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ABC Special Explores if Jesus Had Wife
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | 10.30.03 | DAVID BAUDER

Posted on 10/30/2003 7:46:04 PM PST by mhking

NEW YORK — ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas concedes her network is stepping into a theological minefield with its one-hour exploration of whether Jesus Christ had a wife.

The ABC News special, "Jesus, Mary and DaVinci," is scheduled to air Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

"You can't talk about this subject without intriguing people or offending people," Vargas said Thursday. "We're trying to do it as respectfully as we can."

ABC screened the special for some reporters and religious leaders on Thursday. The program is based on the best-selling novel, "The DaVinci Code," which claims to be partly grounded on historical fact.

The book asserts that Mary Magdalene was Jesus' wife — not a prostitute, as in some teachings — and that she fled Jerusalem with his child following his crucifixion.

The story was kept alive for centuries by a secret society that included the painter Leonardo DaVinci, who supposedly inserted clues about it in his art, the book claimed.

The ABC special outlines the theories and speaks to several theologians who either discount the story or assert that it is possible.

The show unravels like a mystery perpetuated by secondhand gossip. Vargas said ABC found no proof that Jesus had a wife, but couldn't completely discount it, either.

Vargas, who was raised a Roman Catholic, said her own parents said to her, "Oh, my goodness, what are you doing?" when they found out she was working on the story.

She said she was never aware of the power struggles and political intrigue that went into how her faith is taught today.

"For me, it's made religion more real and, ironically, much more interesting — which is what we're hoping to do for our viewers," she said.

It drew some immediate criticism, particularly from a representative of the Catholic League, who said ABC News relied too heavily on the opinion of Father Richard McBrien of Notre Dame, who believes Mary Magdalene's importance has been historically understated and that it's possible she was his wife.

"I think it was not sufficiently balanced," said Joseph DeFeo, policy analyst for the Catholic League. "The majority of the people who spoke believed in either the plausibility or the outright truth of (book author) Dan Brown's claims. The facts themselves scream out that this is a crackpot theory."

The show even drew criticism from Nikki Stephanopoulos, mother of ABC News correspondent George and the communications director for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. She the special might offend people who believe that women have a more prominent role in the church.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; epigraphyandlanguage; faithandphilosophy; godsgravesglyphs; gospelofjesuswife; hewasarabbi; jamescameron; karenking; letshavejerusalem; mariame; mariamne; marymagdalene; rabbismarry; religion; sectarianturmoil; simchajacobovici; talpiot; weddingatcana
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I ain't about to touch this one.
1 posted on 10/30/2003 7:46:05 PM PST by mhking
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To: mhking
notice how what GOD SAID or what ChRIST SAID
doesn't matter............
2 posted on 10/30/2003 7:47:42 PM PST by cars for sale
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To: mhking
I just saw the commercial ... good grief ...
3 posted on 10/30/2003 7:48:18 PM PST by Bobby777
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To: mhking
Where will we be 20 years from now.
4 posted on 10/30/2003 7:56:16 PM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: mhking
"Vargas said ABC found no proof that Jesus had a wife, but couldn't completely discount it, either."

And the Sun was originally Blue Cheese, according to my sources, although unfortunately there is no proof of that left either. Sheesh! Give me a break!
5 posted on 10/30/2003 7:56:34 PM PST by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: GOPJ; Pharmboy; reformed_democrat; RatherBiased.com; nopardons; Tamsey; Miss Marple; SwatTeam; ...

This is the Mainstream Media Shenanigans ping list. Please freepmail me to be added or dropped.
Please note this is a medium- to high-volume list.
Please feel free to ping me if you come across a thread you would think worthy of this ping list. I can't catch them all!


6 posted on 10/30/2003 7:59:59 PM PST by Timesink
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To: mhking
The ABC News special, "Jesus, Mary and DaVinci," is scheduled to air Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

Is this sweeps week by chance ?

7 posted on 10/30/2003 8:00:14 PM PST by ikka
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To: ikka
wiat til God has his sweeps week
8 posted on 10/30/2003 8:01:46 PM PST by cars for sale
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To: ikka
Is this sweeps week by chance ?

Yep. Sweeps month began tonight.

9 posted on 10/30/2003 8:01:52 PM PST by mhking
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To: mhking
"You can't talk about this subject without intriguing people or offending people," Vargas said Thursday.

Then why talk about it at all? It's not news, it's meaningless speculation.

10 posted on 10/30/2003 8:02:13 PM PST by Timesink
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To: mhking
Okay, the stupid movie of the left, "The Reagans," really had me in a tizzy earlier this week. I e-mailed all of the sponsors and jerks at CBS. I am angry at them in their attempt to distort history in such a vile and disgusting manner.
Now the spinners at the networks of X42's presidency are TAKING ON THE BIBLE AND JESUS? I think I have to walk away from the monitor now. I'm not a chuchgoer, but I at least have enough faith and knowledge to recognize blasphemy.
11 posted on 10/30/2003 8:02:52 PM PST by mplsconservative (Time for a new tagline.)
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To: mhking
If he had one, wonder if she'd go around after him yelling "Jesus Christ" as much as mine does at me.
12 posted on 10/30/2003 8:03:05 PM PST by Chancellor Palpatine (Dr. Hasslein was the only human character who had any sense in the "Apes" series)
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To: mhking
Ok, so CBS is trashing Reagan, ABC is trashing Jesus, who's NBC susposed to trash?
13 posted on 10/30/2003 8:03:43 PM PST by tbpiper
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To: mhking
It is a mark of the ahistorical ignorance of our society today that such tripe as the DaVinci Code is read and taken seriously by millions.
14 posted on 10/30/2003 8:05:17 PM PST by The Iguana
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
"Where will we be 20 years from now."

I'm guessing:

a) Civil War II

b) WW III

c) The Second Coming.

15 posted on 10/30/2003 8:05:21 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: mhking
"You can't talk about this subject without intriguing people or offending people," Vargas said Thursday. "We're trying to do it as respectfully as we can."

Can anyone spell R-A-T-I-N-G-S? I knew you could. Thank goodness there's nothing newsworthy going on in the world that is getting ignored (having exhausted the coverage on illegal aliens, delayed judicial nominations, the evils of homeschooling, or anything positive that is happening in Iraq).

This sounds like some crap the "Jesus Seminar" would pull. Scholarship by opinion. Alas...
16 posted on 10/30/2003 8:06:51 PM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: tbpiper; All
I wouldn't know, nor care, if they were trashing me, since I don't watch those stations, unless sports are on. They are so yesterday in the cable/dish/internet world. As for all the blasphemy that they may be engaging in, don't worry; they're the ones going to hell! Celebrate the Word of the Lord!
17 posted on 10/30/2003 8:08:10 PM PST by hollywood
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To: F16Fighter
And still no Red Sox WS Pennant :o)
18 posted on 10/30/2003 8:08:13 PM PST by RedBloodedAmerican (sorry, couldnt resist...)
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
I believe some of us may be "gone" and others will be "Left Behind"
19 posted on 10/30/2003 8:08:16 PM PST by apackof2 (Watch and pray till you see Him coming, no one knows the hour or the day)
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To: mhking
"The DaVinci Code," which claims to be partly grounded on historical fact.

This about broke my ribs!
What written work in the history of civilization hasn't been "partly grounded on historical fact"?
20 posted on 10/30/2003 8:08:39 PM PST by VOA
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