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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Catholic Church Shows Its True Face In Da Vinci Code Protests

Catholic protests over The Da Vinci Code are exposing the Church’s repressive, censorious and controlling tendencies, says the National Secular Society (NSS).

Terry Sanderson, the NSS vice president said: “The overblown protests about this film illustrate that the Catholic Church is having difficulty operating in an open, tolerant and free society. Calls for bans and boycotts are the signs of an institution running scared. Is it really so weak that it is unable to argue its case, and wants all forms of criticism or contradiction of its doctrines suppressed?”

Mr Sanderson said “the Vatican seemed unable to tell fact from fiction, and its demand that this film be banned indicated a Church that has lost touch with reality.

“In many ways the Vatican’s insistence that it has the sole and only truth about religion is an insult to all other faiths.

“In a democracy the Church must argue its corner like everyone else. People can then make up their own minds what they believe. To try to enforce their view of the world by censoring others out of existence is not acceptable in a democracy where free expression is paramount.”

Two years ago, the Church was successful in persuading the BBC to cancel the satirical cartoon series Popetown. The release of The Da Vinci Code has been postponed in India after Catholic protests. The film has been cut by 15 minutes in Thailand after similar protests.


Published Wed, 17 May 2006