SYDNEY, Australia – Hollywood actor-director Mel Gibson has been asked to recreate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the streets of Sydney if the city is selected to host a major Catholic gathering in 2008, a newspaper reported Saturday.
Gibson’s staging of the Stations of the Cross, a live interpretation of Christ’s final hours, would be part of a bid by the city to secure the Catholic Church‘s World Youth Day in 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The crucifixion reenactment — similar to scenes from Gibson’s hugely successful film “The Passion of the Christ” — would begin with the Last Supper staged at Sydney’s landmark Opera House at sunset, and would end with the crucifixion of Christ at St. Mary’s Cathedral, according to bid documents the newspaper said it obtained.
The Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, told the newspaper that intermediaries had “started approaches” to Gibson to stage the event. Gibson’s involvement with World Youth Day was on the city’s “wish list,” Pell said.
“He might well be attracted. I think his devotion to Christ is very real,” he said.
The venue for the 2008 gathering, expected to attract an estimated 400,000 young Catholics from 160 countries, will be announced by Pope Benedict XVI on Aug. 21, in Cologne, Germany, the newspaper said.