Are we committed to beauty and truth in art? Thinking about
Dan Brown’s books which contains Catholic “material” I have been a bit
distressed at some peoples’ an uncritical acceptance of what I think is mostly
scandalous regarding the Catholic faith. To me it is not OK because Brown is,
as it’s said belowi, cashing in on the work of the Church. But my gripe is that
fiction is always received as such by some people aren’t able to clearly
discern the meaning of things. That is, there are people who can’t separate
fact from fiction in printed materials; for them anything in print is true.
Right, it’s ludicrous but people do think that what Dan Brown writes is true
and beyond reproach. Father John Wauck, an Opus Dei priest, is a professor at
the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and the author of the blog
“The Da Vinci Code and Opus Dei” said the following recently in an
interview the rest of the interview was published on Zenit.org.

Dan Brown’s
trying to sell books by offering a “cocktail” of history, art,
religion and mystery, and, in today’s world, there seems to be only one place
where he’s able to find all those things together: in the Roman Catholic
Church. In fact, he’s cashing in on the culture of the Church.

Universities are
an invention of the Church. Copernicus was a Roman Catholic cleric, and he
dedicated his book on the heliocentric universe to the Pope. The calendar we
use today is the Gregorian Calendar, because it was promulgated by Pope Gregory
XIII, who was working with the best astronomers and mathematicians of his time.
Galileo himself always remained a Catholic, and his two daughters were nuns.
One of the greatest Italian astronomers of the 19th century was a Jesuit
priest, Angelo Secchi. The father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, was a
Catholic monk. The creator of the “Big Bang” theory was a Belgian
priest, Georges Lemaitre.

In short, the idea that there is a some natural tension between science and the Church, between reason and faith, is utter nonsense. Nowadays, when people hear the words “science” and “the Church,” they immediately think of Galileo’s trial in the 1600s. But, in the larger scheme of things, that complex case –which is frequently distorted by anti-Catholic propagandists–was a glaring exception. There’s a reason why critics of the Church are always brings it up: It’s the only example they’ve got. So, when we hear the words “science” and “the Church,” we should think Copernicus, Secchi, Mendel and Lemaitre. They’re representative. Galileo’s trial is not.