VATICAN CITY (CNS): An Italian cardinal has asked Catholics not to read Dan Brown’s top selling novel, The Da Vinci Code.
The success of Brown’s novel is the result of a marketing strategy playing on anti-Catholic sentiment, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, Italy.
The cardinal told Vatican Radio he was particularly concerned about the fact that the book, first published in Italian in 2004, now is available in paperback and is popular among high school students.
“There is an idea circulating in the schools that one must read this book to understand the dynamics of history and all the manipulations carried out by the Church in the course of history,” Cardinal Bertone told Vatican Radio on March 15.
“This is truly sad and terrible,” he said, explaining why he had scheduled a public discussion about the book in Genoa.
Cardinal Bertone, calling the book a “castle of lies”, said he thinks promotion of the book is an anti-Catholic reaction to all the positive attention paid to the Catholic Church and the Christian faith during the Holy Year 2000.
Part of the book’s marketing strategy, he said, is to try to convince people “that one is not an adult Christian if one has not read this book. But I say, do not read it and, especially, do not buy it”.