IN 1928 Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer founded Opus Dei to encourage individuals to lead dedicated lives whilst carrying out their ordinary work and fulfilling their personal, family and social duties.
Nothing there about casting off family relationships or becoming subversives. Rather there is suggested an ideal which has been promulgated by other spiritual leaders through the ages.
Generously Fr CampbellJohnson has found some of Escriva's writing "unobjectionable" (September 13) and he recognises that Opus Dei membership has helped some people.
Mentioning that others have been harmed by their membership he considers that one cannot separate such bad consequences from the founder of the movement. However, he does not
have the same difficulty in separating the good consequences (of beneficial membership for some ) from Escriva.
Every movement has its extremists but need not stand condemned on that account. Historically the church was damaged by the activities of the Inquisition, while Elizabeth I did little to enhance the Christian image of the Anglican church.
Would it not be better, then, to thank God for the ideals promoted by Escriva ideals which have never been more urgently needed than in our secularised world? We can still criticise and endeavour to rectify extremism. 1 am not in Opus Dei but see nothing unacceptable in the lifestyle recommended by its originator.
Olive Trewick Wetherby Yorkshire