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Angels & Demons & Prelates, Oh My!

Controversy escalates over the upcoming prequel to 'The Da Vinci Code'

The news surrounding the upcoming release of Angels & Demons is beginning to feel more like a bunch of children yapping at each other at recess on a grade-school playground. I'm beginning to wonder when somebody's going to stick out their tongue and say, "Neener nonner nooner!"

We've already had plenty of lively banter between Ron Howard and Bill Donohue. Then we had some shmoe calling Tom Hanks a "pawn of Satan."

Now the Vatican has joined the fray, ironically without commenting.

Howard is saying that Vatican officials obstructed his efforts to shoot the film in Rome, saying he couldn't shoot scenes anywhere in the city with churches in the background.

"Was I surprised? No. Am I a little frustrated at times? Sure," said Howard.

A Vatican spokesman wouldn't comment, but apparently said enough to imply that Howard was just spouting off to "drum up publicity," according to the AP. That's a pretty feisty "no comment."

CNN would disagree, noting that the film is not drawing the Vatican's "ire," while quoting an Opus Dei priest as saying, "I don't think that anyone at the Vatican is paying much attention to the premier of 'Angels & Demons.' . . . I think the church's attitude has been, from the beginning, 'hands off.'"

Meanwhile, Tom "I'm Not the Pawn of Satan" Hanks told the German publication Bild, "I am a very spiritual guy. I do believe in God. We go to Church. My children are baptised. But I don't know a lot about the condom ban. I have been happily married for 21 years!" Of Angels & Demons, he said, "It's fiction but has amusing facts."

In India, Christian protests have resulted in a decision to show the film only after certain parts have been deleted, according to the Hindu News Update: "The Censor Board has assured them of deletion of some of the portions before release of the movie, which will also have a disclaimer saying that it is a work of fiction."

A work of fiction. Good to remember that, and not get too worked up about it. Eh?

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