nbc The Catholics are coming nbc
- From: "Joe" <obri6133@xxxxxxx>
- Date: 10 May 2006 18:55:27 -0700
Spent all week at meetings preparing for the opening of the Da Vinci
Code. Police around the country are concerned about what might occur.
There are reports that tens of thousands of Catholics are going to riot
and burn down theatres around the nation to protest the portrayal of
Christ in a way that's not advocated by the Church. The death toll is
expected to be pretty hefty due to the fact that the Catholics believe
that the movie is disrepectful to Christ and the traditions of the
Church. They're demanding that theatres should not show the film, as
its offensive to their concept of God. It's rumored that Pope Benedict
is considering the issuance of an edict that will call for the death of
Dan Brown. The Boston diocese has announced that 12,000 suicide bombers
have volunteered to go after Brown. Mrs. Kathleen O'Reilly, mother of
Sean O'Reilly, one of the volunteers, stated she was proud of Sean, and
hopes that little Conor, Padraic and Sheila follow in his
As movie nears, churches trying to debunk novel
By Kathleen Burge, Globe Staff | May 10, 2006
It has been read on beach blankets around the world, has inspired
book-length rebuttals, and has rocked the publishing world.
Now, as the movie version of ''The Da Vinci Code" is poised to open
nationwide next week, some churches are trying to debunk the
theological theories at the heart of the blockbuster thriller.
The Roman Catholic diocese in New Hampshire -- where the book's author,
Dan Brown, lives -- will hold 10 forums around the state in June to
offer its beliefs. Boston Catholic Television plans to air ''Cracking
the Code," a program parrying assertions made in the book and movie.
And the weekend the movie debuts, some local Baptist churches are
hosting a broadcast of the Church Communication Network's program
countering the book's version of Christian history.
''The key to reading to 'The Da Vinci Code' is to remember that it's a
work of fiction," said Elizabeth Feren, a Hooksett, N.H., parishioner
who will lead some of the forums. ''He's really describing fiction as
The response to ''The Da Vinci Code" is starkly different from the way
many church leaders reacted to the 1988 movie, ''The Last Temptation of
Christ." Many evangelical Christians picketed that movie, which
portrayed a sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene,
calling it a work of blasphemy.
Instead, many pastors and theologians see ''The Da Vinci Code," which
opens May 19 starring Tom Hanks, as a chance to teach church history. A
recent poll by Leadership, a magazine for pastors, found that 53
percent of respondents said they were planning an event related to the
''It's kind of one of these moments where the Catholic Church and its
history and tradition is just intersecting with popular culture," said
Kelley Spoerl, chairman of the theology department at Saint Anselm
College in Manchester, N.H.
''It's a moment to point out where Mr. Brown is drawing on real facts
about the Catholic Church and its teaching and tradition and where Mr.
Brown is not drawing on facts," she said.
The book begins with a mysterious death in the Louvre in Paris, when a
Harvard University professor who specializes in symbols is drawn into
the investigation. As the professor tries to break a centuries-old code
involving Da Vinci's artwork, he delves into a secret history of
Among the book's controversial plot points: that Jesus's divinity was
invented after his death for political reasons; that Jesus and Mary
Magdalene were secretly married; that their lineage continues into the
modern times; and that the Vatican has suppressed women for centuries.
Some who object to Brown's portrayal of early Christianity argue that
the way he weaves real-life institutions into his novel -- such as Opus
Dei, a conservative Catholic group -- may confuse some moviegoers.
Spoerl -- who will participate in several of the forums sponsored by
the Diocese of Manchester, which includes New Hampshire -- sees many
inaccuracies in the novel's portrayal of early Christianity. She has
read the book twice, and plans to see the movie, perhaps during its
''Popular culture is a huge force in our society," she said. ''It's a
huge influence on my students. I don't really feel it would be
responsible as an educator to opt out of paying attention to those
Plus, she added, ''I like Tom Hanks."
Neither Brown nor his publisher, Random House, could be reached for
comment yesterday. But on his website, Brown emphasizes that his book
is a work of fiction. Still, he says there, some of the theories
discussed by his characters ''may have merit."
''My hope in writing this novel was that the story would serve as a
catalyst and a springboard for people to discuss the important topics
of faith, religion, and history," says Brown, who describes himself as
The book has sold 46 million copies around the world, but the Catholic
Church across the country is taking the offensive, fearing that the
heavily promoted movie will give much wider credibility to the novel's
plot, which also asserts that a secret society has been protecting that
truth about Mary Magdalene.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has made a documentary and
created a website, both called ''Jesus Decoded," to offer its
point-by-point response. The website features priests and academics who
quote Bible verses and scholarly research in an attempt to debunk the
theories in the novel.
The conference's documentary will be distributed to NBC stations later
this month. Most stations, including those in Massachusetts, have not
yet agreed to show the documentary, according to the conference's
But those that have are not giving it prime air time: Maine stations in
Portland and Bangor plan to air the documentary at 1 a.m. on July 9.
Boston Catholic Television is airing two programs on ''The Da Vinci
Code." The series ''Blink" features a discussion between two professors
and an author, talking about theological issues raised in the book: the
divinity of Jesus, the Last Supper, sex, and Christianity. And the
station is also airing a six-part miniseries on the Christian view of
theories in the book.
''The Da Vinci Code is a story," said Sean Ward, a publicist for the
station, run by the Archdiocese of Boston. ''Dan Brown is telling his
side, and this is the Christian Catholic side."
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