[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Nun stages Da Vinci Code protest
A nun and her friend kneel outside Lincoln Cathedral
Sister Mary believes The Da Vinci Code is blasphemous
A Roman Catholic nun has staged a protest over the filming of the Da Vinci Code at Lincoln Cathedral.

Sister Mary Michael knelt in prayer outside the building for 12 hours to object to the production of the film, which stars Tom Hanks.

The 61-year-old believes the film, based on a book written by Dan Brown, contains heresy.

Tom Hanks and the Sony Pictures film crew are believed to have witnessed the nun's protest.

Sister Mary Michael said she did not care about the effect on them.

"It matters to me what God thinks, not what the film crew think.

"When I face almighty God at my final judgement, as we all will, I can say I did try my best. I did try my best to protest," she said.

Producers were barred from filming at Westminster Abbey because the book suggests the church is covering up the truth about Jesus' life.

My view is that the book isn't blasphemous, it doesn't denigrate God in any way
The Very Reverend Alec Knight, Dean of Lincoln Cathedral

The novel portrays Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene and fathering a child.

The Dean of Lincoln Cathedral, the Very Reverend Alec Knight, stepped in and allowed production there.

The film company reportedly offered a donation of 100,000.

The Very Rev Knight said: "It's (the book) been attacked as blasphemous because it argues the notion that Jesus's humanity included an element of sexuality.

"My view is that the book isn't blasphemous, it doesn't denigrate God in any way, but it is speculative, far fetched and heretical.

'Bit wooly'

"It has clearly touched the public imagination, and the Church needs to open up a debate about it rather than throw one's hands up and walk away from it."

Speaking later Sister Mary said he should be providing a strong leadership for the teachings of the Church and should not be "sitting on the fence" about the book's basic claims.

She added: "I understand his thinking but it is a bit woolly.

"I believe he is sitting on the fence with this arrangement.

"It has developed discussion which otherwise we would not be having but at the same time he really should stand up for the truth and speak clearly."

Sister Mary Michael explains why she is protesting

Head-to-head: Da Vinci Code filming
16 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Bell stops tolling for Hanks film
14 Aug 05 |  Lincolnshire
Hollywood movie role for chapel
26 Jul 05 |  Scotland
Da Vinci Code wins top book award
20 Apr 05 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific