Da Vinci Code: statement from the Anglican Bishops
June 6, 2006
The Da Vinci Code:
A statement from the Anglican Bishops
“Some of us have been approached about our views on The Da Vinci Code novel and movie in recent weeks. We are also aware that a number of people believe that The Da Vinci Code story is real and that its description of Christian history is true.
“We therefore feel it is important to say publicly that in 2005 a UK television archaeologist, Tony Robinson, edited and narrated a detailed rebuttal of the main arguments and facts of The Da Vinci Code, in the documentary The real Da Vinci Code. This documentary was shown on New Zealand television recently.
“We endorse the work of this documentary as well as the statements of Lyndsay Freer, The National Director of Catholic Communications, about the lack of historical substance in the Da Vinci Code.
“The Da Vinci Code novel was based on material from the 1982 book: The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. Richard Leigh has stated on television that he and his co-authors only set out to offer a plausible hypothesis, but he never believed it to be true. Responses from mainstream historians and academics are nearly universally negative.
“The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, derived material in turn from a fictitious theory of Pierre Plantard, via a French journalist and author called Jean Luc Chameil. This material is now called the ‘Priory of Sion Hoax.’ Plantard confessed in 1993 that the ‘Priory of Sion’ was an elaborate construction without base in fact.
“Further, in his legal ruling about the novel The Da Vinci Code and its link to the work of Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln, Judge Peter Smith said that The Da Vinci Code law suit was ‘based on a contrived and selective number of facts and ideas.’
“However, we do see the current public interest in the novel and movie The Da Vinci Code as an opportunity to discuss well substantiated Christian history in the light of good research about its reliability and credibility, rather than material partly derived from a hoax.
“We recognise that God is the source of all truth and therefore the Christian community has no need to fear good research which sheds light on the truth of history: the truth always sets us free and we have confidence that the truths of the Christian story speak for themselves.”
Bluck +Te Kitohi Pikaahu
+Thomas Brown +Richard Randerson
+Jabez Bryce +Philip Richardson
+David Coles +Gabriel Sharma
+George Connor +Brown Turei
+Derek Eaton +Whakahuihui Vercoe
+John Gray +Muru Walters