Escriva’s politics remain controversial. When he was being considered for sainthood, an Opus Dei priest claimed Escriva told him: “Hitler couldn’t have been such a bad person. He couldn’t have killed 6m people – 4m at the most.” It emerged that Escriva had changed his name, allegedly to make it sound more upper-class. In later life he became close to General Augusto Pinochet’s junta in Chile.
Leading Jesuits said he created a secret society for religious fundamentalists.
The unorthodox senator has confirmed that she wears a cilice, a device hidden under the clothes for constant mortification. By contrast Ruth Kelly, the former Labour secretary of state, refuses to comment upon her reported membership, saying it is a “private matter”.
A spokesman for Opus Dei denied There Be Dragons is its film, although an Opus Dei priest, Father John Wauck, is an onset adviser in Buenos Aires, which is standing in for 1930s Madrid.
Last week Joffé confirmed that the film had been funded by a member of Opus Dei, the independent Hollywood film producer Heriberto Schoeffer. Joffé said he had torn up the original script, written by a former nun, to make it more like Indiana Jones, the Steven Spielberg action movie franchise.