Actor Jim Caviezel, best known for playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's 2004 epic "The Passion of the Christ," has said that only atheists believe in coincidences, and that some would even deny God's resurrection of the dead.
Caviezel spoke with Polish journalist and film critic Lukasz Adamski in an interview reprinted by the Catholic News Agency on Sunday, and touched upon a number of different topics regarding his Roman Catholic faith and film career.
Caviezel, who has also starred in successful TV shows such as "Person of Interest," recalled the influence Pope John Paul II had on his life, and remembered that the Polish pontiff "always called young people to break away from contaminated and demoralized civilization."
He noted that the John Paul II encouraged people to try and live like saints, arguing that it is not impossible.
"It is a message saying that everyone in the world is equally important. It is also an appeal for a Christian life. A life in which one demonstrates to everyone they come across that Jesus is their Lord. I remember the Pope saying to Americans: 'You can all be saints,'" the actor said.
"It makes me sad that so many people in my country do not seek sainthood. They substitute it with drugs and hedonism. It is simply filling the emotional void."
Adamski recalled that when Caviezel played the role of Jesus, he was 33 years old, and his initials were J.C.
"Don't you tell me it was a coincidence! There are no coincidences. I keep hearing about 'accidents' and 'strokes of luck.' Secularization affects the entire world, including the USA. Only atheists believe in coincidence," the actor responded.
"There are no coincidences for God. Even when God resurrects the dead, they will say it happened by accident."
Caviezel added that like any believer, sometimes he struggles with faith, but noted that throughout his career and the different roles he has played, he never forgets the name of Jesus.
"Love is controversial and he is love incarnate. Jesus was telling the Romans about love and they killed him because of that. 'Who is that man to tell me what kind of person I'm supposed to be?' they asked arrogantly. He was betrayed by his own people and abandoned by everyone," he added.
"My duty was not only to show it all on the screen. My real duty is to live in accordance with the Gospel every day and to give witness to the truth."
Caviezel, who with his wife has adopted three children with cancer, has also spoken out against abortion in America in the past.
"Many people are a part of this great sin in this country. These are all God's children and He brings them home. Now He wants to bring you home. Do you think your friend has more grace than God? Does your friend have more love than the Creator? It can never be. God forgives you and now He needs you to begin, to accept forgiveness," the actor told the congregation at Rock Church in San Diego back in 2014.
Reflecting in the latest interview on his hopes for the future, Caviezel noted that he would love to play a part in Gibson's planned "The Passion of the Christ" sequel, which will follow the Gospel stories following the resurrection.
"I want to work with Gibson again. This time it will be a film about the resurrection. If 'The Passion of the Christ' inspired so many people to do good, why don't we try again? I feel like there is a purpose in my life again," he said.
"That's why I've played in a TV series about a man looking for a purpose for the last five years. I don't do it just for the money. I do it for the love. It's my Christian mission."