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Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church [89]

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The 1st serious journalistic investigation of the secretive, controversial organization Opus Dei provides insight about the rumors surrounding it & discloses its significant influence in the Vatican & on the politics of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei ('work of God') is an international association of Catholics often labeled as conservative who seek personal perfection &

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The 1st serious journalistic investigation of the secretive, controversial organization Opus Dei provides insight about the rumors surrounding it & discloses its significant influence in the Vatican & on the politics of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei (‘work of God’) is an international association of Catholics often labeled as conservative who seek personal perfection & strive to implement Christian ideals in their jobs & in society as a whole. Founded in Spain in 1928, it now has 84,000 members (incl. 1600 priests) in 80 countries. But far from running parish bingo nights, Opus Dei has become a center of controversy & suspicion both in & outside the Church. It’s been accused of promoting a right-wing political agenda & of cultlike practices, aggressive recruiting, brainwashing new recruits & isolating members from families. Its notoriety escalated with the publication of The Da Vinci Code (it plays a sinister role) & with the previous pope’s much-debated canonization of its founder (often linked with Francisco Franco’s facist regime) & the discovery that convicted FBI spy Robert Hanson was a member. With the eye of a longtime trusted observer of the Vatican & the skill of an investigative reporter intent on uncovering closely guarded secrets, Allen separates myths from facts. Granted unlimited access to the prelate who heads the organization & to Opus Dei centers throughout the world, he draws on interviews with current members, as well as with critical ex-members, to create a portrait of its activities, practices & intentions. Allen reveals the power Opus Dei commands in shaping Vatican policy & presents a detailed look at the full extent of its network, which includes people in key positions in politics, banking, academia & other influential arenas. He even describes the arcane rituals–including self-flagellation–performed to preserve & promote a spiritual tradition unsettling to modern sensibilities. For years, Opus Dei has been the subject of conspiracy theories & uninformed speculation. Opus Dei sets the record straight.

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