The Danish Minister of Culture, Mr. Niels Matthiasen, has answered criticism over statements he made?
GV Christiansborg Channel in Copenhagen
GV Ministry of Culture
GV Pan form Channel to Ministry of Culture
SCU Int. Minister of Culture Niels Matthiksen speaks
"I am well aware of the fact that a statement of mine quoted in a Danish newspaper about the Catholic Church has given rise to much discussion. First of all, I must stress that I have been quoted out of context, which has caused some misunderstanding. Of course, it has in no way been my intention to set aside the fundamental religious liberty or not to maintain a deep respect for this liberty. Of course, I have my personal opinion on the role the Catholic Church has played in relation to political development in many places in the world. But this is not an official opinion or, least of all, the opinion of the government,. Its position as regards the chosen film is this: that the guarantee granted is not decided by the government or by the Minister of Culture but by the Board of the Danish Film Institute, according to a law passed unanimously by the Danish Parliament and may role as Minister in this regard is only to safeguard the artistic independence of the Institute."
Initials AE/22.02 AE/22.11
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Danish Minister of Culture, Mr. Niels Matthiasen, has answered criticism over statements he made in relation to a proposed film on the sex life of Jesus Christ. Replying to the condemnation of the film by Pope Paul VI, Mr. Matthiasen was quoted as saying the Catholic Church had oppressed the people and kept them in ignorance for centuries. He was also quoted as saying that the Church had helped Franco to power in Pain, and questioned the Church's right of criticise.
The film has aroused considerable opposition in Denmark, not only form militant Christians but also people normally indifferent to religion. The project has been promised a grant of 600,000 Krone ('GBP' 43,000 sterling) form the Danish Film Institute.
The film called "The Love Affairs of Jesus," has also been criticised by other countries. In Rome, a car outside the Danish Embassy was hit by a bomb, and letters protesting against the film are pouring in from many parts of the world.