The Da Vinci Code against the Catholic faith

Source: FSSPX News



“Ignorance is our worst enemy,” St. Pius X, Pope (1903–1914)


A cunning weapon


The style

 The story is presented as banal fiction. But in claiming to base it on facts, real people and places, the author gradually gives it the character of a documentary. In the end, we find ourselves in the presence of an evil anti-Christian lampoon. Its cunning arises from a subtle confusion between fact and fiction.

“In my book, I reveal a secret that had been rumored for centuries. It is not something I have invented. It is the first time that this secret has been revealed in a best-selling thriller. I sincerely hope that the Da Vinci Code will serve to open up new channels of thought.” (author’s website :

This instrumental ambiguity places very grave accusations, “new channels of thought,” beyond truth and falsehood, good and evil. A self-assured hatred of Christ and the Church is thus wrapped up in a cloak of immunity.


The context

This treacherous invention takes advantage of the present day context of the lack of historical knowledge, of religious ignorance and poor knowledge of the Gospels. Vatican II was the occasion of a rupture with the history and tradition of the Church. Clergy and faithful in great numbers, deprived of their roots, have been thrown into utter confusion.

To falsify historical persons and places, to argue without producing evidence, to use a pseudo-scientific method, to pursue childish esoteric-gnostic tales is a dishonest game, but so easy in the realm of ignorance. It prepares rapid and incalculable spiritual, scientific and cultural devastation.


The goal

The Da Vinci Code is inspired by the recent and weird ranting of esoteric, feminist, New Age and Cabalistic circles. A consummate malice mixes them up with old anti-Christian fables, apocryphal legends and pagan ravings.

It accuses the Catholic faith of having manipulated history, after having destroyed the documents concerning “a real Christ”.

In fact, its ultimate aim is the defeat of Christians through the ruin of the Catholic faith.


 Historical forgery in assault on Catholic Faith

“Most of what the Church has taught us,” states Dan Brown “– and continues to teach us – about Jesus is quite simply wrong.” Here he is using a refrain recited for a long time by sects, most recently the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and by Islam. It was necessary to discredit the Church in order to promote a new version of the facts. The sources and the objective of this “historical novel” thus attack fundamentally the theology of the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ. Therefore his storyline essentially revolves around a theory about Our Lord Jesus Christ. He was no more than a simple mortal man (p. 315), certainly a great prophet, but in no way God. He espoused Mary Magdalen, his main disciple, whose womb, “the Holy Grail”, carried Sarah, the fruit of this marriage. And the kings of France were descendants of this union.


Foreword, misleading word

 “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate” (p. 15, The Da Vinci Code. Corgi Books) Already in the foreword, the reader is being misled.

 The “Da Vinci Last Supper”, seen through the eyes of the Couéism (autosuggestion) according to Dan Brown, replaces St. John by St. Mary Magdalen. Now the pictorial tradition always represents St. John on Christ’s right. If there is no chalice on the canvas in front of Christ, it is because Mary Magdalen is the Holy Grail. But Da Vinci is painting the time just before the institution of the Eucharist, when Christ reveals the betrayal of Judas.

 The Priory of Zion, “- a European secret society founded in 1099 – is a real organization. In 1975, Paris’s National Library discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Zion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Sandro Botticelli, Victor Hugo and Leonardo Da Vinci.” (p. 15).

 However, it has never been anything more than an association created in 1956 by “His Druidic Majesty” Pierre Plantard, an anti-Semitic crook. In order to forge the legend, he ordered in 1967 the confection of false documents which he had deposited in the National Library.


The Church of Saint Sulpice in Paris has no links whatsoever with the “Priory of Zion”, neither esoteric, nor pagan. Fact or fiction, Dan Brown plays on (our) credulity. The obelisk and the brass strip which passes across the church are not secret signs, but in fact, are part of a scientific instrument from the eighteenth century. The letters “P” and “S” in the centre of a stained glass window are not the initials of “Priory of Zion (Sion in French)” but those of the patron saints of this Church: Peter and Sulpice.


The meridian of Paris, which Dan Brown uses in his theories, does not pass through the Louvre in the place indicated in the Da Vinci Code. Neither does it pass through the church of St. Sulpice.


The limits of Mr. Brown’s scholarship are striking, particularly when they ridicule the central point of his pseudo-demonstration of the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalen. Mr. Durson an American academic, relates that “in The Da Vinci Code, Teabing states that any scholar of Aramaic would tell us that companion means spouse. In actual fact, the document cited was written in Coptic, not Aramaic, and the word used for companion is borrowed from the Greek which probably means spiritual sister. For spouse, the Greek word gynè would have been used.”

 Truth versus lies

 The marriage between Christ and Mary Magdalen devised in this novel with documentary pretensions, stems mainly from a modern tendency to eroticize all human relationships. The mentality of today does not support Christian chastity which the grace of God alone makes truly possible, and it never stops waging war against religious celibacy. The kisses (p.331) on the mouth evoked in the Apocryphal Gospel of Philip were given and received in Gnostic communities. There was nothing sexual about this practice. This gesture can be found with James in the Second Apocalypse of James. It symbolized the communication of the spirit to the initiated. But the kiss was also a spiritual usage of Christian antiquity. There is no proof of any intimate relationship whatsoever between Christ and Mary Magdalen. The only spouse known by Christ is His Church, as Yahweh was the spouse of Israel before the coming of the Messiah.

 According to the Da Vinci Code, women were despised and discriminated against in the Church right from the beginning. Dan Brown insinuates that Christ chose Mary Magdalen as head of the Church. The Apostles then hatched a male chauvinist plot to usurp her place.

This move would justify a supposedly discriminatory attitude against women by the Church.

Now, Mary conceived without sin and Mother of God, Mary Magdalen repentant sinner and many other holy women are at the very heart of the Catholic faith. It is true, however, that the Protestants have excluded the feminine mystery from their religion.

The Church was the first society in the history of humanity to recognize, to teach and to re-establish the equal dignity of the sexes. Christian civilization liberated women from ancient pagan customs.

The New Testament, according to Brown, is no more than a forgery by the emperor Constantine. “The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by a pagan, the emperor Constantine the Great,” in order to support, from the fourth century onwards, the divinity of Jesus Christ. He thus “commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those Gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits.” (p.315).

Now, the 27 books which make up the New Testament have all been scientifically dated to the first century (50-100). God knows the criticism of their authenticity was harsh. No other religion is capable of presenting its sources in such a precise and definite way.

The Canon de Muratori, dating from the year 170, gives a list of these texts, which was very probably closed from the year 130. Furthermore, every document and fragment of the New Testament prior to the fourth century destroys the Da Vinci Code’s house of cards. The New Testament was divinely inspired to sacred writers. It relates the preaching of Christ and of his Apostles. It tells of Christ’s life and the lives of the first Christians. Above all it announces, with the tradition of the Church, the Gospel message. Its teaching allows Christians to unite themselves to God by becoming better people.

It is a clear exposition of the truth of the human and divine nature of Christ. His “human aspects” which the Da Vinci Code says have been denied, appear clearly in the Gospels. They recount His childhood and His life, His obedience and His anger, His hunger and thirst, His joys and His sorrows, His love and His suffering, His passion and His death.

These “aspects”, on the other hand have been systematically erased from the apocryphal Gnostic texts, which the Da Vinci Code uses against the Catholic Faith.

The clumsiness of these apocryphal legends and their inner contradictions render them most unreliable. They often use snatches of the New Testament, further proof of their being written later. The Gospel of Philip, cited above, dates from the middle of the third century. Like many of these texts it derives from Gnosticism. St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus and Tertullian argued effectively during the second and third centuries against these legends.

Gnosticism is obscure, its beliefs are very eclectic. It could be compared with present day New Age. It generally rejects the human nature of Christ and claims to be able to initiate man to a secret knowledge of the true God.


The Divinity of Christ rejected

 According to Brown, the emperor Constantine in the year 325, during “a very close vote”, obtained at the Council of Nicea, the definition of the divinity of Christ (p.315) Constantine did not exactly use this Council for his own ends, but allowed it to take place. His support strengthened the authority of the Church and put an end to the Arian controversy. Arius maintained that Jesus Christ was a god inferior to the Father.

In order to respond to these heresies, the council formulated more precisely the object of the faith in a Creed. Only two bishops out of around 250 opposed it. How can this result be described as “a very close vote”? Jesus Christ, the Son of God is definitely “begotten not made, of one being with the Father” (Nicene Creed).

The Church founded by Christ has always professed faith in a Trinitarian God: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, one God in three persons.

Only Christians believe in God made man to redeem the sins of the world. Christ was crucified for having revealed His divinity, the Apostles were martyred for having born witness to it. Many Christians have done the same.

The Gospels (John 8, 58; Mark 14, 61-62; John 20, 31; etc.) relate this revelation from the mouth of Christ Himself and by His miracles. St. Paul (1 Cor. 8,16: Col, 15-16) taught it in the middle of the first century.

In 112, Pliny the Younger, the Roman governor of Bithynia, wrote that the Christians interrogated “confirmed that their only fault or error, had been limited to having the habit of gathering together on a certain day before sunrise to chant in turn, a hymn to honor Christ as God…” (L. 10, 1. 96)

Well before the Council of Nicea, Ignatius of Antioch +117, Justin +165, Irenaeus +200, Clement of Alexandria +215, Tertullian +225, and many other Fathers proclaimed the divinity of Christ very explicitly in their writings.

The Church hides nothing on the subject of Christ, on the contrary. She devotes herself to following Our Lord’s commandment: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world”. (Matt. 28, 19-20). The whole of her history proves her fidelity to make known the Gospel, in order to make Christ’s love radiate on earth and to make mankind happy and better. What should we think of these “first Christian texts” (p. 317), that the Church destroyed or hid to the in favor of the idea of the divinity of Jesus Christ?

The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947, give no information on the lives of Christians or their religion. The Gnostic Library at Nag Hammadi, discovered in 1945, dates from the fourth century. No secret was discovered in it. The apocrypha in question in the Da Vinci Code (The Gospels of Philip and of Mary) are late and have no actual link with any of the Apostles.


Revisionism at the service of hatred

 This contemporary Gnostic fable is far from an innocent work of fiction. It is a formidable occasion to give vent to hatred of Christ and his disciples. The Church is suspected of being a parasitic occult interest group of dissemblers and conspirators, and therefore dangerous. No need of inane ridicule, of justified criticism, of tangible arguments, just abandon the Christians to murmurings.

In the long run, this suspicion wins over our judgment and encourages the elimination of what appears to be a vague threat. Did not the assassin pamphlets of the Neronian empire call for three centuries of bloody persecutions?

In this Gnostic hodgepodge, the Christian religion is sadly disparaged in a collection of shabby little secrets.


Fr. Marc Vernoy SSPX

Prieuré Saint Francois de Sales

1, rue Neuve-des-Horts


Tel : 04 67 85 24 10