OPUS DEI - CRITICISM #2
HOOHOOHOOOOAAAAA! Here's come the disciple of the Fascist Devil! (just joking)
After a 2nd reading (you see, i have a lot of time!) and a check of your references in the Way your arguments seem to
me as overinflated as at first reading and telling more about the personal theories from which you judge the institution than
about reality. The more i read your site the more i feel attracted to Opus, as it looks unjustly accused and persecuted; be
careful, cause with over-attacks like yours, success of Opus is unavoidable. History is working like that.
Anyway, being a cooperator (following recollections and spiritual direction) I may give you, besides a lot of criticism,
some first hand facts and interpretations you may find interesting; that way, it will perhaps be easier for you to protect
me against the Evil Empire (Danke schon Papa --HaHa!). - By the way, I never heard or read anything in the Opus which treats
another group as Evil as much and as often as YOU do on your site; this is obvious according to my direct observations. Anyway
you must remember that i don't have the knowledge of a numerarius; i know Opus the same way as married supernumerarii know
it; and it is interesting to note that, to the best of my knowledge, no supernumerarius, who must compose at least 85% of
ever wrote a book against opus. It seems that only numerarii have had problems, that's part of the reason why it will
be very difficult for you to destroy Opus, if it's your goal. I think we'll discuss for a while cause I'll have to send you
at least 4 chapters of criticisms. In the end, I will criticise your attacks on McCloskey. Also, if the excursus about St
Ignatius and the Jesuits is too long, i'll send it separately. I will be sometimes a little formal in my argumentation so
you won't miss the points i want to stress. Although first hand knowledge like those of Tapia and myself are the only things
to really discuss about from a spiritual point of view, I'll have to do a lot of preparatory work, mostly on vocabulary disinflation,
e.g. on "fascism" (I'll show rather easily that St Ignatius and the Jesuits are
more "fascists" than Opus, thus putting the manipulative transposition of that word in light) -- don't you know
that to a large part of western middle-high-middle class students of the 60s and 70s nearly everybody was "fascist"?
-again, you're working against your credibility. Also, as I said, I will criticise separately your use of quotations from
Let's get to business.
I do not agree with the concept of "sanctification through work".
>interesting. tell me about that.
--Each day you offer to God all your work, whatever it is: study, cooking, administration etc. and for that reason your
work must be done as well as possible:It is your physical prayer, as well as your main way to practice charity and service
to others. That explains why the houses of opus are always perfectly clean, everything being in place, etc. The fact that
you see "sanctification through work" as secondary is to me a clue that you don't really know opus. It's the very
center of the whole thing, the point that distinguish them from all other orders, much more than influence or "power"
as you say. One may choose that spirituality of work, but with the proper vocation; I feel work on the marketplace is something
an exchange of goods...
I found very often that the critics had had some "problems" with the Catholic Church, : they were ex-priest,
ex-nuns, sometimes priests having left, their faith was not orthodox, etc...
read here what i have written to an other person about that orthodoxy thing:
> there are much worse, e.g. that levebrian/SSPX and such..
they search for ideas that have been expressed in the past by some people and build up their own ideology out of this
elements as they fit into their view of the world. people call this thing "orthodoxy".
we would still be burning witches and heretics on the stake. i hope that you agree with me that it is necessary to question
thistraditions. otherwise some simple errors of some individuals could sneak into the official teachings of our church. you
think that could never happen? just one example:
That it is against the will of the Spirit to burn heretics at the stake is condemned as false. (Pope Leo X, "Exsurge
> That the Church does not have the power of using force is hereby condemned as error. (Pope Pius IX, Syllabus of Modern
Errors, Section V,no.24)
yes. the catholic church promoted murder. and not only promoted but even committed murder using the rules above..
moreover these "orthodoxy" thing is also running contrary to the definition of the church: saint augstinus,
the person who formed the church as an "institution", idea of the church was that while not being perfect at least
it is the closest approximation. with the immediate consequence that there is a need to constantly try to make things better.
but if way decide to stay where we are and if we do not move we have no chance of getting closer to the truth. like someone
has heard an opus dei priest say:
"why do we always search for the truth? why don't we simply say we have already found it?"
with such an attitude we do not have a chance to get anywhere.
--You miss the point, while introducing perhaps some confusion in your position. There is no way to escape the conclusion
that people who attack opus do so on orthodoxy grounds: as yourself, they say that opus is in part unchristian, uncatholic,
off the track, that is unorthodox ("not of right opinion" from the religious point of view). If so, their judgment
must be rooted on solid doctrinal grounds. But it is strangely common that it is not so, and not in relation to "historical
opinions" of "some people", but to catechism and very solid church doctrine and basic discipline, dogmas, etc.
of TODAY. How a priest who takes his vows for nothing can criticize Opus? The obvious suspicion is that it is because of their
own mistakes that they judge that opus is unorthodox, or at least that is likely. That's all.
You try to elude the issue by transposing it 5-10 centuries ago mostly about the very circumstantial relations between
canon law and criminal law. That won't do, as this is not central to faith. Plus, it is not even accurate: as I already wrote
to you, execution of criminal-heretics were not murders but the result of regular and legal trials, approved by everybody
in most countries, like execution for lese-majesty, theft, counterfeiters, etc. Those where crimes against state, king, and
common good, of which religion was a part; very often, those men thought laws against heresies were the only way to avert
civil war, an evil much worse. Death penalty was so common because poverty of society made impossible to put in jail a lot
of people. That's why also there were several death penalties with graded tortures. Torture, a normal thing in those times,
cannot be criticized with 1999 eyes -- Christ never condemned legal torture, very common in procedures of the ancient world
laws, not even crucifixion. Criminal law and its relation to canon law is something very historical.
Opus has no problem with new truths, but inside holy tradition, that is, e.g. catechism. The sentence you criticize says
"ALWAYS search", implying that what is already found has not to be searched and that there is now an excessive emphasis
on new truths. We can progress while putting more emphasis on truths already there; it's a matter of equilibrium. And research
of new truths must not be done in order to destroy old ones, but building onto those. No problem for serious research in Opus.
As to SSPX, the reason why they are so overdefensive is that they were attacked first. But their liturgy is on average
much more beautiful than the one of their most vocal critics and their schools are among the best, their catechism more effective
and solid. Like Wir sind die Kirche, They have a very serious discipline problem, but I think this is not why you hate them:
it is because, apart from their written discourse, they do exactly the same as the church did in 1958. Aren't they awful and
Plus, they usually don't have a first hand knowledge.
agreed: i have never been a member of opus dei. the evil ideology was way too obvious when reading the "way"
so.. but: reading the books of mister escriva. but from all the (second hand) knowledge) we have from members and ex-members
we say that they interpret it just the way i do. read McCloskey, carmen tapia, the transcript of the TV-documentation, the
letters people have written to me...
--I will later criticise your very peculiar interpretations of quotations of the Way.
True, the words of ex-members is what you have, but it is rather one-sided, as these are people who were probably not
fit, not in their proper place in Opus, like people who say negative things about the military life because this was not for
them. You don't consider those who like Opus, first because they usually don't talk about their happiness (I say usually;
from time to time there is an interview or an open letter of members talking about their lives in opus), second because those
with a bad experience are really vocal--that's very normal.
You say yourself above that ALL that you have from members and ex (save me) are saying like you. I cannot believe you're
not suspicious about that fact!! There has been 200000 members, and ALL that you have is that. I don't say that Tapia or others
hadn't problems, or that Opus or its members are 100% clean, but I suspect the interpretation of problems may be more complex
than expected. People like Tapia are no more than 5 -- and even, my opinion is that she's not completely trustworthy or objective
--more about it later. We need at least 100 other Tapias. And I mean serious ex-members, with no doctrinal problems with catholicism
as such, which is not the case of most people I read on your site. At the moment I trust only what I see. The best guess seems
to me that Tapia-like cases are a mix of misfitting and particular mistakes and sins of people in the institution. That would
explain well the relatively small number of cases which must be taken seriously in 70 years. Don't forget also that supernumerarii
and cooperators -85% of the Work - seem to have no problem.
Let's see what the future will show.
I must sincerely confess that I think you're no exception: I find it bizarre, and certainly not in the spirit of Vatican
II, to read in your pages "rules of the Church are not to be taken too seriously", which has nothing to do with
being critical, since a catholic can be critical only inside the church, that is, with a good deal of doctrinal and dogmatic
Someone who criticise Christ is not christian, because faith is not philosophy, it is trust.
i do not criticise christ. christ has not said that killing is good. quite the opposite...
--Again, you cannot transpose the issue 7 centuries ago, and transpose from theology to criminal law. NOBODY, including
holy church was against the "cruel" boiling of counterfeiters for crime of lese-majesty (issuing currency was regalian
privilege). Christ would have said to give Caesar was is proper and that to kill an unjust agressor is good, like St Thomas
In Catholicism, trust in Christ implies trust in the Church doctrine, and faith not only in Christ, but in A WAY, in church,
on AUTHENTIC religious matters. So one cannot criticise - in the sense of being against - points of the catechism or catholic
dogmatic doctrine: quite the contrary, the ground of all criticisms must be in those.
The same thing could be said about your usage of "fascism" and "fundamentalism", which I find a little
bit manipulative. There are several kinds of democracy, some more authoritarian; that is not fascism.
>i have explained in detail why i think esciva's ideology is "fascist". if you do not like the word then
replace it with "ultra reactionary".
--as I already said to you, ultra reactionary is better, but still very weak as this don't prove at all that any sentence
of Escriva is false, because even assuming that someone is strongly reactive to new things, the propositions of this person
may be all true. So ultra-reactionary is purely relative. I've just finished to read Lenin: the word reactionary is everywhere:
Berkeley, Kant , Hume are reactionaries, skeptics and religious agnostics are reactionaries because they are not atheists,
so they are against science ,which is. How do you answer someone who says that religion is reactionary because the progress
of science weakens it? You answer that everybody react to something and so that everybody is ultra-reactionary, including
the old 18th century scientistic ideology which is reactionary toward the new progress of classical religion. As you've noticed,
Escriva is talking like you when he says that these 18th centuries ideas are depassees (he could have said ultra-reactionary).
Any attempt to give that word an
absolute meaning has little chance of success, because the future, and so the definition of progress, is largely unknown,
save in very few areas, and religion is not one of those. Some experts at the Council wanted the church to go back to the
purity of the first century. How can we avoid to say it's reactionary? What about ultra-leftism? Samething. Reactionary being
relative, it can also be relative to the person who talk; so to cease to be a "real" reactionary -whatever it may
be - you just have to say that you're reactionary only from a ultra-leftist point of view, and from another point of view
you're totally normal and not reactionary. If we take catholic doctrine as a point of reference, it is very difficult to believe
Opus is reactionary. But if we look at this new aspect of opus, let's say the lay apostolate, then YOU are ultra- reactionary
towards them. WHO has decided the progress is on your side - if not only the zeitgeist and conformism?? Again, if capitalism
is new in Russia, marxists are reactionaries there. The revolution and its ideas can be reactionary, at a second level. So
the best is to let there that vocabulary and speak about the real things: let's say authority.
Second, the problem with fascism is not with words only but with reasoning, and precisely about the details on your site.
So it seems you didn't understand my argument. It runs as follow: why don't you say that they are monarchists instead of fascists?
Or authoritarian democrats? There is no reason. Let's limit ourselves to authority. To be authoritarian is not enough to be
fascist, you have to be nationalist (and knowing this, you have to transpose from state to church, without seeing that you
cannot really do so, because a church is not a state, and is by definition much more vertical, that is, implying vertical
authority). You have to believe in cultural heritage of a people - history - that becomes incarnated in a leader, and that
that leader must not be elected. Opus is clearly not against elections, simply I feel they think that is not a political absolute,
which is true, cause its historical. Opus in Italy don't praise Mussolini and his party at all. A fascist must be with the
founder of the fascist party, and clearly so.
Now the structure of the logical mistake (limited to the authority concept):
fascists are authoritarian
Opus is Authoritarian
So Opus is fascist
(you didn't use on your site the premiss that all authoritarians are fascists because its weakness would have been obvious)
The form is
T is M
t is M
t is T
In that form you cannot conclude because one of the premisses must be negative. The reason is that the 2 Ms are particular.
Nazis liked classical art
I like it
So i'm nazi
Look at yout FAQ: "Fascists are this and that. Opus is that. So opus is fascist. It doesn't work. So you transfer
to the religious sphere where you must say: well, it's just a KIND of fascism, or it's a little like fascism. Well, I'm a
little like Hitler cause I like classical art. SO WHAT?? See the confusions?
There is monarchy. Were the Hapsburg fascists?
>monarchy is kind of feudalism. that was not a good thing neither. sure, if you had a wise and friendly king then it
was not that bad but there was no guarantee that there would be a wise and friendly king..
--I agree totally but this is not the point of the argument, to know if monarchy is good. The point is that all authoritarians,
like the jesuits in the religious area, are not fascists, since they could be monarchists. Monarchy is used here as an example
to prove a point about the FORM of reasoning, not its matter.
Escriva has nothing to do with fascism in itself(which is hyper-nationalism, not at all the case of OD, which is rather
the opposite, internationalist)
>escriva's flavor of fascism is "fascism transposed from the state into the church". where of course he can
not be too
nationalised. . in escirva's flavor of fascism the hyper-nationalism is replaces with hyper-religious-intolerance.
>def: nationalism => the own country or "nation" and nothing else.
>def: religious-intolerance => the own religions and nothing else.
--Here we are. The transposition won't work, cause the 2 areas are very different by nature. So Vatican I and the pope
must be fascists, Christ also since he said he was the truth and we had to believe it. The problem with fascism is not authority,
it is authority in an area of contingent decisions where authority needs to be limited, because of the subject-matter. Religion
is another subject matter where authority is THE central thing because TRUST is itself an authority argument.
And what a coincidence, you introduce another concept involving relativity (like reactionary): intolerance. Opus follows
the council here: Catholic church is the only church with the full christian message (religious truth and what is linked to
it). Opus gives courses on oecumenism ,. They criticise without any aggresivity the mistakes - heresies - they see in protestantism:
this is only catholic. They are no more intolerant than Christ, who fought idols. More about it with my look at your interpretations
of the Way. To say , eg., that christ and church have ennemies is true, and doesn't imply the ennemies are churches. Plus,
you have to consider that the tridentine church up to the council was highly defensive.
Your criticism of OD would be a lot stronger without refering to "fascism", a rather precise and specialized
political term. It destroys a lot of your credibility (at high school, guys were saying the smoking ban was "fascist"!).
How could you write that someone who doesn't like Voltaire must have some fascism in him??? What a bizarre idea!!
>the definition of fascism varies a lot between people. but in the ontology of political science, fascism is a reaction
to the moderne. it loathes the ideals of the french revolution.
--Same logical mistake. T is M, t is M. It's a lot more obvious that Escriva didn't like Voltaire because he was an ennemy
of the church and of all revealed religions, and not an always honest one, not because Voltaire was moderne. Not liking Voltaire
doesn't even imply not liking the Revolution. Returning to the logical mistake, I don't like the revolution and the church
don't like it, not because we are fascists, but because it was in part against the church and religion in themselves (not
only for political motives), and mostly because the philosophy behind it (Rousseau) is dangerous and incomplete. It sees the
human nature from a liberty standpoint, instead of right reason and natural law of classical philosophy, and the only limit
to liberty is liberty of others, instead of being the objective and
virtuous good, personal and common. So virtues of good man come second after liberty; so it's much more difficult for
law and social life to have their proper goals as seen from a classical (Aristotle) point of view: producing virtuous men
for the common good. In short for the church natural law and duties toward virtues come first, not liberty, which is a mean
of action. There is also supernatural law, for believers.
In very short this is the problem about the french revolution, no fascism in there.
I could as well had called you a communist or leftist;
some of your friends from opus dei have done just that. i have been calles a "real austrian marxist". hehe..
--They're doing exactly the same as you with fascism, maybe to show the relativity of all this. I don't fall in that trap.
That doesn't lead us anywhere
>a stated goal of opus dei is it to influence society, by bringing opus dei people into important positions (in the
workplace...politics..media..). i think it is legitime and necessary to analyze the political goals of a group who wants to
transform society according to their ideas. don't you think so? to be able to understand my criticism, it is also important
to know where i stand. so if you want to categorize me as a "leftist" then you can do so,but then i would ask you
to show me where my position is more "leftist" than jesus position.
--In the current discussion, i don't care if you're a leftist and i never said so; quite the contrary, i said it wouldn't
And I don't see where we are more fascists or rightists than Christ, who said, -Imagine- he was God himself - Hitler didn't
go as far. Plus, don't you think there were good christians among italian fascists, or absolute monarchists? Remember, democracy
is a way to chose representatives, it's not God.
Look at my addendum on the Jesuits: they have the same kind of apostolate: intellectual. So they reach some groups first,
but not exclusively. They were accused again and again of doing politics.
You're right about the examination of their ideas. My perception of those is different. They want christ and God having
an "influence". But all apostolate is an influence. The church tries to influence -convert - the poors, who can
have a lot of power one day, etc. The only real question is: are the means of apostolate illegitimate? There's a fine line
there and it's not as easy to find as you may think. I don't think they use influence in a coercive manner, more than by the
example of their lives and good work. They repeat us: if you have an exemplary life, if your work is as perfect as possible,
if you have true charity, your collegues at work may see God in this. etc.
Political goals cannot be interpreted otherwise than being social teaching of the church. They don't work for having new
catholic kings, even if they don't oppose that; but they work for natural law and virtue, like the council, things that are
only indirectly catholic and must apply to all (eg. fighth against pornography and for justice). I never saw anything else,
but i'm open to all new facts. I think it is close to impossible to catch Opus because all the texts are obviously spiritual
and not about politics, or at the very least they can be interpreted so. So what is left to you is only the practice of Opus,
which can always be explained as particular misuses or mistakes, or interpreted as fully in line with church doctrine.
The same with fundamentalism: they are not at all from that biblical school. My perception was that their preaching was
simply the best in town: spiritual, vertical, intelligent, with a sense of sacredness which is lacking elsewhere-apart from
spiritual and with a sense of sacredness. yes. after all i do not say that everything in opus dei is bad. i think their
spirituality is good, but that is also the problem: the evil ideology is hidden much better behind these spirituality and
"sense of sacredness" then with the other traditionalists where evil and hate are much more obvious.. so there is
a high danger that good people (like my friend and like most of the opus dei members) get mislead by the opus dei.
--The problem is not only that they are good: they're among the very best. That is, it's not only that I do not believe
in your "evil ideology" stuff, but also cannot find elsewhere the things in which they excell. /And I'm not sure
it's different in Vienna, although situations must be different from place to place. In fact, it is likely that it is precisely
what you call the evil ideology, that is the defensive system, that indirectly makes their spiritulity so much better than
elsewhere. Idem for the people; it is simply very unlikely that most OD people are good despite Opus, but quite the contrary,
they are good people because of Opus rules and way of doing things.
Also, you cannot put all tradis in the same bag; FSSP is excellent, Institute of Christ the King also, etc... But they
are less modern than OD, less close to a protestant attitude towards the world and work.
Interesting fact: I just discovered the same abuse of language about fundamentalism than about fascism. Fundamentalism
is a approach to biblical interpretation with several flaws. One cannot transpose to catholicism because then it is no more
a matter of biblical interpretation -- the rhetoric tries to transpose the negative connotation from one domain to another,
without saying it`s not the same thing at all.
This brings me to what I consider is a misunderstanding, or clash of point of view about them. Put simply, and apart from
the fact that they don't put censorship on Eternal damnation, mortal sins, penance, mortification, sacrifice,sainthood, etc.,
discipline is very important to them, especially as they are lay people in the world, unprotected by the walls of a monastery
or the common life of a religious order. They choose to enforce a strong discipline so they can function, and after all it
is their right.
True, it's a little bit like military life. I think this is exactly where the misunderstanding comes. Like military life,
opus is not for everyone, and some persons will always be at odd with it, and find that their identity is "pressured"
by opus rules.
>well, but the opus dei wants to change our society according to their rules."out of 100 souls we want one hundred.."
so it does matter.
--Misinterpretation. OD, like Jesuits, are for particular people that have the vocation, that's obvious and we must interpret
those words according to that. We=catholic church in that context, probably. Or maybe it was just rhetoric. There is no proof
the change they want are OD changes: we can interpret that they want simple christian influence or change, that's all. That
hypothesis would be more simple and obvious.
Besides, everybody knows that if you yourself lack discipline, you are likely not to like those who have it or, let's
say, military personnel. I think it is the same with opus: people who don't like them are very often those with less doctrinal
and ascetic discipline. This is not a blame; I'm just saying that people are different.
Now, maybe you could say that a Church is not an army. Yes and no. There is a "Legio Mariae", "Legio Christi".
It is very classical to say that sanctity of spiritual life is a fight, e.g. against evil, against oneself etc., and all sorts
of psychological techniques are used in ascetic fighting.
that touches one important point: the question whether the "enemy" that escriva is talking about is only a metaphor
of the "inner enemy" in everyone self. from the fact that they want to infiltrate society it seems the notion of
"enemy" includes a lot of people too.. (or think about how escriva calls some people "devils")
--Christ had always ennemies, and some people are ennemies, or at least some aspects of their beings. Nothing new there.
The only thing is to be fair with them and to love them, by charitable correction. And Satan is not only a metaphor.
Interestingly enough, There is another jesuistic order, founded in 1941 in mexico, The Legionaries of Christ, kind of
super-jesuit priestly order, with 14 yrs of training instead of 11, and their success is as remarquable as that of Opus: they
have more novices than priests. It seems that the future is there.
Part of them are physical. St Francis was whipping himself, Christ fasted, and it is very common among classical Jesuits
to talk about the "surrender of one's own will" and to see the will of the Father superior as the will of God, not
in every instances perhaps, but as an ascetic technique for self-detachment.
i can understand how that kind of obedience can help to increase spirituality. but it is a dangerous thing..
>now for the big questions: is obedience founded in the scripture? well i hope you people have answers to some of it.
i would especially be interested in how you think about the kind of obedience the opus dei demands.
when we look at the kind of obedience that is demanded by other orders than i think (i am not an expert here) it is mostly
outward obedience. (you have a strict plan on how you have to spend your day in the monastery, are not allowed to talk at
certain hours etc etc.. but you are completely free in your mind). i guess this kind of outward obedience might help some
people to develop more freedom on their inside and help them in spiritual growth.
--See the addendum on Jesuit obedience, which goes farther than OD, and is explicitly blind, internal, and more permanent
than in Opus.
>you may argue that this obedience was a worldly one and that obedience to the church is different. well, if people
would have been disobedient to the pope than maybe we would not have had the crusades or the burning of witches... etc..
--Inquisition was not coming from the pope, but from society and the people, in a context, first, of religious and civil
wars in South France. And interests of church and state were inseparable. I think we are sensitive mostly about sentencing:
death penalty etc. But in those times you have to see the sentencing for other crimes also, like lese-majesty. At least 95
% of inquisition sentencing were much lighter.
>the only "permanent blind intellectual & spiritual obedience" that you can sell me is if it is obedience
to God. as long as there is no one that has the right to tell me what God wants from me but scripture and most of all conscience.
-- you must add holy tradition, living teaching of the church, infallibly proclaimed dogmas. But this is not really obedience,
it is adherence of the intellect. About "blind", you may also just say that you don t have a jesuistic vocation,
that s all. Let those who are called to it have it.
Psychological "Self-manipulation" is nothing but normal in that context; as it is in the army. Every religious
order has a rule, and opus has a right to have its own. >Nevertheless, it is simply not true they are puppets: they accept
the rules, that's all, like Benedictines accept the St Benedict Rule. I find simply counter factual and unrealistic to think
that those numerarii,often Ph.D. s and M.D., would be manipulated so easily.
>well i have almost completed my academic education and i know quite a lot of"ph.d."'s etc.. not all of them
are really super bright people. second, i think that opus dei especially attracts people who have some responsibility. responsibility,
for good people is always a heavy load. and people want to get rid of that responsibility so these people feel attracted towards
an organisation that recommends them that they do not trouble their own little head with the problems.. (compare #777 of the
"way"). giving away responsibility, becoming children again. isn't that what we all desire?
--We really live in a different world. Intellectuals , with all their pride, are the last ones willing to be puppets or
surrender part of their minds; you cannot stop a learned and cultivated person to think; it's too natural. It's near to impossible
for them to be puppets in a pathological sense, where freedom is lost. And it's obvious the minds of Opus university professors
are functionning more than normally. You really don't know them. Like amongs Jesuits, it is an act of free mind to renounced
part of freedom in order to reach sanctity, a highher goal. Given the tendencies of intellectuals, it is likely that the discipline
of Opus will produce the ideal balanced result: you correct the excesses by working relentlessly the other way.
Tapia (321) recognizes this indirectly, saying that OD is better for jurists and canon lawyers than for philosophers and
theologians; it is only because these are not puppets that problems of discipline arise and that balance between discipline,
obedience and thinking must be worked at and found. That's unavoidable and natural. No need of inflation like in Tapia's book
where intellectuals "are hidden" or "disappear" or "become the patients of psychiatrists", unless
we have case by case serious data. Anyway, there's no shortage of excellents philosophers and theologian at U. Of Navarre
and U. of The Holy Cross; they don't need to be renown, especially in the 1960-1990 period, involving a particular zeitgeist.
Interestingly, It's among the Jesuits pupils that you find the most free minds, despite their cult for obedience. The explanation
is that freedom is something you learn, and you reach it by fighting against passions, i.e. by asceticism, which is impossible
without obedience and renouncing part of one' self. So to gain internal freedom from passions, you have to renounce external
freedom. That's the case in all monasteries.
In the end, it is very much possible that the most liberal education produce the less free minds.
True, you have to be invited. Again, like all religious order, they have to keep an inside and outside in order to be
functional, all the more since they are lay people. We can criticize this, but I don't see why it would be so different than
the years (novitiate etc.) the religious orders take to put their candidates to test.
Separation of men and women is a part of the same classical prudence and realism: numerarii do not marry. I fail to understand
how OD could be and "unreal world", anymore than the monastic world. It is simply different.
I have nothing to say about tolerance and conservatism as those are relative concepts: everything is a matter of reasonable
limits. It would be incoherent to tolerate uncatholic doctrine in catholic doctrine. And marxists in the USSR were always
saying they where the revolution party;but they were there for so long a time that in the end they were conservatives (of
the revolution)!! I do not see why opus would not be the new vangard, as nobody knows where history goes.
>knowing that the world becomes a smaller place every day , i think that mutual understanding of different cultures
and religions might be one of the prime necessities for the peaceful progress of mankind. vatican II has recognised that and
religious tolerance and ecumenism is the most important topic there.
--This is one part of the truth. Syncretism and underevaluation of truth is the other danger, and it is more dangerous
than tolerance in the West. Tolerance and oecumenism doesn't mean that Catholic Church doesn't have religious truth in the
fullest, the true, valid and authentic sacraments, etc. The Council is very clear on this, as is Ecclesiam suam of Paul VI
on the true notion of dialogue - catholic church being the "doctor" of the world. The problem with tolelance is
that it is a rather empty concept. You just have to be more relativistic in order to change its meaning and give this or that
absolute position an intolerant sound (that's why Voltaire played so much with that word, and "fanaticism" - like
Tapia). Tolerance cannot apply to errors or heresies, that is to the theoretical realm; it should apply only to persons. And
even this doesn't mean that some persons are not vicious.
The last thing is about discretion. They consider it as part of humility. They never make a show and they work in silence.
For the same reason, explicitly written in the Way, they never really defend themselves when attacked. They take all the shit
with what I found was an admirable self-discipline, simply because It was the rule of the Padre.
>nice try of explanation. but then escriva sees his discretion as a weapon:#655. he also knows how intelligent words
could help to attract more people. the reason why they do not want to defend them self is probably the same as with censorship:
while "defending" them self against arguments such as those shown on my page they would have to carefully think
about that. and that>would bring them faster into troubles (#777) then any of the books they are not allowed to read. a
few members of opus dei have written to me and wanted to tell me all the reasons why my pages are so very wrong. i appreciated
that but they did not come up with anything. after explaining them a little bit they usually got very uncomfortable and decided
that further conversation with me would take away the peace from their soul.. so they decided to remain in the state of self
never heard what was wrong with my pages..
--I must make a correction here: they defend themselves sometimes when the attacks are public or really defamatory. But
they don't have a controversy culture and don't like to argue and so on. It's their spirituality.
E.g. see The Way 688 "Once again they have spoken, they have written: in favour, against; with good and with not
so goodwill; suggestions and slander; panegyrics and plaudits; hits and misses... Don't be a fool! as long as you are making
straight for your goal, head and heart intoxicated with God, why worry about the voice of the wind, or the chirp of the cricket,
or the mooing or the grunting or the braying? Besides, it's inevitable; don't waste time answering back."
# 14 "Don't waste your time and your energy - which belong to God - throwing stones at the dogs that bark at you
on yourway. Ignore them."
I'm convinced Opus is facing the attacks by applying explicitely those rules, with a lot of self-discipline and even
a spiritual exercise outlook ( this silence can be a weapon also, but humility or sanctity can be considered weapons in spiritual
You cannot use the #777 in that context, because all the chapter of 777 is about god's will, and very classical and jesuitic:
renouncing own's will to do the will of God. You cannot, reading 778 and all related ##, interpret it in another way, unless
you're in bad faith. With all the theologians they have and above all, excellent canon lawyers, they have nothing to fear
from your objections, believe me, especially as there's nothing new in your thinking, just stuff largely inspired by Tapia's
book and nothing much more, plus inflation from political ideology added. The point is for them: do this discussion brings
me closer to sanctification?
It IS obvious members of OD who wrote you were not at a high level in the movement, they were just ordinary christians,
and not the most intellectual. You got certainly no answer from officials or ranking officers. The answers you got were like
those of simple preconciliar believers, to whom priests were saying in those times: it is better to avoid talking, e.g. with
Jehova witnesses, or people of a sect, in order that one s faith remains protected. You got no intellectuals, that s all.
The context of 655 is sainthood, the spiritual fight. Don`t you see 654 656? 648 is about vain glory? All those ## have
a connotation of fighting against oneself, the will to talk and make oneself the center, etc. etc. At the very least, context
indicates that, much more than the will to fight by secret plots.
CF. also Estruch 115, 129 : in the 40s Escriva and OD were very persecuted; at that moment Escriva gave the order of never
talking about that. :the jesuits "persecuted him, abused him, denounced him`", made pressures on boys of families
who were OD.
So discretion, or at least the degree at which it is in force, may have historical roots, not to mention the spanish war.
That attitude may be bad for them in the short term but very powerful in the long run. I think you must think about it,
because it may be the main reason why your view is so unbalanced. We hear mostly one side of the story, from those who were
unfit for OD and who had problems. The other side remain silent.
>i am playing with the idea to write an "open letter" to the opus dei. directly challenging them to respond
to my concerns. but that needs a bit of time and thinking.. and i am rather busy these days..
--Wasting your time in my opinion. You won`t get any official reply, and high level intellectuals will stop reading you
on the third time they see the word "fascism", considering this childish.
Maybe I'm wrong, but among the 200,000 or so members since 1928, it seems to me that only a very little minority had serious
>or let's say: we only have knowledge of a minority of the problems. and i do not say that someone can not have a happy
live inside opus dei: yes it is very tempting to give away responsibility. to become a child. careless and without burden..
the big trouble would only start where they could start to bring these principles into society at large..
--Those people are in the world, with professions; it is unlikely they go in Opus for security or fear of the world ,
like it was the case for some people in religious orders. Plus, my DIRECT OBSERVATION indicates that there is nothing childish
in their psychology. It is not impossible that the accusations of religious childishness by the critics may be pharisaic,
and come from a religion too much intellectualised (gnose).They are very mature, and especially good parents to their kids.
Again, it is unproven that what they want is other than christianise society by christian means. THEY don`t want society to
be Opus, but just be catholic, to be saved.
The only thing with which I would have hesitation is the use of friendship for recruiting. But again, one cannot conclude
that those frienships are false or manipulative. One must judge case by case, and OD is not responsible for individual misuse
of its way of doing things.
>well, i would not call it individual misuse. according to what ex-members say, these misuse is the norm there. and:
in an hierarchical organisation: if someone high up in the ranks decides to misuse that, it would affect a whole branch of
the organisation. (you have read carmen tapia's book, have you?)
--There is a misunderstanding here. The ex interpret "misuse" as recruiting itself, but this is a petitio principii.
Like the guy in Bowers, The Work, who says that a true friend is simply somebody you enjoy to be with. Well, a true friend,
will say a christian, is somebody who cares for your soul and tries to participate in the salvation of it. There are different
kinds of friendship and Plato, Aristotle, would have said that of the highest kind is the friend who tries to make you more
virtuous, thus working on you, so to speak (the other kind of friendship being grounded mostly on emotion, that is pleasure,
in the psychological sense).
What I wanted to say is that recruiting is not incompatible with true friendship, even if it involve make someone find
his vocation in OD, if its the will of God. A friend may not know he has an OD vocation. In Tapia s and others books there
are several examples, but just take that of Pannikar-Tapia. He was the recruiter, after all, and must have received counsel
about it. But Everything in the book seems to indicate that AT THE SAME TIME, the friendship was genuine, even if an act of
planified will was involved. And the friendship lasted after OD. The misuse in particular cases comes only when somebody recruits
without being a friend at all, without any charity or seeing only "targets". But this is not a necessary consequence
of the system of the apostolate of friendship. OD has a right to be as
attractive as possible , and use human means for this, to fulfill what it perceives as its divine mission.