- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 1, 2006

LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH

LONDON — Westminster Abbey has implicitly criticized churches that opened their doors to the filming of “The Da Vinci Code” last year by denouncing the thriller as “nonsense” that should be exposed by Christians.

The abbey barred the filmmakers from its premises in June, saying that the best-selling Dan Brown novel on which the film was based was “theologically unsound.”

But Lincoln and Winchester cathedrals cooperated with the Hollywood adaptation, as did Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland.

The film — starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou and Sir Ian McKellen — is expected to be one of the blockbusters of the year when it is released in May.

The novel, which has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, is replete with secret societies, cryptic clues and an albino assassin.

Now Westminster Abbey’s canon theologian, Nicholas Sagovsky, has entered the fray, arguing that numerous factual errors in the book undermine its author’s claims to have based it on solid research.

He lists more than a dozen mistakes about the abbey contained in the book.

“None of this would matter if the book were not in some quarters taken seriously,” he said.

“It is important for Christians to show just how little truth there is in it.”

The canon concluded, “The dean and chapter were not prepared to let the interior of the abbey be filmed as Westminster Abbey — an architectural fantasy in Dan Brown’s mind — since that could only lead to confusion between Dan Brown’s fantasy about Christianity and the real thing.”

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