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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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Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus: The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings—and the risks that could be involved in following him.
<p><b>Joseph</b> was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
</p><p><b>Nicodemus</b> was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important first-century Jew. We know from John's Gospel that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night—secretly—to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus.
</p><p></p> American Catholic Blog Once we have heard God’s voice, we must rise from our slumber; we must get up and act. Faith does not remove us from the world, but draws us more deeply into it. This is very important! We have to be deeply engaged with the world, but with the power of prayer. Each of us, in fact, has a special role in preparing for the coming of God’s kingdom in our world.

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