Boycott Da Vinci Code film urges top Vatican official

 A top Vatican official has urged Catholics worldwide to boycott The Da Vinci Code film when it goes on general release on Friday 19 May.

"The Da Vinci Code is an offensive, anti-Christian novel, full of lies, mistakes, and theological errors about Jesus, the Gospels and the Church," stressed Archbishop Angelo Amato, SDB., Secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

"Catholics should boycott The Da Vinci Code and speak out and reject these lies about the Church," urged Archbishop Amato in an unequivocal non-coded message to more than 100 influential journalists and communications officers, from all five continents, attending the 5th Professional Seminar for Church Communications Officers, in Rome, on 28 April.

"If this book and film had been about the Koran there would be a world revolution," declared the Italian prelate during his thought-provoking lecture: "The Presentation of the Magisterium of the Church in the World of the Media."

The three-day seminar, 27 - 29 April, "Strategic Management of Church Communications New Challenges, New Direction", was superbly organised and hosted by the Communications Faculty of Opus Dei-run Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, situated in the heart of Rome.

The hardline approach of Archbishop Amato towards 'The Da Vinci Code' film was in contrast to the softer tactics adopted by Opus Dei, revealed during a fascinating presentation: 'Three years with The Da Vinci Code'.

Brian Finnerty, Head of Opus Dei Media Relations in the USA stressed that: "The most fundamental characteristic of 'The Da Vinci Code' is that it mixes fact and fiction in a misleading manner.

"The novel begins with a 'Fact' page that makes the false claim that: 'All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.' Christianity and the Catholic Church are falsely portrayed as a hoax."

He revealed that on 10 January communications staff for Opus Dei met in Rome, including people from the information offices of New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Cologne, Lagos and Montreal.

He explained that among the objectives of Opus Dei were: "To take advantage of the opportunity to spread information about the reality of Jesus Christ and of the Church and to show the real Opus Dei."

Professor Marc Carroggio, Head of Media Relations for Opus Dei in Rome, explained: "On 6 April the Communications Office of Opus Dei in Japan wrote a letter to the officials of Sony Corporation in Japan.

"The office offered to give information about the real Opus Dei, and petitioned the directors of Sony about the possibility of including a disclaimer on the soon-to-be-released film to clarify that it is a work of fantasy and that any similarity with reality is purely coincidental.

"This act, says the letter: 'Would be a gesture of respect toward the figure of Jesus, to the history of the Church and to the religious beliefs of viewers'."

Professor Marc Carroggio said that: "A second and a very decisive means, has been to treat the media as an ally, to respond to all media requests about The Da Vinci Code and Opus Dei and generate a worldwide dialogue in public."

Despite all its efforts Opus Dei had so far not managed to achieve direct personal communications with Columbia Pictures.

For more information see: - 2 May 2006 - 569 words

Share this story