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Gibson forks over funds to build Catholic center

Actor Mel Gibson is the person behind a 9,300-square-foot, Mission-style Catholic church complex in Malibu, Calif., that is not affiliated with any diocese.

The star of "Braveheart," "Lethal Weapon" and "Mad Max" financed the building for about 70 fellow members of the ultraconservative group Holy Family, according to Sunday's The New York Times Magazine.

Gibson has never minimized the importance of his religion, but of late it is even showing up in his work, the magazine noted.

Last year he portrayed two characters deeply affected by their religion — a former minister in "Signs," about an alien invasion, and a Catholic lieutenant in the war drama "We Were Soldiers."

Currently, Gibson is directing a film that depicts the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ. The movie, "The Passion," is in production in Rome, with the actors speaking only Latin and Aramaic.