Opus Deiby Vittorio Messori
In 1928, Mon. Escriva de Balaguer, a Spanish priest beatified by Pope John Paul II and loved by millions, founded Opus Dei (Work of God) and began the process of proclaiming the theme that holiness and happiness are found in the ordinary tasks of life. This book explores the organization and its transforming message--still promoted today by the members of Opus Dei.
Opus Dei, founded in Spain in 1928 by a young priest, Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, now boasts over 80,000 members worldwide and the special favor of the pope. The organization provides a system of spiritual guidance to help members, mainly married laypeople known as supernumeraries, practice an unobtrusive Christian idealism in everyday secular, including professional, settings. Opus Dei priests are drawn only from the male numeraries, the group's inner circle whose members take a vow of celibacy. Messori describes the outstanding University of Navarre and the various student hostels and colleges that are open to people of all religions or none at all. Despite his claim to objectivity, Messori unabashedly idealizes the organization and its founder. Rather than following up in true journalistic fashion on the firsthand accounts of people who claim to have been harmed by Opus Dei, Messori is content to rebut criticisms merely by quoting statements of official policy and Opus Dei spokesmen, one of whom has written the introduction to this book. Messori writes off any criticism of Opus Dei as coming from malcontents and unorthodox Catholics, ignoring the fact that many devout believers, including bishops, have voiced concern about the organization's recruiting methods, its treatment of women, and the use of spiritual direction as a means of mind control (see Maria del Carmen Tapia, Beyond the Threshold, p. 788). Messori's text is poorly translated into cumbersome and at times incoherent English (e.g., "Many have not forgiven Opus Dei for its opposition, or fealty to the Church.")
Messori's uncritical approach serves only to reinforce the authoritarian image of Opus Dei and raises more questions than it answers.
- Regnery Publishing
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.27(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.87(d)
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