Dan Brown is well-known for his entertaining and controversial fiction books including The DaVinci Code and Inferno.
In November 2012, I published a murder mystery, Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits. Jesuits blackmail the pope with secret documents and seize power to clean up corruption and financial scandals in the Vatican. The novel hit the stands before Pope Benedict XVI resigned and before the first Jesuit pope in the history of the Catholic Church was elected. Both my book and Dan Brown’s book offended some Catholics.
Thrillers are “Lethal”
How do I know Catholics are riled up about Dan Brown’s book? Amazon reviewers of Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits debated in comments. Here’s what one irate reader had to say when other readers defended Dan Brown:
Maybe you need to talk to your priest about “forbidden books”. Sin is sin, and the church teaches that the writings of the likes of DB are NOT just entertainment, but quite lethal to the souls of many.
Another commenter, Rich in NYC, stood up for himself:
It is a pure work of fiction and just that and I say again it was an enjoyable read and well written. I know very well when it’s time for me to speak to a priest and I assure you that this is not one of those times….
My thriller contains some fact-based background that makes many Catholics uncomfortable. I’ve gotten my share of “lethal” email, but I’ve also received a lot of supportive comments from Catholics, including priests.
Pope Francis is doing something about the Vatican’s unpleasant facts. He is the first Jesuit to rule in the Vatican, and he’s in the process of afflicting the comfortable. Life is imitating art.
The new head of the Catholic Church set up a commission to investigate the Vatican Bank and admonished it to “trust reluctantly, verify deeply.” Then he shocked a crowd of cardinals when he snubbed a concert where he was to be the guest of honor. The cardinals sat in their finery on either side of an aisle adorned with an oriental rug, atop which sat a large empty white and gold chair. Pope Francis’s messenger assured the cardinals he was in good health.
Arrests for Alleged Money Laundering
Monsignor Numzio Scarano, a senior accountant at the Vatican Bank, was arrested on Friday, June 28. He is allegedly one of the masterminds of a money-laundering scheme. The monsignor allegedly also controls vast wealth, numerous properties, and several accounts at the Vatican Bank.
Yesterday Vatican bank director Paolo Cipriani and his deputy Massimo Tulli resigned. Both were allegedly part of Scarano’s money laundering scheme. At least that’s what wiretaps of their phone conversations revealed.
When Judge Barbara Callari approved the request for arrests, she wrote that Scarano saw the Vatican bank as “the only safe and rapid instrument for financial and banking operations that could evade—if not outright violate—laws against money laundering and tax evasion.”
Perhaps Monsignor Scarano, Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli can talk to a priest about it.