US actor and film director Mel Gibson has said he believes the Catholic Church needs to do some “housecleaning” following years of scandals.
The 66-year-old made the remarks during an interview with Extratv as he promoted his upcoming faith-based film “Father Stu”.
Gibson said that teaming up with fellow Catholic Mark Wahlberg for the movie was part of his efforts to take the Church “back to basics”.
“It's lamentable all the stuff that's gone on. Like any institution, it's capable of being corrupt. And, you know, it is sad to see, but as always, I don't think it's the institution that's at fault.
"I think it's a lot of people they get in it. Institutions are as good or as bad as the people in it, running it. It is having a bit of a rugged time right now and my question is, who's hiring [the bishops]? I don't think it's Jesus. Is it [Pope] Francis? Who's hiring Francis? Is it Pachamama? [An Inca Goddess]," Gibson asked.
Gibson was raised as a Sedevacantist traditionalist Catholic and believes that there have not been any "true" popes since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. For Sedevacantists, all popes thereafter have compromised with modern trends.
“There was nothing wrong with the Catholic Church before Vatican II's reforms. It didn't need to be fixed. It was doing pretty well.”
He continued: "I think there's going to need to be a housecleaning. It is going to have to come back to some sort of equilibrium in the future.”
Gibson’s comments come as the Vatican spoke up in defence of Pope Benedict XVI's record of handling sexual abuse cases in the church following a report the former pope had mishandled four cases in the 1970s and 1980s.