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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Da Vinci Code, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Dan Brown's record-breaking best-seller comes to the screen with most of its spurious historical, artistic and theological misstatements intact. The film follows the book's plot of a Harvard "symbologist" (Tom Hanks) on the run from French police after the murder of a curator from the Louvre museum, with the latter's granddaughter (Audrey Tautou) in tow, as they piece together the motives for the killing, implicating the Catholic Church in a centuries-old conspiracy to suppress an explosive secret. As expected, director Ron Howard has made a glossy, competent thriller, though perhaps a little confusing for those unfamiliar with the book. The performances, including that of Sir Ian McKellen as another scholar and Paul Bettany as the albino monk-assassin, are colorful; the underlying assertions -- particularly as they question Jesus' divinity -- and the obvious falsehoods about Opus Dei are deeply abhorrent. Partly subtitled. Violence including brutal murders, crude language, irreverent underpinning, rear male nudity, scenes of corporal mortification, fleeting hint of prostitution, and glimpse of ritualistic sex. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Leopold Mandic: Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.
<p>A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.
</p><p>Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.
</p><p>Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.
</p><p>At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.
</p><p>Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.</p> American Catholic Blog Heavenly Father, give me the grace to be grateful and to use my gifts and talents to show your love to others so that when they see me, they recognize you living in me and loving them through me. I ask this in Jesus's name, Amen.

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