The Da Vinci Code film SEEK THE TRUTH!
The Priory of Sion according to the DVC • A real organisation founded in 1099 to defend the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene • Persecuted by the Catholic Church • Dedicated to the Sacred Feminine
The Priory of Sion – in fact • Invented by Pierre Plantard in 1956 (a conman recently out of prison) • Planted documents in National Library of Paris • Admitted to be a hoax on TV by its founder
How much else is true? • How much of what DVC says about Opus Dei is true? Hardly anything • How much of what DVC says about the Catholic Church is true? Hardly anything • How much of what DVC says about art, architecture, geography, literature, is true? Hardly anything THE DVC IS A WORK OF FICTION!
What the DVC claims • Jesus Christ was not God: this was invented by people later • Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and they had a child • The Catholic Church exists to keep this secret from people, and is ready to kill people to do this: the Church is a big lie • Opus Dei is the Catholic group that does the dirty work (like killing or stealing) • The Christian faith is false, a delusion
Turn it around • It’s a book about Christ • It’s a unique opportunity to talk about Christ!
The real Opus Dei • A part of the Catholic Church • A very simple message:Everyone is called to holiness • What is holiness • Sanctification of work • Vatican II
Saint Josemaría Escrivá • Born: 1902 • Founded Opus Dei: 1928 • Died: June 26, 1975 • Canonized: 2002 Some quotes follow…
Work has a spiritual meaning • “God waits for us every day, in the laboratory, in the operating theatre, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work.” • “In God’s eyes there are no second class jobs. All of them are important… Which job is better? Whichever is done with greater love for God.”
Discovering the greatness of ordinary life • “Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine, in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.” • “Holiness does not consist in doing ever more difficult things, but in doing them each time with more love.”
Sanctifying family life • “Love which leads to marriage and family, can also be a marvellous divine way, a vocation, a path for complete dedication to God.” The majority of members of Opus Dei are married and live with their families.
Bringing others to Christ • “When you launch out into the apostolate, be convinced that it is always a question of making people happy, very happy: truth is inseparable from true joy” • “As we work at out job, side by side with our colleagues, friends and relatives, and share their interests, we can help them come closer to Christ”
Members of Opus Dei • Men and women, young and old, lay people and priests, single and married • Of every occupation and social level • Numeraries, associates and supernumeraries • Priests of Opus Dei
Women in Opus Dei • Women and men have same status • Women can do any job they like, including looking after a family • Women run their activities independently of the men • Some women look after the centres
Commitments • Spiritual formation • Weekly circle • Monthly evening of recollection • Annual retreat and course • Spiritual commitments • Daily Mass • Reading of Scripture and spiritual books • Time for prayer • Examination of conscience
How Opus Dei is organised • Prelate in Rome • Two councils in Rome (one for men and one for women) • Two councils in each country • A local council for each centre • This is the least important aspect of Opus Dei
Joining Opus Dei • It’s a vocation from God • All members of Opus Dei have the same vocation: to seek holiness in their ordinary lives • Any lay Catholic can ask to join • Time for discernment before asking • 18 months before commitment • People join by choice and are free to leave
Freedom of members • No outward change in their lives • Free to tell of their membership to whoever they like • Free to hold whatever opinions they wish in political, economic or social matters • Freedom and personal responsibility
Apostolate • Main apostolate is personal • Corporate works • What they are • Examples • Finances • Role of Opus Dei • Activities for young people
Netherhall House • Inter-collegiate hall of residence for students • 100 students • From 30 countries • A quarter are British and another quarter European • About half are Catholic
The Da Vinci Code and Opus Dei • How much about Opus Dei in the Da Vinci Code is true? Hardly anything
A) Neutral Members of Opus Dei are not monks Lifestyle descriptions are not accurate Opus Dei’s HQ is in Rome, not New York B) Damaging Allegation about the Vatican and money Brainwashed killer monks Distortion of corporal mortification So what’s wrong?
Corporal mortification • Context: prayer, fasting, good works • Traditional in the Church – and other religions • Most mortifications are very small • Examples of corporal mortifications: sackcloth and ashes, walking barefoot, hair-shirt, cilice, sleeping rough • Motivation: reminder, moral training, solidarity • Secular motivation: dieting, sports training
The Prelature • Opus Dei established as a personal Prelature by John Paul II in 1982 • Envisaged in Vatican II • Suitable for an organisation of ordinary Catholics • Working together with the bishops
Opus Dei in the Church • Opus Dei only exists to serve the Catholic Church • Fully approved by all the Popes • Serves the Church with its particular charism • Can run parishes but it’s not its main activity
Opus Dei worldwide • Africa: 1,600 • Asia: 4,700 • America: 29,000(USA: 3,000) • Europe: 49,700 • Total: 85,000 • Priests: 1,800 • Women: 42,000+
Opus Dei in Britain • There are about 500 members in Britain. • There are centres in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Oxford.