Why so angry about a fictional movie, Vatican?

May 11, 2006 | By | 5 Replies More

The Vatican is going a little too crazy about The Da Vinci Code, it seems.   The Vatican’s claim is that the movie is “full of calumnies, offences and historical and theological errors regarding Jesus, the Gospels and the Church.”

It would seem that in a work of FICTION, errors of this sort, even flagrant errors, wouldn’t do nearly the damage to the Vatican as would the constant earnest claims (by other religions) that Rome is in error.   If this is the problem, though, the future promises many more senseless holy wars.

Or maybe the Da Vinci Code does something even worse than contradict the Vatican.  Perhaps The Da Vinci Code will suggest to movie-goers that the Bible itself has a history

In my mind, that would be a good thing.   The thought that the Bible didn’t drop out of a cloud, pre-translated to English, might send a lot of people back to actually investigate that history.   It might convince some believers to investigate the history of the Bible with the same vigor that they display when they investigate vacation packages, insurance rates or Barry Bonds’ physique.  Instead of just pecking away at the literature within, a random verse at a time, the movie might stagger Believers to take a big picture look at the Bible.  Perhaps movie-goers might even get serious enough about investigating Bible history to read works such as Bart D. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus : The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (2005).

Once the movie prods them into beginning personal evidence-based inquiries, Believers might start to seriously question the unquestionable truths of the Good Book. 

That could explain why the Vatican is so incredibly angry.


Category: Films, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. I have been wondering the exact same thing! There are many notorious authors that have repeated many times that, "The DeVinci Code is purely fictional" …as a matter of fact, Anne Rice (A semi-recent convert to Christianity) was the last I've heard this from.

    I think it is more or less, the little particles of "truth"…whatever may be of it…is really what irks the Vatican.

    As far as "SOME so-called" Christians…researching the history of the bible…I think that's against certain people's religion, right? Wouldn't that be kinda diving into the occult–into the world of the non believers? Blasphemy I tell ya!

  2. Jason Rayl says:

    But…the Bible is a work of fiction. Based somewhat on a few "actual events", but…

    Let's face it–THE DA VINCI CODE is sexier.

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    I think Jason has hit the nail on the head. The threat from The DaVinci Code isn't just its content, but its *popularity*. Indeed, by advocating for a boycott of the film, the Catholic church isn't attacking the content; it's trying to blunt the popularity. Heresy, per se, isn't necessarily a threat, but heresy combined with popularity might cause many Believers to question their faith, and that's a threat to the church's power and authority.

    Interestingly, this is the same reason Christian extremists have been attacking Darwin for the last century and a half. Concepts such as evolution and genetic variation had been around (and accepted) long before Darwin came along, but Darwin's book not only introduced the theory of natural selection (the notion that nature itself, not God, decided who lived and who died), but it was also very well written, with clear and convincing arguments. The latter is what made the book popular — and, thus, seen as a threat by some Christians. Had Darwin's book contained sloppy thinking, with obvious flaws in reasoning, it probably would have been ignored and forgotten. Instead, it became a landmark book of the 19th century that is still a classic today. It's now even downloadable at: . I strongly encourage Christians who believe in creationism to read it and see what they are up against.

  4. grumpypilgrim says:

    In my previous post, I'm not sure why the website for the downloadable copy of Darwin's 'Origins of Species' didn't appear, so I'll try again: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/origin.html.

    Of course, your favorite search engine will also find the book.

  5. grumpypilgrim says:

    One of today's (5/14) Sunday morning televangelists devoted his entire one-hour program to refuting the DaVinci Code…and to hawking his book refuting the DaVinci Code. He was obviously inoculating his flock in advance of the movie. And hawking his book.

    One thing about his program jumped out at me: he seemed to be very worried about the impact of the movie because of his fear that his followers might tend to believe what they see on the screen. Maybe he suspects many of his followers are gullible and weak-minded? That would certainly explain why so many preachers are so concerned about the movie. That, plus they know the movie will cause Believers to ask tough questions that maybe they can't answer.

    Curiously, the preachers who are making the biggest stink about the movie are also the ones who have written books refuting the DaVinci Code. That reveals another reason why they are getting a jump on the movie: their gravy train is about to arrive and they want to make sure they're on the platform to greet it. Nothing like riding the coattails of a blockbuster.

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