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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:19 pm 
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Sadly I know too many people who think Dan Brown's books are the "gospel" and would follow him over any church, Catholic or therwise.... very sad :(

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:32 pm 
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mike m wrote:
Sadly I know too many people who think Dan Brown's books are the "gospel" and would follow him over any church, Catholic or therwise.... very sad :(


Any idea why that is the case? I think that's the most important social phenomenon we observe in this whole issue. Brown's book simply showed an attitude that was already in place. I don't have an answer, but I'd say it deserves a great deal of consideration.


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are his books presented as fact or just theoretically speaking and not too out there it could never happen?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:23 pm 
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MySavingGrace wrote:
are his books presented as fact or just theoretically speaking and not too out there it could never happen?


No, the books are fiction and are presented as such, with the exception that both of them have prefaces that say that the places and people mentioned (Opus Dei, Illuminati, etc.) do exist or have at some point existed. Therefore, some people read the books and think, "well, if Rome is a real city, and Galilieo was real, the Illuminati were real, then there must be truth in the plot..."


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:05 pm 
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The problem is that in the foreward of the book, (just ONE of the errors in this book) Brown begins with a statement, under the title "Fact," that there are documents supporting the existence of the Priory in the Bibliotheque Nationale. These documents have long been understood to be forgeries, placed in the archives by an anti-Semitic supporter of the Vichy government named Pierre Plantard.

Having said that. I thought that Brown's writing wasn't any better or any worse than most of the other mass media stuff on the shelves at Barnes and Noble.

What I've read of his, I've enjoyed, but DVC disturbed me because too many people seized on it as fact, due in no small part to the Preface and the "Fact" page. (and his appearance on various shows to support his claims)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:05 pm 
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SalomeKaia wrote:
MySavingGrace wrote:
are his books presented as fact or just theoretically speaking and not too out there it could never happen?


No, the books are fiction and are presented as such, with the exception that both of them have prefaces that say that the places and people mentioned (Opus Dei, Illuminati, etc.) do exist or have at some point existed. Therefore, some people read the books and think, "well, if Rome is a real city, and Galilieo was real, the Illuminati were real, then there must be truth in the plot..."


It really goes beyond the mere use of real names and places to produce a work of fiction. Brown goes a lot further and makes assertions about history that are utterly false and wants us to believe they are true - Jesus was merely a man, who married Mary Magdalene and had children with her; the Church originally was in touch with the "divine feminine" and had female clergy/priestesses along with the male, but with Constantine that was driven out, etc.

It could be that, of late, Brown has backtracked from the "truth" of these calumnies. However, a year or so ago there was a program on television (I believe ABC, during prime time) about the book and there was Dan Brown asserting that there were scholars/historians who held it was all true. Of course, the "documentary," in the course of examining each of Brown's assertions, would start by saying, 'Was Jesus Mary Magdalene's husband, and did they have children? We asked 100 top scholars and 98 said 'No Way!' but here's two who said it definitely happened . . . ' Then they would put on the only two people in the world wishing to actually go on the record as supporting such nonsense.

The whole reason this book is so popular is the titillation people get from reading "the forbidden truth" about Catholicism. If this book had been sold simply as pure fiction it would have disappeared as quickly as Brown's previous works had (but which re-appeared when The DaVinci Code took off), because then it would have had to stand simply on its literary merit, for which it has none.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:30 pm 
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dinosaur wrote:
SalomeKaia wrote:
MySavingGrace wrote:
are his books presented as fact or just theoretically speaking and not too out there it could never happen?


No, the books are fiction and are presented as such, with the exception that both of them have prefaces that say that the places and people mentioned (Opus Dei, Illuminati, etc.) do exist or have at some point existed. Therefore, some people read the books and think, "well, if Rome is a real city, and Galilieo was real, the Illuminati were real, then there must be truth in the plot..."


It really goes beyond the mere use of real names and places to produce a work of fiction. Brown goes a lot further and makes assertions about history that are utterly false and wants us to believe they are true - Jesus was merely a man, who married Mary Magdalene and had children with her; the Church originally was in touch with the "divine feminine" and had female clergy/priestesses along with the male, but with Constantine that was driven out, etc.

It could be that, of late, Brown has backtracked from the "truth" of these calumnies. However, a year or so ago there was a program on television (I believe ABC, during prime time) about the book and there was Dan Brown asserting that there were scholars/historians who held it was all true. Of course, the "documentary," in the course of examining each of Brown's assertions, would start by saying, 'Was Jesus Mary Magdalene's husband, and did they have children? We asked 100 top scholars and 98 said 'No Way!' but here's two who said it definitely happened . . . ' Then they would put on the only two people in the world wishing to actually go on the record as supporting such nonsense.

The whole reason this book is so popular is the titillation people get from reading "the forbidden truth" about Catholicism. If this book had been sold simply as pure fiction it would have disappeared as quickly as Brown's previous works had (but which re-appeared when The DaVinci Code took off), because then it would have had to stand simply on its literary merit, for which it has none.


The book probably would have spent three weeks on the hardback shelf, and five weeks on the paperback shelf if it had not landed right in the middle of a cultural predisposition to distrust the Catholic Church. Brown didn't create that; I doubt he even realized what he had stumbled into.

And I'd say Brown has beat the Church in its own backyard. This is a big deal. Whenever a mediocre novelist can triumph over a huge and powerful worldwide organization we need to sit up and take notice. Something has happened and it's much larger than one book.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:04 pm 
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Yoga wrote:

The book probably would have spent three weeks on the hardback shelf, and five weeks on the paperback shelf if it had not landed right in the middle of a cultural predisposition to distrust the Catholic Church. Brown didn't create that; I doubt he even realized what he had stumbled into.

And I'd say Brown has beat the Church in its own backyard. This is a big deal. Whenever a mediocre novelist can triumph over a huge and powerful worldwide organization we need to sit up and take notice. Something has happened and it's much larger than one book.


I wouldn't say that Brown has "beat" the Church. Yes, the DaVinci Code has become a phenomenon but I'd guess that it has more to do with people's thirst for truth than with Brown. I'm not sure why the book acted as such a catalyst, though.

In order for your claim, that Brown beat the Church in its own backyard, to be true, people would have to reject mainstream Christianity en masse and embrace the Holy Blood Holy Grail theory of biblical history. I don't see that happening. And I'm willing to bet that 10, 15, 25 years from now, Brown's little novel will be largely ignored, if not forgotten. The Church in its 2000+ plus history has survived much worse than imagination of Dan Brown...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:23 pm 
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SalomeKaia wrote:
Yoga wrote:

The book probably would have spent three weeks on the hardback shelf, and five weeks on the paperback shelf if it had not landed right in the middle of a cultural predisposition to distrust the Catholic Church. Brown didn't create that; I doubt he even realized what he had stumbled into.

And I'd say Brown has beat the Church in its own backyard. This is a big deal. Whenever a mediocre novelist can triumph over a huge and powerful worldwide organization we need to sit up and take notice. Something has happened and it's much larger than one book.


I wouldn't say that Brown has "beat" the Church. Yes, the DaVinci Code has become a phenomenon but I'd guess that it has more to do with people's thirst for truth than with Brown. I'm not sure why the book acted as such a catalyst, though.

In order for your claim, that Brown beat the Church in its own backyard, to be true, people would have to reject mainstream Christianity en masse and embrace the Holy Blood Holy Grail theory of biblical history. I don't see that happening. And I'm willing to bet that 10, 15, 25 years from now, Brown's little novel will be largely ignored, if not forgotten. The Church in its 2000+ plus history has survived much worse than imagination of Dan Brown...


Brown hasn't won a war. I doubt he even knew he was entering a battle. I say he beat the Church only because his book has convinced so many people of things the Church spokesmen don't support.

I also note a rather tepid response from the Church. I haven't heard any authority come out and make a simple statement saying Jesus was never married, never had a kid, and was celibate all his life. That's the major issue; the rest is all minor in comparison.

Brown's book probably will be forgotten in a few years. But he has opened a door, and others will see dollar signs on the other side. Brown is just the beginning. It will be very interesting to watch the whole drama unfold.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:28 pm 
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I haven't heard any authority come out and make a simple statement saying Jesus was never married, never had a kid, and was celibate all his life


What? Do we need every Pope or Bishop to repeat ad nauseum every fact about Christ every decade or so? This statement makes no sense to me- perhaps because after reading the early Church and the councils, you see the church from the begining state emphatically the facts (try the first council of Nicaea). Whereas the heretics and gnostics (which there were many different sects and beliefs that believed in whatever suited them to get the "gospel" they wanted. (SEE MARCION for a good example of picking and choosing)
Browns book brings up an interesting point: make up lies as truth long enough and people will believe it. (POPE JOAN???)(PICK your racial stereotype here as well)
Brown hasn't beat anyone, but just like Jim Jones and a host of other cult leaders, their followers will follow them and their gospel to their graves.... Who lost? The poor fools that fall for his crud.
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Brown is just the beginning. It will be very interesting to watch the whole drama unfold.

Actually Brown is just another one in a long line of people with a hatred for the Church.

Matthew 16:18. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon
this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.
The romans couldn't kill us all, the Church couldn't even self destruct in the Dark and middle ages, Protestantism hasn't destoyed the Church, neither has Nazism, communism, nor could the hundreds of wars over the centuries destroy the Church. If it (the Catholic Church) were made of men by men it wouldn't have lasted a century, we would have all worshiped the emperor as the gnostics did to avoid persecution. Or perhaps we would have split off and splintered like protestantism with thousands of varying beliefs about many different theological subjects.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:40 pm 
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mike m wrote:
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I haven't heard any authority come out and make a simple statement saying Jesus was never married, never had a kid, and was celibate all his life


What? Do we need every Pope or Bishop to repeat ad nauseum every fact about Christ every decade or so? This statement makes no sense to me- perhaps because after reading the early Church and the councils, you see the church from the begining state emphatically the facts (try the first council of Nicaea). Whereas the heretics and gnostics (which there were many different sects and beliefs that believed in whatever suited them to get the "gospel" they wanted. (SEE MARCION for a good example of picking and choosing)
Browns book brings up an interesting point: make up lies as truth long enough and people will believe it. (POPE JOAN???)(PICK your racial stereotype here as well)
Brown hasn't beat anyone, but just like Jim Jones and a host of other cult leaders, their followers will follow them and their gospel to their graves.... Who lost? The poor fools that fall for his crud.
Quote:
Brown is just the beginning. It will be very interesting to watch the whole drama unfold.

Actually Brown is just another one in a long line of people with a hatred for the Church.

Matthew 16:18. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon
this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.
The romans couldn't kill us all, the Church couldn't even self destruct in the Dark and middle ages, Protestantism hasn't destoyed the Church, neither has Nazism, communism, nor could the hundreds of wars over the centuries destroy the Church. If it (the Catholic Church) were made of men by men it wouldn't have lasted a century, we would have all worshiped the emperor as the gnostics did to avoid persecution. Or perhaps we would have split off and splintered like protestantism with thousands of varying beliefs about many different theological subjects.


Since the publication of DVC, what prominent church authority has strongly come out fighting? What prominent church authority has come out fighting armed with all that stuff you mention? I haven't seen any. All they have to do is call CNN and FOX. That's why I say they have taken to the bunkers. I don't know why. There are plenty of intelligent and well spoken churchmen. It's a puzzle.

Well, if the church can't be hurt, then who cares what Brown says? Perhaps that's why we hear such silence from Rome.

What did Nicea say about Jesus' marital status?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:58 am 
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Yoga wrote:

Since the publication of DVC, what prominent church authority has strongly come out fighting? What prominent church authority has come out fighting armed with all that stuff you mention? I haven't seen any. All they have to do is call CNN and FOX. That's why I say they have taken to the bunkers. I don't know why. There are plenty of intelligent and well spoken churchmen. It's a puzzle.

Well, if the church can't be hurt, then who cares what Brown says? Perhaps that's why we hear such silence from Rome.

What did Nicea say about Jesus' marital status?


I did a quick Google search on the Catholic response to the DVC. THis is what popped up:
Church Fights DVC
[url=http://www.opusdei.org/art.php?w=32&p=7017]A response to The Da Vinci Code from the Prelature of Opus Dei in the United States.
[/url]
Cracking the DaVinci Code
Mark Shea's blog entry
The DVC: a Catholic Response
Catholic Response to the DVC - an online seminar

Etc, etc.

I'm gonna let someone more knoweldgable than me answer the Nicea question, but I have a gut feeling that the answer is pretty obvious...

Zoe


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:02 am 
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Yoga wrote:

What did Nicea say about Jesus' marital status?


The Council of Nicea was convened by Constantine to address the nature of the divinity of Christ....specifically the Arian controversy.

What led you to believe Nicea said anything about his marital status?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:13 am 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Yoga wrote:

What did Nicea say about Jesus' marital status?


The Council of Nicea was convened by Constantine to address the nature of the divinity of Christ....specifically the Arian controversy.

What led you to believe Nicea said anything about his marital status?


Mike M wrote:

"What? Do we need every Pope or Bishop to repeat ad nauseum every fact about Christ every decade or so? This statement makes no sense to me- perhaps because after reading the early Church and the councils, you see the church from the begining state emphatically the facts (try the first council of Nicaea)."

I was surprised at the notion that Nicea would have said something on Jesus' marital status, hence the question.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:17 am 
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Quote:
The Council of Nicea was convened by Constantine to address the nature of the divinity of Christ....specifically the Arian controversy.

What led you to believe Nicea said anything about his marital status?



No I was using this council to show an example of the Church defining a truth (This was about his divinity) -It was not directly tied to the maritial status.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:22 am 
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mike m wrote:
Quote:
The Council of Nicea was convened by Constantine to address the nature of the divinity of Christ....specifically the Arian controversy.

What led you to believe Nicea said anything about his marital status?



No I was using this council to show an example of the Church defining a truth (This was about his divinity) -It was not directly tied to the maritial status.



Precisely, Mike.

Ken, the Church has a distinct pattern that's evident in studying ecclesiastical history. Something isn't defined until it's in controversy. Nicea was called because of a wayward Alexandrian priest called Arius who challenged the Church's belief in the cotemporal and consubstantial nature shared between the first and second person of the godhead. It was never addressed before that simply because it was never in question.

No one has ever seriously questioned Jesus' celibacy before the end of the last century. If the Church feels that it's a significant enough controversy (which I doubt they will, because no serious scholarship makes that claim) then I suspect it will be defined.

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Max Majestic wrote:
mike m wrote:
Quote:
The Council of Nicea was convened by Constantine to address the nature of the divinity of Christ....specifically the Arian controversy.

What led you to believe Nicea said anything about his marital status?



No I was using this council to show an example of the Church defining a truth (This was about his divinity) -It was not directly tied to the maritial status.



Precisely, Mike.

Ken, the Church has a distinct pattern that's evident in studying ecclesiastical history. Something isn't defined until it's in controversy. Nicea was called because of a wayward Alexandrian priest called Arius who challenged the Church's belief in the cotemporal and consubstantial nature shared between the first and second person of the godhead. It was never addressed before that simply because it was never in question.

No one has ever seriously questioned Jesus' celibacy before the end of the last century. If the Church feels that it's a significant enough controversy (which I doubt they will, because no serious scholarship makes that claim) then I suspect it will be defined.


That was my understanding of how councils work, too. Apparently I misunderstood Mike's post.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:09 pm 
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Sorry, I should have been more clear with the example I used.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:12 pm 
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As a book, I thought it was quite badly written. Anti Catholic stuff aside, it tends to come across as "guess what I read in the library today".... he's always trying to get his stupid little theories across. It bugs me when he has "... which was rumoured to be..." or something similar in his sentences, as that seems to be his way of sticking in a piece of info that he's hinting is the "truth".

Overall, I thought this was a bit of a joke, really. :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:46 pm 
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Yoga wrote:

The book probably would have spent three weeks on the hardback shelf, and five weeks on the paperback shelf if it had not landed right in the middle of a cultural predisposition to distrust the Catholic Church. Brown didn't create that; I doubt he even realized what he had stumbled into.

And I'd say Brown has beat the Church in its own backyard. This is a big deal. Whenever a mediocre novelist can triumph over a huge and powerful worldwide organization we need to sit up and take notice. Something has happened and it's much larger than one book.


I am glad we can agree on the literary merit of the work, which is zero.

Did Brown act ignorantly? I can't say for sure, but I think he had a good idea of what he was doing; else why the "Fact" statement at the beginning of the book?

As for Brown's "beat[ing] the Church in its own backyard," that is utter nonsense. As mentioned above, that is overstating things a good bit. All Brown did was play into the hands of the anti-Church "Amen Choir" (intentional allusion) who were then only too happy to sound the horn and get the bandwagon rolling. Once you have people's curiosity piqued, anything can happen - think of "The Royal Nonesuch" in Huck Finn (or was it Tom Sawyer?) - nothing attracts people like a crowd.


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