ROME (CNS): The Da Vinci Code came in for resounding criticism at a recent round-table discussion at the Marianum Pontifical Theological Faculty in Rome.
It was not a pick-it-apart session by Church historians.
Instead, four women spoke about Mary Magdalene and her distorted depiction in Dan Brown’s book.
The moderator of the discussion, Marinella Perroni, a New Testament theologian, said The Da Vinci Code joins a list of books and other media treatments that exploit the figure of Mary Magdalene.
Ms Perroni said caution is always needed when dealing with scriptural figures, but for some reason people feel free to take great liberties with Mary Magdalene.
Maria Luisa Rigato, a retired professor of exegesis at the Pontifical Gregorian University, said she found Brown’s book entertaining fiction – but that it was clear to real scholars that Mary Magdalene was neither the wife nor the lover of Jesus.
The experts generally agreed that there is no scriptural evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were lovers, which is a key element in the plot of The Da Vinci Code.