Thursday, February 20, 2020

Was St. Josemaria Escriva a Feminist?

An excerpt from my post at FemCatholic, responding to a reader's question whether Opus Dei and feminism are compatible:

I’ll stop short of declaring St. Josemaría's inevitable endorsement of Catholic feminism out of respect for his repeated refusal to connect Opus Dei to any social or political movement to avoid detraction from his one central focus, Jesus Christ:
“For more than thirty years I have said and written in thousands of different ways that Opus Dei does not seek any worldly or political aims, that it only and exclusively seeks to foster — among all races, all social conditions, all countries — the knowledge and practice of the saving teachings of Christ. … But there will always be a partisan minority who are ignorant of what I and so many of us love. They would like us to explain Opus Dei in their terms, which are exclusively political, foreign to supernatural realities, attuned only to power plays and pressure groups.” (Josemaría Escrivá, Christ Is Passing By 70)
From this uncompromising conviction, Josemaría protected Opus Dei’s primary mission — “the saving teachings of Christ” — by refusing to entangle his organization in any political alliance, liberal or conservative, even when those politics claimed Catholic foundations. 

When Monsignor Giovanni Benelli, a high-ranking Vatican official, attempted to create a Catholic political party in Spain, Escrivá firmly refused any support from Opus Dei. He condemned what he called the “pseudo-spiritual one-party mentality,” insisting that “Opus Dei can never be, in the political life of a country, a kind of political party: there is and always will be room within Opus Dei for all outlooks and approaches allowed by a Christian conscience” (John Allen, Opus Dei 105).

For more perspective on Opus Dei & women, and for my take on this, um, special quote from St. Josemaria --

“Women are responsible for eighty percent of the infidelities of their husbands because they do not know how to win them each day and take loving and considerate care of them.” (Conversations with Monsignor Escrivá de Balaguer, number 107)
-- read the rest at FemCatholic!

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