“The Da Vinci Code” is set to open May 19 amidst much controversy. The Catholic League remains adamant in its request for a disclaimer at the start of the film indicating that it is a fictional account.

Our beef all along has had less to do with the film’s director, Ron Howard, than with the author of the book upon which the movie is based, Dan Brown. He recently prevailed in a London court case against two authors who sued him for copyright infringement. We labeled that outcome “inconsequential” to our interests and took the occasion to denounce all the parties to the dispute as anti-Catholic frauds.

While Howard remains mute, one of the film’s co-producers, Brian Grazer, recently said on the “Today” show that the movie is “informed fiction” (he said it three times). He even went so far as to say, “We don’t feel it’s factual, it’s not historic, but it’s informed fiction, and it’s a thriller.” We were similarly pleased to note that a Sony spokesman dubbed the movie “a work of fiction that is not meant to harm any organization.” Now, we said, “the ball’s in his [Howard’s] court.”

We have been asked by other organizations to join with them in their protest of the movie. However, we don’t want to get sidetracked from our goal, which is to secure a disclaimer. We wish our allies well, but it is important for us not to be tied to several different agendas. In any event, Ron Howard’s reputation is on the line, whether he likes it or not.

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