Greek church condemns Cameron's Jesus docu


Greece's powerful Orthodox Church on Thursday accused the director of the movie "Titanic" of historical ignorance and of trying to damage the Christian faith for claiming he discovered the tomb of Jesus Christ.

Last month filmmaker James Cameron and a team of scholars showed two stone ossuaries, or bone boxes, that he said might have once contained the bones of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The findings are the subject of a documentary he produced called "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" and a book "The Jesus Family Tomb."

"We express our sorrow over the historical ignorance, lack of scientific base and evidence of this case, whose purpose is to strike at ... what constitutes our faith," the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece said in a statement.

Discovering the tomb of Jesus would challenge Christianity's belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven. The Holy Synod said it was no accident the claims were made just before Easter, celebrated this year by all Christians on April 8.

"Profiteering and irreverence will not succeed in striking at the spiritual advance of our faithful toward Easter and the resurrection of our Lord, no matter how many stories they invent," the church said.

Scholars have greeted the case with skepticism, some dismissing it as a publicity stunt. The caskets found in 1980 in a 2,000 year old cave could belong to a family whose names are similar to Jesus and his relatives, they said.

The Orthodox and Western Churches split in the schism of 1054. In the latest census, 98% of Greeks were Orthodox.