How Dangerous Is Opus Dei

In February 1987, 18-year-old went on a Catholic retreat with friends that she’d met while studying at Boston College But this innocent weekend away was about to turn into a 3-year ordeal that would tear her family apart

Within weeks, Tammy abandoned her friends and family, and started dedicating all of her time to ‘Opus Dei’, a mysterious faction of the Catholic Church Tammy left her parents clueless as to her whereabouts, and the Di Nicolas suddenly found themselves helpless at the hands of a secretive and life-consuming church It was only after years of struggle and a family intervention that Tammy finally returned to her family But in those 3 years, just what had happened to Tammy? Opus Dei is one of the most influential religious organizations in the world – a Christian institution not yet 100 years old, but which holds enormous power over local communities in America, Spain, and across the world In the public eye, this holy organization is known for its charitable ventures by donating a lot of its wealth to those in need

But under this veil of benevolence, Opus Dei is hiding a dark secret, as the Di Nicola family knows all too well Opus Dei hit the limelight in 2006 with the release of the mystery-religion movie, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, in which it was portrayed as a fanatical and murderous sect A piece of fiction of course, but what if Dan Brown’s portrayal of Opus Dei contains some truth? Could it be that one of the most powerful religious establishments in the world is a Catholic cult? In 1928 in Madrid, a Catholic Priest called Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer founded a new faction of the Catholic Church Escriva called this new group Opus Dei, which means ‘Work of God’ in Latin Its core belief was that that sanctity should be for everyone, and not just reserved for monks and priests, or high-up members of the Church

Opus Dei’s official message is that ordinary life can lead to holiness, and members can find God in the world around them and by working hard The institution has even been praised by the Vatican for its contribution towards spreading the word of God Honesty and humble Catholicism is at the core of Opus Dei, but ironically, not much is known about what really goes on within the organisation Undercover journalists and ex-members like Tammy Di Nicola are the ones we must rely on for our information, and every new story paints Opus Dei as a deceitful cult Members are forbidden to reveal their involvement with the institution, but those who have managed to escape tell stories of self-mortification, misogyny and strict rules, which are all required as part of Opus Dei worship… Defectors recall being enticed to disguised social events run by Opus Dei, where existing members trick new recruits into believing that this is their calling from God, and guilts them into joining by telling them that they risk eternal damnation if they refuse

Once inside Opus Dei, weekly sessions of self-abuse, are expected from all members, to remind themselves of Christ’s suffering Members reportedly have to atone for their sins by whipping themselves to the Memorare prayer, by sleeping on wooden floors, wearing a spiked metal chain called a cilice, and completely isolating themselves from their previous life And Maria del Carmen Tapia, an ex-senior member of the Opus Dei, spent 18 years within the group before she finally escaped Maria says the church is a covert powerhouse, which controls the lives of its 85,000 members and strips them of free thought, by using dangerous brainwashing tactics Opus Dei apologists like vicar Richard Stork argue that the organisation has nothing to hide

According to Stork, Opus Dei takes people to the roots of traditional Catholicism, a humble faith where the love for Christ can be expressed by anyone But this story doesn’t wash with outsiders An early critic of the Opus Dei was Reverend Wlodimir Ledochowski, the Superior-General of the Society of Jesus, who said that Opus Dei were ‘a form of Christian Masonry’ Cult or not, for a Catholic group which reveres honesty and modesty above all else, the powers of Opus Dei certainly don’t practice what they preach


  1. This is so ridiculously ignorant it’s embarrassing.

    If it really takes people undercover to discover the ‘truth’ about Opus Dei (since of course the writer won’t any witness that says otherwise), please kindly go undercover yourself and tell us what you learned.

    For the record, I’m not a member. But I am a beneficiary of their apostolate and therefore know a lot of members.

  2. As a former numerary member I agree with everything inthe above article. Women must sleep on the floor, or on boards, every night of the week; men only one, because Escriva thought that women were more sensuous than men. He taught that when a member leaves Opus Dei they are to be considered dead and he would not give 10 centimes for their soul, I read these things in internal documents. Opus Dei’s projects and of its members are impressive but “by their fruits you will know them” The litmus test is unconditional love. Supernumeraries, Cooperators and even many Numeraries are not aware of all that goes on at the heart of the Prelature. Neither are wider Church authorities. Opus Dei really does show various signs of being a cult (or sect). That is why well-studied cult experts are aware of it and receive complaints about it and requests for support from former members.

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