The Catholic Church hates all kinds of things, like condoms and any form of knowledge in the public domain at all. But most of all, the Catholic Church hates The Da Vinci Code.
Now, the Catholic Church doesn't hate The Da Vinci Code for the reasons that right-minded people like you hate The Da Vinci Code – that it's a badly-written splonk that seems to make anyone who's even walked past a copy in Waterstones think they're religious history professors.
Oh no. The Catholic Church hates The Da Vinci Code because it offends Jesus and the church and all that. And a Cardinal that was almost the Pope kind of wants to sue the arse off it.
Savour these next few days; the days when you'll be able to get on the tube without being suffocated with a million morons all reading newly-published editions of The Da Vinci Code with Tom Hanks' great big face plastered all over it. Because very soon, The Da Vinci Code movie will be released. Great, just what we need – now fools that can't even read will think they know more about Christianity than Edward Schillebeeckx and John Wesley combined. And the Da Vinci Code computer game isn't even out yet.
But anyway, while The Da Vinci Code is riding high on a wave of publicity from the forthcoming movie and the recent high court rip-off libel case, it has attracted the attention of Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was in the running for the big Pope gig after potential Michael Jackson collaborator John Paul died. Cardinal Francis Arinze is so annoyed by The Da Vinci Code that he's sort of made a few veiled noises about people suing the book for being offensive to the Christian church. In a forthcoming documentary made by Mario Biasetti, Arinze says:
"Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget… Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical. So it is not I who
will tell all Christians what to do but some know legal means which can
be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of
And that's just about as concrete as Cardinal Francis Arinze got – no elaboration as to the exact nature of "legal means." But that did stop him from whining about The Da Vinci Code some more:
"The Da Vinci Code presents (Christianity) wrongly … any film
produced on the basis of that book is already in error from the word
go, no matter how interesting it might appear."
It's thought that Arinze also probably thinks that Tom Hanks looks a bit strange with longer hair and that Ian McKellen doesn't even seem as if he's really trying, although he thinks he might still go and watch it since he's got a bit of a soft spot for the girl out of Amelie. Or something.
Whatever happens between the Catholic Church and The Da Vinci Code, JK Rowling must be wetting herself in delight. Now that the Catholics have taken their eyes off the ball, Rowling can fully exploit the oft-discussed Harry Potter satanism angle and release the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter And The Persuasive Discussion On How Brilliant The Devil Is And That.
[story by Stuart Heritage]