:: sigh ::
After some controversy, the movie opens tomorrow in India, with a 15 second disclaimer tacked on by the Censor Board after protests by Christians (and Muslims!). Not bad. Better than being banned. It really does make the religious objectors come across as thin-skinned firebrands who cannot take criticism, do not value free speech and just confirm the secular elite's suspicions that religion is, on the whole, "backward."
[Aside on the Muslim protest: if Muslims are offended that a Koranic prophet is being insulted, what to make of the Koranic claim that the Crucifixion was fictitious? :) And, apparently, a few Middle Eastern countries have banned the movie.]
The CBCI homepage has a prominent link to Jesusdecoded.com, the DVC site of the US Bishops, with a neat slogan: "The fact is the film is fiction and is business!"
[A little ironic that Ad-sense, or whatever other service is placing ads on the site of the Catholic Bishops of India would have an ad to these folks!]
Konkani Catholics (a neat blog maintained by a group of Goan Catholics) has a link to the statement of Archbishop Moras of Bangalore on the movie (as well as links to prior coverage).
1. The film Da Vinci Code is based on a novel and it is not based on history. The true life of Jesus Christ is depicted in the Gospels.(I especially like the last one :)).
2. People must not become gullible and believe whatever they see in the film as media create false realities and have the power to 'make believe facts'.
3. To clarify people's doubt, a study group in the parish should be formed. A few learned persons who have made a through study of the film could guide the people, especially the youth in the parish.
4. Special prayers to be offered for media personnel that they may not exploit the simple faith of the common people and that people who view this movie may not be misguided and/or lose faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ.
5. The faithful should be helped to foster their personal relationship with Jesus by conducting regularly the Bible Classes with special focus on the Gospels, and by the screening of the movies: Jesus of Nazareth, the Passion of the Christ etc.
The fact remains, as Amy Welborn never ceases to repeat: This is not "just" fiction. It's obviously got the whole Christian world on the defensive. And it is pernicious and deceptive.
Should it be banned? Heck no. Bring it on, I say!