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Prominent priest calls for boycott of 'Da Vinci Code' film


2/21/2006 - 3:30 AM PST

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By Matt Abbott
Op/Ed
Catholic Online

A prominent Catholic priest is calling for Catholics to boycott the upcoming feature film version of Dan Brown’s popular novel "The Da Vinci Code."

Father John Trigilio, president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, EWTN contributor and author of four books, has provided me with the following (slightly edited) statement:

“I am asking my parishioners and Catholics everywhere to boycott the film and any of its advertising sponsors. I am asking them to protest by sending e-mail, snail mail, phone calls, and faxes to those who made this film.

“The Da Vinci Code is offensive, sacrilegious, blasphemous and historically inaccurate, as well as incredulous.

“While those who proclaim ‘it is only fiction’ forget that any and all written words have an impact on the reader; and erroneous conclusions based on imaginary premises can and often do lure many readers to accept and believe as true what their normal common sense and ordinary human reason tell them is utter nonsense.

“When I read historical fiction or any fiction for that matter (even science-fiction), if I find sloppy research as evidenced by inaccurate historical or scientific facts, no matter how peripheral or essential to the plot, I stop reading the book or stop watching the movie. I expect the author to use logic and reason in addition to overcoming their laziness and investigate material they use in their work. Hence, if I read an historical fiction set in the Civil War era and the author erroneously inserts U.S. Grant as President when it was actually Andrew Johnson who was in office at the time the plot is supposed to take place, I refuse to read the rest of the book.

“Poor scholarship discourages me; manipulating and distorting history annoys me.

“No credible, scholarly evidence exists to support the ludicrous claims about Mary Magdalene. The Gnostic Gospel of Mary Magdalene was not written before the fourth century at least, whereas the Gospels have been verified to the first century. Not even the worst enemies of the Church, be it the pagan Roman Empire or the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees of the same period, made such bizarre claims.

“Would you find in a scholarly scientific journal an article on archeology which proposed as a valid hypothesis that UFO's built the pyramids in Egypt? Of course not. There are crackpots who believe that but you will not find them and their ideas being given any credibility in Scientific American. So why should anyone give credence to theories concocted by a 20th century French forger who admitted he faked documents to establish his ludicrous claim to the French throne?

“The Apocryphal scriptures were never hidden nor forbidden. They were discredited and discounted. They are declared non-inspired, and in the case of the Gnostic Apocryphal writings, they are deemed completely inaccurate and untrue. Brown is using a sort of post-hypnotic suggestion in his book so that after reading it, Catholics and non-Catholics alike will say a day or two later, 'It is so bizarre, it just might be true.’ Josef Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda for Hitler and the Nazi party said, ‘The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.' Well, Elvis is dead, the lunar landing in 1969 was not a fake and Mary Magdalene was not the wife or lover of Jesus Christ and not the mother of His children, either.

“Conspiracy and Catholicism begin with the same letter, ‘C,’ and that is the only similarity between the two. Opus Dei has no monks, let alone an Albino hit-man who sounds more like a character in a James Bond movie.

“Fiction, yes. Literature, no. Recommend, no. Denounce and repudiate, yes. Had such ludicrous conspiracy theories been written about Islam, Judaism or any other religion, there would be lawsuits and protests galore. Catholics let their enemies kick them in the groin too much. It’s time to wake up, stand up and defend our religion and our Church. Dan Brown should find another hobby.”

___________________

(Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He is a columnist for and/or contributor to Catholic Online, TheConservativeVoice.com, RenewAmerica.us, MichNews.com, Opeds.com and Speroforum.com. He can be reached at mattcabbott@hotmail.com)

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