Stop the Presses: Vatican Gives Positive Review for Angels and Demons

Stop the Presses: Vatican Gives Positive Review for Angels and Demons May 8, 2009

Well, sort of. If you read past the title of this Huffington Post piece on the subject, the review (from L’Osservatore Romano) doesn’t sound all that positive (I guess calling it “harmless” is kind of positive).

My understanding is that in Brown’s previous book, the Catholic Church was accused of murdering millions of women and of perpetrating the greatest conspiracy of all time in furtherance of its anti-women agenda. Whereas in Angels and Demons, the Church is the victim of a giant conspiracy, and is accused of having killed a few thousand people in furtherance of its anti-science agenda. So I suppose that’s progress.

A list of some of the factual errors in the book version can be found in this post by John C. Wright (the style of which is just spectacular, by the way). Can it really be that Brown said in Angels and Demons that Churchill was a “staunch Catholic”? I mean, it’s one thing to get things wrong when it comes to Catholic theology, or French geography, or theoretical physics or whatever, but surely anyone with even a basic understanding of either Churchill’s life or of British politics would realize that doesn’t scan. Does Brown not have an editor?

One other random point: In the trailer, there is a scene where Tom Hanks demands access to the Vatican’s secret archives and is rebuffed by Church officials. Of course if you go to the Vatican’s website, there is a link off the main page called “Vatican Secret Archives.” I’ve always found that a little strange. I mean, I realize that the Holy See isn’t all that tech savvy, but I mean, come on. They should at least have it where you need to move the cursor over a random part of the screen to see the link.

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  • RR

    Read the book very soon after the death of JP2 which made the opening pages of the book laughable because it describes just how uninterested the world is in the death of the pope.

    I actually thought that A&D was more anti-Catholic than the Da Vinci Code. It actually builds up the Church as a benevolent institution for most of the book then reveals it to be a complete fraud at the end.

  • Zak

    I think the Vatican’s PR strategy is probably the right one. Pretty-much ignore the movie, let the secular media pan it because, in the end, it’s a silly movie, and hope nobody watches it. It is somewhat comical to see how Brown asserts the historical accuracy of the “facts” in his work, and then when it’s pointed out how absurd they are, he and Howard say, “but it’s fiction, you jerk.”

  • I mean, I realize that the Holy See isn’t all that tech savvy, but I mean, come on. They should at least have it where you need to move the cursor over a random part of the screen to see the link.

    Funny!

  • I agree with Iafrate on this one: that was a very funny line.