Opus Dei says it has “deep respect” for men and women who raised concerns about schools linked to the prelature on ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday.
In a statement published on Opus Dei’s website yesterday, the prelature said it wished to respond to some of the issues raised in the program.
“We have a deep respect for the women and men who featured in the ABC Four Corners program of 30 January 2023. We were saddened to hear of their experiences and of the way they felt about them,” the statement said.
“Opus Dei wishes to respond to the issues raised about study centres.”
The prelature said it “does not in any way condone the practice of “recruitment”, explaining that joining Opus Dei involves free choice “after a considerable period of prayerful discernment of their personal vocation”. It said no one can formally join Opus Dei before turning 18.
The prelature said incidents that “occurred at a study centre for women in 2016 went beyond appropriate boundaries for members of Opus Dei”.
“As soon as the Prelature of Opus Dei became aware of such events, an external investigation was commissioned. The findings of that independent investigation were accepted by the Prelature and appropriate action was taken. To protect the privacy of both persons, further comment on this matter cannot be made.”
Opus Dei criticised the ABC’s use of “dramatisations of the use of corporal mortification, including excerpts from The Da Vinci Code movie”, saying they “do not represent reality in Opus Dei”.
“Over the last 60 years, thousands of Australians have benefited from initiatives offered by Opus Dei, including personal and spiritual guidance, retreats, formation in the Catholic faith, courses that help married women and men, service projects to Pacific countries and indigenous communities, and volunteering to assist the vulnerable/sick, aged and homeless,” the statement said.
“The Prelature of Opus Dei promotes the message that work, family life, and other ordinary activities are occasions for spiritual union with Jesus Christ.”
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