Dan Brown, Sony, et al. Are All Laughing Their Way to the Bank, Part 232,986
In the latest Vatican broadside against "The Da Vinci Code", a leading cardinal says Christians should respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend Christ and the Church he founded.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, made his strong comments in a documentary called "The Da Vinci Code-A Masterful Deception."
Arinze's appeal came some 10 days after another Vatican cardinal called for a boycott of the film. Both cardinals asserted that other religions would never stand for offences against their beliefs and that Christians should get tough.
"Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget," Arinze said in the documentary made by Rome film maker Mario Biasetti for Rome Reports, a Catholic film agency specializing in religious affairs.
"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 others," Arinze said.
Is the good cardinal getting points out the back end for this?
Note to Phil Pulella: Archbishop Angelo Amato, the CDF secretary, is not a cardinal.
"Those who blaspheme Christ and get away with it are exploiting the Christian readiness to forgive and to love even those who insult us. There are some other religions which if you insult their founder they will not be just talking. They will make it painfully clear to you," Arinze said.
This appeared to be a reference to protests by Muslims around the world over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
Last month, another broadside against "The Da Vinci Code" was launched by Archbishop Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican doctrinal office which was headed by Pope Benedict until his election last year.
Amato urged a boycott of the film and Arinze, like his fellow cardinal, also blasted the credibility of the book.
"'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," Arinze said.