Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei Hardcover – Jun 23 1999
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Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei by Robert Hutchison purports to expose the inner workings of an extremely conservative Catholic organization headquartered in Rome, whose members include the Pope's personal secretary, his spokesman, and several of his close ministers. These leaders are supported by 80,000 other believers around the world. Opus Dei is Latin for "God's Work," and Hutchison believes that Opus Dei's divine devotions include the operation of a media network as large as Rupert Murdoch's; immense financial support of the Church; and the preparation for a new Crusade against Islam. Their Kingdom Come paints Opus Dei as a Catholic conspiracy to infiltrate the world's upper echelons of political, financial, and educational power, and suggests that the group especially prizes its Mafia connections. Hutchison, a Swiss journalist who has written for the Sunday Telegraph and Toronto's Financial Post, weakens some of his arguments with cheap shots (chapter titles include "Moneybags Theology" and "Opus Octopus"), and he leans too heavily on anonymous sources for his most scandalous accusations. The few Opus Dei members whom he does identify, do, however, evince a steely, dogmatic self-confidence: "We have been chosen by God to save the Church," says one; "We have an orthodox vision that is pure, certain, solid, assured of everything," intones another. Opus Dei is the pope's only Personal Prelature, a privileged bishopric with no geographical boundaries. Learning more about the group is worth a reader's time, and Their Kingdom Come is a fine, though flawed, way to begin that endeavor. --Michael Joseph Gross
From Publishers Weekly
Hutchison has chosen a tricky subject: a secretive Catholic organization that can easily provoke the old prejudices against Catholics involving secrecy and conspiracies. It's to his credit, then, that his report on Opus Dei ("God's Work"), a small, little-known but powerful lay organization within the Catholic church, is a responsible piece of investigative reporting. Both politically and theologically conservative (many would say reactionary), Opus Dei has, according to Hutchison, flourished during the papacy of John Paul II: "John Paul II's closest advisers were the men of Opus Dei... which, through his help, had become the Church's only Personal Prelature, that is to say, a privileged bishopric without a territory." The organization's aggressive recruiting of influential professionals in business, media, finance and government has enabled it to amass enormous backroom influence. Hutchison presents a mixed chronological and thematic account of Opus Dei's development, from the provincial family background of Spanish founder Josemar!a Escriv de Balaguer (1902-1975) to its present role intensifying lines of conflict with fundamentalist Islam. While Hutchison puts readers right in the middle of various complex financial/political scandals, his narrative slips rapidly from thread to thread, exacerbating the inherent confusion of such secretive dealings. He touches on important theological, philosophical and moral issues, but fails to use them systemically to illuminate Opus Dei's rivalries with others on the right or its profound hostility to progressives such as Pope John XXIII. Ultimately, while the book is packed with meticulous detail, Hutchison never weaves his findings into a coherent evaluative framework. Photos, illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The cover of the book claims: "A responsible piece of investigative reporting ... packed with meticulous detail." from Publishers Weekly. Yet I find none of that in this book in comparison with other books on the same subject. Both this author, and Michael Walsh in his book The Secret World of Opus Dei, claim to have access to secret documents that are not reproduced or evidenced other than their claims given to their existence.
Hutchison claims that Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, was not really interested in the spiritual life of his followers. He states: "Escriva was interested in power. He was a schemer. God's schemer. And he wanted to control higher education, and later government ministries." p.87 This book makes such wide and varied accusations against Opus Dei that it is hard to believe the author has not been charged with libel and slander. Hutchison claims that Opus Dei has overturned governments, controlled the FBI and the CIA, bankrupted the Vatican so that Opus Dei could bail them out, and orchestrated assassination attempts including the one against Pope Paul VI.Read more ›
Catholic Church purportedly teaches. This book couldn't be
further from the truth.
The simple truth of the matter is St. Escriva founded Opus Dei
to help Catholic Christians live out their faith in every area
of their lives, especially the workplace.
Big secret there, huh?
This book is not worth the paper it's printed on. Don't waste your money.
Of course, the book purports to focus on Opus Dei not its founder. In preparation to read this, one might wish to read at least a primer on the Spanish Civil War.Those with specialized interest and knowledge of this important period of modern European history will best be able to judge if Hutchison got it right! Considerable detail , some tangential, is provided on a very complex piece of Spain's history. Founded in 1928 with direct revelations received by Father Escriva, the organization was born in the fateful years leading up to the Civil War.
Certainly the impact of Opus Dei is being felt in the corridors of the UN and is sometimes seen as unseemly. Its outreach is worldwide. The author provides sparce information about the OD in the United States with a membership of 5,000 reported in 1995. We are told R. Sargent Shriver and wife Eunice of the Kennedy clan "became active Opus Dei operators (sic)." Little else is said by Hutchison about OD in America. He does say the former head of the FBI, Louis Freeh, was an Opus Dei supernumerary. Amazing if true!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
opus dei is said to mean work pd god ,yet why is it that it refers to oedipus, . the one man who was ably to answer the riddle. Read morePublished on March 1 2004
This book has very high biased opinion over the Opus Dei. I don't believe in anything I've read in it.Published on Feb. 24 2004 by Pedro Oliveira Jr.
This is an excellent book - superbly researched and written. I would imagine that any previous negative reviews were submitted by Opus Dei sympathizers. That's fine, of course. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2003
THe writer rightly intuits that Opus Dei have a major role to play in the new world order, but had no access to their divine guidance. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2002 by Mr. C. M. Fitzpatrick
This book is loaded with sensational "revelations" - all you have to do is replace rational thought with gullibility and have a rollicking read. Read morePublished on July 10 2002 by Bill O'Chee
This book is a lot of salacious rumor and scandal involving Opus Dei and the secret maneuverings of the Vatican. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2002 by New Age of Barbarism
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