Westminster Abbey Criticises Da Vinci Code & Refuses Filming Plan

The 940-year-old landmark cathedral in London - Westminster Abbey - has rejected on Tuesday the filming plan of the controversial blockbuster novel Da Vinci Code on its premises for the movie adaptation. The Church officials criticised the book as "theologically unsound", according to Reuters.

Westminster Abbey appears in scenes toward the end of the novel The Da Vinci Code, a statement from the Abbey insisted that some of the book's details were factually inaccurate.

Published in 2003 and written by an American author Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code has sold more than 20 million copies around the world. The content of the novel is very controversial, provoking 10 other books to be written so far to debunk it.

The novel alleges Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children. It claims that the Holy Grail is really the bloodline descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalene - which the Church is supposed to have covered up, along with the female role in Christianity.

According to the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ never married and was childless when he was crucified.

Brown has attempted to defend his argument despite huge criticism from Christians, "All of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies, all of that is historical fact."

According to the statement released by the Abbey, the "factual errors" in the novel include metal detectors in the Abbey which do not exist and claims that Alexander Pope gave the eulogy at Isaac Newton's funeral.

"Although a real page turner, the Da Vinci Code is theologically unsound and we cannot commend or endorse the contentious and wayward religious and historic suggestions made in the book - nor its views of Christianity and the New Testament," the statement reads.

The statement also addressed the disadvantage brought about by the misleading information in The Da Vinci Code to the Church, "We are already receiving regular, daily inquiries related to the book and we expect these to continue and even grow in the next couple of years, even with no effort on our own part, simply because the book is so popular."

A spokeswoman of the Abbey said to the BBC News, new information leaflets will be distributed to staff to aid them in dealing with tourists and to correct "factual errors" in the novel.

While Westminster Abbey has been very cautious in dealing with The Da Vinci Code, Lincoln Cathedral in Lincolnshire, eastern England has agreed to allow their building to be used by the Da Vinci Code film-makers. Lincoln Cathedral will get £100,000 for The Da Vinci film, which will all go towards the annual building repairs which costs £1 million.

Rev Alec Knight, the Dean of Lincoln has acknowledged there is a risk. However, he argued, "The Church is not often given such an opportunity on a plate to engage with people outside of the Christian faith over the facts of the Gospel. We must grasp this."