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  #1  
Old Jul 11, '12, 8:05 pm
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JillianRose JillianRose is offline
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Default Appropriate answer to, "Is Opus Dei a Cult?"

Hello-

Last night I went to my first evening of recollection with Opus Dei. Well I really loved it!! So before I went to bed I look up some more information about Opus Dei. I came across this network called Opus Dei Awareness Network. I was FLOORED but what I read. Here is the link

http://www.odan.org/what_is_opus_dei.htm

If they think I am gonna alienate my family, in flick pain to myself and donate all my earnings, I think I will not be joining. Is this true? Does anyone know if this is true?

Please help. I do not want to be apart of this if its true.

Thanks,

Jill
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“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 10 vs 32 NASB
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  #2  
Old Jul 11, '12, 8:31 pm
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JM3 JM3 is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

http://www.opusdei.us/sec.php?s=8
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"God will judge us by our fidelity to His Church and our obedience to Peter." Br. Jason Richard, FFV
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  #3  
Old Jul 11, '12, 8:47 pm
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Stylites Stylites is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JillianRose View Post
Please help. I do not want to be apart of this if its true.
Keep in mind that the Church has always been and always will be attacked by the world.
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Amateurs do it out of love.



Who wants to see God? Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed jugs of tears for money, wife, and children. But if they would weep for God for only one day they would surely see Him.
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  #4  
Old Jul 11, '12, 8:51 pm
jwinch2 jwinch2 is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JillianRose View Post
Hello-

Last night I went to my first evening of recollection with Opus Dei. Well I really loved it!! So before I went to bed I look up some more information about Opus Dei. I came across this network called Opus Dei Awareness Network. I was FLOORED but what I read. Here is the link

http://www.odan.org/what_is_opus_dei.htm

If they think I am gonna alienate my family, in flick pain to myself and donate all my earnings, I think I will not be joining. Is this true? Does anyone know if this is true?

Please help. I do not want to be apart of this if its true.

Thanks,

Jill
There are several Opus Dei Supernumeraries on the forum. I suggest doing some searches as there have been many threads on this topic in the past and: A) get some information, and B) discuss the situation with them.

One thing to consider is that both Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI seem to think very highly of Opus Dei. That says a great deal to me.


Peace,
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  #5  
Old Jul 11, '12, 11:03 pm
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govav8er govav8er is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

I have just started discerning Opus Dei and did see the ODAN stuff on line but like the previous post stated, JPII and Benedict XVI not to mention St. Josemaria Escriva... Pretty good people to have in your corner.

They do mention mortification as something that members do but I am not sure if it is a required practice by all members of the prelature.

I would say with out a doubt NOT a cult. Is it for me? Way too early to know.
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  #6  
Old Jul 12, '12, 1:01 am
CaptFun CaptFun is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

No. But I heard "Opie" Taylor endorsed Obama!
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  #7  
Old Jul 12, '12, 1:46 am
eternalrest eternalrest is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

Opus Dei members will generally refer you to the book: Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church http://www.amazon.com/Opus-Dei-Objec...der_0385514506 that will present a positive spin on the accounts of people from ODAN. In this book, they say:
Quote:
p. 310 On the charge of youth and inexperience, some inside Opus Dei plead "guilty," especially in earlier periods of the group's history when it was not uncommon for a director to be in his early twenties. In some cases, members admit, youthful zeal outstripped a director's capacity to appreciate the human complexity of a given situation. One numerary, for example, spoke about a situation that came up when he was the director of a center in Spain. Another numerary fell in love with a woman, or at least thought he had. The director was only twenty-four when he found himself wrestlying with this situation, and sometimes blames himself for the fact that his fellow numerary ended up leaving. Today, Opus Dei members say, it's less common for directors to be quite so young. Moreover, officials say they can always seek out help, with the member's permission, if they feel that they are in over their heads.
It seems that people who are "in over their heads" do not always recognize this. Much of what happened in ODAN are the details of what happens when that poor spiritual direction that is unfounded on the teachings of the Church and instead is based on lay personal opinion goes on from the point of view of the *victim* instead of another, more neutral, point of view. These things do happen and it is a risk. And what did the good St. Teresa of Avila say, she says "that it would be better to have a learned director who is not very holy than to have a holy director who is not learned."

John L. Allen, Jr. (who wrote the book) is an American journalist based in Rome who specializes in news about the Catholic Church. He is senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and vaticanologist of CNN and NPR. Allen is also the author of several books about the Catholic Church. He has written two biographies of Pope Benedict XVI, the first one published in 2000 when he was still a cardinal and the first biography of him in English. Allen stated that one of his reasons for writing Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church (2005) was that he felt that liberal and conservative Catholics were too often shouting at each other, and he hoped that a book that tried to be fair to all sides would lead to civilized discussion rather than rancor.

The organization is extremely human with many human weaknesses. It also has strengths, a fair number of very religious and theologically conservative, intelligent people who have achieved success in the world, i.e. Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard Law professor are members so it can provide some social support. For many people, getting personal opinion from this sort of person can be a helpful benefit that they might not be able to find elsewhere. From a friend, you would get personal opinion, and this can be helpful to you. In addition, they have helped finance and support studies related to Catholic teaching on sexuality, i.e. the Regarsus study, that are conducted at a quality level on par with the secular world.

Last edited by eternalrest; Jul 12, '12 at 2:05 am.
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  #8  
Old Jul 12, '12, 1:47 am
eternalrest eternalrest is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

One should look into graduate study into theology and also Catholic psychology to get the most accurate answer that Catholicism has for certain questions and to not be misled that the personal opinion that you receive from lay directors is akin to the sort of spiritual direction mentioned by saints such as St. Faustina in Divine Mercy in My Soul where absolute obedience is also recommended. There is a difference between the advice of a well-meaning but uninformed friend and a well qualified spiritual director that God has blessed. And obligations are different for those who do vs. do not have vows. (P.S. every religious takes a vow of poverty as part of the evangelical counsels)

See the contrasting quotes from Divine Mercy in My Soul:
Quote:
1423 On a certain occasion, one of the sisters [Sister Damian Ziolek [220]] confided to me that she wanted to choose a certain priest as her confessor. Very pleased, she shared the news with me and asked me to pray for that intention, and so I promised her to do so. During prayer, I learned that that soul would gain no spiritual profit from his direction. And then, the next time we met, she told me again of her great joy in being under his direction.

1424 I joined in her joy, but when she had left I was severely rebuked. Jesus told me to tell her what He had I given me to know during prayer, which I did at the first opportunity, although it cost me a great deal.
Quote:
354 As I was talking to a certain person[84] who was to paint the image but, for certain reasons, was not painting it, I heard this voice in my soul: I want her to be more obedient. I understood that our efforts, no matter how great, are not pleasing to God if they do not bear the seal of obedience; I am speaking about a religious soul. O God, how easy it is to know Your will in the convent! We religious have God's will set clearly before our eyes from morning till night, and in moments of uncertainty we have our superiors through whom God speaks.
A learned spiritual director who is faithful to the Church can be extremely hard to find for a secular person; the most learned and faithful often limit their service only to priests/nuns, and even for priests/nuns this is often a great difficulty. "St. Faustina had great difficulty finding confessors and spiritual directors who understood what God was doing in her life. She finally found two good ones in Fr. Joseph Andrasz, S.J., and in Fr. Michael Sopocko." http://goodjesuitbadjesuit.blogspot....-director.html

Who was Fr. Sopocko?
Quote:
Fr. Sopocko continued his theological studies by distance learning, preparing his doctoral work on moral theology entitled, "The Family in Law-making." He submitted his thesis in the Theology Department of the University of Warsaw on 1 March 1926. Because his research work required knowledge of foreign languages, he also studied German, English and French.

After obtaining his doctorate, he prepared for a further post doctoral degree. In 1927 and 1928, while continuing to work as director of the chaplaincy of the local Military District, Fr. Sopocko was appointed to the prominent position, of spiritual director of the Seminary and head of the Pastoral Theology Department at the Vilnius University. These new duties forced him to gradually withdraw from military chaplaincy work.

Work in the seminary and the role of Spiritual Director, eventually began to suit him. As Spiritual Director, Fr. Sopocko was also the moderator of the Marian Sodality, the Eucharistic Association, the Third Order of St. Francis and the Union of Seminarians Associated with the Mission Clergy. Another service he was appointed to by the bishop, at this providential time in Vilnius, was that of confessor to religious orders and the hearing of confessions of religious sisters.
http://www.divinemercy.org/introduct...r-sopocko.html
He had a PhD on Moral Theology, head of the Pastoral Theology department at a university, etc. etc. He also had life experience, being advanced in years. He was not a 24 year old lay person who had completed "some" training as mentioned in the book Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church so it seems less likely he would make mistakes.
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  #9  
Old Jul 12, '12, 1:50 am
eternalrest eternalrest is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

A lot of problems in the wider church, even outside of Opus Dei, exist due to lack of attention to the human person.
Quote:
Dr. Terruwe made church history in the fifties. After complaints of some Jesuits a high ranking Dutch Jesuit (Dr. Sebestian Tromp) of the Holy Office issued a ban: it was forbidden for priest students to see 'female psychiatrists' (there was only one: Dr. Terruwe). At the time there were still many priest students and quite a few religious superiors sent some of them to see Dr. Terruwe for their emotional distractions. Rome also ordered Terruwe's protector Prof. Duynstee to come to Rome in exile. Within ten years the Vatican had to admit that a terrible error of judgment was made. Prof. Duynstee's ban was lifted and it was said that he had become a cardinal if his sudden death had not prevented it. Dr. Terruwe was not only rehabilitated, Pope Paul VI would also have consulted her. He called her work "a gift to the Church." She and her colleague, Dr. Conrad Baars (see below) were asked to be consultants to the 1970 Synod of Bishops regarding emotional repression and love-deprivation in priests and religious. During the Synod, they met privately for two hours with the future Pope John Paul II. Terruwe suffered a great deal but her solidarity with her Church remained firm. People considered her to be one of the 'spiritual liberators' of Dutch Catholicism. She herself did not yield to progressive Catholics who wanted her to take their side. She remained a solid advocate of celibacy for priests and of a no to artificial birth control.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Terruwe

Quote:
Remembering Catholic Psychiatrist Conrad Baars (3363)
Sue Baars reflects on her father’s contributions to psychiatry and the Church.

There’s a better understanding that there needs to be a human formation as well as a spiritual formation. We’re doing a better job evaluating candidates for the priesthood, and it’s going to be better for the Church as a whole.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news...#ixzz20IvqsTbS
Quote:
Dedication of Feeling and Healing Your Emotions by Conrad Baars
This book is dedicated to all Christians. My reason for doing so is twofold. First, because through the centuries too many Christians of all denominations have been the unfortunate victims of emotional--and indirectly, spiritual-- afflictions which in some way are traceable to misconceptions of emotions in the Christian culture and to misunderstandings of certain Scripture passages. Second, because I am grateful for all I have learned from my Christian patients, as well as my Christian audiences and correspondents throughout North America and other parts of the world.

In dedicating to this book to all Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelicals it is my sincere wish that it will contribute to greater unity among my Christian brothers and sisters, and bring to them and the world the peace and joy of Christ through the healing and prevention of emotional suffering."
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  #10  
Old Jul 12, '12, 3:27 am
eternalrest eternalrest is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

Possibly Opus Dei would be just fine if they were to have all their spiritual directors read the book Feeling and Healing Your Emotions by Conrad Baars as part of formation, incorporate it. and become extremely vigilant about "informed consent." If they integrate the emotions into spiritual direction (possibly like the Spiritual Exercises), then they may have a better ability to facilitate true freedom instead of repression.
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  #11  
Old Jul 12, '12, 5:46 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JillianRose View Post
If they think I am gonna alienate my family, in flick pain to myself and donate all my earnings, I think I will not be joining.
So, let's see...

You have a first hand experience with Opus Dei that you describe as "I loved it". Then you google some random website and now you think you will "not be joining" based on what other people you don't know say about Opus Dei.

Something sounds really off here. Why would one website which may not even have truth behind the stories influence you so much more than your own firsthand observations


Quote:
Originally Posted by JillianRose View Post
Is this true? Does anyone know if this is true?
Oh yes, if it's on the internet it must be true. Right?

OK, just in case you don't recognize it through the written word, that is sarcasm.

Why on earth would you jump to such a conclusion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JillianRose View Post

Please help. I do not want to be apart of this if its true.
Jill
Use your brain Jill. Make up your own mind.
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Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
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  #12  
Old Jul 12, '12, 8:08 am
jwinch2 jwinch2 is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=172127

http://www.opusdeiblogs.org/index.ph...=49&Itemid=105

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPRcXjHI4_s
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  #13  
Old Jul 12, '12, 11:50 am
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JillianRose JillianRose is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

Well I am going to keep going then until I can decide. The priest was so awesome. I guess like anything there can be people that abuse power. I should not let something like that effect my opinion in a center that may not even be like the bad experiences I have read. I guess as long as there are humans we are all gonna fall short of the glory where ever we go. I am just so on fire for my faith.

As always thank you for you charity with my incessant questions.
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  #14  
Old Jul 12, '12, 1:59 pm
jwinch2 jwinch2 is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

“Love the Holy Father a lot. Pray a lot for the Pope. Love him very much, very much!" - St. Josemaria Escriva
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  #15  
Old Jul 12, '12, 2:56 pm
TimothyH TimothyH is offline
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Default Re: Is Opus Dei a Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JillianRose View Post
Hello-

Last night I went to my first evening of recollection with Opus Dei. Well I really loved it!! So before I went to bed I look up some more information about Opus Dei. I came across this network called Opus Dei Awareness Network. I was FLOORED but what I read. Here is the link

http://www.odan.org/what_is_opus_dei.htm

If they think I am gonna alienate my family, in flick pain to myself and donate all my earnings, I think I will not be joining. Is this true? Does anyone know if this is true?

Please help. I do not want to be apart of this if its true.

Thanks,

Jill
Forget about ODAN.

My preferred confessor is a priest of Opus Dei who comes to Atlanta monthly for the Evening of Recollection. He takes the time to ask questions in the confessional, explains things, and prays earnestly for me. It's obvious that he's not just checking the boxes but cares for those who enter the confessional. Other than a biritual Syro-Malabar/Latin priest in my parish, I try not to go to anyone else. This type of personal caring is consistent in all the other Opus Dei priests and members I have ever met.

The evenings of recollection are awesome. Continue to go even if you don't feel a calling to become a member of Opus Dei formally. The meditations I have heard at the evenings have been powerful and made a real difference in my life.


-Tim-
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