Website attacks Da Vinci Code

US Catholic bishops have launched a stinging internet counter-attack on the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, ahead of the release of Ron Howard’s film version.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched a new website refuting key claims made in Dan Brown’s novel that are likely to be brought to the big screen in Howard’s upcoming movie, starring Tom Hanks.

“The Da Vinci Code is a mess, a riot of laughable errors and serious misstatements. Almost every page has at least one of each,” the bishops wrote on the website

“What this novel does (is) … asks people to consider equivalent to the mainstream Christian tradition quite a few odd claims. Some are merely distortions of hypotheses advanced by serious scholars who do serious research. Others, however, are inaccurate or false,” the site claims.

The Da Vinci Code

So error-laden is The Da Vinci Code that the educated reader actually applauds those rare occasions where Brown stumbles (despite himself) into the truth. […] In the end, Dan Brown has penned a poorly written, atrociously researched mess.
Source: Dismantling The Da Vinci Code By Sandra Miesel, Crisis, Sep. 1, 2003

The bishops said the site was aimed at providing “accurate information on the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity prior to the release of the movie”.

It offers articles written by theologians, media commentators, art experts and others that “provide background and also rebut speculation and inaccuracies about Christ and the origins of Christianity”, the bishops said.

But Monsignor Francis Maniscalco of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York denied that the website was a knee-jerk defensive reaction.

“Reporters have asked whether even a best-selling novel can seriously damage a Church of one billion believers,” he wrote. “No, in the long run, it cannot. But that is not the point. The pastoral concern of the Church is for each and every person.

“If only one person were to come away with a distorted impression of Jesus Christ or his Church, our concern is for that person as if he or she were the whole world.”

Brown’s novel, which has sold nearly 40 million copies worldwide, hinges on the theory that Christ married Mary Magdalene and that they had children, a fact that the church allegedly hid for more than 2000 years.

The movie version of the film, heralded as one of the major cinematic events of 2006, will star Hanks, French actress Audrey Tautou, and British actors Sir Ian McKellen and Paul Bettany.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above), via The Australian, Australia
Mar. 10, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday March 11, 2006.
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