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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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Bede the Venerable: Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches. 
<p>At an early age Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and, especially, Holy Scripture.</p><p>From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30 (he had been ordained deacon at 19) till his death, he was ever occupied with learning, writing and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible. </p><p>Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery till his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever.” </p><p>His <i>Ecclesiastical History of the English People</i> is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A unique era was coming to an end at the time of Bede’s death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.</p> American Catholic Blog The truth is that suffering can be a beautiful thing, if we have the courage to trust God with everything, like Jesus did upon the cross.

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