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Opus Dei head on pastoral visit.

MONTREAL -- The head of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, spoke to a gathering of about 900 people in Montreal Sept. 16 and about 1,500 the next day in Toronto as part of a North American tour that includes Vancouver, British Colombia; New York; San Francisco; and Houston.

While Echevarria's trip is billed as a routine pastoral visit, it also amounts to a sort of victory tour following the dismal box office results of "The Da Vinci Code" film, which along with the Dan Brown novel of the same name cast Opus Dei in a sinister light.

Opus Dei officials say the movie and novel have actually brought people to the group. They are calling it a "Da Vinci Code bump" in membership.

Marc Carroggio, Opus Dei spokesman in Rome, said that so far 8 to 10 people in Opus Dei centers have told him of a new member whose first contact was The Da Vinci Code. Carroggio said his guess is that there may be "dozens" rather than "hundreds" of such Da Vinci Code converts.
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Title Annotation:WORLD BRIEFS
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 29, 2006
Words:177
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