Thursday, March 17, 2005

Regarding "Vatican goes on offensive against 'Da Vinci Code'", IHT, March 17, 2005:
Although I hardly ever like to read books in which fictional versions of history are presented ( I am a historian myself ), I must say that I am tempted to read Dan Brown's bestseller, if not only because of the seriousness and fervor with which the Vatican attacks it. Unbelievers will find it highly amusing that of all people it is one of the highest Vatican officials who says that he is " shocked that a book founded on so many errors and on numerous lies could have such success ". Based on Cardinal Bertone's time- and money-consuming efforts, we might think that there are no poverty, disease and hunger to be fought by God's servants on earth anymore. The cardinal asks himself regarding 'similar' books about Mohammed, or about the Shoah. First of all, some of the worst cases of Holocaust denial have involved devout Catholics, and hardly ever did we hear the Vatican's office on doctrinal orthodoxy or any other heavyweight official catholic body condemn their falsifications. As far as books about Mohammed are concerned, maybe the Cardinal forgot about the Rushdie-affair. Could that be because the institute that he represents and serves basically invented book-burnings?

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