The Telegraph


When spin leads to sin
April 17th 2006

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised society's obsession with books such as The Da Vinci Code, which, he says, encourages people to believe that the Christian faith is a series of "conspiracies and cover-ups".

In a strongly worded Easter sermon in Canterbury Cathedral yesterday, Dr Rowan Williams, said there was a tendency to treat biblical texts "as if they were unconvincing press releases from some official source, whose intention is to conceal the real story".

Fascination with "bringing secrets to light", he said, evoked All the President's Men, the 1976 film about the investigative journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who exposed the Watergate scandal.

"We have become so suspicious of the power of words the first assumption we make is that we're faced with spin of some kind, with an agenda being forced on us."

The archbishop also pours scorn on the recent discovery of a leather-bound papyrus written in the third or fourth century AD believed to be "the Gospel of Judas", which says Christ himself asked Judas to betray him.

On Good Friday the Pope in effect dismissed the "Gospel" text by reasserting the orthodox thinking that Judas, the 13th apostle, "evaluated Jesus in terms of power and success".



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