"The Da Vinci Code:" History as it Never Was
"The Da Vinci Code" tells about someone struggling to return the world
to paganism and groovy living. Along the way, readers encounter a
homicidal albino monk and a super-secret band of the rich and famous who
perform big, important and esoteric ceremonies in French chateaux.
The novel, and the movie version coming out soon, are, to put it
nicely, imaginative. The author assumes that Jesus and Mary Magdalene
got married. And had children. Taking off from that odd idea, he tells how the early
leaders of the Church tried to wipe out the record of how important Mary
Never mind that the gospels show her as one of the women who got the
first announcement of Christ's resurrection.
In "The Da Vince Code," the founders of
the Church must have been the Keystone Kops of conspirators when it came
to Mary Magdalene:
- In John 20,
17-18, Jesus tells her to go tell the apostles that He is going to His
- By the 8th century she had her own feast day had been
established and was the most second most widely-revered saint of the
Middle Ages (Mary held first place)
- In Eastern Christianity one of her
titles is "Apostle to the Apostles"
But that's real history, not the weird fictional world of "The
Da Vinci Code." Even the actor who plays the Paris police detective Bezu
Fache, Jean Reno, said that the novel's alternative history is "not the
way it was in reality."
People like the author of "De-coding Da Vinci,"Amy Welborn, know
enough to recognize that "‘The Da Vinci Code. is a mess, a riot of
laughable errors and serious misstatements. Almost every page has at
least one of each." But, because "The Da Vinci Code" talks about
"historical" events that never happened, it can be a real danger to
people who don't have a very solid understanding of the Church's history
and the Christian faith.
That's one of the reasons that Catholic leaders, including the former
prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, want folks to stay away from
the novel and movie. Cardinal Extevez said that Christians should not
see "The Da Vinci Code," since the movie shows a "distorted, falsified
and blasphemous image of Jesus Christ."
People, including an American priest of Opus Dei, John Wauck, and
Monsignor Francis J. Maniscalco, got together to compare the weird world
of "The DaVinci Code" with what has actually gone on for the last two
thousand years. Their efforts are on the Web site
A copy of Sandra Miesel's "Dismantling
the Da Vinci Code" is available at
Facts for this article came from the Catholic News Agency, Catholic
World News Brief, EWTN, and the U.S. Bishops. Catholic Communication
Campaign of the USCCB (U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops)
Brian H. Gill, Editor,
Sauk Centre K of C Bulletin