Opus Dei

"Opus Dei is an organization founded in Spain in 1928 by Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. The stated aim of Opus Dei is to "spread throughout society a profound awareness of the universal call to holiness and apostolate through one's professional work carried out with freedom and personal responsibility." (Encyclopedia of Associations)

Opus Dei is made up of lay members and priests; Opus Dei laity continue to work in the secular world, but remain under the strict spiritual direction of Opus Dei. All Opus Dei members follow "the plan of life," made up of spiritual practices such as daily Mass, rosary, spiritual reading, and mental prayer, as well as Opus Dei prayers and customs."[1]

Opus Dei is very controlling (read my article on authoritarian abuse) and they try to censor what members read so they can be controlled, and essentially brainwashed. Every cult trys to keep their lie from being exposed for what it is. So Opus Dei decided to use the list the Roman Catholic Church used but has added to it. This index of forbidden books is called the Guia Bibliografica. Here is a link to the Guia Bibliografica 2003 (Bibliographic guide 2003). Opus Libros has a detailed explanation of the Bibliographic Guide in Spanish at their website [Guia Bibliografica]. The Guide consists of book reviews by Opus Dei members, biographical notes on some books and positive recommendations of others as Fr. Derville mentioned. However, there is also an actual list of over 60,000 books catalogued and rated according to the following criteria:

1. Books that can be read by all, even children; for example, Heidi, Marco, some stories of the Grimm Brothers, and all books written by members of Opus Dei.

2. Reading generally recommended, although it may require a little formation. In the libraries of the centers, the public, numeraries and associate members have access to books with the 1 and 2 ratings.

3. Books that can be read by those who have formation. The books may have inconvenient scenes or commentaries. Permission is needed by their spiritual director.

4. Books that can be read by those who have formation and have a necessity to read them. Permission is needed by their spiritual director.

5. Books that are not possible to be read, except with special permission from the advisory (in New York).

6. Prohibited reading. In order to read them permission is needed by the Prelate of Opus Dei (in Rome).

FOOTNOTES: 1. http://www.odan.org/what_is_opus_dei.htm

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES: ODAN (Opus Dei Awareness Network)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS: Opus Dei : An Investigation into the Secret Society Struggling for Power Within the Roman Catholic Church by Michael Walsh, HarperCollins, 1992.

© Todd Tyszka
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