Interesting Thoughts From The Catholic Church

So I read The Da Vinci Code and rather liked it (I read Angels and Demons the prequel and didn’t think much of it), I also realised quite how much random conspiracy/underground religion theory stuff that The Jellicle and Cornish Bloke between them have managed to stuff me full of!

Turns out that the Catholic Church didn’t like it much. Apparently there have been ten books so far (and theres going to be a seminar given) to debunk the ‘lies’ in this book. Now to be honest I’m not sure why all the fuss and furore because Dan Brown, the author hasn’t made up anything particularly new. Everything he says; Mary Magdalen having kids with Jesus, secret Templar society guarding a big secret, etc.etc. has all been said before, for hundreds of (and I suspect a couple of thousand) years. Well maybe that its such a best seller is what has freaked the Vatican out, that and they can’t burn people for heresies anymore.

But you know, I don’t really care if it’s true or not when it comes right down to it. What has surprised me is the reaction to a work of FICTION! The book is full of ‘lies’, at least I’m fairly sure that the protagonists don’t actually exist, I’m also certain that there wasn’t a body found in the Louvre murdered as described, these ‘lies’ are popularly known as a story!

It is true that Dan Brown has claimed that ‘All of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies, all of that is historical fact.’ And you know what? He’s right. Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of over-reaction…or should I be cynical and wonder if the Cardinal wants a little publicity given the current state of the Pope’s health?

8 thoughts on “Interesting Thoughts From The Catholic Church

  1. Hmm, I hadn’t thought about the succession side of things.

    Perhaps that’s why the cardinal in Britain’s been kicking up a pre-election fuss about abortion as well.

  2. The fuss and furore is by far not limited to Catholics, and while Brown steals it entirely from Holy Blood, Holy Grail (which has led to a lawsuit as a character is named for the three writers of the above) the fuss is due in no small part to twin facts:

    1) It’s sold well, particularly well to the Urban Gullible demographic, and so people know about it.

    2) Brown is happy to cite absolute falsehoods even in the ‘facts’ he claims are true – getting, for example, languages and meanings of scrolls entirely wrong – and that Urban Gullible demographic have been swallowing it hook, line and sinker and telling their friends.

    That’s basically why all this is going on – if he hadn’t anagrammed the people he stole it from, or claimed any of it had any factual basis, he’d have been sorted. Since he did both and didn’t fact check (I believe, though I’m not certain, that he’s an academic – for shame!) he’s brought down a hailstorm of shit on people for resons they certainly don’t deserve to be shat on about.

    More on this, possibly, over IM at some point.

  3. Ok I wasn’t aware that he’d nabbed the story (maybe thats why its so much better than Angels and Demons

  4. Urban Gullible again – I’ve only glanced at the book, but I remember the ‘these bits are true’ bit as being more than mildly, ah, vague – you could argue a lot more through it than is actually the case. Urban Gullible do.

    And yes, these issues have been heavily debated through the Church’s history, and the Catholic church has a set of answers they’re happy with and which stand up to Jesuitical logic. (Most of the heat I’ve seen on the book comes from American evangelists, and since they tend to not know their source material too well, I’m not impressed by that).

    As for the secret societies – we can pretty much trace the Prieure de Sion to the guy who thought it up, is problem #1; they’re untrue. You probably know the flaws in his argument on the Last Supper better than I do, as an artist. And when he cites scrolls having different meanings, from different countries and centuries, in different languages – well, it’s time to ditch your disclaimer, Mr Brown, or stop selling to the U.G.s

    He’d have been better off with no disclaimer or with a Fleming style "Not that it matters, but…" disclaimer, I feel.

  5. Ok Tom. Re: the secret societies bit. The Masons existed and still do. The Knights Templar existed. The bloody Illuminati existed though of course their hardest to prove. Now whether they actually exist now is where the fictional element comes in.

    Now the guys in the book exist. Theories about the last Supper are all over the place, you’ve got Golden Section purists in there along with conspiracy nuts etc.etc.

    The point is though, Dan Brown didn’t make up most of what the symbologist in the book comes up with. These theories and ideas have been around pretty much as long as the paintings and artworks have been around – doesn’t make them true. Makes them fun to play around with; especially in a work of fiction.

    Now this is my issue. Dan Brown presents his work as a fiction, many of these theories have been presented before in books claiming to be fact. I’m serious look in Ottakars or Waterstones some time. Does the Catholic Church attack their ‘lies’? most of the time no, and yet these books claim to be factual. Brown’s work claims to be based in fact and what he claims to be factual is. What he presents as the symbologists ideas are not new, and he hasn’t made them up himself, they are not facts but they are theories some of which have more credence than others.

    What bothers me about the Catholic Church’s reatcion to Brown’s book is that they have had a couple of thousand years to refute heresies and alternate theories and have done so. But now they choose to declaim a work of FICTION as LIES. Intelligent people can tell the difference between fiction and lies, if the general populace cannot then could the Catholic Church, if it’s so worried about the intelligents of its constituents not condemn books of fiction (for that way leads to censorship) but rather pour its resources into education?

  6. Hiya.
    I’ve not read Angels and Demons but I enjoyed the DaVinci code, Love a good conspiracy theory and I’d been into the whole Rosicrucians, Rennes Le Chateau, Illuminati, Holy Grail thing for ages (ever since I got into Tool actually, there’s some great stuff on Rennes Le Chataeu on their site if you do a bit of poking around, it’s a hidden bit).
    Dan Brown’s next book is about Kryptos:
    Should be good.

  7. Now that will be interesting, especially if he comes through on his little hints that he might have solved the thing!

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