Thursday, February 17, 2011

Opus Dei and the Spain it came from

Me on FB: Even though I’m a libertarian – so I’m beyond the pale to many trads/palæos – I don’t dislike Franco. A legit option according to Catholic teaching and for many years in Spain it worked. As for Escrivá and Opus Dei, I’m suspicious of ‘new ecclesial movements’ as the stories of the Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi (Marcial Maciel was one of the biggest con men ever) and Miles Jesu prove. Opus Dei’s mission statement about holiness in your state of life didn’t need a new ecclesial movement – that’s what parishes, families, neighbourhoods, Catholic cultures etc. are for. (There are orthodox versions of Arturo’s folk Catholicism and then there are militants, politicised culture-warriors; very different.) I met Opus Dei in the ’80s and wasn’t impressed. (Then again every Legionary of Christ I met was charming.) I wanted some Tridentine alternative to the Vatican II mess, like the FSSP and Tridentine parishes now, and found more JPII Novus Ordo. (The only Opus Dei place I found like that was Grandpont House, Oxford.) Even the rumoured fun of a powerful secret society couldn’t overcome that. About 15 years later I met an ex-supernumerary (top lay official, celibate), still a practising Catholic, who said ‘I hate Opus Dei’. It seems to hook up with the rich to perpetuate itself for its own sake.

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