I READ WITH great concern the report, "The Da Vinci Code: The Movie. Risk or Opportunity?"  (CN, Apr 2). Dan Brown's sensational and best-selling novel - with 50 million copies in print - is a marketing success which thrives on controversy and conspiracy theories in religion and art.

It has an appealing story line which according to him is based on fiction which many readers unwittingly believe as fact. The novel's claims that Jesus was married and had a child, the Bible was compiled by Constantine in the 4th century AD and the early church did not preach or believe that Jesus was the Son of God are not only offensive but also blasphemous.

The author relied on highly questionable and heretical sources - which could be proven as erroneous by reliable historical records - to support its outlandish claims in order to cast doubt on the Bible and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

With the movie expected to be released for screening in mid-May this year, many more millions of people will be introduced to the controversies the book has triggered off. The Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore should see this as an opportunity for proactive evangelism. It should properly train all catechists and priests in the defence of the faith against such heresies so that they can help the faithful and the catechumens to sort fact from fiction from the maliciously unfounded claims in "The Da Vinci Code".

If not refuted the blasphemous claims of Dan Brown may be accepted by many as the gospel truth.

    Nelson Quah

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