Roman Catholic Church heads have attacked mega-selling novel THE DA VINCI CODE for containing a series of "shameful and unfounded lies".

CARDINAL TARCISIO BERTONE, Archbishop of Genoa, has finally broken the Church's official silence on the controversial book, which claims Jesus Christ fathered a child with MARY MAGDALENE - an event suppressed by Catholic leaders at the time.

The Archbishop is furious the Dan Brown book - soon to be turned into a Hollywood movie starring TOM HANKS - has warped the beliefs of many readers across the world.

He says, "It astonishes and worries me that so many people believe these lies. The book is everywhere. There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true."

The book's publishers RANDOM HOUSE have so far refused to respond to the cardinal's comments.

15/03/2005 17:22