Hickey says don't take Da Vinci film seriously

Perth's Catholic Archbishop, Barry Hickey, admitted that The Da Vinci Code is "a real page-turner" but told fans not to take the book and movie "too seriously".

The Sunday Times reports that Archbishop Hickey has not been invited to Wednesday's Perth preview of controversial film The Da Vinci Code - but said he "wouldn't go anyway".

"I won't be rushing out to see the film," he said. "I'll probably wait until it comes on TV."

The religious thriller, which opens worldwide on Thursday, has sparked heated debate about its factual merits, with several countries calling for it to be banned, censored or boycotted.

Archbishop Hickey is urging Perth moviegoers to treat it as a work of Hollywood fiction.

"I don't intend to call for any boycott," he said. "I would just caution people who go to see it that they are not looking at fact, they are looking at fiction, and to treat it as they would treat any film about fictitious events."

The Archbishop's apathy towards the film, which stars Tom Hanks as code-breaking "symbologist" Robert Langdon, puts him at odds with the Vatican.

Archbishop Angelo Amato, an official in the Vatican's doctrinal office, blasted the book on which the film is based as "full of anti-Christian lies" and called for a boycott of the film.

"If such lies and errors had been directed at the Koran or the Holocaust they would have justly provoked a world uprising," Archbishop Amato said.

Officials in the Philippines banned the film after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's executive secretary said, "We should do everything not to allow it to be shown". Censors in Singapore have barred it for under-16s.

Even in Muslim Jordan, the country's Council of Churches called for the film to be banned as blasphemous.

Much of the controversy surrounding the book and the film centres on the proposition that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and they had a child.

It also says Catholic secret societies hid these and many other secrets about Jesus, and Leonardo da Vinci covertly tried to alert the world through his painting The Last Supper.

Don't take Da Vinci film seriously, warns Hickey (Sunday Times 14/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
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)
The Da Vinci Code (Sony Pictures)

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)

Opus Dei: 'Some good may come from film' (Irish Times 12/5/06)
First victory for Catholics protesting against films "offensive to Christianity" (AsiaNews.it 13/5/06)
'Da Vinci Code' exploitative, attacks 'grotesque,' says Opus Dei bishop (Catholic News Service/Catholic Online 12/5/06)
Head of Opus Dei says 'The Da Vinci Code' exploited his organization (Catholic News Service 12/5/06)
Vatican officials decry religious ignorance of 'Da Vinci Code' (Catholic News Agency 12/5/06)
Tom Hanks defends Da Vinci Code as 'fun, scavenger hunt nonsense' not attack on faith (Catholic News Agency 12/5/06)
John L. Allen: Scorecard for the Da Vinci Code (National Catholic Reporter 12/5/06)
The Da Vinci Code, the Catholic Church and Opus Dei (Opus Dei 11/5/06)
Churches flock to be first to see Code film (Sydney Morning Herald 14/5/06)
Da Vinci door open to Kiwi Catholics (Dominion Post/stuff.co.nz 12/5/06)
Opus Dei uses Da Vinci to spread the word (Belfast Telegraph 14/5/06)
Da Vinci Code maligns Christ: Cardinal Vithayathil (Indian Catholic 13/5/06)
Action against Da Vinci film urged (The Tablet 13/5/06)
Editorial: Lies, truth and the code (The Tablet 13/5/06)
Da Vinci brings us back to religion (Irish Independent 14/5/06)

15 May 2006