DOIN' THE JACK CHICK SHUCK-N-JIVE:
ABC News' Latest Foray Into Things Catholic....
...was, as expected, disappointing as news and history, but made for great Know Nothing yellow journalism.
Moreover, ABC's "documentary" Jesus, Mary, and DaVinci turned out to be a one-hour infomercial for Dan Brown's blatently anti-Catholic novel The DaVinci Code, summarized in our Oct. 31 blog below and skillfully debunked by Envoy Magazine writers Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel, who also wrote a similar critique for Deal Hudson's Crisis monthly journal.
Some initial takes on ABC's nonsensical presentation:
(1) To her credit, ABC News reporter Elizabeth Vargas admitted that Brown's theory that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered a child with her has little or no credibility.
(2) Vargas failed to dig into Brown's nonsensical Priory of Sion claim, which he lifted en toto from the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, one of whom Vargas interviewed in her program with a string of softball albeit somewhat skeptical questions.
Had Vargas done even a little homework via Google she would have quickly discovered that, as we noted below on Oct. 31, the Priory of Sion was not, as Brown claims, an ancient secret society --of which Leonardo was supposedly a member-- set up to protect the "true" identity of the "Holy Grail." Nor are the Priory's "ancient secret documents" which Brown referred to and relies upon for his "theory" the least bit authentic. According to New Age writer Robert Richardson, by no means a sycophant of the Vatican:
...The Grail is not a bloodline. This false story originated in reams of fraudulent documents created by an extreme right-wing French sect. The group responsible for these fictions, calling itself the "Priory of Sion" and claiming an ancient esoteric lineage, has kept its own authentic history carefully hidden. How it constructed its fraud has not been revealed. It is long past time for the light of truth to reveal the "Priory of Sion" and the fictional bloodline it has promoted for what they are really are -- a fraud...
(3) MUST every network which produces any program touching on either ancient church history or Catholicism always trot out Gnostic "gospels" advocate Elaine Pagels and off-the-wall uber-lib dissident Catholic priest Richard McBrien, as well as the nearest Liberal Establishment Protestant?
How come they never interview bona fide orthodox Catholic biblical scholars or historians, or at least bona fide conservative Protestant or Orthodox biblical scholars or historians like N. T. Wright or Juroslav Pelikan? (The only conservative they interviewed was some guy from Dallas TS whom we never heard of. Whoopee.)
(4) The addition of Margaret Starbird to Vargas' cast of characters is interesting in and of itself:
Apparently reporter Vargas just took at face value Starbird's claim to be a "Christian scholar" and never bothered to check Starbird's professional background as an expert in ancient Christianity and church history. The author of such books as The Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine and Magdalene's Lost Legacy: Symbolic Numbers and the Sacred Union in Christianity and The Tarot Trumps and the Holy Grail --all pushing a fanciful Gnostic-feminist revisionism of ancient Christianity and the pre-Nicene Church-- Starbird is a quasi-"Christian" ex-Catholic New Age writer with no academic credentials as either an historian or a biblical scholar.
(5) Last but not least, Dan Brown's absurdly bigoted and extremist anti-Catholic statements --such as his nonsense statement that the Catholic Church of Leonardo's time equated science with heresy-- clearly demonstrated what he really is:
The Jack Chick of the New York Times Best Seller List.