. Doctrinaire Christians were mortified by it. Two years after
it came out, the Vatican denounced it as nothing but -- to paraphrase
Tennessee William's favourite heroine, Blanche Dubois -- lies and
mendacity. If the novel had been dead as a form of cultural
communication, The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter books -- both
middle-brow genre books told from an unabashedly pagan point of view --
Now ahigh-profile Sony
Pictures adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, directed by Oscar-winner Ron
Howard and starring multiple Oscar-winner Tom Hanks, is poised to open
in 69 countries around the world on May 17.
Question: Can Ron Howard's
film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code hope to inspire the passion
aroused by the novel, or is it destined, like many a literary sensation
before it, to end up just one more $100-million-plus tentpole movie so
watered down from its source material that even its enemies feel more
sorry for it than enraged?
The ardour with which
scholars, book lovers, pagans and Christian bloggers have debated the
novel has been focused anew on two new subjects: the reactions of the
various locations to requests from the producers for permission to
shoot scenes there, and new revelations, following a New York Times
article last August, thatSony Pictures......
With each week that Dan Brown's blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code, remains one of the most talked-about books in the world, one can almost sense the growing apprehension of the Vatican.The innumerable editions of the book and more than 40 million copies already in print surely must seem like a bad dream to those who feel targeted by Brown's allegations of chicanery and skullduggery within the inner sanctums of the Holy See.Many critics slammed the book even as it consolidated its position atop the New York Times reports list and Amazon.com's sales charts. Peter Millar, writing in the Times of London, considered The Da Vinci Code as "without doubt, the silliest, most inaccurate,ill-informed, stereotype-driven, cloth-eared, cardboard-cutout-populated piece of pulp fiction I have read."
Angelo Amato, a high-level Vatican official, dismissed Brown's
best-seller as a work "full of calumnies, offenses, and historical
theological errors." On the Catholic Answers website www.catholic.com,
the question was posed: "Should other Christians be concerned aboutthe
book?" The answer was clear and unequivocal: "Definitely.
. Only some of
the offensive claims of The Da Vinci Code pertain directly to the
Catholic Church. The remainder strike at the Christian faith itself. If
the book's claims were true, then all forms of Christianity would be
false (except perhaps for Gnostic/feminist versions focusing on Mary
Magdalene instead of Jesus)."
Dan Brown refused to back
down. In the faceof threats and denunciation he responded by telling
the Philadelphia Inquirer, "When you finish the book, you've learned a
ton. I had to do an enormous amount of research." He has also said his
book is "meticulously researched and very accurate."
History may well be in
Brown's corner on certain matters. The Bible is a carefully selected
compendium of writings that were debated by the bishops attending the
First Council of Nicaea convoked in 325 by the Roman emperor
Constantine. Unfortunately, there is no definitive account of what
actually occurred during this historic conclave. The writings of those
in attendance don't even agree as to the number of bishops present,
with reports ranging from a low of 250 (Eusebius of Caesarea) to 318
(Athanasius of Alexandra). The main purpose of the synod, however,
seems relatively certain. Constantine neededareconciled......
. He said the sound of chains rattling had alarmed his 10-year-old
daughter,and claimed that the lawnmower and his wife's car had
Now Mr Bastianelli has
engaged a lawyer, Antonio Francesconi, to sue the previous owners for
failing to inform him that the house was haunted.
"We have a good case," said
Mr Francesconi. "Under article 1490 of Italian law, you have to tell
buyers if there is anything wrong. I think that the previous owners
will settle out of court."
A local historian, Sergio Grifoni, confirmed that an exorcism had been performed on a girl in the house in 1977.
"The local papers at the
time said a girl had been possessed by the devil and had been taken to
the bishop. Nothing helped, until Pope John Paul II prayed for her."
The episode was confirmed
by Fr Gabriel Amorth, the Vatican's seniorexorcist,w......
. Gregorz Lukasik, the Polish man who took the photographs,
said: "It was only afterwards when I got home and looked at the
pictures that I realised I had something.
"I showed them to my brother and sister and they, like me, were convinced the flames had formed the image of Pope John Paul II.
"I was so happy with the
picture that I showed it to our local bishop who said that Pope John
Paul had made many pilgrimages during his life and he was still making
them in death."
Copyright: Daily Mail