Thousands of Catholics are expected to show up in force on May 19 to protest the release of The Da Vinci Code film, which they call blasphemous. The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign have organized at least 1,000 peaceful prayer vigils nationwide in front of theaters. The same group has collected 103,402 petitions against the movie.
“Catholics in most major cities are ready to launch one of the largest grassroots protests against blasphemy in American history,” said America Needs Fatima director Robert Ritchie.
“The Da Vinci Code brutally mocks the purity and divinity of Christ, the Papacy and the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church. It’s time to say enough is enough. We repudiate this vile blasphemy. Hollywood has no right to defame the adorable Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” continued Ritchie.
Archbishop Angelo Amato, Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, criticized The Da Vinci Code and urged Catholics to organize protests worldwide. Over 20 Catholic Cardinals, archbishops and bishops have applauded the American TFP’s peaceful and legal protest efforts.
Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia in a statement released for May 19, said: “I offer my support as you gather in prayerful vigils today to publicly proclaim your faith in Jesus Christ and to voice your disapproval of the erroneous information about Jesus presented as fact in The Da Vinci Code. May the Lord bless all your efforts and may Mary His Mother intercede for you.”
The former president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia, said: “I send my support and my encouragement to all those who will be praying and protesting during these upcoming days, against the lies presented in The Da Vinci Code.” The archbishop continued: “I encourage all Christians to reject this book, and the film based on the book. Neither can be passed off as innocent entertainment or fun, for the undermining of faith they promote is a trick… Let us stand together then, as Defenders of our Lord, His Gospel, and His Family who we are, and by our prayers and protest, hasten the day when The Da Vinci Code will be remembered as a minor curiosity – a bad book, that gave rise to a bad film, and was then forgotten.”