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“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. The mini-series is being developed by Mediaset’s public broadcaster rival, RAI. They are intended to show that Opus Dei (Latin for The Work of God) has nothing to hide, said spokesman Pippo Corigliano.”

(via The Telegraph)