THE Scottish Catholic Church has declared war on The Da Vinci Code by releasing a DVD describing Dan Brown's book as "monumental nonsense".
The DVD, entitled Debunking the Da Vinci Myths, will be sent to all 60 Catholic schools and 500 parishes in Scotland.
It features a leading Church intellectual, Patrick Reilly, the professor emeritus of English literature at Glasgow University, who says the book contains dangerous inaccuracies about Christianity. The DVD launch is timed to coincide with the release of the film version of the best-selling novel.
The film, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, is set to bring dark tales of alleged misdeeds by the Catholic Church to an even wider audience. In the 40-million selling book, two code-breakers try to track down the truth behind the Holy Grail.
The story includes controversial claims that the Holy Grail is the bloodline descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalene, which the Church is alleged to have covered up.
But Prof Reilly said: "Brown's story is baseless historically. It is monumentally inexcusable nonsense and Dan Brown completely flouts the facts."
Sony Pictures was unavailable for comment. The Da Vinci Code will open the Cannes film festival on 17 May, two days before it is released worldwide.