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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.

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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.