Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Friday, May 19, 2006
More DVC yuks from The Curt Jester. Don't miss the comments.

And don't miss this review; the writer's own non-Catholicism makes it all the more potent. One of his conclusions is "Ron Howard has to take the blame" -- a perfect fit with The Curt Jester's theory! (*Ominous chord*). The reviewer, Kevin O'Reilly (all right, ex-Catholic, rather than non-Catholic -- and ripe for a return, I'll warrant) also writes:
Does the film's self-importance stem from its religious theme, from the controversial plot points that have upset the Catholic Church? I'm not surprised they're upset. The film accuses their entire religion of being based on a lie. Imagine if someone wrote a best-selling novel calling Islam a lie - the consequences don't bear thinking about. Still, the fact that the Vatican's gotten hot under its white collar shouldn't necessarily lend dignity to The Da Vinci Code's hodgepodge of theological revisionism and conspiracy theories.

Dan Brown makes some valid criticisms of Catholicism but the big secret he reveals, the lie at the heart of the religion is ludicrous: it's wishful thinking on behalf of those who find the Catholic Church's values offensive to their own. Has the Vatican put its own spin on Christianity? Probably. Would the Jesus described in the Gospels be angry at the way many of his followers have turned out just like the Pharisees who crucified him? Probably. Was Christ's real message a load of fuzzy, politically correct New Age guff? Probably not.

....And what of Opus Dei, the real-life Catholic association the film portrays as a band of fanatics prepared to kill to preserve the big secret? (There's a major unintentional laugh when we see cardinals playing pool in their robes in what I assume is the Opus Dei clubhouse!)
You mean, in full robes just like "Cardinal Fang" and the rest of the "Spanish Inquisition" in Monty Python? That's what Dan Brown and Ron Howard think a day in the life of a cardinal is? Do they miss a bus and mutter "Oh bugger" too?
Opus Dei has received a lot of publicity in the wake of the book's success. There was talk about Labour minister Ruth Kelly being a member and thus, some presumed, a religious fanatic. I doubt its members are more sinister than any other Catholics but then I doubt the Freemasons are anything more than a bunch of bored middle-aged men who want to get away from their wives in the evenings. I bet members of these groups get a kick out of crackpots thinking they're up to no good.
Ya think? >;)