What do Catholics and Protestants think of Opus Dei and why?


#1

Just wondering:D


#2

An Opus Dei Mass is most reverent. An Opus Dei Benediction is beautiful; the music is always superior, never questionable or banal. An Opus Dei confession is careful and always includes sound direction/advice. An Opus Dei retreat takes you where you need to go. Numeraries are a happy unified army. All Opus Dei priests & numeraries teach what the Catholic Church teaches, which is all I ever want from whoever is teaching Catholic doctrine. They are very disciplined. They are seriously Catholic. Anything done by OD is done well, because they are serious about every work anybody does being done for God–all your work is His. They are thoughtful and generous with their time and themselves to anyone who wants that. But they are very busy; the numeraries lead at least a double life, their professional one where they are out making a salary, and their Center life which is full of Days of Recollections, Retreats, youth camps, annual courses for themselves, visitations, all kinds of formation programs, etc etc etc. That’s in California. In Africa their work includes clinics and schools. They never stop. And they are very happpy about their Saint Josemaria Escriva!

I am connected to OD through family, and it has been an extension of family for us.


#3

What a strange question!


#4

It varies. I was asked to be a member, and refused. Or to be more accurate, I was invited to many of their events in what was pretty transparently a recruitment drive. This was at university. Their guy gave the impression that he was newly over from Spain and in need of company in a strange country, so people would go for a drink with him. Only later did you realise that this was systematic befriending exercise.

I felt it wasn’t quite upfront and straight, so I eventually made my excuses. I also disliked the way they were clearly targetting people from Oxford University. A university society restricted to Oxford students is of course appropriate, but Opus Dei isn’t that. It seemed to me they wanted high status members to drive the movement forwards.

However other people have different experiences of it. I don’t say they are all bad, but for me it wasn’t right.


#5

I figured the title said it all.:thumbsup:


#6

I really do not know anything about Opus Dei. They do not have a presence in the city where I live.


#7

Is this in response to the “Da Vinci Code” perhaps?


#8

I read for an Opus Dei priest at Mass one time. He was very easy to work with, he had a good sense of humour, and he said the Mass very reverently - slowly and carefully, without slurring over any of the parts, and observing silence at the appropriate times.

We had no Sacristan that day for some reason, and I don’t know how to do what the Sacristan does, but he didn’t fuss or get angry at all - I was impressed with how calm he remained, and how he just rolled with the situation, without getting upset at all.


#9

No, I think I was watching the History channel. They seem like a great group of people.:thumbsup: I know nothing about them.


#10

I don’t think most Protestants have ever heard of Opus Dei, except through Da Vinci Code, and most Protestants don’t read Da Vinci Code because it’s “of the world.”


#11

Yeah your probably right. The first time I had heard of them was through the Davinci code. The History channel had them on so I was just curious what everyone thinks of them.

From what I understand they are run seperate from the Vatican.:shrug:


#12

Pretty much everything in the Catholic Church is “run” separately from the Vatican. The Vatican provides the resources and the general regulations, but the day to day stuff is always handled locally. For example, my parish church isn’t “run” by the Vatican, either - it’s run by our parish priest. :smiley:

The Opus Dei is a religious order of priests and lay people.

A religious order is a kind of set-apart community of communities, where they have certain regulations that they are supposed to follow over and above the usual things that are required by all Catholics. For example, certain prayers that they are supposed to say every day, and certain ministries that they are supposed to get involved with, and that sort of thing. I don’t know who the head of the Opus Dei is right now, but he would be the person in authority over all the members of the Opus Dei, including the priests.

All religious orders that include priests are like that; not just the Opus Dei.

A lot of Bishops don’t like to hire priests from religious orders, because their first loyalty is to the religious order; not to the Bishop. I wonder if that’s what was being referred to as being “separate from the Vatican”? Since they aren’t under the regular heirarchy of the Church.


#13

I am a new Catholic – converted via I friendship I made with an Opus Dei member. I’ve been receiving spiritual formation via Opus Dei for about two years. I am often amazed at the boogey-man type characterization – my experience with Opus Dei has been extremely positive. Opus has no political agenda, but rather is aimed at providing spirtual direction to its members and their friends. It’s not secretive nor is it particular exciting – the “norms” of Opus Dei center around about 90 minutes of prayer each day – things like attended Mass, silent prayer, spiritual reading, and saying the rosary. It’s all about bringing the individual closer to God. It’s true Opus Dei in general focuses upon well educated young people, but only because they become very effective apostles of God as they will help shape society. Hence there are many Opus Dei people that are clustered in Silicon Valley and LA for example. For record, most people involved with Opus Dei are not members, but “hangers on” of sorts. I am one of them: it’s not a big deal.

here are some interesting videos about OD:
youtube.com/therealopusdei


#14

They are a Personal Prelature. And many Protestants are co operators. :slight_smile:


#15

The official site gives you more information than you will get here.

I think its Opusdei.org but I cant recall now…:o

I have it bookmarked and I read the site daily.


#16

Most Protestants never stop to think whether something is “of the world” or not. You seriously think that DVC would have sold so many copies in the U.S. if lots of Christians (Protestant and Catholic) were not reading it?

As for what I think of OD–I find their atmosphere a bit overbearing and stifling, but I respect their moral earnestness and practical approach to Christianity. I have had at least three friends who were supernumeraries or at least associated with OD in some way–one of them was a groomsman at my wedding. I have attended an OD “Recollection” and spent two nights in the OD house at Notre Dame. So I have had some, albeit limited contact with them.

And I think *The Way *is great, if very stern (or because very stern?) spiritual reading.

Edwin


#17

As for what I think of OD–I find their atmosphere a bit overbearing and stifling, but I respect their moral earnestness and practical approach to Christianity. I have had at least three friends who were supernumeraries or at least associated with OD in some way–one of them was a groomsman at my wedding. I have attended an OD “Recollection” and spent two nights in the OD house at Notre Dame. So I have had some, albeit limited contact with them.

Edwin


#18

You are one of if not the most knowledgeable Protestant poster I have seen here.

The only thing I wanted to add is the comment “of the world” is not quite right. We all live in the world. Not many monastics post here.

The concept of sanctifying your work in your daily life in the world is what I percieve Opus Dei to be bringing to people’s attention.

Of course, I have only myself started reading more about it. Supernumeraries are not the majority of Opus Dei from what I understand. I think there are more numeraries and they are typical people next door to you.


#19

If the Vatican approves of them, then I think they’re fine. If it is the same one I’m thinking of, they’re very devout and have gotten some bad press by liberal media.


#20

Bad press, is still press. And their numbers grew after the Dan Brown fiasco I think. I almost wish he would write another stupid book that will draw more attention to the Catholic Church!:smiley:


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