Gibson reportedly believes in the "Siri Thesis", which claims that Giuseppe Siri was elected to succeed Pius XII in 1958 but denied the papacy by an occult conspiracy. Giuseppe Siri has been accused of assisting Nazi war criminals who fled justice after World War II.
Groups promoting "traditionalist Catholic" conspiracy theories tend to attract Catholics who reject the innovations started by the Second Vatican Council, including changes to the traditional mass and the Latin liturgy. They also attract those who reject Vatican II's rejection of anti-Semitism and belief in the doctrine of Jewish deicide. Certain believers in this conspiracy cult have anointed their own "Popes in exile". (For more about these groups, read here and here.)
Now comes news that Gibson has poured tens of millions of dollars into promoting these extreme beliefs. Shockingly, his private cult church, which has 70 members and provides no charitable services, has assets 12 times greater than those of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, which provides housing and social services to tens of thousands of people, and serves over 5,000,000 meals per year to the hungry (read PDF here).
from Australia's Herald Sun: Mel Gibson's Holy Family Catholic Church full of riches
MEL Gibson has poured another $15.2 million into his controversial private church in Malibu.
US federal tax files show Gibson's Holy Family Catholic Church now has tax-free assets worth $64 million, up from $48.8 million last year.
Gibson is the single contributor to the church, which has a congregation of about 70 members and follows a 500-year-old ethos.
Among the church's assets are artworks with a listed value of almost $760,000.
Gibson lists three major expenses for last year, including an architect and a landscaper who have done work in and around the church.
He also paid a law firm $105,000 for its services.
Gibson's secretive sect is not recognised by the Catholic Church because it does not acknowledge the authority of the Pope or the Vatican and rejects the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.
The church's finances are impressive, particularly compared with the funds of other US religious organisations.
The Archdiocese of New York's Catholic Charities organisation listed its assets at the end of 2006 as $5.1 million. That group gives millions away to charity every year.
The Holy Family church's tax return documents do not indicate that they give anything away to charity.
Gibson's church -- which offers a daily morning mass in Latin -- follows an antiquated ideology of Catholicism dating back to the 16th century.
Female followers of Gibson's church must abide by a strict dress code, requiring them to wear veils over their hair and long skirts, with a ban on pants for women.
The exclusive parish caters for about 70 members, with the existing chapel having seating for only 100 people.
Over the past two years, Gibson, 52, has been overseeing the building of a much bigger Spanish mission-style church, which will seat about 400 people to expand his flock of followers.
Gibson's church, launched by the actor-director in 1999, is set among lush Tuscan-style gardens and does not welcome strangers.
The exclusive community -- located on a scenic hillside on the famed Mulholland Drive in the upmarket rural area of Agoura Hills -- has high fences and heavy security to prevent outsiders from visiting.
The church has an unlisted phone number, keeps its address a secret and has asked members of the congregation not to release information.
The church preaches that Jews are responsible for the death of Christ, with many supporters, including Gibson's father Hutton, denying the Holocaust happened.