Odious Catholic League President William Donohue had this to say about the forthcoming Ron Howard film Angels and Demons:
Finally, the pop culture offers many challenges. The film “Angels & Demons,” the prequel to “The Da Vinci Code,” opens May 15. Once again, the tag team of Dan Brown and Ron Howard have collaborated in smearing the Catholic Church with fabulously bogus tales. And once again, the message conveyed to the audience is invidious: the Catholic Church, which did more to keep the universities open and flourishing during the Middle Ages than any other institution, is painted as anti-reason.
Wasn’t the Spanish Inquisition part of the Middle Ages? Hard to believe anyone could think the Church of that time was anti-reason.
The Vatican has taken a far more mellow stand on the film:
However, L’Osservatore praised Howard’s “dynamic direction” and the “magnificent” reconstruction of locations like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Much of the film was shot on sets that painstakingly recreated church landmarks.
The film offers “more than two hours of harmless entertainment, which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity,” L’Osservatore’s reviewer wrote. It’s “a videogame that first of all sparks curiosity and is also, maybe, a bit of fun.”
Well, I’m convinced! I’ve loved all four of Dan Brown’s novels and look forward to reading his new one. Sadly, The Da Vinci Code film was pretty bad, largely because of Tom Hanks soporific performance.
But it was still a masterful piece of historical scholarship, accurate in every particular, and occupies a place of honor among other great historical films like Amadeus and JFK.
Okay, I’m kidding. But you’d still do better to learn your history from Dan Brown than from William Donohue.