Archbishop rejects mystery mania
From the BBC - 16 April 2006
Conspiracy theories or the discovery of ancient texts will not weaken the Gospel, the Archbishop of Canterbury will say in his Easter Sunday sermon. The Gospel of Judas and the Da Vinci Code foster a sense of mystery, but the Easter message lives in Christian experience, Dr Rowan Williams will say. Many Christians are putting their lives at risk for their faith, he adds. Meanwhile, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has baptised four adults in a pool outside a York church. Seventeen others were also confirmed in the service, aired on Radio 4. The truth of the Resurrection is strengthened by Christian experience across the globe, Dr Rowan Williams will say in his sermon at Canterbury Cathedral.
"The Bible is not the authorised code of a society managed by priests and preachers for their private purposes, but the set of human words through which the call of God is still uniquely immediate to human beings today; human words with divine energy behind them. There are places in our world where conversion to Christianity is literally a matter of putting your life on the line. We have all been following the story of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan and we know that his story is not unique," he says - referring to the Afghan who was threatened with death for converting to Christianity.
"We can say with absolute certainty that whatever the Gospel means in circumstances like that, it isn't a cover-up for the sake of the powerful." The Da Vinci Code has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and has been made into a film starring Tom Hanks. It alleges the Church suppressed the "truth" that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene, and this bloodline was the real Holy Grail. The Gospel of Judas, a papyrus document from the 3rd or 4th Century AD, casts the fallen disciple as a benevolent figure, helping Jesus to save mankind.