Da Vinci Code Advert Rejected by Italy Church

The Italian Interior Ministry has said this week that it would remove a poster promoting The Da Vinci Code movie from scaffolding covering a church in Rome which is undergoing renovation.

|PIC1|The decision has come following complaints by the church’s clergymen who were bemused by the incident.

The advertisement was an enormous poster which featured the Mona Lisa, arguably Da Vinci’s most famous painting. The poster, which has the title of the upcoming film on it, has been up already for a few weeks outside the St Pantaleo Church in Rome.

Rev. Marco Fibbi, a spokesman for Rome’s Vicariate reported that the poster was “causing a problem.”

He added, “This movie is not reputed to be particularly appreciated by ecclesiastic circles.”

Various Christian leaders have spoken out over the past year against the book by Dan Brown, as well as the controversy of the film, which will star Tom Hanks and be released in cinemas in May.

A new DVD has also been released by the Catholic Church in Scotland, and is being sent out to hundreds of schools and parishes across the country to help young people make an educated decision about the claims on the Christian in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

The launch of “Debunking the Da Vinci Myths” comes just before the world premiere of the movie version of Brown’s multi-million selling conspiracy novel in Cannes on May 17th.

The DVD features one of the Scottish Catholic Church’s leading intellectuals, Professor Emeritus Patrick Reilly, who likened the inaccuracies of The Da Vinci Code to claiming that John Knox was a child abuser.

Professor Reilly also lambastes the novel and film for its “monumentally inexcusable nonsense” in the DVD that will go out to all 60 Catholic secondary schools and 500 parishes across Scotland.

The novel’s storyline suggests that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and they had children together. It also tells that Opus Dei, a conservative religious organisation close to the Vatican, and the Catholic Church were at the centre of covering it up.

St. Pantaleo's rector, the Rev. Adolfo Garcia Duran said, “It advertises something that is against Christ and against the church,” according to Associated Press.

|AD|Opus Dei has spoken out against the novel also, and Tarcisio Bertone, an Italian Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church even called for a boycott of the book last year.

Brown’s novel shows Opus Dei as a murderous and power-hungry sect. It retorted that The Da Vinci Code was a work of fantasy that offers a deformed image of the Catholic Church.

While the film adaptation stirred protests among Catholics and Protestants alike, more Christians are encouraging people to go watch the movie.

Internationally known speaker and author Josh McDowell will be releasing his book, The Da Vinci Code: A Quest for Answers, for Christians to use as a witnessing resource.

"May 2006 presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to equip believers to answer the challenging questions raised by the movie about the deity of Christ and his Word," said a statement released by Campus Crusade for Christ, which is promoting McDowell's new book.

"If we approach this with a positive readiness, we can seize this as an opportunity to open up compelling dialogue about the real and relevant Christ."