Mel Gibson's spiritual advisor on religious epic The Passion Of The Christ has been suspended from the church - after speaking at a controversial Catholic group in Canada.

REVEREND STEPHEN SOMERVILLE read daily mass with the Hollywood star on the Italian set of the movie.

But he has angered the Archdiocese of Toronto after associating with the Tridentine Mass for members of the Society of St Pius X.

According to website THE SCOOP, Somerville was told, "Your ongoing association with and celebration of the Tridentine Mass for members of the Society of St Pius X give external recognition to their illegitimate claims and their lack of submission to our Holy Father POPE JOHN PAUL II.

"Your actions are also a potential source of scandal to clergy and laity of the Archdiocese of Toronto."

31/08/2004 17:10