What religion is Mel Gibson?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Mel Gibson, the famous actor and filmmaker, practices a traditionalist brand of Roman Catholicism. This religious affiliation is deeply rooted in the traditional teachings and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. It is important to note that Roman Catholicism itself encompasses a wide range of beliefs and practices, but Mel Gibson’s personal beliefs align with a more conservative and traditional approach.

Gibson’s religious journey can be traced back to his father, Hutton Gibson, who was also a devout traditionalist Roman Catholic. Hutton Gibson held strong traditionalist views, including the rejection of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. These reforms aimed to modernize and adapt certain aspects of Catholic worship and practices, but some traditionalists, including the Gibson family, felt that they compromised the true essence of the faith.

In line with his father’s beliefs, Mel Gibson has been a vocal advocate for the Latin Mass, also known as the Tridentine Mass. This pre-Vatican II form of the Mass is characterized by its use of Latin language and adherence to traditional liturgical practices. Gibson has expressed his strong preference for this form of worship and has even built a church, St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, to support and promote the celebration of the Latin Mass.

Furthermore, Gibson’s traditionalist beliefs extend beyond just the liturgy. He has also been associated with certain Catholic groups that emphasize the preservation of traditional teachings and practices. One such group is the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), which was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and is not officially recognized by the Vatican. The SSPX rejects some of the reforms introduced by the Second Vatican Council and adheres to a more traditional interpretation of Catholic doctrine.

It is worth noting that Mel Gibson’s religious beliefs have occasionally been a source of controversy. In 2006, he faced backlash for making anti-Semitic remarks during a DUI arrest, and some critics have accused him of holding extreme or intolerant views. However, it is important to separate his personal actions and statements from the broader tenets of traditionalist Roman Catholicism.

Mel Gibson practices a traditionalist brand of Roman Catholicism, influenced by his father’s beliefs and his own personal convictions. His support for the Latin Mass and his involvement with groups like the SSPX reflect his commitment to preserving and promoting traditional Catholic teachings and practices.