March 27, 2005

The Vatican Code

The New York Times


Published: March 27, 2005

Some may mock the Vatican for waiting until everyone on earth has read "The Da Vinci Code" to denounce "The Da Vinci Code."

I am not one of them. It's Easter, and I don't want to blot my catechism.

It's a little late, now that the two-year-old thriller by Dan Brown is a publishing miracle - with 25 million copies sold in 44 languages, a cascade of other books inspired by the novel and a movie with Tom Hanks set to start filming this spring - for Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to intone on a Vatican radio broadcast: "Don't read and don't buy 'The Da Vinci Code.' "

But when you think of the history of the Catholic Church, the Vatican is acting with lightning speed. It took the church more than 350 years to reverse its condemnation of Galileo. The Vatican only began an inquisition of the 16th-century Inquisition in 1998. It wasn't until the reign of Pope John Paul II that the Vatican apologized for the crimes of the Crusaders and offered contrition for the silence of Catholics in the Holocaust. The church has still not apologized for shameful dissembling by its hierarchy on the sex abuse scandal. And America's Catholic bishops only last week announced they were finally going to get serious about opposing the death penalty.

Posted by kshaw at March 27, 2005 06:35 PM