Question: "What is Opus Dei?"
Answer: According to the official Opus Dei website - http://www.opusdei.org, Opus Dei is “a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church that helps ordinary lay people seek holiness in and through their everyday activities, especially through work.” Opus Dei was founded in 1926 by Fr. Josemaría Escrivá (canonized as St. Josemaría Escrivá October, 2002). In The Da Vinci Code, author Dan Brown has transformed Opus Dei into a secret society that supposedly covers up Christ’s alleged marriage to Mary Magdalene. The Prelature of Opus Dei has described Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code as “a work of fiction” and “not a reliable source of information,” warning that “it would be irresponsible to form any opinion of Opus Dei based on reading The Da Vinci Code.”
The prelature refutes Brown’s portrayal of Opus Dei on several points including:
• Brown presents Opus Dei members as monks, but in reality there are no monks in Opus Dei.
• Brown describes Opus Dei as endorsing criminal behavior; Opus Dei condemns criminal activity.
• Brown calls Opus Dei a “sect” and a “cult”; in fact, Opus Dei is a fully integrated entity of the Catholic Church.
• Brown writes that women may not enter through the front doors of the Opus Dei headquarters, but must use a side entrance; however, males and females freely use the front entrance of the real Opus Dei headquarters building.
The Prelature of Opus Dei emphasizes that it is not a “secret society.” The organization stresses holiness in everyday activities. “For the most part they [Opus Dei members] do their job and live their family and social lives like everyone else, doing exactly what they would do if they were not in Opus Dei.”
Please note - this article should not be seen as an endorsement of Opus Dei. Rather, it is intended to be a refutation of The Da Vinci Code's version of Opus Dei.