Mad Mel

Go here to see just one of the houses actor Mel Gibson owned, and has now sold at a knock down price of $28m. Then ask yourself if money and fame will make you happy. Poor Mel Gibson. He really did have everything–not only the wealth and fame and the rewarding career, but the stuff that matters: faith, family, friends, fellowship.

Then he throws it all away in a classic mid life crisis fuelled by booze. Now the gossip is that he has sold this fabulous home in Connecticut, that his house in Malibu is up for sale and he’s moving back to Australia with his wife Robyn. This sounds good and bad. Good because he’s getting back with his wife. I actually predicted that this would happen. He’s got Catholicism in his soul too deeply to stray too long and too far. It’s a good thing that his pretty plaything bit back. He might just realize that the wife of his youth and the mother of his children is where he should have stayed to start with.

The worrying thing about his going back to Australia is that he might be doing what they call in AA ‘a geographical’. That’s where a person with problems blames everybody else and blames the place they live and everyone in it. “If I can only move to Colorado the fresh air and mountains will heal me.” Problem is, that when we do a geographical the main problem always comes with us:  ourselves.

The Catholic take on Mel’s meltdown is that the poor bloke is a sinner in need of repentance. He knows this, and his film on the passion was part of his own attempt to take control of his life and repent. Unhappily, his disgrace is now public and his problems are global in their potential to cause scandal and disgrace to the faith he has so publicly avowed.

I like the man, and feel sorry for him and I’m going to pray for him and his family.

  • Deacon Dick

    Add me to the prayer list for Mel and Family, and all alcoholics and addicts. God Loves His Straying Sheep. "There's A Wideness In God's Mercy……..". God Save Us.!

  • MAB

    Been praying for him since his drunken anti-Semitic rant a few years ago. I cannot watch "The Passion of the Christ" now without thinking of him and his public scandals. And so I pray for him all the more. He can pull out of this (with God's grace) and I hope he does. His love for Christ was so evident in "The Passion."

  • cricket

    A hedge maze?! No. Effin'. Way.

  • shadowlands

    When the Passion of the Christ was being made, I read an article in the Times where Mel said that the film was by means of a thank you to the Holy Spirit for fifteen years of sobriety. A good friend of mine who got sober in 1992 said he felt uneasy with the motive in making the film, and that it could cause Mel to drink again. I didn't understand why at the time, but I think it's to do with 'one day at a time' and the fact that we are given a daily reprieve from active alcoholism, contingent upon our spiritual well being, rather than a cure after so many years off the booze.I like him too, and hope he gets back on track soon and stays there.His wife has had much to bear. The ex-girlfriend's is just beginning.

  • the Egyptian

    Say what you will I'd rather spend a day with Mel than most of the Hollywood limp wristed, girly men around. I bet he is a blast to have a beer with and listen to. Yes I mean that, For all his problems, Mel is a "mans man". But that being said I do pray for him, for as all men do he needs it

  • Nick

    I think he might be receiving judgment for the R-rated films he was in earlier in his life.

  • torculus

    "Problem is, that when we do a geographical the main problem always comes with us: ourselves."- Ain't that the truth!I pray that he allows God's grace to really work in his life. He could start by leaving his kooky pseudo-catholic group and, if he really wants traditional Catholicism, saddle up with the FSSP. He desperately needs some solid spiritual direction.

  • JD Curtis

    I was unaware of the "geographical" reference that you made.It makes sense.

  • Anne

    Ah what a Breathtakingly beautiful house! What more could one possibly want in life. He's had everything in super abundance in this life.I find it difficult to feel sorry for him. He needs to forgive himself first and ask forgiveness from others. Jesus, Son of the Living God, Have mercy on us.

  • KBernadette

    In Mel's case his geographic location (and all its rich and famous trappings) is much to blame for his problems. He is doing well to sell all he has and follow Christ (at least figuratively.)There is no way this man can clean up his life without something drastic such as this.

  • Subvet

    There but for the grace of God go I. He's in my prayers, hopefully he'll be able to regain his sobriety. Recovering drunks need to constantly remember the word is "alcoholism" and it never becomes "alcoholwasim".

  • Augustine

    Fr. L.,I wasn't aware of the "geographical" term, but it cannot be denied that someone might want to go a new area where the friendships and places which are occasions of sins for him are far and away. Certainly, the fallen man still remains fallen, but moving may be a practical way to start the healing.For sure, a worldwide celebrity like Gibson probably has no such far and away place to go to.May Our Lady of Mt. Carmel intercede for us.

  • Matthew the Curmudgeon

    I pray for his restoration and that of his marriage and family. I read a somewhat more harsh comment on another blog this morning. It questioned Mel Gibson's faith and that he was neither a Christian or a Catholic as a sedevacantist like his father, he is separated from truth and faith. I don't know how these things play out but it's always dangerous to question another person's faith.

  • Dr. Eric

    The tabloids are now reporting that Mr. Gibson is not moving to Australia. I am very confused by this man. It seems that he wants to do the right thing, but is so addicted to wine, women, and song that he just can't. I wish for him a long and relaxing retirement so he can work on his spirituality and stay out of temptation.

  • JM

    prayers, for him AND his wife!

  • Francis X.

    I too pray for the reunification of his family. I know we are all frail, deeply flawed human beings. I am no expert on AA, however if a 'geographical' separates us from the places we got and people we were hammered with it sounds like avoiding the near occasions of sin, to me.He and his family have my prayers. for this and their return to the one true church.fxr2

  • shadowlands

    As Father said, a geographical is a way of looking at everything and everyone, as the reason for one's problems, apart from one's own refusal to CONCEDE POWERLESSNESS over alcohol. According to the Big Book, many alcoholics pursue this belief ( that they can one day control their drinking) to the gates of insanity or death. Not all geographicals end up in Australia, some end up in mental institutions or graveyards (or both).It also states we have to FULLY concede our powerlessness over alcohol. Half measures avail us nothing.Then begins the repair work, amends etc. "If you sober up a horse thief, he'll still steal horses"I love AA speak, you don't hear thinking like it anywhere else in the world.Scott Peck, the famous author of 'The road less traveled' reckoned everyone should get on a twelve step program, even if you had to pretend being an alkie to do so (I don't advise that last bit, personally).

  • impoguemahone

    Sorry, but I can not support or admire a racist, raging,drunken adulterer and woman beater, Catholic or not, human or not,famous or not. Sin is sin and being a celebrity does not in any way excuse it. I think Mel Gibson is an embarrassment to true and devout Catholics as well as a hypocrite.

  • reslate

    But by the Grace of God go I. Hate the sin but love the sinner. Jesus came for the sick. Anyone of us could fall, there is a spiritual warfare that we do not see. We need to be there for others when they fall. This does not mean they get "away with it" but we help them through it. We need to be Christ like that means we don't walk away but help with prayer. If I fall, I would pray that every one walked away from me and there was no one to help me up. God have Mercy on us!

  • cricket

    And I'm sorry, but "alcoholwasim" (sic) earns Subvet at least a kick in the shins.Someone, please take care of that for us, will ya?

  • Alice Seidel

    You know maybe Mel is possessed of a demon for making such a masterpiece as "The Passion". I pray he does reconnect with his wife and leaves this year to a lesson learned from God. There is truly no happiness or contentment in money and possessions. I agree his Catholicity is deep and will never leave him be.

  • Gail F

    What an amazing house, the man really did have everything. I do pray for him and his wife and children. I don't think he is either a racist or an anti-Semite, I think he is a drunk. People unfamiliar with drunks may not understand that what they say when drunk doesn't necessarily reveal their innermost secret thoughts — they are often just rants.

  • anthony

    if your reference to 'Colorado' and our 'own' sins is a shot at me then you are allying yourself with Origenist pseuds which abound at Oxford (where did you go to uni?) which I am fairly certain your own 'fathers' highly disapprove of.You should pray more and give thanks to God for all he has blessed you with.

  • Father John Boyle
  • Tom

    How could anyone but the holiest among us maintain our sanity in view of such persecution?

  • Sarah Oldham

    I just want him to get well and stay well. My prayers are with him and his family – and, yes, even to the woman he had a child with recently. They all need our prayer.

  • Steve

    Sarah, you said that your prayers are "even with" Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend. Of course you should pray for her. She was evidently beaten and berated by this man. Pray for the abuser as much as you like (we are all sinners and need prayers), but obviously it's the victim of abuse who needs prayers as well. (Did you say "even" because you suspect she's a fallen woman, someone who lured Mel away from a good marriage? Obviously Mel had a big role in all that.) Let's not ignore the racist hatred that Mel Gibson needs to deal with, along with, most likely, his alcoholism. (God can heal people of racism and hatred if they are are willing to repent of it.) May God have mercy on each one of us, sinners as we are.

  • Steve

    Sarah, I feel I need to apologize to you for the pretty intense response I gave your comment. You were one of the few people here who even bothered to mention the mother of Mel Gibson's latest child, and you didn't deserve to be attacked for saying you intended to pray for her. I'm sorry for taking you to task. Your instincts are good.I will confess some frustration that so many conservative Catholics seem to be feeling sorry for Gibson, in a way that they might not feel sorry for (or admire) other sinners within and outside the church. So many, here and elsewhere, have lamented Gibson's fall (especially his leaving his marriage) without repudiating his violent and racist tendencies. Those things also should be the focus of our prayers. Those who say they believe Gibson harbors no real racism in his heart, just alcoholism, are doing him no favors. Those who spew racist, anti-woman hatred need counseling, prayers, and heartfelt repentance. Here's hoping Gibson, and all other bigots and beaters, get the help they need to change. The good news is that all of us sinners can find much cause for hope in Christ Jesus.

  • romishgraffiti

    Sorry, but I can not support or admire a racist, raging,drunken adulterer and woman beater, Catholic or not, human or not,famous or not. Sin is sin and being a celebrity does not in any way excuse it. I think Mel Gibson is an embarrassment to true and devout Catholics as well as a hypocriteYou may find this an edifying read: Jesus Names Us, Not SinGod bless.Scott

  • Elsasser SC

    Oscar Wilde said it all" The Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone — for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do’. "

  • Anne

    I would like to give Mr. Gibson a piece of my mind. I hope his parents and brothers and sisters are doing this as we speak.

  • JM

    People here would probably not have like King David: he may not have beat his wives, he just killed the husbands of his mistresses.

  • Ismael

    It is quite sad that such a talented man (he is a good actor and a good movie maker) behaves like this.I hope he will find balance again and that he will start living the Gospel.

  • Winefred

    I am very much in agreement — I believer that, at his core, Mel knows he has done something absolutely horrible and he is collapsing in on himself with the weight of such a great sin against his wife and family. Unfortunately he is in the stage where he seems to be lashing out at his paramour instead of putting the blame where it belongs. Since the woman in question has played this scene before (previously hooking up with Timothy Dalton, 26 years her senior, having his child, and then moving on) Mel could have, should have, been able to predict this mess, had he not been blinded by vanity and middle-aged angst. His vocabulary tells us that he is a somewhat "low-rent" individual — big surprise — Hollywood is undoubtedly full of such sterling individuals, as is the world of politics, business, you-name-it. but grotesque public circus now in progress around Gibson is excruciating to witness — especially since people like Bill Clinton were spared such a dirty laundry festival through the collusion of the press, and scum like Roman Polanski seem only to benefit from their misdeeds. I know which one I'm praying for right now. And I will watch The Passion again without any sense of its diminution just because it was made by a public sinner.

  • Winefred

    Footnote: I don't think one can divorce the Mel implosion from his religious deviance (if that is not too strong a word). From his family he learns all about the richness of the Catholic tradition, but is also taught that this "once-divine" historic institution is rotten with corruption and heresy. When the props of a person's Catholic beliefs have been yanked out from under him, it is almost inevitable that he will (in a rather Protestant fashion) become his own Pope and Magisterium, and thus able to justify his own worst instincts. Mel, and his fellow sedevacantists, operate under a fundamental instability and insecurity about the things they think are most important to them, and it's not hard to imagine how fast and how hard they might fall off their unsteady perch.

  • Dan Auer

    That's why so many sedevacantists are former Protestants

  • Irving Douglas Estella

    I, too, like Mel Gibson and will keep him and his family in my prayers. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us all, sinners!