Dutiful son Mel Gibson wants his dad to be happy. And it seems that happiness includes having his very own church.

The 'Church of Mad Max'?Hutton Gibson, the 87-year-old father of the famous actor-director, raised his family as so-called “traditional Catholics,” which is kind of an oxymoron, considering the Gibsons don’t belong to the traditional Roman Catholic Church.

Rather than follow the recognized authority of the Vatican as truly traditional Catholics do, these self-proclaimed “traditionalists” denounce its 1960s reforms implemented through the Second Vatican Council.

Instead, they typically say that the last “true pope” was Pope Pius the 10th.

So septuagenarian Dad Gibson and his very rich Hollywood son, have made up their very own churches that they can run any way they want.

Hey, what’s more traditional Catholic than that?

The new church Mel bought for his dad will be called “St. Michael the Archangel Chapel” reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

It’s not clear who besides the Gibsons will attend this house of worship, which actually is a house currently being remodeled.

'St. Michael the Archangel Chapel' A California foundation called “World Faith Foundation” apparently largely if not exclusively funded and run by Mel Gibson paid $315,000 for the site, which is not much considering the hundreds of millions the director/producer made from his movie The Passion of the Christ.

The former Mad Max spent millions funding the creation of another chapel near Malibu in California that he attends. It seems there is somehow a shortage in the “Sunshine State” of traditional Catholic churches too. 

This 9,300 square foot California Mission-style edifice that the star built is surrounded by 16 acres and is quite a bit grander than Dad Gibson’s projected place of worship.

A group called “Holy Family,” once estimated to only include about 70 regular members, attends services at Mel’s church. 

“Holy Family” has been compared to groups called “cults” promoted by other Hollywood stars, such as Scientology and the Kabbalah Centre.

There are about 600 traditionalist chapels, but Mel Gibson’s may be the best endowed.

Other such traditionalist groups include the somewhat more Vatican-friendly “Society of Saint Pius the Tenth,” the strident “Society of Saint Pius V,” the allegedly abusive “Apostles of Infinite Love” and the bizarre “Tridentine Latin Rite Church.” 

Many of these groups can be seen as rather idiosyncratic, mutually exclusive and possessing they’re own particular theology. Some are also often defined and/or led by charismatic personalities, such as the Tridentine Latin Rite Church founded by Francis Schukhardt who says the “Virgin Mary” made him a “bishop.”

Will the former Braveheart star become the shepherd of his own flock? Probably not, but his two churches do appear to have their own interesting idiosyncrasies.


7 comments untill now

  1. The Traditional Roman Catholic has not changed.It still believes that the World should conform to Christ,not vise-virsa.The new -liberal Church sees it the other way.The pre concilar Popes warned us against the heriscies of modernism,which are the worst of all.This is why some catholics believe that the Church is some error with some of it’s teachings.Do your research on past herises and you will be able to discern why these people do not want to change their belief in the true Traditional Church.
    God Bless

  2. stellahermit @ 2006-01-28 11:22

    Sorry, Ross and Jerry. You both have it a little off. The Roman Catholic Church (as opposed to the Catholic Church in America) is guided by three things: Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium and these three are guided by the Holy Spirit. There are those who are completely against anything promulgated by Vatican II and there are those who corrupted what Vatican II was attempting to do. The Church has always been in a state of growth and change but always guided the the above. Those who adhere to pre-Vatican II as do some Traditionalist are just as wrong as those who took the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” and pushed their own agenda for changes that they wanted to force on other Catholics. The truth is that both sides need to cultivate a spirit of obedience and humility and let themselves be guided by what Jesus Christ promised when he left this earth: I will be with you until the end of time – take that to mean in the Person of His Vicar on earth – the Holy Father, the Scriptures which is the revealed word of God and studied and explained by the Magisterium and Tradition. Those who do not or cannot understand this in their hearts are not Catholics, whether traditional or liberal. At some point they both need to submit their wills to the will of God and be obedient unto death. Just as Jesus taught. He certainly didn’t quibble with his Father about what he was sent to do. Did he?

  3. The Second Vatican Council was a pastoral council, not a doctrinal council. No teachings changed, the way we do things did change.

  4. Raphaela @ 2006-01-28 16:01

    This was the most ridiculous and uninformed article I have ever read about Mel Gibson….the Tridentine rite of the Catholic church is a form of the mass, and those who adhere to this form of the mass adhere to more than 1500 years of tradition. God never changes, and those who attend this mass and make every effort to propagate it are practicing their faith as it always has been practiced since Jesus instituted the Catholic church through Peter in 33A.D.

    Mel Gibson professes to be a traditional Catholic, like many other people in the world are, and since he prefers to be traditional, it most likely signifies that he rejects all the abuses of the mass that have taken place since the institution of Vatican 2, and there have been plenty of them, which have dehumanized Christ and deificated man, which is not what the Catholic church is all about. The mass is a perpetutal Calvary, but many masses take away from this fact and minimize the reverence and holiness that should be demonstrated by the faithful in the true presence of Christ.

  5. Trad Catholic @ 2006-01-28 20:40

    This page explains exactly where traditionalist Catholics are coming from: http://www.fisheaters.com/traditionalcatholicism

    Mr. Ross, you are incorrect in thinking that Catholics are legal positivists who must follow any novelty that comes down the path, even if a Bishop or the Vicar of Christ Himself is pushing it. If a teaching isn’t consistent , in substance, with Tradition, Scripture, or the Universal or Solemn Magisteria, it not only can be resisted, but must be resisted. Changes in discplines and such can of course happen — but they, too, must be resisted if they harm the Faith, and even a quick glance at the Index of Leading Catholic Indicators shows that the post-conciliar changes have done just that.

    As was said above, Vatican II was a non-dogmatic, pastoral Council. It taught nothing that Catholics must accept de fide. But the presentation of Catholic teaching has most definitely changed, and anyone who’s been through RCIA in the past few decades, or who’s been to a typical Novus Ordo Mass, can tell you all about it.

  6. Stellahermit has missed one VERY important aspect of being a magisterium Roman Catholic…we must affirm that Chirst Jesus is with us till the end of time YES, in Eucharist. In fact it is said that He will usher in the Eucharistic Kingdom. He has promised the gates of hell shall not prevail against His church…how could they prevail when the Master is at home within? The tabernacle will always discover the faithful in attendance around the world. Why? Because they truly accept and believe that their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is present in the tabernacle…He is our Eucharistic Lord.

  7. stellahermit @ 2006-01-29 13:14

    LaVoz, I most emphatically agree that the Gift of Jesus in the Eucharist, whether at Mass or in the Tabernacle, is the beginning and end of our Catholic Faith. However, the point I was trying to make is that precisely because Christ promised to be with his Church until the end of time that the Church (and by extension faithful) will always be guided by his Spirit and his Vicar on Earth, the Holy Father, whom we should look to, love, respect and obey as if he were Jesus himself.

    Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass and his true Presence in the Tabernacle is a great consolation to all believers and we should pray constantly that more and more people come to know and love this this great gift. But as long as there the divisions between “liberals” and “traditionalists” in the Catholic Church and among Christians, we will never be people of whom Jesus spoke of when he that they would be recognized by the way the love each other and their unity. And you know who is to blame for these ongoing divisions. Satan!