The leader of Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic organization depicted in "The Da Vinci Code" as a murderous, power-hungry sect, says some good might come out of the movie, according to an interview published Friday.
The film version of Dan Brown's runaway best-selling novel debuts in France on May 17, which happens to be the 14th anniversary of the day the late Pope John Paul II beatified Opus Dei's founder, Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, who was made a saint in 2002. Beatification is the last formal step before sainthood.
The current head of Opus Dei, Monsignor Javier Echevarria, said he thumbed through the book.
"I don't have time to waste on little novels for the naive," he was quoted as saying in an interview in Milan daily Corriere della Sera.
Echevarria contended that Opus Dei came under attack because of the organization's "attachment to the pope, our loyalty to the church, our rigor for the orthodoxy of faith."
He was interviewed by Vittorio Messori, who co-authored John Paul's best-selling book "Crossing the Threshold of Hope."
Messori wrote that Opus Dei's Web Site has seen a jump in hits, and that the group "has taken advantage of a good opportunity" from the negative image the book gives of it.
"For us who believe in Providence, there isn't any apparent evil which does not reveal itself to be in reality a good thing," Echevarria was quoted as saying.
Although a Vatican official has called for a boycott of the movie, Opus Dei has decided against such a tactic, which could possibly backfire for the Church by drawing more attention to the film.
Brown's novel depicts Jesus as marrying Mary Magdalene and having children with her, reports AP.