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May 18, 2006


Mark Windsor



Fr Roderick Vonhogen saw the film yesterday and has recorded a podcast with a detailed review.


A line of dialogue from the film:

Tom Hanks to Audrey Tatou -

After all, we've got these doubts, and theories. We don't know for sure what is the truth, and the only thing that matters is what YOU believe.

Apparently this elicited groans from many in the theater.


But it is also the Church that kept civilisation and learning alive in Europe. And in our own day, the work of Catholics in the poorest places of the world to relieve suffering and identify with the poor puts some other groups, including the vast bulk of stay-at-home secularists, to shame.


Whenever someone decides to go off on the Church to me, I remind them of all the Church does in the name of Jesus Christ. I also tell them to keep hammering at the Church and we just might close up shop and take care of our own!

Rich Leonardi

Whatever Wilson's beliefs, he seems to have been moved by grace this morning. Bravo to him.

Sidebar: Anyone read his brief book on London?

Sean Gallagher

After all, we've got these doubts, and theories. We don't know for sure what is the truth, and the only thing that matters is what YOU believe.

Ah, the ghost of Kant still haunts many a befuddled mind.

Sounds like a line ripped out of another recent Hanks movie, "The Polar Express."


Nice to see a little intellectual honesty for a change...

doctor J

Scholars go on auto-pilot when dealing in domains outside their expertise; they can insert boilerplate anti-Catholic talking points, and still be seen as scholarly by the reader!

Here's a quote from an otherwise excellent book on the history of mathematics:

"While no scientific progress took place in Europe during the Dark Ages... mathematics and other sciences progressed, albeit very slowly, in countries outside Europe where the Church had no influence."

See? Your choice is the Church, or Reason.

Yet I'm heartened when a heavy hitter like Roger Penrose goes out of his way to identify great scientists and mathematicians like eighteenth century Jesuit Giralamo Saccheri (whose pioneering work on Euclid's fifth postulate paved the way for hyperbolic geometry) as Catholic.

(Hyperbolic geometry was a major piece of what Einstein needed to complete his general theory of relativity. Oh, but what about the Inquisition and the whole "Galileo thing?" Don't get me started).


This is very well said. Thank you Mr. Wilson.

Grace and Peace,


A. N. Wilson may not BE a Catholic, but he omits to mention that he once WAS a Catholic. He left the Church and became an Anglican. This was the beginning of a long process which led him to conclude that he could no longer be a Christian at all.

After this, he began to write boilerplate books about Jesus and St. Paul which scarcely differ from the many similar productions of secularists over the years. Nevertheless, it's obvious that he retains a sense of appreciation and loyalty to the Church. That's something that's hard to get rid of--a sense of love and attachment that you just can't shake even when you don't seem to be able to believe the dogma any more.

I remember the feeling from my own many-year period of apostasy and I rejoice to see Wilson suffering from it! May he find his way through the thickets of disillusionment and rejoin us ere the End.

Steve T

I was listening to a discussion on the Gospel of Judas which included conservative and liberal scholars (see here, and one outcome of the discussion, agreed upon by all sides, was that anti-Semitism was present in the writing. The way they went about identifying anti-Semitism was to notice that evil acts were attributed to a group of people (in this case, some of the disciples) which were historically false and unreasonable to believe. So one could draw the parallel here, on the same grounds, that Dan Brown has written a piece of propaganda which has anti-Catholic bigotry as one of its motivations.

Steve T

Thinking about this a bit more, isn't there a section in the novel in which Langdon asks Sophie if her Grandfather had something against the Catholic church? The assumption being that one who holds the views of the Priory of Sion would...

I remember thinking at the time, if I'm remembering correctly, that this was an indicator of Brown's attitude toward Catholicism. I believe its in the first half, if not the first third, of the novel.

Eileen R

A.N. Wilson is such a contradictory fellow.

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