Mel Gibson: Philandering Fundamentalist?

Apparently, there are multiple Mel Gibsons.

There's the actor-producer-director, whose wife of 28 years filed for divorce Monday, who was spotted frolicking with a blonde woman on his $26 million Costa Rican ranch Tuesday, who may or may not be engaged in an affair with a Russian musician.

Then there's the traditionalist Catholic who funneled $42 million into building Malibu's Church of the Holy Family, who has talked extensively about his belief in pre-Vatican II values, who, during his 2006 DUI arrest, famously ranted, "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

Both are back in the spotlight after his wife Robyn Gibson's divorce filing.

While it's unclear if possible infidelity on the 53-year-old actor's part led to her decision to end their marriage, recent photographs of Gibson with women in Boston and Costa Rica, and reports that he engaged in a relationship with Russian singer Oksana Pochepa have fueled speculation that he wasn't faithful.

Gibson's publicist declined to comment on reports of the actor's alleged romantic affairs Wednesday.

The image of Gibson as a possible lothario stands in stark contrast to the church founder. Gibson created the A.P. Reilly Foundation in 1999 to fund the creation of his church, which a decade later still remains under construction on a 16-acre property in the mountains northwest of Los Angeles.

The Church of the Holy Family believes in the pre-Vatican II form of Catholicism. It has not been recognized by the Los Angeles Diocese.

The traditionalist form of Catholicism the church preaches grew out of the split within the Catholic Church following the passage of Vatican II in the 1960s, which attempted to modernize the church by doing away with mass in Latin and reconciling with the Jews.

Some notable traditionalists have been accused of anti-Semitism. They include the Rev. Stephen Somerville, who was Gibson's spiritual adviser during the filming of "The Passion of the Christ." Somerville, according to Southern Poverty Law Center, was suspended by the Vatican in 2004 for his divisive preaching. Gibson's father, Hutton, who is also a traditionalist, has publicly expressed doubts that 6 million Jews were really murdered in the Holocaust.

"These people see themselves as an enclave of Catholic purity amongst a church that has become too liberal and a culture that rejects God's word," said Stephen Kent, professor of new and alternative religions at the University of Alberta.

Divorce Contrary to Gibson's Catholicism

That means the Church of the Holy Family only conducts masses in Latin. Women are required to wear skirts or dresses to church and keep their heads covered. And divorce, as in most sects of Catholicism, is looked down upon.

"Divorce is a huge break with the faith," said Christopher Noxon, who visited and reported on Gibson's church for the New York Times magazine in 2003. "The intactness of the family and the sanctity of marriage are values that traditionalists hold most dear. I can't imagine that anyone in the traditionalist world is looking very favorably on Mel right now."

Noxon described the Church of the Holy Family's "small congregation" as a "weird mix of Malibu celebrity hangers-on and east San Fernando Valley, very white, very conservative Catholics."

He speculated that news of Gibson's potential divorce would cast doubt on his faith among other traditionalists.

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