How old should children be to watch "THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST"?

WHat Do you guys think? How old should children be?:confused:

I think like most MG movies the violence is way over the top and borders on the gratuitous, and should be R rated for violence, 17 or over is my vote.

It depends on the kids. If you would let them watch CSI (with parental guidance, obviously), then it’s probably okay for them; otherwise, not.

I dunno, but our 17 yr old dd still doesn’t want to see it.

We’ve wheened him up to it and fast forward through the parts that are really hard. But we beleive that in order for them to understand what Christ really went through this is the way. However, you have to know each child is different. So you can sort of guide him through it and make him/her cover eyes. I would not show it in an uncontrolled environment, stopping often to explain, fast forward and just explain in general what happened.

You’re right it is very violent, but from my studies this is the most accurate portayal of what actually happened to Jesus on the night he was betrayed to his death. I wish a sequal would follow just to show the risen Christ as accurately and beautiful as it must have been in the early church.

I definitely wouldn’t let anyone I know under 14 watch it and then it would depend on their maturity level. I think some of those scenes would give most kids a series of nightmares. I’m in my 30’s and it was tough for me to watch.

The violence makes perfect sense in the context of Christ’s passion. But I just think that someone really needs to have the maturity, education and life experience to really properly absorb the movie and understand the meaning of the gore and violence.

I agree! There is a church in Chicago (St. Francis I think is the name) that has a crucifix of the bloody Jesus. It’s not just blood dripping from the five wounds, but blood dripping all over his body. Many families (with young children) attend this parish. Now I"m not advocating letting all the blood to be seen, but hiding any sign of how horrible the passion of our Lord was is, imho, a disservice to children.

I myself have a 3 year old and will show her The Passion when she is younger than 14 (but older than 3 obviously). Heck, she’ll most likely see pictures of aborted babies which is just as gruesome and upsetting. Sugar coating the reality of evil and sin is why many believe in “women’s choice” and when they finally face and see what the reality of choice is, they have remorse and a change of heart. Just think, if they knew and saw the reality before the damage was done…

Same goes for Christ’s Passion, seeing the self sacrificing and how horrible it was I know caused me to have a change of heart and many others. I physically was gagging watching the film because I realized that what I read in the Bible did not shed light on how serious and horrible the Passion was like witnessing a remake of it. I was gagging at all the Jesus went through, but moreso gagging at myself and that is was my sins that made him have to go through the Passion. Every scourge was a sin I committed, the nails were my sins being dug into Jesus, each thorn was my sin. That’s a reality that was good for me to face. And that is why I think that it is good to show children under 14 in a controlled environment where parents can stop and educate their children.

I do not think there is a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question.

When the movie first came out in theaters, my oldest was 10-1/2 (wow has time flown …). My husband went to see the movie w/ mutual friends and w/ an eye to whether he thought our son could handle seeing the movie or not.

After discussion w/ my husband, I took our oldest son to see the movie. We were quite glad that we got out of the movie in time to make Confession that same day (according to a homily at the time, there was a marked increase in confessions when this movie came out, so clearly that was not an uncommon reaction).

Consequently, my advice is for parents to view the movie w/o the children in question, and give serious thought as to whether their particular children will be able to handle it or not.

CSI -a TV show? Compared to an violent R rated movie?

As for the OP’s question, have you seen the movie yourself? You know your children and how sensitive they are. I would see the movie first without the kids and then use your judgement. I definitely would not have a child that hasn’t reached high school age watch it -after that I think you need to use your own judgement.

I have seen the movie and had a hard time stopping myself from crying all the way through. My children are 9 1/2, 7 and 11 years old.
I think I’ll wait until they are older to have them watch it.
i was just curious as to the general feeling among Catholics on this matter.
Thanks for all your responses.

I think CSI has an equivalent amount of violence to the Passion of the Christ, and of a similar kind; that’s why I was making the comparison. (I wouldn’t let a child watch CSI, but maybe that’s just me. I got nightmares from watching “Batman” when I was a kid.)

My parents have never been overly protective when it came to the violence of the Bible. My mother’s philosophy with The Passion is that “this is what Jesus went through. Why shelter them from it?” She was raised Baptist and attended a Christian school at a young age that described in detail the suffering of Christ (cat-of-ninetails, etc). She said it didn’t scar her emotionally, but gave her a great appreciation from a young age of Christ’s sacrifice.

I wouldn’t let a child watch CSI either but The Passion is extremely intense with very long periods of brutal violence I have a very hard relating that to a television show. The Passion of the Christ could never be played on regular television because of the violence.
Don’t get me wrong as an adult I think it is an excellant movie, but it is not a movie for children.

(Oh and “The Wizard of Oz” gave me nightmares :stuck_out_tongue: )

I watched it when I was around 14. Its a hard call though.

I’d say 15-16.

I’d say 11-12…that’s when they can really get into big time, “adult sins”. Might stop your 12 year old boy from typing in something they shouldn’t into the search box when you’re away, or your 11 year old girl from wanting to mix with the wrong crowd because they are the “cool kids” if they knew what the result of “cool” could be.

I haven’t seen the film but I know there is an edited version of The Passion called* The Passion- Recut* (YES, it’s an official version of the film and not one of those “edited by parents” versions) that cuts out the extremely violent parts.


That aside, I’d assume that since it’s a very violent R-rated film, I’d say 17 and up.

It’s rated R for a reason…at LEAST 13, but probably closer to junior and senior years of highschool. It’s something to see before college, for sure. :thumbsup: I don’t think any of the PP’s suggested this, but if you really wanted your 12 year old to have an appreciation of the greatness of our Lord’s sacrifice, another possibility is to show some of the movie, but cut out some of the more gut renching parts (the scourging, for example).

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