Category: Opus Dei

Focus: Meet the real Opus Dei

Each Saturday evening, in the privacy of his modest bedroom in north London, he removes his shirt and reaches for a five-tailed whip. Quietly intoning a recitation, he starts to scourge his back. The cords bite painfully into his flesh, but again and again the erect figure lashes himself. A devout Shíite? A sado-masochist? No, not at all. This is John Henry, a former professor of accident and emergency medicine at St Mary’s hospital in west London and an expert on drug abuse. Henry has given evidence to parliamentary inquiries and is a regular commentator in the media. His spiritual

Opus Dei out to correct bad rap it gets in book

The most potentially damaging portrayal in “The Da Vinci Code” is of Opus Dei, the pious religious movement founded by St. Josemaria Escriva in 1928 as a way of bringing ordinary people closer to God in their everyday work and life. At the group’s New York headquarters, a box has been installed to offer literature to “Da Vinci” fans. The box is a symbol of Opus Dei’s overall strategy as the movie’s release date approaches: Take advantage of the hype to give people more accurate information. For example, although a murderous Opus Dei monk is central to the “Da Vinci”

Opus Dei members: Da Vinci distorted

Conservative Catholic group defending itself as controversy swirls They get together once a week in a large South Orange house where members say they talk about religion and the virtues of obedience, chastity and compassion. They say there is nothing mysterious about their organization. They say their main mission is to live a religious life, to turn ordinary daily experiences into something spiritual. Opus Dei members have been outspoken recently because they have been trying to counter perceptions created by “The Da Vinci Code” and the movie based on that book, which is scheduled to open later this week. The

Opus Dei popularity surging thanks to The Da Vinci Code

Blockbuster bonus: Despite the rigors of belonging the secretive sect, the group finds itself enjoying unprecedented levels of public interest It takes three years of devout learning before you can become a member and, once in, you’ll be encouraged to wear a spiked metal wire around your thigh and pray for hours a day. On top of that, most of the population will think you belong to a “secretive” group prepared to commit murder to protect the darkest secrets of the Catholic Church. And yet, despite the rigors of belonging to Opus Dei and despite the organization’s sinister reputation —

The People Of Opus Dei

April 15, 2006(CBS) No matter how hectic Elizabeth Heil’s day gets, the graduate student sets one priority above all others. “My vocation in life is to be a good roman catholic – my specific vocation given to me within the Catholic Church is to be a good supernumerary of Opus Dei,” says Heil. Only three thousand of this country’s 70 million Roman Catholics are members of Opus Dei, reports CBS News correspondent Russ Mitchell. It’s an international group consisting mostly of non-clergy men and women known as supernumeraries. Most have families. They aspire to move closer to God by incorporating

Opus Dei Asks for Da Vinci Disclaimer

ROME, Italy (AP) — The conservative religious group Opus Dei has asked for a disclaimer on the upcoming film based on the best-selling novel “The Da Vinci Code.” Opus Dei, portrayed as a murderous, power-hungry sect in the novel by Dan Brown, wrote in an April 6 letter to Sony Corp. that a disclaimer would show respect to Jesus and to the Catholic Church. “Any such decision by Sony would be a gesture of respect toward the figure of Jesus, to the history of the Church and to the religious beliefs of viewers,” Opus Dei wrote in the letter, which

Opus Dei Holds Out for ‘Da Vinci’ Changes

ROME, Italy (AP) — The conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei said Tuesday it had no intention of calling for a boycott of the upcoming film “The Da Vinci Code,” but said it hopes the much-awaited film could still be changed so that “there aren’t references that would hurt Catholics.” In a statement released in Rome, Opus Dei said Sony Pictures still had time to make changes that would be appreciated by Catholics, “particularly in these days in which everyone has noted the painful consequences of intolerance” — an apparent reference to violence in the Muslim world sparked by the

Opus Dei tackles image problem

NEW YORK: Portrayed in the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code as a secretive cult willing to murder to defend a fictional 2000-year-old Catholic cover-up, Opus Dei is promoting its softer side before the movie of the book arrives in May. Published in March 2003, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is one of the most popular books in publishing history with more than 40 million copies in print worldwide in 44 languages. The book is also controversial because the plot stems from the idea Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and had children. Because of this, the novel has

Opus Dei seeks adult rating for Da Vinci Code

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

Book explores truth of Opus Dei

Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church By John L. Allen Jr. Doubleday, $24.95 Almost everybody from Kilimanjaro to Kalamazoo seems to know Opus Dei as a “rich, powerful, secret sect” that’s supposedly out to rule both the Catholic Church and the world. But most of this prevalent public image of Opus Dei (Latin for “Work of God”) seems based on a combination of anecdotal complaints from ex-members and popular fiction such as Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel “The Da Vinci Code.” Brown produced a highly entertaining book that