Kirk Douglas has some words of advice for Mel Gibson: “Seek forgiveness in your own Church first.” Douglas, who is Jewish, wrote in a column in Daily Variety last week that he thought Gibson’s first apology was too pat and trite and that his request to sit down with Jewish spiritual leaders to talk about his anti-Semitic tirade is premature.
“Mel is now ready to talk to a Jewish group or a rabbi. I disagree. He is a Catholic and appears to need some spiritual guidance. Perhaps he should talk to one of his own faith. Maybe Cardinal Roger Mahoney [sic] (Los Angeles cleric) could be a great help.”
Okay, after I got up off the floor from laughing so hard, I tried to picture what a meeting between Mel and the cardinal would be like. So I’m on the floor again.
Anyway, Douglas isn’t necessarily wrong in his intent, and it looks like he understands Catholic spirituality better than most Catholics. The place to deal with serious sin is firs in the confessional and in spiritual direction. From there, public penance and reconciliation may be required. But Gibson’s sin, like all sin, is against God above all and then the victim of his behavior second.