The Catholic organisation Opus Dei is asking censors to give the Hollywood version of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code an adult rating because of the “hateful image” of the group it portrays.
Opus Dei, which is often criticised as ultra-conservative and secretive, is particularly angry that a key figure in the story, a self-flagellating monk, is cast as a member and commits a grisly murder at the behest of a delusional bishop.
It said there were no monks in the order. In addition, the story “falsely depicts” members “lying, stealing, drugging people, and otherwise acting unethically”.
Marc Carroggio, a spokesman, said: “Any adult can distinguish reality from fiction, but when history is manipulated you cannot expect a child to make proper judgments.”
The organisation has already asked Ron Howard, the director of the film, which is released in May, to remove its name from the script.
Howard said: “There will be no placating. Opus Dei is mentioned in the book, and we didn’t shy away from that or any other aspect of the story.”