Doubleday, the company that sold Brown's book about Jesus fathering children is also handling the American market for Benedict's book about the life of Christ, the Washington Post reports.
The Vatican's publisher distanced itself from the decision-making process over the awarding of rights but the Italian Il Giornale newspaper jokingly declared in a front-page story that the Pope, former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was now about to put out a "Ratzinger Code" of his own.
Only last year, a Vatican cardinal threatened legal action as the book was turned into a Hollywood blockbuster, staring Tom Hanks.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Holy See's Secretary of State, called it a "sack full of lies" and called for a boycott.
The Vatican sold worldwide distribution rights to Italy's Rizzoli which "independently" awarded Doubleday the US rights, the Vatican's publishing house said.
Doubleday, it noted, had also published a book by Pope John Paul and other Catholic works.
The first volume of Benedict's book, "Jesus of Nazareth", will cover the life of Christ from his baptism in the River Jordan as a young man to the Transfiguration, when the gospel says three of his apostles saw his divine nature and had visions of Moses and Elijah.
Photo: Beyond Forgetting
The Ratzinger Code? Pope uses Dan Brown's publisher (Washington Post, 31/1/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The DaVinci Code (Wikipedia)
Free to disagree with me on Jesus: Benedict (CathNews, 22/11/06)
Scholars setting record straight on Mary Magdalene (CathNews, 3/5/06)
New Pope's books knock out bestselling Da Vinci Code (CathNews, 22/4/05)
1 Feb 2007