Organisation head says Code exploited Opus Dei

The head of Opus Dei said The Da Vinci Code had exploited his organisation in order to make a point against the Church.

Catholic News Service reports that Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez said the novel's author, Dan Brown, had "made a profit on us - and not only in dollars".

The bishop made the comments in an interview published by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, days before the worldwide release of the film based on Mr Brown's novel.

In the novel, Opus Dei, a personal prelature, is portrayed as a power-hungry and sinister organisation whose members are willing to murder in order to obtain ancient secrets about the Church.

Bishop Echevarria said he had not read the book, but had only paged through it.

"I don't have time to waste on little novels for brainless people," he said.

He said the book should not be rejected for what it says about Opus Dei, which he said are "the usual things that make us laugh."

"What saddens me are the grotesque fantasies about Our Lord and our holy mother church. They can say what they want about (Opus Dei), but they shouldn't curse the faith," he said.

The bishop said he thought Brown and other critics of Opus Dei took aim at Opus Dei because of "our attachment to the Pope, our fidelity to the church and our rigor for the orthodoxy of the faith."

"They attack us in order to attack these realities," he said.

In the novel, a great deal of attention is paid to Opus Dei's US headquarters in New York City. Bishop Echevarria said the building, reported to cost $47 million, simply reflects the vocation of Opus Dei's 85,000 lay members - to be a spiritual force in the real world.

"Our vocation is to call everyone to sanctify themselves through work. We couldn't avoid being present in the professional capital of the world, New York," he said.

Head of Opus Dei says 'The Da Vinci Code' exploited his organization (Catholic News Service 12/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Opus Dei
The Da Vinci Code - an invitation to learn the truth (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)
Deciphering Da Vinci (Catholic Australia)
Jesus Decoded (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
The Da Vinci Code (Sony Pictures)

Hickey says don't take Da Vinci film seriously (CathNews 15/5/06)
British team warns against Da Vinci Code "trap" (CathNews 12/5/06)
Scholars setting record straight on Mary Magdalene (CathNews 3/5/06)
Opus Dei priest says it's OK to see The Da Vinci Code (CathNews 28/4/06)

Filipino bishops against "Code": Church "does not manipulate truth, it serves it" (AsiaNews.it 15/5/06)

16 May 2006