Opus Dei cartoon and TV series to boost image
Opus Dei, the ultra-conservative Catholic organisation portrayed as a secretive and sinister sect in The Da Vinci Code, is looking to improve its image by sponsoring a television mini-series and a children’s animated cartoon.
By Nick Squires in Rome
Last Updated: 5:04PM BST 02 Oct 2008
Dan Brown’s hugely popular book, and the subsequent film starring Tom Hanks, depicted the Roman Catholic order as a religious cult which would stop at nothing – including murder – to cover up the ‘truth’ that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had married and had a child.
Most damaging for Opus Dei was Brown’s fictional character Silas, the self-flagellating and serial-killing albino monk, said to be a member of the organisation – despite the fact that it is not a monastic order and has no monks.
Opus Dei has recently embarked on a public relations campaign to try to dispel its image as a powerful but shadowy off-shoot of the Roman Catholic Church.
The mini-series and cartoon are the latest initiatives in the charm offensive. They were announced on the 80th anniversary of the organisation’s founding by a Spanish priest, Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, who died in 1975.
The cartoon is in the production phase by Mediaset, the media company owned by Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.