Skip to comments.Cardinal urges [hypocritical] legal action against Da Vinci Code
Posted on 05/07/2006 8:05:47 AM PDT by email@example.com
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In the latest Vatican broadside against "The Da Vinci Code", a leading cardinal says Christians should respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend Christ and the Church he founded.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, made his strong comments in a documentary called "The Da Vinci Code-A Masterful Deception."
Arinze's appeal came some 10 days after another Vatican cardinal called for a boycott of the film. Both cardinals asserted that other religions would never stand for offences against their beliefs and that Christians should get tough.
"Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget," Arinze said in the documentary made by Rome film maker Mario Biasetti for Rome Reports, a Catholic film agency specializing in religious affairs.
"Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical. So it is not I who will tell all Christians what to do but some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others," Arinze said.
"This is one of the fundamental human rights: that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected," he said, without elaborating on what legal means he had in mind.
A transcript of the documentary, due to be screened in Rome later this month just before the release of the film version of the best-selling book at the Cannes Film Festival, was made available to Reuters.
The book, written by Dan Brown, has sold more than 40 million copies.
Why doesn't he just take out a fatwa on them for insulting Christendom?
Well, in the USA, being offended by a movie that doesn't agree with your religious beliefs is not actionable. I don't know about Italy.
In my opinion, the answer to such movies is different:
If the film offends.
Please don't attend.
Well, don't leave us in suspense. What are the many levels of hypocrisy?
Free PR for a fictional book.
Does everyone remember the fictional "national treasure" movie?
The best thing that couldhave been done is to ignore the movie.
I don't see how it's hypocritical. Europe has all sorts of restrictions on free speech - think "hate speech" laws carried to an extreme - and, while I don't agree with the principle of that kind of law, everybody certainly has a right to use them.
Furthermore, "silence gives consent," that is, if Christians say nothing, this is taken as assent and an admission of the truth of the Da Vinci Code (which is actually a set of crazy old-style anti-Catholicism and New Age gnosticism).
Worked great for the Muslims.
I was wondering the same thing. Imagine, of all the things to get upset about, the Da Vinci Code is leading the way at the Vatican.
Well, it's not quite the same - I don't think Arinze was calling for anybody's beheading. As I say, I don't agree with European "hate speech" laws (which were actually set up to "protect" Muslims and gays), but if the Europeans are going to use them, you can't complain if everybody uses them. I'm sure Catholics would not win the suit, of course, but it might give an opportunity for some public, orthodox correction of this nutty story.
The Catholic Church and its officials have a right to publicly denounce the book and movie as patently offensive to Christians.
In contrast to raging Muslims, offended by newspaper cartoons drawn of their prophet, I haven't heard of any Christians burning and looting in the streets over this blasphemy of our deeply held faith.
Christians throughout the world can, and should, avoid watching this offensive trash posing as entertainment.
He has my sympathies but bringing a lawsuit is only asking for the wrong kind of publicity.
better to let the buzz die. Only the most gullible will remember or even care about this book.
The same people who buy into the Da Vinci code are the same ones who believe in UFOs and the Illuminati.
I agree with that... but the Church's anger about this book and movie is way out of proportion to what the book really claims. There must be a million books published a year that makes claims about Jesus and the Roman Cathlic Church and its teachings. The Da Vinci code in comparison is very mild and very tame. I think the Church is in an uproar because the book makes a "somewhat credible" story and so many Catholics started to have doubts as to what the truth is.
The Church is the only institute in the world that could put this issue to bed. It has at its disposal the Vatican Archives that is filled with documentation and proof about the early beginnings of the Church. That is what the story line contends, that the early Church hid the truth about Mary and Jesus, right?
The Church has done this to "some" degree but the only thing most people read are stories like this. I would be interested in the Church producing some more interesting documentaries that show that Dan Brown's claims are wrong, instead of asking its followers to SUE. To me, that is just whitewashing the issue and well... that makes people just a tad more suspicious.
Dan Brown's book prior to the Da Vinci Code was about the existence of the Illuminati...(at the end of the book he shows it was a hoax).
Whether its big government hiding UFOs, big oil hiding price gouging, or big churches hiding the truth, we are awash in schizophrenia and paranoia disguising itself as new knowledge. The more attention that is paid to this animal-shapes-in-the clouds malarkey the more tickets the movie and books will sell.
LOL! Boy, those church leaders NEVER learn do they???
The more you cry and scream about being "offended" by something, the more curious people become and want to see it. "The Last Temptation of Christ" was a perfect example. The movie sucked and lasted TWICE as long at the box office than it would had the Church kept its mouth shut.
The Da Vinci Code is a wonderful and entertaining book... of FICTION!
Only for simple-minded people... but then again you know those church people, they'll believe anything.
You have the absolute right not to read any 'nutty story' you chose not to read, or to read it with knowledge that it is just a story and/or even to exercise your already wound up hostility.
Just as I read Mash, Gingrich's alternate War of Secession, Mao and Hitler's fulmiations.
But calling for legal action because your beliefs may not be shared by another, calling for scientific or even philosophical dissent to be silenced (ID, kennewick man) puts one in league with the jihadists and other fascists whether you are ready for beheading yet or withhold it for some more irksome insult.
I almost wish I were a cartoonist - this would be a great opportunity.
PS: The earth is NOT the center of the universe,
deal with it.
Did you see last night's SNL with Tom Hanks?
In the opening skit, Hanks is being asked questions about the movie from "the audience". One of them is a guy dressed as Jesus.
Hanks: Yes, another question- Oh, dear Lord...
Jesus (stands): I forgive you.
Hanks: Thank you, have you seen the movie?
Jesus: No, I was forgiving you for 'The Terminal.'
Hanks: WHAT?! That was a charming movie!
Jesus: Yeah, right (rolling eyes). It should have been called 'The In-Terminal'. I saw it on an airplane and people were still walking out!
Well, I for one enjoyed National Treasure. Not a great movie by any means, but certainly an entertaining one. I'll probably enjoy the Da Vinci Code as well, given I thought the book was fun (albeit a little annoyign at times).
if anything is going to be the death of catholicism, it won't be atheists or science. instead, it will be fellow catholics.
"The fictional story charges Jesus was secretly married and fathered a child for which there has never been any historical proof."
It's FICTION. As you said.
"The Catholic Church and its officials have a right to publicly denounce the book and movie as patently offensive to Christians."
They do have a right to condemn. The funny thing is the Catholic Church was quick to condemn this movie, quicker than they were to condemn the other scandals within the church. The other scandals were far more damaging to the Church than this little movie.
I will go see this movie. I know it is fiction. My faith is stronger than the script.
Har! I missed the opening and saw a part where Hanks was playing Senator Frist talking about the gas crisis. It was mildly amusing but decided sleep was a better alternative.
"hyposcrisy on many levels"
Hypocrisy or not, after Piss Christ and Mary in Elephant Dung, I am actually happy that the Church is responding to "art" that does not please the Church. The DC is nice fiction, but I don't see much evidence of truth.
If the facts don't fit
You must quit (the theatre).
I think, beyond the whole married with children thing, the theme in the book most offensive to devout Christians would have to be the notion that Christ was a mortal man, a mere prophet and not the Messiah. It then goes on to say, in a faux factual manner, that the Church decided to cover it all up (the humanity and family life of Jesus) in a meeting.
The impression I got from the book is that Dan Brown tried writing an essay first, then went back in and added dialogue and a plot as a means of disseminating his message. Sort of like the proto-Marxism that Tolstoy included in War and Peace. But beyond all that, I still enjoyed the read, even if Brown did use the term "sacred feminine" WAY too much.
For the record, I was raised Catholic. I'm not especially religious any more (and no, it wasn't the Da Vinci Code that sowed the seeds).
hence it is fiction
That's funny. Haven't watched the SNL in some time but occassionally I catch word of an amusing skit.
Much ado about nothing.
The book, written by Dan Brown, has sold more than 40 million copies.
Could that be the real irritant for the Church?
Perhaps they're not getting their "tithe" of the profits.
I doubt it. I wasn't disappointed because I was looking for a good mystery story and I got it in both of Brown's books. They were fun reads. If I am looking for anti-Catholic history, there's plenty out there in the non-fiction section.
BTW, I don't see the Catholic cardinals complaining about "State of Fear", which is exactly the same recipe: Take some facts, add some conspiracy theory and mix well with a fictional plot. Get real and quit looking for enemies in every work of fiction, or people may begin to wonder if there really is something to hide...
> The Da Vinci Code, book and movie, is an outrageous blasphemy of Jesus Christ.
Have you read it? How can you denounce a movie as offensive if it hasn't been released yet?
Your faith isn't worth beans if you feel threatened by a work of fiction.
Maybe you should join the cardinal, and sue the 7.5 million people who have bought The Da Vinci Code (times readers per copy...I was no. 4).
I am embarassed at this Cardinal's suggestion. This book is sheer fiction. The best thing the Vatican could do would be to ignore it. What is wrong with that bunch? They should have been at least this proactive in regard to their own pedophiles. We heard not a peep from them.
National Geographic/Time produced an excellent 2 hour documentary refuting every piece of alleged historical truth in the Da Vinci code. The book, as fact, is already blown out of the water. For those who WANT the truth.
It is a sorry shame...the silliness of people!
"All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."
That is how Dan Brown starts his fiction..and that has led to the main problem...it is a lie!
As for hypocrisy - the hypocrisy stands with the Hollywood anti Christian establishment that seeks to offend every Christian...any time the opportunity presents itself...even in the form of the charlatan Brown.
The Roman Church has every right and indeed a responsiblity to defend the Lord and his flock and attack this worthless lying garbage. People can make up their own minds (they usually do) but the Pope can as well...and publicize it.
The Greek Orthoox Church has also debunked this trash.
How hypocritical exactly?
This is amazing that a work of fiction has the Vatican's panties in a wad. Dan Brown doesn't claim that the Da Vinci Code is anything but a work of fiction - it is the Vatican and the Catholic Church that gives credibility to the plot by arguing that it never happened. Brown doesn't claim otherwise.
The publicity he has gotten courtesy of the Catholic Church has caused this book's sales to go through the roof.
How so? Whatever documents they produce won't be believed by those who need conspiracy theories. It will always be argued that they're holding back the "real" documents.
At this point, I don't fault people for suing to defend their reputation. It may be an unwise move. In this case it's probably pointless. But if it's in their legal right, it's an avenue they're entitled to consider.