The Da Vinci Code Heresy
by Michael J. McManus
"The Da Vinci Code" film is as powerful, fast-paced and mesmerizing as the book
by Dan Brown on which it is based. It is also as theologically seductive.
Josh McDowell calls the book, which has sold 60 million copies, "the ultimate
conspiracy novel," in which the church hides the "true identity of Jesus Christ,
misleading billions of the faithful." Jesus is portrayed not as God but only as
a great teacher who married Mary Magdalene and fathered a child whose heirs live
This fabrication is given a patina of authority in the book's opening words:
"FACT: The Priory of Sion - a European secret society founded in 1099 - is a
real organization. In 1995 Paris's Biblotheque Nationale discovered parchments
known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of
Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da
Not true! The Priory of Sion was founded in 1956 by two Frenchmen who forged
the "parchments" with its famous members, and dated the Order back to the
Knights Templar who protected Jerusalem in 1118. This fabricated pedigree is
even more extravagant. The Priory of Sion supposedly protected the "Merovingian
dynasty," descendants of Jesus and his wife, Mary Magdalene!
Brown writes that the Priory planned to go public with their secret of Jesus's
relationship with Mary Magdalene. Therefore, Catholic Bishop Aringarosa who
oversees Opus Dei (a legitimate secret society), decided to kill the four
leaders of the Priory, to protect the Church's official version of history.
Why? To maintain power through apostolic succession of Peter instead of the
hereditary succession of Jesus and Mary.
The story opens with the murder of Jacques Sauniere, curator of the Louvre
Museum, a secret Grand Master of the Priory. Mortally wounded, he lived long
enough to write mysterious words and numbers on the floor. Among them were "Find
Robert Langdon," a Harvard professor, leading police to assume that Langdon is
Thus begins the police chase for Langdon and Sophie Neveu, a granddaughter of
Sauniere, that dominates the movie's action.
At a deeper level the book has more sinister goals. One is to undermine the
credibility of the Catholic Church. Bishop Aringarosa plots four murders
carried out by Silas, an albino attired in a monk's robe, so devout that he
wears a cilice on his leg, a barbed leather belt that cuts into his flesh,
reminding him of Jesus' sacrifice. He kills in the name of God. Viewers hate
both men, and by extension, the Church. However, 98 percent of Opus Dei members
are not clergy, but deeply committed lay Catholics.
At another level, Brown's goal is more malevolent. He wants to replace the
orthodox Christian idea of salvation through repentance of one's sins and
acceptance of Jesus and his death on the cross as the atonement for them
With what? The "Gnostic gospels" written by second century Christians who
believed that salvation comes through study and self-knowledge, rather than
faith. This permits relativism - being "religious" without the discipline of
obeying the commandments. Gnostics wrote "The Gospel of Mary" 90 years after
Jesus' death,. It was rejected by the church as inauthentic.
The Gospel of Philip is another Gnostic creation that a character in the movie,
Sir Leigh Teabing, reads to Langdon and Neveu: "And the companion of the Saviour
is Mary Magdalene. Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss
her often on her mouth."
"The word "companion", in those days, literally meant "spouse," he asserts.
As further evidence, he points to Da Vinci's "Last Supper," of Jesus with the 12
Apostles. He asks her to look at the person "in the place of honor, at the right
hand of the Lord."
Neveu exclaims, "That's a woman!" Mary Magdalene, not John, as all Biblical
It is true that Mary Magdalene, featured on Newsweek's cover last week, is
mentioned in Luke 8 as one of the women who traveled with Jesus and the
disciples, "Helping to support them out of their own means." She was at the
Crucifixion. Most important, three of the Gospels report that the resurrected
Jesus first appeared to her.
On the other hand, no reputable biblical scholar believes Jesus ever married.
The New Testament was written by eye witnesses and Paul met the risen Christ -
unlike Gnostic writers a century later. The Da Vinci Code "is an attack upon the
core beliefs of the Christian faith," built on fabrications, argues "The Da
Vinci Hoax" by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel.
What's dangerous is that few of the book's readers or moviegoers have the
biblical knowledge necessary to discern fact from fiction.
30+ Years / 1700+ Columns
2017: Column 1860: Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part I
Texting While Driving - A Killer
Why Have "Religious Nones" Tripled?
Norma McCorvey Roe of Roe v. Wade
The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Christianity Gives Women Equal Opportunity
Sextortion Kills Teens
Assisted Suicide Is Growing
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,