Priest-critic says Da Vinci film mild compared to book

After attending the press screening in Cannes this week, internationally renowned Australian film reviewer Fr Peter Malone has said the producers have been much more careful to downplay controversy than Dan Brown did.

"All the way through the film, there are statements about opinions being only opinions, that there are other possibilities to consider," Fr Malone says.

"This is especially the case about the discussion on the humanity and divinity of Jesus, Constantine and the Council of Nicaea. The discussion between Tom Hanks and Ian McKellen illustrates this well."

Fr Malone, a Missionary of the Sacred Heart, is immediate past president of the international Catholic media body SIGNIS.

He says the film is "certainly superior to the book".

Meanwhile the Australian Catholic Students Association yesterday unveiled a website aimed to encourage informed viewing of the film - thetruthdecoded.org.au

Professor Tracey Rowland of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family said the website's cultural analysis of the Da Vinci Code is particularly powerful.

"In an increasingly postmodern world where people no longer even know the central beliefs of Christian Revelation, there is a call to 'seek the truth'," she said.

"All people of good will, but particularly Christians, should not be satisfied with jumbled and incoherent fragments of competing belief systems mixed with speculation."

Peter Malone: 'Da Vinci Code' screens out of some of much-discussed
controversy (SIGNIS/Catholic Online 17/5/06)

The Truth Decoded (Australian Catholic Students Association)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Truth Decoded
Opus Dei
The Da Vinci Code - an invitation to learn the truth (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)
Deciphering Da Vinci (Catholic Australia)
Jesus Decoded (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

Archbishops say Da Vinci boycott not necessary (CathNews 17/5/06)
Organisation head says Code exploited Opus Dei (CathNews 16/5/06)
Hickey says don't take Da Vinci film seriously (CathNews 15/5/06)
British team warns against Da Vinci Code "trap" (CathNews 12/5/06)
Scholars setting record straight on Mary Magdalene (CathNews 3/5/06)
Opus Dei priest says it's OK to see The Da Vinci Code (CathNews 28/4/06)

Fr John Flader: Da Vinci Code - facts behind the fiction (Catholic Weekly 21/5/06)
Beijing First to See 'Da Vinci Code' (The Guardian/Associated Press 17/5/06)
Cannes opens with Da Vinci Code (BBC 17/5/06)
Film set to fan Da Vinci furore (BBC 16/5/06)
Da Vinci film protests stepped up (BBC 16/5/06)
Da Vinci 'should not test faith' (BBC 17/5/06)
India vets Da Vinci amid protests (BBC 17/5/06)
We already know who did it (Financial Times 17/5/06)
Opus Dei head prays for Da Vinci author and actors (Reuters 17/5/06)
Ongoing Christian and Muslim protests against "Da Vinci Code" (AsiaNews.it 17/5/06)
'Da Vinci Code' softens book's hard edges, draws press viewing laughs (Catholic News Service/Catholic Online 17/5/06)
'Da Vinci Code' undermines Catholic beliefs, response group says in release of poll (Catholic Onlnie 17/5/06)
'Da Vinci Code' draws laughs from journalists at press screening (Catholic News Service 17/5/06)
Eight days before trip to Poland, Pope Benedict asks for prayers (Catholic News Service 17/5/06)
Da Vinci Code: Much-a-do about nothing (Catholic News Agency 17/5/06)
Liberals most likely to believe Da Vinci tale (Catholic News Agency 17/5/06)
Bishop's fear over confusion from Da Vinci Code (Catholic Weekly 21/5/06)
Henry D'Souza: Why Da Vinci Code Is Unacceptable To Catholics? (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 17/5/06)
Da Vinci Code Movie Premieres at Cannes as Opus Dei Head Prays for Brown (Christian Today 17/5/06)
Survey Shows Da Vinci Code Confuses Fact & Fiction amid Worldwide Protests (Christian Today 17/5/06)
'Da Vinci' provokes widespread protests (Associated Press/CNN 17/5/06)
Early viewers pan 'Da Vinci Code' (CNN 17/5/06)
No mystery left (The Courier Mail 18/5/06)
Da Vinci cowed (Daily Telegraph 17/5/06)
Poll suggests Da Vinci code undermines trust in Catholic church (Ekklesia 17/5/06)
Churches accused of Da Vinci 'double standards' (Ekklesia 17/5/06)
Da Vinci Code benefits Opus Dei (The Guardian 13/5/06)
Da Vinci Code: 'a film which the Church has little to be concerned about' (Independent Catholic News 17/5/06)
Scotland: Catholic Church launches Da Vinci Code DVD' (Independent Catholic News 17/5/06)
Cannes to kick off with Da Vinci Code controversy (NZ Herald 17/5/06)
The Other Code (Opus Dei, Press Office Rome 17/5/06)
Da Vinci's night a lesson in decorum (Sydney Morning Herald 18/5/06)
The sound of no hands clapping (Sydney Morning Herald 18/5/06)
Church should 'fess up' on the truth of women's ordination in history (Ordination of Catholic Women Australia 16/5/06)
Why Catholic women are getting cross (Sydney Morning Herald 18/5/06)
Lie wrapped in truth is still a lie (Sydney Morning Herald 18/5/06)
Julia Baird: Tall tale ignites an overdue debate (Sydney Morning Herald 18/5/06)
Seen the film?? Now hear the sermon (sydneyanglicans.net 18/5/06)
Most Da Vinci Code readers believe Jesus fathered a child, poll finds (London Telegraph 17/5/06)
The Code is cracked (The Advertiser 18/5/06)
Evan Williams: More soporific than scandalous (The Australian 18/5/06)
Cracking the box office (The Courier Mail 18/5/06)
India bans Da Vinci movie wanting Church satisfaction (Indian Catholic 16/5/06)
Catholic representatives attend special screening of 'Da Vinci Code' (Indian Catholic 17/5/06)
Irish Religious Orders Call for Government Action on Poverty (The Universe 17/5/06)
Opus Dei bids to take fizz out of code with Operation Lemonade (Irish Times 17/5/06)
Benedict XVI to Meet Ex-Auschwitz Prisoners (Zenit 16/5/06)
"Da Vinci Code" as an Opportunity for the Church (Zenit 16/5/06)

18 May 2006