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The Da Vinci Code - Adult rating plea

The Da Vinci Code

Story by Jack Foley

A CATHOLIC group has called for the film version of controversial novel, The Da Vinci Code, to be given an adult rating.

Opus Dei, a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church that helps
ordinary lay people seek holiness in their work and everyday activities, claims that children should be protected from the film because of the ‘insidious lies’ it may preach about Catholicism.

Although the film, starring Tom Hanks, isn’t due out until May, there is some concern among church groups that it will reignite the controversy surrounding Dan Brown’s best-selling novel.

In book form, The Da Vinci Code contains several conspiracy theories about the nature of Catholicism, its true intent and the truth behind The Holy Grail.

It follows the fortunes of two code-breakers trying to track down the location of the Holy Grail and has caught the imaginations of millions throughout the world.

But Marc Carroggio, a spokesman for Opus Dei, has said that while his group has no intention of waging a war against the film, there was concern that children should be protected from some of its claims.

He told the BBC: “Any adult can distinguish reality from fiction. But you cannot expect a child to make proper judgements.”

He continued: “Merely adding a disclaimer that says ‘fiction’ is not enough. Although the story is absurd and, at times somewhat humorous, it produces a hateful image of the institution and it is well known that hateful images like this produce feelings of hatred in those who lack a critical sense.”

The organisation, Opus Dei, is one of the groups at the centre of the novel but even though it is criticised within, Mr Carroggio said he did not believe the film would have a negative impact on Opus Dei. Indeed, it may even provide a ‘sort of indirect publicity for us’.

“No one is going to make threats or organise boycotts,” he told Catholic news agency, Zenit.

Read our review of the book