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« on: May 11, 2006, 11:16:18 AM »

Senior Philippines official wants Da Vinci Code movie ban

Wed May 10, 3:34 PM ET

MANILA (AFP) - A top aide to President Gloria Arroyo joined calls for a ban on the showing of the film version of "The Da Vinci Code" in the Philippines on the grounds that it is blasphemous.

Starring Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, the film is an adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling book that says Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and started a sacred blood line that still exists in secret.

The book has triggered intense debate among Christian scholars, some of whom say the story line is blasphemous.

"I think we should do everything not to allow it to be shown," said Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Arroyo's top aide.

"I don't see how we as a Catholic nation or as practicing Catholics would ever tolerate such a plot to be propagated in the name of freedom of expression."

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, a senior leader of the dominant Roman Catholic church in the Philippines has already launched a campaign to have the film banned, ahead of its planned opening across Asia on May 18.

In 1988 the government banned screenings of "The Last Temptation of Christ".

Senior Philippines official wants Da Vinci Code movie ban

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