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					   OPUS DEI
What And Who Are They?
          WHAT IS OPUS DEI?
   Opus Dei is a Catholic institution founded
    by Saint Josemaría Escrivá. Its mission is
    to help people turn their work and daily
    activities into occasions for growing closer
    to God, for serving others, and for
    improving society.
            OPUS DEI and MONKS
   Throughout The Da Vinci             Opus Dei is a Catholic
    Code, Opus Dei members are           institution for lay people and
    presented as monks (or,              diocesan priests, not a
    rather, caricatures of monks).       monastic order.

                                        “Numerary” members – a
                                         minority – choose a vocation
                                         of celibacy in order to be
                                         available to organize the
                                         activities of Opus Dei. They do
                                         not take vows, wear robes,
                                         sleep on straw mats, spend all
                                         their time in prayer and
                                         corporal mortification, or in
                                         any other way live like The Da
                                         Vinci Code’s depiction of its
                                         monk character.
             OUS DEI and CRIME
   In The Da Vinci Code,             Opus Dei is a Catholic
    Opus Dei members are               institution and adheres to
    falsely depicted                   Catholic doctrine, which
    murdering, lying,                  clearly condemns immoral
    drugging people, and               behavior, including
    otherwise acting                   murder, lying, stealing,
    unethically, thinking that         and generally injuring
    it is justified for the sake       people. The Catholic
    of God, the Church, or             Church teaches that one
    Opus Dei.                          should never do evil,
                                       even for a good purpose.
          OPUS DEI and CORPORAL
             MORTIFICATION
   The Da Vinci Code makes it           In fact, though history
    appear that Opus Dei members          indicates that some Catholic
    practice bloody mortifications.       saints have done so, Opus Dei
    In fact, though history               members do not do this.
    indicates that some Catholic
    saints have done so,                 The Catholic Church advises
                                          people to practice
                                          mortification.

                                         In the area of mortification,
                                          Opus Dei emphasizes small
                                          sacrifices rather than
                                          extraordinary ones, in keeping
                                          with its spirit of integrating
                                          faith with secular life
OPUS DEI and CULT ALLEGATIONS
   In various places, The Da Vinci      Opus Dei is a fully integrated
    Code describes Opus Dei as a          part of the Catholic Church
    “sect” or a “cult.”                   and has no doctrines or
                                          practices except those of the
   The Da Vinci Code also makes          Church.
    melodramatic assertions that
    Opus Dei engages in                  Opus Dei proposes to people
    “brainwashing,” “coercion,”           to give their lives to God,
    and “aggressive recruiting,"          following a special path of
    unfairly trying to tar Opus Dei       service within the Catholic
    with the same brush used              Church. One’s life can only be
    against groups more deserving         given freely, through a
    of such epithets.                     decision coming from the
                                          heart, not from external
                                          pressure: pressure is both
                                          wrong and ineffective.
            OPUS DEI and WOMEN
   The Da Vinci Code says about         People, male or female, use the
    Opus Dei’s U.S. headquarters:         doors leading to whichever section
    “Men enter the building through       of the building they are visiting.
    the main doors on Lexington          The building is divided into
    Avenue. Women enter through a         separate sections: a residence for
    side street.” This is inaccurate.     celibate women and another for
                                          celibate men. These sections are
                                          not sex-restricted.
                                         It is the women’s not the men’s
                                          section that fronts on Lexington
                                          Avenue, the opposite of what is
                                          said in the book.
                                         Note: The book sometimes also
                                          inaccurately calls the building
                                          Opus Dei’s “world headquarters”.
         OPUS DEI and WOMEN
   The Da Vinci Code           Opus Dei, like the
    also suggests that           Church in general,
    women Opus Dei               teaches that women
    members are “forced          and men are of equal
    to clean the men’s           dignity and value, and
    residence halls for no       all of its practices are
    pay” and are                 in accord with that
    otherwise accorded           belief.
    lower status than
    men.
    OPUS DEI and the VATICAN BANK
   The Da Vinci Code says that Opus        Neither Opus Dei nor any of its
    Dei was made a personal                  members helped “bail out” the
    prelature as a reward for “bailing       Vatican bank.
    out” the Vatican bank.
                                            The Church’s authorities made
                                             Opus Dei a personal prelature in
                                             1982 because they recognized
                                             that this new canonical category
                                             was a good fit for Opus Dei’s
                                             mission and structure.

                                            In contrast to the implication
                                             given by the book, personal
                                             prelature status in no way implies
                                             some special favor of the Pope or
                                             that Opus Dei members are not
                                             under the authority of their local
                                             bishops.
       THE CANONIZATION of OPUS
             DEI’S FOUNDER
   The Da Vinci Code suggests that the        The canonization of St. Josemaría
    Church bent its canonization rules to       Escrivá in 2002 came 27 years after
    put Opus Dei’s founder on the “fast         his death (not 20, as the book says). It
    track” to being named a saint.              was one of the first to be processed
                                                after the Church streamlined the
                                                procedures for canonization, and so it
                                                moved more quickly than was typical
                                                before.

                                               Mother Teresa is on pace to be
                                                canonized even more quickly, having
                                                been beatified just 6 years after her
                                                death (Escrivá was beatified in 17
                                                years). Even under the old procedures,
                                                the canonization of St. Therése of
                                                Lisieux made it through the process in
                                                27 years, roughly the same as
                                                Escrivá’s.

				
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