Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 18, 2006
Cardinal dismisses The Da Vinci Code
Cardinal Marc Ouellet responds with a call for new evangelization
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"We should take this provocation as an alarm bell to wake up Christians."
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet
Ouellet pointed to several critical assertions Brown makes in his "fictional novel while disguised as searcher for truth." First is the desacralization of the figure of Jesus, so important to hundreds of millions of believers; second, the ambiguous exaltation of Mary Magdalene at a time particularly sensitive to the role of women in Western culture; third, the gratuitous and insolent accusation of a cover-up against the Catholic Church, an institution with almost two millennia of authority; fourth, the defamation of Opus Dei, an association of faithful Catholics proposing sanctity of life to its members, denounced here as a criminal organization that would stop at nothing to obtain power.
"These claims are so enormous and so crudely out of line with historical truth that we are rightly astounded at the fascination surrounding this book and especially its scale," Ouellet said.
"Such a phenomenon would be unthinkable in a non-Christian country. How is it possible, then, where Christianity has been so predominant? Could this be a sign of decadence or mass apostasy? Could it be an indicator of the triumph of relativism and of the crisis of our institutions, above all those claiming to possess the truth?
"Does not the seriousness with which the novel has been taken reveal an unsettling degree of religious ignorance and at the same time an alarming credulity in the face of gratuitous hypotheses?"
Ouellet said the phenomenon is complex and cannot be reduced to an anti-Catholic propaganda made easier by globalization.
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.