After learning of a series of new rulings by Pope Francis for Opus Dei, the question arises in some as to whether this institution is a denomination of the Catholic Church.
The Spanish Royal Academy He defines a sect as “a religious or ideological belief that deviates from what is considered orthodox” or true, or its “followers”.
He also defines it as “a closed group, which promotes or appears to promote ends of a spiritual nature, in which masters exercise absolute power over their followers”.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna (Austria), wrote a few years ago a work entitled “Reflections on the concept of sect and a response to some accusations against Catholic groups“.
In it he explains that by separating from the Church, the sect is “distinguished above all by the renunciation of the common apostolic biblical truth and of the central contents of the faith. Therefore, in the opinion of the Church, The sect is always associated with heresy and schism“.
This is not the case with priests and members of Opus Dei, who tend to be distinguished by orthodoxy, that is, for their devotion to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The Cardinal emphasized that “one does not need to study theology to realize the fundamental contradiction involved in the motto: ‘sects within the church’.”
The alleged presence of sects within the Church Indirectly also, it bears a disgrace to the Pope and the bishopsWhich has the responsibility to examine church associations to see if their doctrine and activities are compatible with the faith of the church,” he noted.
So, is Opus Dei a sect?
The articles respond to the accusations made by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code, which was later made into a movie; Which is not only meant to show Opus Dei as a cult but as a mafia with murderous monks, something far from the truth.
Is Opus Dei Conservative or Extremist? As Brown himself asserts, the people of Opus Dei They try to follow the advice of the Holy Father and the signs that the Church gives to all Christians”, refers to the 2021 text.
Is a soccer player who follows his coach’s instructions an extremist? Do you play extreme soccer? Does he lack personality? “
The text also states that “Opus Dei is an institution recognized by the Catholic Church since 1943. Its founder has been canonized, as it has been suggested as A model of life for all Catholics in the world“.
At the ceremony presided over by Pope Saint John Paul II in October 2002, “Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world came to Saint Peter’s Square. If it was a secret organization, it would be difficult to hide its members and supporters“.
In short, the Opus Dei is not a cult.
Cardinal Schönborn points out in his text that “the recognized ecclesiastical communities are in constant contact with the officials of the Church. Their laws and lifestyle are examined“.
For this reason, he warns, “It is unfair for some institutions, people, or media to label communities recognized by the church as denominations, or even to label their lifestyle ‘denominational practices’.”
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