1. What do you think about The Da Vinci Code?
The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction. It’s not even historical fiction; it’s unhistorical fiction. And there are many errors in it.
The real history of Christianity and the real Opus Dei are quite different from that.
2. What are the main problems with the Da Vinci Code?
The main problem with the Da Vinci Code is the way it distorts the life of Christ and presents Christianity as some kind of a hoax. Christianity is presented as a 2000-thousand-year old fraud instead of the 2000-year-old truth that it is.
For instance, one of the examples in the DVC is where Brown suggests that Constantine invented the idea of the divinity of Christ only on the 4th Century, whereas there is any evidence of that, and no historian would tell anything of that kind.
As for Opus Dei, the errors are glaring; there are no monks in Opus Dei. We are a lay organization. We don’t have bloody mortification like what they show. That’s a gross distortion of what goes on. What Opus Dei really does is to help ordinary people love God and serve God in their ordinary lives. It is part of the Catholic Church, and it helps people bring the love of God to their friends and other people.
3. How are Opus Dei members reacting to the Da Vinci Code?
Well, obviously Opus Dei members would be far happier if Opus Dei was never mentioned in the DVC, especially in such an unpleasant negative way. And that goes for the depiction of the Church as well. No one is happy with that.
But at the positive side, this has really given us an opportunity to explain what Opus Dei is and to talk more about the history of the Church as well. So there is a real positive side to this.
One of the things that people have wondered about is if we would come out with some kind of “declaration of war” against Sony. And no, that has not been our reaction at all. We have no intention of stating any boycott or planning any protest or anything like that. Our declaration is really going to be one of peace, not of war.
4. So, has the Da Vinci Code had any positive effects for Opus Dei?
Actually some of this publicity has been positive for us. In a mysterious way we do expect that God will bring some good out of a bad situation that we find ourselves with.
For example, our website has had over three million unique visitors this year and a million of them have been in the U.S. alone. And some of these people have in fact become involved in Opus Dei through this publicity.
5. What kind of dealings did you have with Sony, the producer of the movie? What did you ask them for?
Yes, in fact Opus Dei did contact Sony through a letter and in it we tried to convey our dismay of the way the Catholic faith and Opus Dei were portrayed in it. We wanted to show them the real Opus Dei and describe to them the fact that Opus Dei has people, with real families, and that this portrayal of them would be harmful.
The other thing we tried to do was to specifically ask for a meeting with them to convey these concerns and to explain to them how they can make the movie more palatable to Christians. We also requested that they leave our name out and, at the very least, to make a disclaimer at the beginning of the film.
6. How did Sony respond?
Sony did respond to us, but only in a very vague and non-committal way: a polite response through a letter.
They did not give us the meeting that we requested. And they did not give us any information about how we would be portrayed in the movie after all. And it was only through the media that we learned that they were planning to go ahead with the same inaccuracies that were in the book. Sony still maintains that it isn’t harmful to Catholics, that this is just a work of fiction. But we still maintain that fiction hurts people and that it would be nice if they would show us the same regard, the same sensitivity that they would show to any other ethnic or religious group.