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Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most…

by John L. Allen

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328457,770 (3.31)10
The first serious journalistic investigation of the highly secretive, controversial organization Opus Dei provides unique insight about the wild rumors surrounding it and discloses its significant influence in the Vatican and on the politics of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei (literally "the work of God") is an international association of Catholics often labeled as conservative who seek personal Christian perfection and strive to implement Christian ideals in their jobs and in society as a whole. It has been accused of promoting a right-wing political agenda and of cultlike practices. Its notoriety escalated with the publication of the runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code (Opus Dei plays an important and sinister role in the novel). With the expert eye of a longtime observer of the Vatican and the skill of an investigative reporter intent on uncovering closely guarded secrets, John Allen finally separates the myths from the facts.--From publisher description.… (more)
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Opus Dei is one of the most talked about but least known religious organizations of our time. For years no one has been allowed access to its secrets.

Until now ...

Here, Vatican insider John Allen uncovers its true nature. Granted unlimited access to those within its ranks, gaining a wealth of interviews with the heads of Opus Dei around the world, Allen finally separates the myths from the facts: the actual use of whips and the cilice; the true extent of Opus Dei's funds; the identities of its influential members in politics, banking and high office; and how much power this shadowy group really has.

'Definitive, persuasive and absorbing' Daily Telegraph

'Focuses on some of the most controversial aspects of the organization, from its treatment of women to its recruitment and its money' Independent

'He reports on all aspects of the Opus Dei cult (including structure and finance, and the practice of mortifying the flesh with a cilice) ... and, most usefully, includes details of the bishops and personnel around the world who are Opus Dei clergy' New Statesman

'An admirable book ... the first stop for anyone interested in [Opus Dei]' Sunday Times
  tony_sturges | Jul 27, 2018 |
A very thorough and detailed examination of the structure, philosophy and practices of this organisation. In my view, Allen succeeds 90% in showing that fears about the organisation being a sinister, organised and reactionary force with a baleful influence on the Catholic church are grossly exaggerated or entirely fictitious. Yet at the same time some of the common practices, particularly as regards aspects of the lifestyles of the celibate numeraries such as their limited access to sources of information and contacts with the outside world, seem rather cultish and seem to have no real objective justification even from a religious viewpoint. A worthwhile book, clearly sympathetic to a Catholic viewpoint overall, but lacking nothing in rigourous investigation of its subject. ( )
  john257hopper | Oct 26, 2007 |
4109 Opus Dei An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church, by John L. Allen, Jr. (read 22 Dec 2005) Opus Dei was founded Oct 2, 1928, and this account is a good explanation of it and its objectives. The book shows that Opus Dei is not very powerful and most of the bad publicity about it is not well founded. Its wealth is about the same as that of a medium-sized American diocese. Its members are a good zealous group, trying to lead holy lives and do good. ( )
  Schmerguls | Oct 18, 2007 |
This is a very good, balanced investigation of Opus Dei. The organisation comes out of it much more postively than media reports might lead one to expect, but its faults are also acknowledged. I would have given this five stars had it not been for the fact that the author very occasionally lapses from his own high standards and takes a "no smoke without fire" approach. This is very rare and quite clearly flagged, however. Overall, I recommend this book highly. ( )
  lizw | Jul 10, 2006 |
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Morgan, Jean-LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The first serious journalistic investigation of the highly secretive, controversial organization Opus Dei provides unique insight about the wild rumors surrounding it and discloses its significant influence in the Vatican and on the politics of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei (literally "the work of God") is an international association of Catholics often labeled as conservative who seek personal Christian perfection and strive to implement Christian ideals in their jobs and in society as a whole. It has been accused of promoting a right-wing political agenda and of cultlike practices. Its notoriety escalated with the publication of the runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code (Opus Dei plays an important and sinister role in the novel). With the expert eye of a longtime observer of the Vatican and the skill of an investigative reporter intent on uncovering closely guarded secrets, John Allen finally separates the myths from the facts.--From publisher description.

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