Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 3, 2006
Catholics line up to battle Da Vinci Code
Websites, TV show debunk bestseller
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
- CNS photo/courtesy of CCC
This is the DVD cover of the new documentary Jesus Decoded. The show , produced by the U.S. Catholic Communication Campaign, documents the authentic teaching about Jesus Christ.
Catholic screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi may have the most effective strategy. She says go to the theatre on opening weekend. But don't see The Da Vinci Code. Instead, take your friends and family to see Over the Hedge, an animated feature DreamWorks is releasing at the same time.
"The box office is a ballot box," Nicolosi wrote recently on her blog Church of the Masses (churchofthemasses.blogspot.com). "The only people whose votes are counted are those who buy tickets. And the ballot box closes on the Sunday of opening weekend."
Opus Dei's Canadian vicar believes the movie creates an opportunity.
Montreal-based Msgr. Fred Dolan said he expects director Ron Howard will make a "beautiful movie," at least from a visual point of view.
"What we have to do is pray that the visual beauty of the movie inspires people to go back to their own roots, to ask What about Jesus? What about the beginnings of Christianity? What were the first followers of Jesus like, what did they believe?"
"If we can accomplish this, it will be fantastic," he says. "God can take things that are seemingly very negative and turn them to good use."
According to Nicolosi, however, the movie will be offensive. She has seen the script, which she describes as "somewhere between idiotic and way too cute."
"It is a movie which begins from the point that Jesus was a fraud," she warns. "He was not only not divine, he was less than a man, who didn't die and rise to save humanity, but rather settled down in Nazareth suburbia and fathered children.
"Oh yes, and the Christian Church which made up all the salvific Messiah stuff about him is a sham association of megalomaniacal conspirators whose unifying principles are in the oppression of women."
Even the DVC trailer - and response to it - is raising alarms.
Matt Pinto, in an email posted on Nicolosi's blog, reported what happened when a co-worker went to the theatre recently.
"The preview for The Da Vinci Code came on, and moviegoers were treated to a fast-paced, heart-pumping two minutes of excitement and suspense," he writes. "The preview, which included scenes of a murder and an Opus Dei 'monk' whipping and cutting himself, ended with the phrase, 'Seek the Truth.'
"But what came next was totally unexpected: A rousing applause from perhaps 200 people in the audience. A few people even stood up."
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