National Catholic Register


National Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news around the Nation.

BY John Lilly

June 18-24, 2006 Issue | Posted 6/19/06 at 10:00 PM


Magazine Alleges Brown Plagiarized Code

EDITOR AND PUBLISHER,June 6 — The July issue of Vanity Fair alleges that Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown borrowed heavily from two books by other writers, reported the trade magazine.

The article, titled “Da Vinci Clone?,” claims that Brown plagiarized from Lewis Perdue’s Daughter of God, and Mark Rosheim’s Leonardo’s Lost Robot.

“This is the most blatant example of in-your-face plagiarism I’ve ever seen,” said John Olsson, director of Britain’s Forensic Linguistics Institute. “It just goes on and on. There are literally hundreds of parallels.” Brown did not respond to requests for comment from Vanity Fair.

Recently, a British judge found Brown not guilty of plagiarizing another work.

Hispanic Youth Gather at Notre Dame

MIAMI HERALD, June 3 — In an effort to reach out to Hispanic youth, approximately 2,000 Church leaders and young Hispanics gathered at the University of Notre Dame June 8-11, said the Herald.

Church leaders said the effort is long overdue in a Church where Hispanics make up 41% of all Catholics under the age of 30.

The national gathering hoped to reverse the trend of Hispanics leaving for non-Catholic churches. A 2002 Pew Hispanic Center poll found that younger generations were more likely than their parents to embrace a non-Catholic faith.

“We need to open our eyes and accept that in 10 years, a good percentage of Catholics will be Hispanic,” said Claretian Missionary Sister Ondina Cortes, director of the office of youth and young adult ministry in the Archdiocese of Miami. “If we don’t offer them the opportunity to grow in the Church … they’re going to go somewhere else.”

Priest Retracts Statement About Kneeling

LOS ANGELES TIMES, May 30 — A priest retracted a statement he made after many people interpreted it as calling kneeling at a certain point in Mass a “mortal sin.”

A May 28 story in the Times reported on a controversy at St. Mary by the Sea parish in the Diocese of Orange, Calif. The new pastor, Father Martin Tran, had instructed parishioners to remain standing after reciting the “Lamb of God” litany right before Communion in accord with diocesan policy.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the Vatican document that dictates how Mass is to be celebrated, says that in the United States the faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei “unless the diocesan bishop determines otherwise.”

But a third of the parishioners at St. Mary’s refused Father Tram’s instruction. “Kneeling is an act of adoration,” said parishioner Judith Clark.

The diocese sent letters to the parishioners, asking them to comply. In the parish bulletin, Father Tran described the resistance as “grave disobedience and mortal sin.”

But he later said he regretted his misuse of the term “mortal sin,” and that his article was not about “kneeling” or “standing” during Mass, but about “respect for the liturgical practices of the Church as approved by the Pope.”