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Opus Dei

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Opus Dei is the most controversial - and unknown - force in the Catholic Church. Here, John Allen uncovers its real nature.Accused of promoting a right-wing political agenda, of cult-like practices, and immortalized forever in the pages of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Opus Dei is the most notorious, most talked about - but least known - religious organization of our time. Granted unlimited access to those within its ranks, and with an investigative eye intent on uncovering closely guarded secrets, John Allen finally separates the myths from the facts: the actual use of the cilice; the reason men and women remain separate; the true extent of Opus Dei's funds. Built around a wealth of interviews with the heads of Opus Dei in the Vatican and in centres around the world, comparing the attitudes of current members with those of highly critical members and outsiders, Opus Dei is a portrait of a remarkably powerful organization, both inside and outside the Church.
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About the Author

John Allen is the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNN and National Public Radio. He has also reported for the BBC and will appear in a BBC documentary on Opus Dei later this year. Considered by many as the single best source of insights on Vatican affairs in the English language, (particularly through his internet column "The Word from Rome"), he is the author of four books on the Catholic Church, including The Rise of Benedict XVI (2005), All the Pope's Men: The Inside Story of how the Vatican Really Thinks (2004) and Conclave: The Politics, Personalities, and Process of the Next Papal Election (1992). His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and many other publications.

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