|All Things Catholic by John L. Allen, Jr.||Friday, Sept. 8, 2006|
|Vol. 6, No. 2.3|
Bishop Javier Echevarr'a Rodr'guez, the prelate of Opus Dei, will be in the United States and Canada Sept. 12-28, visiting New York, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco and Houston.
While the trip is billed as a routine pastoral visit, Echevarr'a's North American swing also amounts to a sort of victory following the The Da Vinci Code juggernaut, which went out with a whimper rather than a bang in May after the Ron Howard film was widely panned. (Writing in The New Yorker, Anthony Lane suggested that Opus Dei no longer needed corporal mortification -- just buy tickets and settle in for "2 and ½ hours of pain.")
Rather improbably, given the sinister way Opus Dei was depicted, all the hoopla surrounding the book and movie seems to have had broadly positive effects for the group. As part of this picture, many Opus Dei officials expect to see a "Da Vinci Code bump" in membership.