A popular fictional book and movie, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown follows a Harvard symbologist through a series of chaotic clues, uncovering a supposed 2,000-year old conspiracy—the Holy Grail is really the blood descendant of Christ and Mary Magdalene. In the story Christ’s descendants ended up as royalty in France and the character Sophie, who serves in the plot line mostly to affirm how unaware everyone else in the world is of this twist to Christianity, is a blood descendant. Stones are hurled at the Catholic Church, clergy, and Opus Dei, but this scandalous claim about Christ affects all Christians.
Often referred to with words such as malicious, threatening, and insidious, the tale still shakes people today either angrily in defense of Christianity or running away from faith. Many people defend The Da Vinci Code by saying it’s just a story—yet they’re often the ones who believe the “facts” it puts forth. Here’s one simple reason you can stop worrying and simply pray for people who fall into its trap: It really is just a fictional story—the characters, the plot, the “codes,” and Brown’s “Fact Page,” which is far from researched or reliable.
Whether you have read or watched The Da Vinci Code or you had simply no idea it existed, take this quiz yourself, with your family, friends, or youth group and discover who is duped by the tale’s neglectful theology, twisted history, and scandalous storyline and who can see clearly through it!
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Mark Shea is quoted in an interview, “It matters greatly when it [pseudo-knowledge like that found in The Da Vinci Code] adversely affects the most sacred beliefs of a billion people, and when it levels the charge that the Catholic Church is essentially a vast ‘Murder Incorporated’ network founded on maintaining the lie of Jesus’ divinity and resurrection.”
The intention of Christ, Christians, and the Church is not to harm but to help. To follow Christ means to serve others. Catholics and the Church have better things to do than battle the brunt of a fictional novel, but unfortunately, it is evidently necessary.
The best response to someone who dumps information on you from The Da Vinci Code is to simply ask them questions in return, even if you haven’t personally read or watched it. Questions help you help others addresses the cause of the problem, not just the mess of symptoms. This often leads to a discovery that The Da Vinci Code fueled an already burning bias against the Church on the part of your companion.
“Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” That is one of Dan Brown’s claims. Of all the statements Brown concocts in his novels, I think that one is true because I believe that people fear what they don’t know, especially when it comes to God and faith.
They don’t want to believe that God is omnipotent, all-powerful, and omnipresent, and much less want to believe that God send His only Son to redeem us on the cross. People are afraid of believing in forces or a person that they can’t control. No one can manipulate the spiritual world as one can the material world, and for those without a faith, it must be terrifying to think of metaphysical existence. Which do you think is scarier—a 2,000 year conspiracy theory or your Creator loving you so much that He died for you on the cross and you’ll never, ever be able to repay Him back in your entire life?
There is absolutely nothing in The DaVinci Code that should shake your faith in Christ. Share the Good News of Christ shamelessly—and the good news that The Da Vinci Code does not undermine our 2,000 year old faith.
Please reference these well-researched sources for more information on our faith and The Da Vinci Code:
- The Da Vinci Deception by Mark Shea, Edward Sri, and the Editors of Catholic Exchange (101 questions and their answers)
- The Da Vinci Hoax by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel (a more in-depth investigation)
- “Dissecting ‘The Da Vinci Code’: Interview with Apologist Mark Shea” http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=3027
- Opus Dei website and their open letter on this topic (http://opusdei.us/en-us/article/open-letter-to-sony/)
- Laura Miller’s “The DaVinci crock” in Salon magazine online (2004). http://www.salon.com/2004/12/29/da_vinci_code/
- The Bible, any real encyclopedia, history (as long as it is not revisionism history in which the “historian” rewrites, skews, and ignores whatever facts he or she so chooses to make a point), or the Catechism of the Catholic Church