Opus Dei apologises for cartoon of Mohammed

The Opus Dei prelature has issued an apology for the publication of a sketch depicting Mohammed in hell.

Catholic World News reports that the public apology released by Manuel Sanchez Hurtado, the director of communications for Opus Dei, follows the controversy caused by an illustration in Studi Cattolici, a magazine closely associated with Opus Dei.

The illustration showed Mohammed in hell, as depicted by Dante in Canto XXVIII of the Inferno.

"It is one thing to appreciate Dante's Divine Comedy and a very different thing to joke about this particular scene in the present climate and in a Catholic magazine," said that Opus Dei communications director.

While the prelature is not directly responsible for Studi Cattolici, he said, the editors responsible had apologised for the illustration and Opus Dei leaders wanted to "unite ourselves to this request for forgiveness."

Sanchez Hurtado cited two reasons for special sensitivity on the issue. He said that the earlier riots over the Danish cartoons mocking Mohammed should have underlined the volatile nature of such depictions.

He also said that Opus Dei has been subject to harsh public treatment because of the sensational depiction of the lay movement in the novel The DaVinci Code. He said Opus Dei should offer the same respectful treatment toward Islam that it hopes others will show to the prelature.

"As we participated in the discussions about The DaVinci Code we have tried to show maximum respect towards all parties," the Opus Dei statement ran. "We have tried to show others the kind of treatment we ask for ourselves. Anything else would be inconsistent and hypocritical."

Opus Dei apologizes for cartoon of Mohammed (Catholic World News 17/4/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Opus Dei

Papal preacher condemns DaVinci Code, Gospel of Judas (Catholic World News 14/4/06)
Jesus' Passion Is Being Manipulated, Laments Homilist (Zenit 14/4/06)
Group demands Da Vinci disclaimer (BBC 16/4/06)
Opus Dei officials apologize for controversial Muslim cartoon in affiliate magazine (Catholic News Agency 17/4/06)
John L Allen: Church and politics - Opus Dei (National Catholic Reporter 14/4/06)
The Ways of Opus Dei (Time 16/4/06)
Opus Dei Decries Mohammed Cartoon (Zenit 16/4/06)

18 Apr 2006