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Cardinal Decries “Da Vinci Code” as Cheap, Absurd Lies

March 16, 2005 | 30 Comments

Rome, Italy, March 16, 2005
Special to The Raving Atheist

A top Catholic cardinal has blasted “The Da Vinci Code” as a “gross and absurd” distortion of history and said Catholic bookstores should take the bestseller off their shelves because it is full of “cheap lies.”

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in an interview with the Milan newspaper Il Giornale, became the highest ranking Italian Churchman to speak out against the book, an international blockbuster that has sold millions of copies.

“(It) aims to discredit the Church and its history through gross and absurd manipulations,” Bertone, the archbishop of the northern Italian city of Genoa and a close friend of Pope John Paul told the paper in its Monday edition.

The central claim of the book, written by American Dan Brown, is that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children. The Bible says Jesus never married, was crucified and rose from the dead.

“You can find that book everywhere and the risk is that many people who read it believe that those fairy tales are real,” he said. “I think I have the responsibility to clear things up to unmask the cheap lies contained in books like that.”

“The notion that Christ entered into a stable, monogamous relationship and raised a family is repugnant to every principle held dear by the Church,” said Bertone. “Jesus was a celibate, wild-eyed raving loner, despised and tortured to death his peers.”

Bertone also said that the claims made by the Code defied natural laws, noting that only those “not possessed of their full senses” could deny that Jesus is a resurrected 2,000 year old immaterial spirit who is invisible but simultaneously present everywhere in the universe. “Drink wine and it will turn into Christ’s blood,” Betrone said. “But be careful not to fall for the insane preposterous illogical fictions of madmen.”


30 Responses to “Cardinal Decries “Da Vinci Code” as Cheap, Absurd Lies”

  1. DamnRight
    March 16th, 2005 @ 10:28 am
  2. Dave
    March 16th, 2005 @ 11:15 am

    Oh, man! that had me going. How much of that is real? Up to the last two paragraphs, I’m guessing. I almost had coffee come out of my nose.

  3. DannyNoonan
    March 16th, 2005 @ 11:42 am

    Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone had this to say:

    “You can find that book everywhere and the risk is that many people who read it believe that those fairy tales are real, I think I have the responsibility to clear things up to unmask the cheap lies contained in books like that.”

    Welcome to my world Cardinal.

  4. norbizness
    March 16th, 2005 @ 11:42 am

    Some days the Catholic Church just makes it too easy. Now with sour cream & salsa-flavored body of Christ!

  5. AK
    March 16th, 2005 @ 2:14 pm

    The Cardinal continued, “Jesus never married, nor did he ever father any children (except himself) nor even partake in any sexual intercourse; Jesus would never hase done anything so inhumane.”

    The Cardinal then ended the inverview, indicating that it was time for him to wrap a spiked chalice tightly around his leg and flay his own back with a cat-o-nine tails.

  6. groucho
    March 16th, 2005 @ 2:32 pm

    “the risk is that many people who read it believe that those fairy tales are real”. That’s why, from now on, the bible will be found in the fiction section of all bookstores.

  7. leon
    March 16th, 2005 @ 4:31 pm
  8. freddy
    March 16th, 2005 @ 4:36 pm

    When it comes to talking about the truth, I agree that the Catholic Church doesn’t have a leg to stand on, but for what it’s worth, The DaVinci Code is packed full of bullshit. Skeptic magazine published an article some time ago exposing it.

  9. Just a Passerby
    March 17th, 2005 @ 5:41 am

    Oh the irony…

  10. Sternwallow
    March 17th, 2005 @ 7:38 am

    I read the “Da Vinci Code” and I am certain that every word is true. Dan Brown (may God bless his name) is verily inspired by the almighty. The evidence is overwhelming. The fact of Jesus’ marriage, just for one example, has been held by many believers for many centuries and so must be true. Further proof of tne veracity of the “Code” is that nearly every location, point in time and person are real historical entities. What more can be said? Dan Brown (may God increase his seed) is the new prophet.

  11. Debbie
    March 17th, 2005 @ 9:02 am

    It is curious that the Catholic Church is not accusing Dan Brown of blasphemy or heresy. Surely he is guilty of this. Any thoughts from the ex-Catholics why this is not being pursued? Do they feel that such accusations would remind too many of the Inquisition and other highlights of their tolerance and truth seeking activities over the past millenia.

  12. HappyNat
    March 17th, 2005 @ 9:49 am


    Of course “The DaVinci Code is packed full of bullshit.”, it is a work of fiction. Fiction is supposed to be packed full of bullshit, that’s the point. It is just sad that so many people believe whatever is written down is the truth, see the bible for an example of how dangerous that can be.

  13. AK
    March 17th, 2005 @ 10:22 am


    Maybe the Church isnt condemning Dan Brown too personally because of fear of alienating the general population? I mean, Brown is very popular and so it his book; its even being made into a movie!

    I can imagine that the Church wants to let its opinion known without acting too harshly, for it would only make it look more irrelevant in the publics eyes, and the problem of relevancy has even been admitted by that very same church?

    Nah, forget that. The Catholic Church isnt that intellgient. They are just a bunch of reactionary, invalid, boring old farts that are serving as examples for social evolution. They will be extinct within a few generations.

  14. hermesten
    March 17th, 2005 @ 10:39 am

    Freddy, I haven

  15. freddy
    March 17th, 2005 @ 11:33 am

    I agree that “exposes” was too strong a word for me to use. But based on the article, I think it is fair to say that neither The DaVinci Code nor the Catholic Church should be taken as authorities on the true story of Jesus, or anything else for that matter. Of course Dan Brown freely admits that his book is a work of fiction, it’s about time for the Catholic Church to admit the same about the Bible, but I won’t be holding my breath.

  16. June
    March 17th, 2005 @ 1:46 pm

    Somewhere, George Carlin wondered why, in Da Vinci’s Last Supper, the apostles all sit on one side of the table.
    I think it is because JC told them they were going to be painted 1500 years later. Praise Be…

  17. tgtg
    March 17th, 2005 @ 2:03 pm

    I’m too lazy to actually look it up, but I’d wager sales spiked [up] after this “proclamation”. As to why they’re not uttering the “H-word”, I think maybe the same reason – they say it’s heresy sales will go even higher. I’d be thrilled with this announcement if I was the author or publisher…

  18. MBains
    March 17th, 2005 @ 2:56 pm

    I am most amazed by how Faithful to the actual, linked article the RA’s parody really is. But I guess that if Red Bird Bertone is gonna be stupid enough to believe in the Buybull, then why wouldn’t he think Brown’s fictional extrapolation of that bizarre book was believable.

    AK, nor did he ever father any children (except himself)… THAT was Classic! LOL!

  19. AK
    March 17th, 2005 @ 5:53 pm

    MBains, thanx :)

    If one were to tell Jesus “go fuck yourself,” would Jesus reply “been there, done that”?

  20. Rob
    March 17th, 2005 @ 6:44 pm

    The DaVinci code may be mostly fiction, based on the allegedly non-fictional Holy Blood, Holy Grail, but it’s closer to the truth than anything the Catholic Church proclaims. It’s revealing to substitute “the Bible” for “The DaVinci Code” in the Cardinal’s remarks:

    A top Catholic cardinal has blasted “the Bible” as a “gross and absurd” distortion of history and said Catholic bookstores should take the bestseller off their shelves because it is full of “cheap lies.”

  21. Rip
    March 18th, 2005 @ 8:40 am

    That Bertone is a real card, the way he sends up Catholicism while pretending to defend it. Posing as a cardinal was the finishing touch. Where is he performing next?

    March 18th, 2005 @ 11:05 pm

    Don’t any of these self-righteous, religious wingnuts understand the meaning of the word FICTION?

  23. Judas
    March 19th, 2005 @ 8:36 am said:

    Don’t any of these self-righteous, religious wingnuts understand the meaning of the word FICTION?

    Of course not! They take their Bible seriously, don’t they?

  24. Spurius Furius
    March 19th, 2005 @ 10:35 pm

    I would have so much more respect for the Catholic church if they would take a page out of the Iranian playbook and put a death warrant out on Dan Brown. You know they want to. Now that would be fun to talk about! Long live Salmon (Rush-to-Die) Rushdie!

  25. PirateRo
    March 20th, 2005 @ 11:24 am

    You guys got it aaaaallll wrong. This has nothing to do with what reasonable people would expect and actually say…do…if left on their own. Got nuthin’ to do with it at all.

    It’s all about oneupmanship. Cardinal Richellieu…um…sorry, Bertone, has basically called his rival Brown because in his work there is no cannibalism and, of course, those fiesty Christians celebrate a eucharistic mass every fucking Sunday and eat “of the flesh” every single time.

    Brown’s contribution is his statement that his work, while fiction, is published as fact.

    So, what’s up is down and left is right. Black is white and roses by any other name still smell like shit when they rot and decompose. So, eat them while they’re fresh and claim that it’s not cannibalism because, after all, eucharistic masses are works of fiction just like the Code.

    What I don’t understand is that we have all the money in the world for the horseshit coming out of the Vatican…and the shrub’s palacial estate in Washington…and buckets of money for Da Vinci’s crap but no money for George Romero to make another Night of the Living Dead…I mean, that’s really what we’re all talking about now, isn’t it?

    And it occurs to me that the villagers solution to THEIR problem applies here, the Vatican AND the shrub’s place.

  26. Old Guy
    March 20th, 2005 @ 2:39 pm

    Today’s New York Times carries an article about how another cardinal takes a more temperate view. There are these differences. Still, Bertone does sound like the increasingly shrill frothers who seem to be getting more and more play in church circles. I think a lot of them feel rattled. A lot is going against them.

  27. AK
    March 20th, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

    OK RavingAtheist, today is Sunday the 20th of March, and the last entry you have is from Wednesday. It seems the time between entries is increasing.

    I want more, more, MORE! I remember the good old days when you had a new entry every day. Surely, in these troubled times, there is more than enough material for you to continue daily or maybe 5 times a week entries?

    I dont care how “real” your real life is, this website provides an invaluable service to all of humanity, and it should be put first in your life! Like Jesus! ;-)

  28. speedwell
    March 21st, 2005 @ 9:46 am

    I’m an atheist, but Mom was a fundie. Grandmother, and all of our other ancestors, were Jewish. The weirdest thing I ever heard Mom say combined heresy, Christianity, and Jewish heritage: “Of course Jesus was married. He wouldn’t have any credibility as a rabbi if he wasn’t. His mom wouldn’t have let him stay single, for one thing.”

  29. Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness
    March 21st, 2005 @ 11:06 am

    Nothing Ever Happens on Mars

    “I got some bad ideas in my head” Anyone else get the feeling that the national GOP leadership is Travis Bickle and he’s just found his Iris (Jodie Foster). Except in this version of Taxi Driver, he ends up…

  30. qedpro
    April 14th, 2005 @ 6:25 pm

    Does the bible really say jesus never married? i have religious friend that says it doesn’t say that.

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