in Coimbra and Father Kondor (some spell it Condor) and both Icon and Mel Gibson have both of these phone numbers.  

I strongly recommend that you let the convent and Father Kondor review the written transcript before starting production. 

The life of the children of Fatima, done properly could be the movie of the 20th century and save many souls, but done with personal opinions of people could actually harm Fatima.

My hope and prayers are with you.

Richard Salbato   Weekly From Fatima

Icon and Mel Gibson never Responded

The above email was sent to Mel Gibson and Icon Productions six weeks ago with no response.  It was also copied to Mother Celina of the Convent of Coimbra and to Father Kondor, Postulate of the children of Fatima.  Both the Convent of Coimbra and Father Kondor thanked me for the letter, and I had a long talk with both regarding the dangers to the faith if such a film is not made correctly.  Needless to say I have defended the movie, The Passion, in many articles and in fact defended Mel Gibson against attacks by close friends of mine who thought his motives were suspect. 

Although Mel Gibson's father is a Sedevacanti, (Sedevacanti is Latin for "vacant chair", meaning that the chair of Peter is empty See Note 1 below) Mel Gibson avoided the subject during the promotion of his film on the Passion, never saying one way or the other if he held to the same views of his father.  Because I suspected that he might be a Sedevacantist, I went through a great deal of effort to get the film on the Passion and Mel Gibson to the Convent in Coimbra to see Lucia. Note 2below  My motive was that if Mel Gibson was like his father, a Sedevacantist, then I must get him and Lucia together because she is so much pro Pope John Paul II.  For this same reason, the conversion of Mel Gibson, I placed on the front page of my web site the statement of Sister Lucia,

 "He who is with the Holy Father is with God. He who is not with the Holy Father is not with God."

This was done just for Mel Gibson and before his meeting with Lucia.  Mel Gibson in meeting with Lucia called her "incredibly childlike," and the convent as "pretty austere and spartan." But he went on to say that he still believes that the full contents of the famed Third Secret have not been revealed, he said, "I still don’t think we got all it," but said he did not raise the subject with her. "You can’t go in there and say, 'So, what’s the Third Secret?'" he explained. "But I still want to know."

However, it was his interview on EWTN that made me know that Mel Gibson is a Sedevacantist.  In the interview he said that he does not believe that the Novus Ordo is a true Mass because the words of consecration have been changed.  Now if he believes this then he must believe that the Popes who have made this Mass legal are not true popes, meaning Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II.  His father holds the view that Pope Pius XII was the last true pope.  Since even Sedevacantists believe that Popes have the power to change the wording of the Mass, then they have to believe that these popes were not real popes.  Regarding the words of consecration see Note 3 below and Note 4   

The truth is that anyone who believes that the Novus Ordo is not a true Mass believes that there is no legitimate pope in the Vatican and with this believe they are no longer Catholic.  Since I now know that Mel Gibson is not Catholic I strongly object to his making a movie about Fatima.  All three children of Fatima were very dedicated to the Holy Fathers, and Lucia was so dedicated to John Paul II, she offered her last days of suffering for him and spoke his name at the last moments of her life. 

Stealing From Angels

Just ten days after the death of Sister Lucia Mel Gibson bought the rights to Brian Dullaghan’s novel ‘Stealing from Angels’, a story of a young Irish man who becomes connected to the murder of Pope John Paul I and the third secret of Fatima.  ‘Stealing from Angels’ is a work of fiction that tells the tale of a man who shoulders a huge secret and trusts no one.  The book has  received rave reviews and is very popular in America, not least, in the same vein as The Da Vinci Code, because people can indulge their desire for church conspiracy theories – especially relating to the Catholic Church.

Mel Gibson is known to practice pre-Vatican II ‘traditional’ Catholicism and much was made amid ‘The Passion’ furor of his father’s Vatican conspiracy theories.  That Gibson would buy the rights to this is proof that he really, really hates the Church. He’s a confirmed enemy of the Church, despises it with a ferocity.

The author of this book is a classic Catholicism-hater (it’s written in the first person, with the narrator constantly telling anecdotes showing how stupid the Church is and expressing personal opinions about how irrelevant and untrue it is), but the good news, if it can called that, is that there’s nothing new here at all. It’s the same, old, tired condemnations and lies about the Church that have been circulating for ages (some back to time of Luther), and which we’ve already seen a hundred times in recent movies: corrupt hierarchy, too much emphasis on money, alcoholic, un-spiritual priests who are jerks, vicious nuns who terrorize their grammar-school students, sleazy politics in the Vatican. Old, tired stuff.

It develops the whole theme of the Vatican hierarchy supposedly aiding and supporting Nazism in the 20th century, because they saw it as preferable to the spread of Communism, of which Nazism was an enemy. Movies have already been made about this (one with Michael Caine, I think). Of course it makes no mention of all the lives (Jewish and otherwise) SAVED by the Church and its underground rescue operations during the war.

It is clear from his purchase of this that Gibson has real contempt for the clergy and for the hierarchy. This book is a typical anti-clerical attack. Even though Gibson suckered many priests into assisting him in making “The Passion” and even more into promoting it for him, it’s obvious now that he simply exploited them to serve his purposes. His interest in this book reveals his true attitudes. He really hates the priesthood.

As for the book’s treatment of Fatima. Now, this is where the author’s really intense anti-Church sentiments are brought out the most subtly. The narrator of the book eventually comes to believe (and therefore this is the premise being promoted by the author) that the apparitions of Fatima, Our Lady’s messages, and the saintliness of the three seers were totally genuine and totally from God. But the narrative pits the Church itself –– the hierarchy, the Vatican as an institution, etc. –– against Fatima. He shows the Church as an evil force suppressing the truths of Fatima, not following Our Lady’s instructions, causing Sr. Lucy (who actually shows up as a character in the story) pain, and plotting the murder of Pope John Paul I because he was ready to reveal the Third Secret. (By the way, in an incredibly stupid plot twist, the author has it that the Pope, knowing he was going to be killed, faked his own death, went into hiding, and is still alive.) The Church is supposedly doing all this because Fatima threatens its evil political goals and machinations. The point here is that by identifying Fatima as being of God and from God, and by showing the Church as being a force against Fatima, the author is depicting the Church as being against God. The Church is the adversary of God.

This is supported too by the character of Rebecca, the supposedly virtuous woman who ends up being the narrator’s one true love who helps him track down and meet Sr. Lucy. This character, a pious theology student, leads him to change his life (he’s a professional thief) and embrace religion. At the end, the narrator even has a vision of the Virgin Mary in a hospital. Only the trick the author slips in is that Rebecca is staunchly anti-Church, anti-Vatican. He says of her, “She had a strong faith in God but didn’t see a role for the church”. So again we see the Church as pitted against God. At best, the Church is spiritually irrelevant, at worst it’s trying to keep souls away from God. At the end, the Blessed Virgin appears in a vision to the confirmed rejecter of the Church; apparently she also condones that position.

Here are a few examples of the anti-Catholic rubbish the book presents:

- Disparages St. Peter’s Basilica as “extravagance and utter decadence… Would Jesus Christ ever have endorsed such a use of resources?” (p. 60)

- Of the Spanish Inquisition: “the country that gave a completely new meaning to the word pain.” (p. 93)

- Describes nuns: “This was at a time when nuns were nuns, mean, nasty, and vicious”. His Catholic schooling was “under their regime of terror”. (p. 80)

- Condemns and ridicules the Sacrament of Confession on p. 115.

- Speaks glowingly of Freemasonry and describes its members as “God-fearing” and “moral” (p. 43)

- “Holy water was the best con of all.” (p. 16)

- “…the stories of Jesus are just that, stories.” (p.61)

- Describes his fantasy of being a gladiator and “relieving the scrawny Christian of his life.” (p. 54)

- Of the Vatican: “How could men who demand that the rest of us Catholics adhere to the teachings of Christ be such thieving bastards?” (p. 49)

Examples like this pepper the entire novel. It’s a dreary, ugly, not very well-written book rehashing the same old accusations against the Church we’ve heard a million times before. It also exhibits the typically confused, inconsistent thinking which is characteristic of Church-haters who believe they’re religious and think they know something about God and/or morality but actually have no idea what they’re talking about.

Though the author presents Fatima in a reasonably favorable light, the whole story line of the book is so utterly ludicrous, and the author’s purpose is already fully served by his pitting Fatima against the Church. The story even takes place in 1978 and earlier, so there’s absolutely no mention of Pope John Paul II, the assassination attempt on the anniversary of Fatima, the publication of the Third Secret a few years ago, etc, all of which would be germane to the book’s subject.

The only thing interesting about any of this is that Mel Gibson, by buying the rights to this book, has thoroughly given away his true sentiments. He despises the Church, and it would appear therefore that “The Passion” was for him a calculated step in a long-term plan to discredit it and destroy people’s faith in it.  But this novel doesn’t present any original accusations or lies about the Church. It won’t mislead anyone who isn’t already misled.

Yes it will make a great movie for the dollars it will generate but it will harm Fatima, the Church and God to make a dollar just like The Da Vinci Code did. 

                                                                                                                         Richard Paul Salbato

Note 1 -

Sedevacanti is Latin for "vacant chair", meaning that the chair of Peter is empty. They imply that the possibility exists that there could be a long period of time in the history of the Church where there is no Pope at all. This does happen during the time between popes, but can never happen during a time when the people believe there is a pope but there is not. This is what they are implying. If God could allow this, then that would make it possible for one to question the legitimacy of every pope. The truth is that there can only be an anti-pope when there are two popes. There cannot be an anti-pope when there is only one pope. Nor will God allow the Church to exist without a pope because where the pope is there is the Church, where the pope is not there is not the Church.

Note 2 -

Dear Lourdes,

Father Louse Kondor has expressed that the Convent of Coimbra in Portugal, the home of Lucia of Fatima, would like to see the movie, "The Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson.  It is now showing in Portugal and being received very well.  Because all Carmelite Convents are cloistered, they will never be able to see the film at the theaters, but it is my hope that they can see it during the Lenten Season before Easter.  If this is possible contacts can be made though Father Kondor and any arrangements can be done though him. 

Father Louse Kondor is the postulate for the canonization of the children of Fatima, and the spokesman for Fatima.  He is the go-between between Lucia and the Holy Father.  Any communication between the Vatican and Lucia goes through Father Kondor.  For those of us who live in Fatima, he is the final word and the ultimate authority. 

If this is possible contact Father Louse Kondor by phone for details.  From America the number would be 011-351-249-531-282.  I am sure because this is the Lenten Season, press will not be permitted. 

Considering the great graces coming from this film, it is my personal opinion that this will not be the last contact with this convent and the Gibson people.

Richard P. Salbato.

Note 3 -

Let us look at the words, "for many" or "for all". In the Maronite Rite there are 22 Anaphoras, (the most ancient in the Church), and in one of these Anaphoras it states, "for all men", and has always stated it this way for a thousand years. In one of the ancient Coptic Rites, instead of "This is My Body", it states, "This is the Body". Should we say that these two formulas have resulted in the bread not becoming the Body of Christ for the last thousand years?

Can you say that Christ did not die for all, and therefore "for all" is not theologically correct? Of course not. (2 Corinthians 5:15) "And Christ died for all." (1 Timothy 2:6) "Who gave himself a redemption for all ---" (1 John 2:2) "not only for our sins but for those of the whole world."

But does this make the "transubstantiation" invalid? No! The last Doctor of the Church, Alphonsus Maria Liguori, (History of Heresies), states that the words, "This is my body" and "This is the chalice of My blood" are all that are necessary for a valid Consecration. So said also: St. Thomas (Summa Theologica - Part III, Q 78, A.3 and Q 60, A.8) and the Council of Florence. Even a Masonic priest, who does not even believe in the true presence of Christ, will produce transubstantiation by these words.

Note 4 -

I too prefer the Tridentine Mass and in fact worked very hard to get a permanent presence of the Tridentine in Fatima and, in fact,  got permission for the Society of St. John Cantius to take over one of the best churches in Fatima for daily Tridentine Masses here, but for some reason the Society rejected the offer.  But in preferring the Tridentine I do not go so far as condemning the Novus Ordo as being not a true Mass, which is heresy.  The reason I chose the Society of St. John Cantius is that they promote reverence in the MASS but will offer both the Novus Ordo the way it should be offered and the Tridentine. Therefore I know that they are not in heresy but like me prefer the Tridentine.

Important Comments from Readers: -

I assume that Hutton Gibson is a sedeprivationist, which is something less than a sedevacantist. Is like SSPX but maybe a little more extremist. They think that post-conciliar popes are so bad that we don´t have to obey what they say, thus we don´tt have to be in stretch union with their clergy.

Some of them think that the Novus Ordo is valid, some of them think is invalid. Usually the sede-privationist don´t think that is a valid mass.

I think Mel Gibson won't answer not because he is bad guy, but because it is very difficult to contact a Hollywood movie star. Usually it´s not their fault but of their representatives, who think that they are the rulers of the world just because they work with Hollywood movie stars. I know a lot of catholics have written to Gibson to ask him for things, movies, etc. and they have received no response at all, to me that's understandable because he can´t answer to all of them.

Regarding that Gibson said that sister Lucy was "incredible" childlike wasn´t a bad commentary from mr. Gibson: actually, it was a PRAISE, because Mel Gibson HIMSELF is incredible childlike !!!!  Yes !  I have seen many documentarys of him since many years ago and Mel Gibson is not just "childlike"... he is a clown! -not like Robin Williams- but he is that way, a very happy and enthusiastic man. Co-actors have said of him that he has "teenage habits",  and I think that this is because he has many children (seven, actually), and he plays with them and consequently he has to be like them. Here in Mexico we say that if you want to be always young, you have to be between young people, teenagers. You have to be always with them.

Regarding that interview you heard on EWTN, I would have to ask you to reconsider when you heard it or if you understood well. It is very strange to me that now he does not believe in it because it seems, as far as I know, that Mr. Gibson some time before shooting The Passion was really a sedevacantist, but then, he realized he was in a mistake and later he collaborated with the whole Church, even with the Legionaries of Christ themselves, to get help in his many obstacles regarding this movie. Even the Holy Father was involved.

But sad, in these horrible times, I am sure that many Novus Ordo Masses are really null and void, because of their lack of obedience to guidelines of the Holy See. I do not think Our Lord would transform in a Doritos-like wafer or coffee with His Precious Blood !

I hope I help. Thanks for reading and God bless you.