A Brazilian bishop has come out against calls by a Catholic Cardinal to boycott controversial novel The Da Vinci Code.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop of Genoa, has called Dan Brown’s thriller “shameful”.
But Monsignor Jose Maria Pinheiro – nominated to be bishop of Sao Paulo by Pope John Paul II two weeks ago – urged readers to use “prudence”. He said Cardinal Bertone’s views on the best-seller were “personal” and not official church views.
The Da Vinci Code has been a publishing sensation around the world and is still featuring in best-seller lists.
Its conspiracy theories and thriller style, in which two code-breakers try to track down the truth behind the Holy Grail, have caught the imaginations of millions.
Its central claim is that the Holy Grail is really the bloodline descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalene – which the Church is supposed to have covered up, along with the female role in Christianity.
“I would recommend prudence,” said Monsignor Pinheiro.
“I don’t know if people are capable of distinguishing the elements of fiction from those of reality.
“It is important to talk to young people about it so that they can differentiate, but I don’t think it’s necessary to ban its reading,” he added.
But Cardinal Bertone has urged Catholics on to shun the book like “rotten food” and branded it as “lies”.
He called on Catholic bookstores to take the thriller off their shelves and accused Brown of “deplorable” behaviour. [more]
Da Vinci Code fever grips Genoa
“…I want to warn many people who have read or are reading this book, especially young people,” said Cardinal Bertone in an interview with the BBC.
“There’s this stereotype that a young person isn’t modern if they havent read the Da Vinci Code and a family isn’t adult if they don’t have it at home.
“We need to put people who have simple faith and unsophisticated culture on their guard, so they are not bewitched by the lies in this book.”
The Da Vinci Code will reach a wider audience next year with the release of a film starring Tom Hanks.
“I think we sounded the alarm too late,” says Cardinal Bertone.
“But the book is now so widespread, I don’t think the interest will mount. What we can do is arm our believers with critical awareness. I believe and hope in this…” [more]
The controversy has been ongoing but it seems to have been picking up steam lately, and as the cardinal said, a bit too late perhaps. The train has already left the station.
I for one thought it was a brilliant book. I am a history buff so it was entertaining to read about a different perspective of history, especially since even history has very little evidence to support it. History, they say, is written with the pen of the victors.
Though it is work of fiction and I don’t understand the controversy itself. If people want to take something this seriously then why ban it? I’m against any banning of any book. There are forces of supply and demand at work, and in a social context what is forbidden is most desired. If this book was shelved under “Non-Fiction” or “History” in bookstores, well then we’d have a problem.
The movie is aiming for a May 19th 2006 wide release. Starring Tom Hanks and Directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind). This will be the third time I believe that Hanks and Howard have worked together, the latter of which deserves a great deal of credit of launching Hank’s career with Splash! (1984). They teamed up again in 1995 for Apollo 13.
Does anyone remember the good ol’days when the most “controversial” thing about Da Vinci was this…
what are you smiling about?!