Last Monday José Saramago launched his new novel "Cain" with a very critical view of the Bible.
A row broke out in Portugal on Monday after a Nobel Prize-winning author denounced the Bible as a "handbook of bad morals".
Speaking at the launch of his new book "Cain", Jose Saramago, who won the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature, said society would probably be better off without the Bible.
Roman Catholic Church leaders accused the 86-year-old of a publicity stunt.
The book is an ironic retelling of the Biblical story of Cain, Adam and Eve's son who killed his younger brother Abel.
At the launch event in the northern Portuguese town of Penafiel on Sunday, Saramago said he did not think the book would offend Catholics "because they do not read the Bible".
"The Bible is a manual of bad morals (which) has a powerful influence on our culture and even our way of life. Without the Bible, we would be different, and probably better people," he was quoted as saying by the news agency Lusa. Read More
This is not a new situation, in 1992 when he released "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ", the book was even banned from running to a literary prize by a member of the portuguese government close to the catholic church.