Stating that it does not intend to organize any boycotts, Opus Dei has once again asked Sony Pictures to consider editing the soon-to-be-released film The Da Vinci Code, based on Dan Brown’s bestseller, so that it would “not contain references that might hurt Catholics.”
In a statement released Feb. 14, Opus Dei said Sony Pictures still had time to make changes to the film, expected to hit theatres in May. The film is currently in postproduction.
“A conciliatory gesture like this would be much appreciated, especially in these times when we are all lamenting the painful consequences of intolerance,” said the statement, making an obvious reference to the violence sparked by the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.
"It's not enough to offer to the offended party the opportunity to defend itself while the offence continues," the statement said. "Correct behavior is to avoid offence while it's still possible."
By making the changes, Sony would “demonstrate that freedom of expression is compatible with respect for beliefs.” This would do “a great service to the cause of dialogue among cultures and would honor its own respectable reputation," Opus Dei said.
Brown's book posits that Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and had children, and that Opus Dei and the Catholic Church have spent 2,000 years covering it up. The book portrays Opus Dei as a secretive cult that is power-hungry and responsible for murder.
Opus Dei reiterated in its Feb. 14 statement that its members “have no desire for controversy, and there will not be a boycott or anything similar. We will continue to approach this situation with transparency, serenity and a constructive spirit.”
The statement also said Brown’s book offers a “deformed” image of the Church and that Opus Dei will use this opportunity to educate about the Church. Citing Pope Benedict’s first encyclical, the statement went on to point out the charitable work of the Church in Africa. It urged people to support Catholic development projects in Africa, two of which are run by members of Opus Dei.