The Vatican is furious about the movie adaptation of Dan Brown's international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, because it fears the novel was deliberately written to discredit the Roman Catholic Church through "absurd and vulgar lies".

CARDINAL TARCISIO BERTONE, the Archbishop of Genoa, Italy, is furious the book's plot revolves around the notion that the Church has concealed the fact that Jesus Christ married ex-prostitute Mary Magdalene and fathered her child.

Bertone will attend a series of public debates in Genoa tomorrow (16MAR05) to debunk the conspiracy theories, which he claims are destroying Catholics' religious faith.

He says, "We are clearly facing a formidable distribution strategy here. The book is everywhere.

"There is a very real risk that people who read it will believe the fables it contains are true."

15/03/2005 03:13