Opus Dei

Opus Dei

by 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.

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Well-known Italian Catholic journalist Messori, who collaborated with John Paul II on Crossing the Threshold of Hope (Knopf, 1994), here examines Opus Dei ("Work of God") as an outsider. Founded in 1928 by Jos Maria Escriva, a Spanish priest beatified amid controversy in 1992, Opus Dei was officially recognized by the church first as a secular institute in 1947 and in 1982 as the only "Personal Prelature" (similar to a nonterritorial diocese). Strictly faithful to the tradition and teaching of the church, it operates in 90 countries with nearly 80,000 members, of whom 1600 are priests. It has been criticized as a powerful cult within the church, notably by Michael Walsh in Opus Dei (HarperSanFrancisco, 1992). Yet in this short book, whose conversational style emphasizes Opus Dei's spiritual aspects, Messori answers critics throughout and finds nothing sinister. An examination from within Opus Dei is Pedro Rodriguez's Opus Dei in the Church (Scepter, 1994), and more information may be found on Opus Dei's web site . Recommended for Catholic collections as a marginal purchase.Anna M. Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, N.Y.
Kirkus Reviews
A one-sided defense of the most controversial organization in the Catholic Church by Italian journalist Messori, whose interviews with John Paul II form the text of the pope's bestselling Crossing the Threshold of Hope.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780895264503
Publisher:
Regnery Publishing
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
6.27(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.87(d)

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