Catholic Church Insists on Disclaimer in Angels and Demons Movie

The Catholic Church in India has consented to the release of "Angels & Demons" only if the Censor Board cuts some of the scenes and shows a disclaimer at the start and end of the movie, stating that the film is a work of fiction.

Earlier, Catholics in India had called for an outright ban on the movie, which is based on a book by The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, saying it portrayed false depictions of the church.

Consequently, a special screening was organized by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for Christian representatives, mainly from the Catholics Bishops Conference of India.

"We decided to put the movie before a revising committee because of concerns raised nationally and internationally about its contents," said Vinayak Azad, a regional officer with the CBFC.

"We wanted to be sure that the certificate we give is absolutely apt ... We usually place a movie before a revising committee if we feel it needs a wider consensus," he added.

The Vatican had also sharply criticized the movie for its portrayal of the community in a negative light and even refused the crew permission to shoot in the religious site.

"We have cited reasons why the film should be banned. It deliberately denigrates the Catholic Church and is intended to offend the faithful," said Father Babu Joseph, spokesperson for the CBCI.

On Friday, after reviewing the movie, the CBCI decided that "banning the film would only fan the curiosity of the public and therefore recommended a few cuts and a strong disclaimer at its beginning and end."

"Angels & Demons," directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor and Ayelet Zurer, will hit theaters worldwide on May 15. It premieres on Monday in Rome near Vatican City

The movie is set in Rome and involves a plot by a legendary secret society, "the Illuminati," which apparently has resurfaced to destroy Vatican City amid the election of a new pope.