Study Guide

The Da Vinci Code Chapter 5

By Dan Brown

Chapter 5

  • The new, luxurious Opus Dei World Headquarters in New York City is huge. It's got tons of bedrooms, dining rooms, libraries, chapels, and residences—all divided by gender, of course. Can't have men and women interacting.
  • Bishop Manuel Aringarosa's travelling incognito to Rome from his penthouse apartment in the Opus Dei headquarters. He's pretty pleased with himself for winning the battle to save his Opus Dei empire.
  • He's the president-general of Opus Dei, which is a Catholic congregation focused on conservative values and members making sweeping sacrifices in order to do the Work of God.
  • Based on Josemaría Escrivá's book The Way—999 points of meditation for doing God's Work in one's own life—Opus Dei exploded onto the world in 1934, and was now the fastest-growing and most financially secure Catholic organization in the world.
  • Because of this, it was now coming under scrutiny, and being called a brainwashing cult.
  • It doesn't help that they've had some widely publicized "misguided sheep" (as Aringarosa calls them) recently: a university student who used his cilice for too long and gave himself an almost lethal infection, a FBI spy and prominent Opus Dei member whose trial revealed some awful sexual deviancy, an Opus Dei group that drugged new recruits with mescaline in order to produce a euphoric state…
  • Now there's a group called the Opus Dei Awareness Network (ODAN) that is trying to warn people of the dangers of joining the organization, calling them "God's Mafia" and "the Cult of Christ".
  • Aringarosa isn't too concerned about them, though, seeing as Opus Dei is a personal prelature of the Pope (meaning they have his full endorsement and blessing of the Vatican).
  • Recently, the Opus Dei had been seriously threatened by an "unexpected foe", starting a secret war.
  • While he's reflecting on these recent events during the flight, Aringarosa gets a phone call telling him that Silas had located the keystone, and was going to get it immediately as long as the bishop could pull some strings. (Ah ha—this guy is in cahoots with the crazy albino monk and the Teacher.)
  • Meanwhile, Silas's cleaning up after the beating he gave himself. He had to purge himself of his violent actions (which were all too easy to summon from his past life). He puts his robe back on and gets ready for the next step.