"The Da Vinci Code gratuitously insults Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church," said the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, in a statement issued yesterday.
Archbishop Nichols said: "I have read The Da Vinci Code from cover to cover. It deliberately presents fiction as fact. It distorts history, falsifies theology and gratuitously insults the person of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.
"I have no intention of going to see the film when it is released later this week. I urge those who do see the film not to be taken in by its fanciful themes and deliberate untruths.
"I ask them to remember that The Da Vinci Code tells them nothing at all about the truth of Jesus Christ, the Christian Faith or the Catholic Church."
Archbishop Nichols added: "During his time on earth, Christ suffered insults and mockery with patience, in order to show the truth of his unwavering love for all. This continues to be true today."BIRMINGHAM - 15 May 2006 - 170 words