Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Most Catholics not fazed by DV Code...which is good because it's crap...

From the USA Today:

Most Catholics not fazed by 'Code' talk
By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

Author Dan Brown may be surprised by a new survey on Catholics' view of his best-selling novel and upcoming film The DV Code— a tale of a murderous Catholic conspiracy to hide that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene.

Brown told a New Hampshire audience Sunday that he delights in all the clergy and scholars "debunking" his story of church fathers suppressing "the sacred feminine" in Christianity. Debate, he says, helps spirituality "evolve."

But most Catholics view the brouhaha with a big yawn, according to the survey released Tuesday by Catholic Digest, the 70-year-old monthly magazine.

Most (73%) say The DV Code has had "no effect on their faith."

And 92% say they don't know of anyone leaving the church after reading the book, says the March 23-27 survey of 443 Catholics, by Yankelovich Inc. Margin of error was ±4.7 percentage points.

"Catholics know this is fiction," and they're "smart enough and strong enough not to let a book or movie bother them," says Dan Connors, editor-in-chief of Catholic Digest.

Other findings:

• 28% have read all or part of the book; 63% did not read it, chiefly, they say, because they lack time, interest or inclination to read fiction.

• 43% plan to see the film; 48% don't.

• 91% say it's not wrong or a sin to read the book or see the film.

Even if they haven't read the book or seen the movie previews, debate over The DV Code has permeated popular media recently.

Connors said the magazine conducted the survey, which will be reported in the June issue, and published a 35-page pamphlet of Catholic facts, because "there was a real fear among some clergy that it would be dangerous ... Brown is talking about the origins of our faith and a scenario of Jesus different than what the church says."

Even more worrisome, Connors says, is "the nagging feeling that Catholics don't know enough — or care enough — to question" when Brown addresses fundamental questions such as whether Jesus was divine or human, or how the New Testament was established. "These are foundational pieces of the faith."

Talk show host Dick Lyles, CEO of Relevant Radio, a chain of 17 Catholic stations in 13 states, echoes this concern.

"The DV Code is an assault on Jesus that has (Catholics and Protestants) upset ... People are tired of these endless attempts to undermine the teachings of the church," Lyles says.

Author Brown, however, argued Sunday that ferment is good for faith.

"The more vigorously we debate these things, the more vigorous our spirituality," he said in a lecture broadcast by New Hampshire Public Radio.

"You don't have to believe a single word of the story to enjoy it, to engage in the debate, to remain open-minded to perspectives that make us think, perspectives that challenge us to ponder and articulate why we believe what we believe. Who knows? Many of us may emerge from that debate with stronger faith then when we started."

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