When pulp fiction met pulpit fiction
Senator Ronan Mullen says the Irish public's understanding of the machinations of the Vatican is more profoundly influenced by the lurid hokum of The Da Vinci Code than verifiable reality.
It's a curiously patronising statement from a politician who claims to be interested in fair comment and the giving of credit where it's due. Critics of the Holy See are ill-informed fantasists, he seems to argue, while diehard apologists are alone in appreciating the genuine complexities.
In truth, most Irish citizens are only too wise to the posturing and manoeuvrings of the Vatican's Jesuitical agents.
Rome's evasive and obstructive reaction to the clerical abuse scandals and attendant cover-ups has provided the populace with a masterclass in the subject over the past decade.
If anybody is open to a charge of gullibility, it's the church cheerleaders who continue to take corporate catholicism's expressions of good faith at face value.
Pulp fiction is an unreliable guide to the real world, but so, too, is pulpit fiction.