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Bishops criticise pirating of Gibson's Passion

THE CHAIRMAN of the Slovak Bishops Conference, František Tondra, has appealed to priests and members of the Roman Catholic Church throughout Slovakia to not violate copyright law. Reports have surfaced that priests and some religious activists have publicly screened Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ in churches, schools, and pastoral centres across Slovakia, and even distributed or sold unofficial video and DVD copies.

According to the private news agency SITA, Tondra said that illegal screenings of the movie were a violation "of the seventh commandment, which forbids stealing".

The bishop said that such screenings constitute a breach of copyright law and those in violation must face the consequences.

According to Tondra, in addition to the legal aspects, moral law has also been violated in this case.

"It would be contradictory, with this film in particular, to commit the sins that Christ died for," Tondra said, calling on priests and other believers to respect the divine and secular law in this area.

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