Opus Dei Essay

537 Words3 Pages
The article is all about Opus Dei, Latin for work of God. Opus Dei becomes well known to the public because of Dan Brown’s infamous novel The Da Vinci Code. Opus Dei is considered one of the most controversial movements in the Roman Catholic Church. Even though it has the support of various popes and several Catholic Leaders, it doesn’t shield them from various criticisms. Many opponents criticize its secrecy, its power and its practice of mortification. In the article, John Allen, a Vatican correspondent for the U.S. weekly National Catholic Reporter, scrutinizes all the criticisms thrown at Opus Dei. According to John Allen, Opus Dei is excessively secretive about its membership. And the argument that it’s only protecting its member’s “spiritual privacy” doesn’t stand. Opus Dei is hardly rich. It directly controls about $344 million less than the annual income of the St. Vincent de Paul Charity. Its most visible sign of wealth, a multi-million Manhattan skyscraper, just came from a bequest of a pharmaceutical stock in 1997. As for power, only three members hold high Vatican office. The most publicized controversy of the Opus Dei is its practice of mortification- voluntary offering up of pain or discomfort to God. Opus Dei celibate members practice corporal mortification such as sleeping without a pillow, fasting, or wearing a cilice, a barbed thigh band. Numeraries, full scale, celibate members of Opus Dei, generally wears a cilice two hours a day. This article reminds me of the Holy Week Celebration in the Philippines. Being the only Christian nation in Asia, Holy Week is celebrated in the Philippines in total solemnity. The celebration is nationwide and every province has its own way of celebrating the Holy Week. I can remember it well, growing up in my province; I will line up in the street, waiting for the bloodletting to begin. On Good Friday at noon when
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