How does the real-world Opus Dei compare to the one in The Da Vinci Code?
There is a large number of inaccuracies in the picture of Opus Dei painted by the novel. Some of the most significant are catalogued and critiqued by Finnerty: • The author evinces a remarkable lack of understanding of the structure of the Catholic Church and its various component institutions. Besides his mischaracterization of Opus Dei as “a sect,” he variously calls it “a Catholic Church,” a “congregation,” a “personal Prelature of the Pope himself,” and a “Personal Prelature of Vatican City.” • Calling Opus Dei “a Catholic Church” makes no sense. Opus Dei provides supplemental spiritual formation rather than ordinary diocesan functions, except in a few isolated cases in which the Pope or a bishop has asked Opus Dei to take care of some task. Moreover, it is intrinsic to the concept “catholic” that there can be only one Catholic Church, the Catholic Church, and Opus Dei is a fully integrated part of it. • Congregation is also a term that cannot be applied to Opus Dei, since it refer