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Faith became difficult for me. Brown has the time and money to research his settings firsthand and spent extensive time in Spain over the past few years. The country appeals to him, he said, because of its blend of old and new, of supercomputers and deep roots in Western religion. Speaking from a sky-high floor of a midtown Manhattan hotel, looking out on the city on a sunny fall afternoon, the year-old Brown also discussed what he thought about technology, the response to his books and the future of Robert Langdon.
And this is a religion of many gods.
Thank you. The primary reaction I get, from atheists to the deeply devout, is that the dialogue is critical. He has a knack for falling into fascinating situations. I probably would run away from most of those adventures. Langdon misinterprets Carlo's idea and, believing that he plans to throw it into a desolate area, climbs in with him as he flies away. High up in the sky, the Camerlengo puts the helicopter into autopilot and leaves the antimatter inside.
The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown: 50 factual errors - Telegraph
He bids farewell to Langdon, and is sorry for his misinterpretation, saying that he inadvertently made the 'ultimate sacrifice'. With that, he bails out with the only parachute in the copter, and flies down onto the Basilica. Up in the sky, the antimatter explodes, obliterating the helicopter and supposedly Langdon but narrowly missing the ground.
As the entire world thanks and cheers for him, Carlo simply kneels on the roof of the Basilica and quietly prays. Hailed as a hero by Catholics all over the planet, the Camerlengo becomes the most likely candidate for the new Pope. He is cleaned and revitalised by his servants before being summoned to the Sistine Chapel by Cardinal Mortati and the others.
Upon arriving, however, he is horrified to discover Langdon at the altar. Having survived the explosion by leaping out of the copter and using the cockpit's screen cover to slowly control his fall and land in the Tiber River, Langdon had listened to the conversation recorded on Kohler's camera and hurried over to the Chapel to show the cardinals.
Now, the College of Cardinals knows the awful truth.
The video on the camera is a view of the meeting between Carlo and Kohler in the Pope's Office. A short while ago, the Pope, who was very interested in bridging the gap between science and religion, had attended an audience of Leonardo Vetra Vittoria's father and the founder of the antimatter. Intrigued by the idea of using science to explain God's existence, the Pope became involved in Leonardo's plans, much to Carlo's dismay. Worried that Vetra's latest discovery would guarantee science's victory over religion, Carlo adopted the disguise of Janus and ordered the Hassassin to kill Leonardo, steal the antimatter and place it on the tomb.
Back in the Vatican, Carlo had expressed his anger to the Pope, who told him a secret that he had never told before: he had fathered a child, forcing Carlo to believe he had broken his vows as a holy man. This was the secret that had sickened Carlo, and before the Pope could fully explain, he had run out of the room in shock.
Incredibly stressed by all the recent things the Pope had done, Carlo had poisoned the Pope that night and killed him, leading to the events occurring in the present. After Kohler had revealed to Carlo that he knew the truth, Carlo had branded himself with the Illuminati Diamond in order to make it look like Kohler was really Janus.
Knowing that Rocher had also been informed of the truth and was acquainted with Kohler, Carlo had him killed as well to completely clear out those who knew the truth; with all of them dead, he could finish off his more spiritual and reasonable plan - but he had not suspected that Langdon would find out too. In the Sistine Chapel, the devastated Camerlengo tried to explain his actions to Langdon, Vittoria and the College; he only wished to make people believe again, but did so through an act of terrorism.
He wanted to use the Illuminati situation to frighten the people of the world, then pretend that God had manipulated the scene to save the Vatican. Cardinal Mortati steps forward and reveals the final twist unbeknownst to even the Camerlengo. When the recently deceased Pope had been a candidate in the College of Cardinals years ago, Mortati had been the Devil's Advocate: the man who is tasked with checking each candidate's background to make sure they are eligible. While he was checking the man who would become the Pope, he discovered that he was in love with a young nun named Maria.
The Pope and Maria were desperate to be parents, but they did not wish to break their vows via sexual intercourse. However, this was when artificial insemination had just been invented.
The two saw it as a miracle, and used it to have a child: Carlo Ventresca. When Carlo was very young, the Pope's duty called him away, and Maria was left to mother Carlo by herself. After the explosion which had killed Maria, the Pope feared that Carlo had also been killed. When he learned that he was alive and well, he was overjoyed and adopted him from the army. Upon hearing this news, the Camerlengo falls silent. Vittoria wishes to reveal this to the public, but Mortati urges her not to; Carlo's views were acceptable, only his actions were not - if the people heard that the Camerlengo was really behind the attacks, they would possibly never believe in anything holy again.
When they turn around, however, Carlo has fled.
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In an immense surge of guilt and grief from causing the deaths of so many, let alone his own father, Carlo heads into the Basilica and takes an oil lamp from the Niche of the Palliums. He stands on the balcony over St Peter's Square - and as the public calls out to him, he immolates himself with oil from the lamp in front of the massive crowd. Mortati comes in later and collects his ashes. Mortati has just been elected as the new Pope, but it turns out that the Camerlengo had actually been elected first via a method known as 'election by adoration'.
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