The movie, which the actor directs, stars James Caviezel as Christ during the last 12 hours of his life and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene. The reported $25 million production will feature dialogue only in Latin and Aramaic with no English subtitles.
"'The Passion' is a movie meant to inspire not offend," Gibson said in a statement published Friday in the trade newspaper Variety. "My intention in bringing it to the screen is to create a lasting work of art and engender serious thought among audiences of diverse faith backgrounds."
He made the statement to rebut criticism that "The Passion" is anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic, Variety reported. The remarks came as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had been critical of "The Passion," apologized for attacking a film that is still unreleased.
The film has not yet found a distributor.
"If the intense scrutiny during my 25 years in public life revealed I had ever persecuted or discriminated against anyone based on race or creed, I would be all too willing to make amends. But there is no such record," the actor's statement read.