An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church
Author: John L. Allen, Jr.
The first serious journalistic investigation of the highly secretive, controversial organization Opus Dei provides unique insight about the wild rumors surrounding it and discloses its significant influence in the Vatican and on the politics of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei (literally “the work of God”) is an international association of Catholics often labeled as conservative who seek personal Christian perfection and strive to implement Christian ideals in their jobs and in society as a whole. Founded in Spain in 1928, it now has 84,000 members (1,600 of whom are priests) in eighty countries. But far from running bingo nights at local parishes, Opus Dei has become a center of controversy and suspicion both within and outside the Church. It has been accused of promoting a right-wing political agenda and of cultlike practices, aggressive recruiting, brainwashing new recruits, and isolating members from their families. Its notoriety escalated with the publication of the runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code (Opus Dei plays an important and sinister role in the novel) and with the previous pope’s much-debated canonization of its founder (often linked with Francisco Franco’s facist regime) and the discovery that convicted FBI spy Robert Hanson was a member of Opus Dei. With the expert eye of a longtime trusted observer of the Vatican and the skill of an investigative reporter intent on uncovering closely guarded secrets, John Allen finally separates the myths from the facts in Opus Dei. Granted unlimited access to the prelate who heads the organization and to Opus Dei centers throughout the world, Allen draws on a wealth of interviews with current members, as well as with highly critical ex-members, to create an unprecedented portrait of the activities, practices, and intentions behind its veil of secrecy. Allen reveals the remarkable power that Opus Dei commands in shaping Vatican policy and presents a detailed look at the full extent of its network, which includes people in key positions in politics, banking, academia, and other influential arenas. He even describes the arcane rituals—including self-flagellation—performed to preserve and promote a spiritual tradition strange and unsettling to modern sensibilities. For years, Opus Dei has been the subject of conspiracy theories and dark, uninformed speculation. Opus Dei sets the record straight.
The Secrets and Scandals of an Influential Organisation
Keen to learn but short on time? Get to grips with the history of Opus Dei in next to no time with this concise guide. 50Minutes.com provides a clear and engaging analysis of Opus Dei. Founded with the mission of promoting Christian values in secular life, Opus Dei began to adopt an increasingly radical viewpoint as the Church tentatively modernised its practices after the Second Vatican Council. Still in existence today and comprising nearly 100 000 members, Opus Dei remains shrouded in mystery and scandal, particularly regarding some of its more controversial practices and the rumours provoked by popular culture. In just 50 minutes you will: • Learn Opus Dei’s complete history, including its unlikely survival following the exile of its founder from Spain • Understand the organisation’s rise to prominence after finding favour with John Paul II and taking a firm traditionalist stance against innovation in the Church following the Second Vatican Council • Discover the secrecy and scandal surrounding Opus Dei and its controversial practices, including mortification ABOUT 50MINUTES.COM | History & Culture 50MINUTES.COM will enable you to quickly understand the main events, people, conflicts and discoveries from world history that have shaped the world we live in today. Our publications present the key information on a wide variety of topics in a quick and accessible way that is guaranteed to save you time on your journey of discovery.
Opus Dei is one of the most talked about but least known religious organizations of our time. For years no one has been allowed access to its secrets. Until now ... Here, Vatican insider John Allen uncovers its true nature. Granted unlimited access to those within its ranks, gaining a wealth of interviews with the heads of Opus Dei around the world, Allen finally separates the myths from the facts: the actual use of whips and the cilice; the true extent of Opus Dei's funds; the identities of its influential members in politics, banking and high office; and how much power this shadowy group really has. 'Definitive, persuasive and absorbing' Daily Telegraph 'Focuses on some of the most controversial aspects of the organization, from its treatment of women to its recruitment and its money' Independent 'He reports on all aspects of the Opus Dei cult (including structure and finance, and the practice of mortifying the flesh with a cilice) ... and, most usefully, includes details of the bishops and personnel around the world who are Opus Dei clergy' New Statesman 'An admirable book ... the first stop for anyone interested in [Opus Dei]' Sunday Times
In this follow-up to The Kingdom and the Glory and The Highest Poverty, Agamben investigates the roots of our moral concept of duty in the theory and practice of Christian liturgy. Beginning with the New Testament and working through to late scholasticism and modern papal encyclicals, Agamben traces the Church's attempts to repeat Christ's unrepeatable sacrifice. Crucial here is the paradoxical figure of the priest, who becomes more and more a pure instrument of God's power, so that his own motives and character are entirely indifferent as long as he carries out his priestly duties. In modernity, Agamben argues, the Christian priest has become the model ethical subject. We see this above all in Kantian ethics. Contrasting the Christian and modern ontology of duty with the classical ontology of being, Agamben contends that Western philosophy has unfolded in the tension between the two. This latest installment in the study of Western political structures begun in Homo Sacer is a contribution to the study of liturgy, an extension of Nietzsche's genealogy of morals, and a reworking of Heidegger's history of Being.
Here is the story of a fugitive priest at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, caught up in the bloodbath of the religious persecution in which 13 bishops, 4,184 diocesan priests, 2,365 priests and brothers of religious orders and 283 nuns were slaughtered. Through the personal and intimate notes of this priest, we experience the terror unfolding day by day. Amongst the chaos and horror there are vivid glimpses into the soul of a man striving for sanctity in a world that has gone mad. All the while, St Josemaria, after receiving a vision from God, was slowly, but surely, spreading one of the most important spiritual messages for our time: that holiness is not just for priests and nuns, but for everyone. For an ordinary man or woman a way to holiness can be found through daily work and the everyday duties of a Christian. Here is the story of St Josemaria Escriva's own work. Founding Opus Dei in 1928, he was a major contributor to the rediscovery of the apostolate of the laity in the Church. Born in 1902 in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees, his inspiration has now spread throughout the world. St Josemaria was canonized by Pope John Paul II on 6 October 2002.
A Templar's Credo for the Advent of the City of God in the City of Man
Author: Manuel S. Marin
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
A quasi-religious corporation worth mentioning is the Fabretto Foundation, based in Nicaragua. This Foundation is a true God Enterprise. Father Rafael Mara Fabretto was an Italian priest who moved to Nicaragua with the purpose of opening and managing an orphanage . . . It was a catastrophic failure. Father Fabrettos experiment almost killed me, together with other kids who were rescued at the brink of starvation. Ironically, it was Anastasio Somoza (the father, the first member of the Somoza dynasty) who saved our lives . . . The continuum works in marvelous ways; just picture a hated, soft-hearted tyrant being impacted by the sight of more than 300 children starving to death. I bet his conscience screamed to his inner ears that he was going to be blamed if some of those children were to die . . . Somoza was moved by the continuum to do what is atypical of dictators, an act of love. The author, Manuel S. Marin, as a child, lived for a short time in the Oratorio San Juan Bosco, where he met Father Rafael Mara Fabretto, who lighted up in him the notion of the continuum, for which he didnt have a name until he met Bob Jones at Williams Brothers Construction Co.
The best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, has brought under scrutiny a powerful and influential movement within the Catholic Church - Opus Dei. This institution, often charged with excessive secrecy, has had many critics. What is Opus Dei? offers a comprehensive profile of Opus Dei, and of its founder, St Josemaria Escriva. In this rigorous and well-documented book, its inspiration, history, sprituality, organisation and activities are all clearly detailed. Here are the answers to so many questions, authoritatively presented. Opus Dei, founded in 1928 by St Josemaria Escriva, proclaims that lay people can and ought to seek holiness in the context of their ordinary life. Through daily work, at home and in the family, men and women can spread the Gospel in the world in which they live. Flourishing both before and since the Second Vatican Council, Opus Dei anticipated what were to be the great pastoral themes of the Church at the beginning of the third millennium.