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ATLANTA (ChurchMilitant.com) - As a run-up to Easter, CNN is once again challenging the roots of Catholic belief using so-called archaeological evidence and expert commentary.
In its second season CNN's six-part series, Finding Jesus — Faith, Fact, Forgery, leaves its reportedly 1 million viewers in doubt on a host of Catholic teachings:
The CNN series, based on the 2016 book of similar title, claims to "explore and examine six new relics emanating from the world of the Bible" said to have impacted the life of Jesus. Under cover of science and commentary by so-called experts, CNN then has license to question history in a seemingly objective manner.
One of the relics examined is the Shroud of Turin, revered by Catholics as the burial shroud of Our Lord. One of the "expert" commentators in the episode, Candida Moss, from the University of Notre Dame, says, "It doesn't seem likely to me that it's real."
In one episode a box of bones supposedly belonging to that of Christ's brothers is examined. On the box is written: "The bones of James, brother of the Lord." This leads to the question whether Jesus had brothers and His mother was a virgin.
In the episode examining the relic of Herod's Tomb, Moss questions more than she affirms. She starts with the assumption that Matthew's Gospel isn't historically accurate and is fabricated as a way to present Jesus to be the new Moses and Herod to be the old Pharaoh.
She then claims the slaughter of the Holy Innocents didn't happen, but is only reminiscent of Pharaoh's slaying of the Jewish baby boys in Exodus.
The final episode is dedicated to Mary Magdalene. As the Last Temptation of Christ, Hail Mary and The Davinci Code have all done, so too this episode leaves open the possibility of Magdalene having a relationship with Christ. Moss is open to that possibility of the woman having a relationship, married or otherwise, with Jesus. She thinks it's fascinating to ponder what kind of children Jesus would have had and what powers they would have been endowed with.
Overall, the film gives the veneer of science and expert commentary but underneath it stirs the same old pot of heresy common during this season.