Da Vinci Code shows 'spiritual thirst'
THE head of the Scottish Episcopal Church believes the popularity of Dan Brown's bestselling book The Da Vinci Code is a symptom of a "spiritual thirst" among the public.
Speaking to The Scotsman in his last week as Primus, the Most Rev Bruce Cameron said the Church had to embrace that "thirst" in order to draw people back in to Christianity.
He said that the book offered a "real opportunity" to bring people into the church. "All this discussion about The Da Vinci Code shows that there is a thirst to learn more about Jesus, and this seems to offer a real opportunity for the Church to respond," he said.
Mr Cameron's words go against the stance of most other churches, which have attacked the book as damaging to Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland is to send a DVD to schools, portraying the novel as "monumentally inexcusable nonsense".
But Mr Cameron, who has served as Primus for five years and Bishop of Aberdeen for 14 years, said the Episcopal Church's shape and methods would have to change if it was to survive.
"I would be as bold as to say that the Church at the end of the century will look radically different from how it looks at the beginning.
"Today's Church can sow the seeds of this, make the connections with the people who have given up on the Church but who are still religious."
He added that the Church had to get across to people that, even with their doubts about religion, there is a place for them in it. "We have our doctrines and beliefs, but people can come to the Church, with all their doubts and uncertainties, and join us on this journey. It's not about having to believe in ten impossible things before breakfast."
Addressing the controversial subject of the ordination of homosexual bishops in the Anglican Communion, Mr Cameron said it was a "difficult and painful" issue that had to be addressed.
He also voiced concerns that Scotland was in danger of unintentionally falling into independence. "I think there is an ongoing tension between the Scottish Parliament and Westminster.
"The more there is a tension, the more we move towards an independent Scotland - and it could happen suddenly."