No sect please, we're Catholics

29th September 2000 at 01:00
IN your article on Oakwood school (TES, September 15) Opus Dei is portrayed as a sect.

In fact, Opus Dei is a prelature, or institution, of the Roman Catholic Church. Its head is a bishop, and reports to the Congregation of Bishops, under the Pope. Its founder has been beatified.

We do not run Oakwood. A group of parents, some of them Opus Dei members, set up the school, and invited an Opus Dei priest to celebrate Mass once a week at the school.

Finally, three strightforward corrections: the founder of Opus Dei was Fr Josemaria Escriva (died 1975), not Bishop Javier Echevarria, who is the current Prelate (appointed 1994); Opus Dei does not run 20 youth clubs in Great Britain: the true figure is less than half a dozen; members of Opus Dei are not "controlled" in any way whatsoever, nor do people join through "front" groups.

Andrew Soane

Director, Opus Dei Information Office

1 Orme Court

Bayswater, London W2

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