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Controversy surrounds La Catolica university in Lima, Peru

The “Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru” (PUCP) in Lima, one of the top-quality private education institutions in South America, has become the center of a public controversy. The Peruvian media is criticizing the “Opus Dei” organization of the Catholic Church of having the intention to take over the faculty’s leadership on a step-by-step basis. This way the “tolerant house of studies” would be destroyed, Vatican Radio reports on its website.

The university was founded on March 18, 1917, by F. Jorge Dintilhac as Peru’s first non-profit private institution of higher learning. Today there are currently 17,000 undergraduate students who pursue more than 40 different specialties in 9 faculties, making in the largest in South America.

According to an “Apoyo” pol, the majority of Peruvians consider it the best private university in the country. The main campus is located in Lima’s district of San Miguel.

Pope Benedict XVI is one of the university’s numerous honorary doctors. He received the honor in 1986 when he was still known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Opus Dei has often been called “the most controversial force in the Catholic Church”. Some say that Opus Dei is either a “cult”, or at least “cult-like”. Critics state that Opus Dei is “intensely secretive”— for example, members generally do not publicly disclose their affiliation with Opus Dei, and under the 1950 constitution, members were expressly forbidden to reveal themselves without the permission of their superiors. This practice has led to rampant speculation about who may be a member. Critics allege that the group maintains an extremely high degree of control over its member.

Many supporters of Opus Dei have expressed the belief that the criticisms stem from a generalized disapproval of spirituality, Christianity, or Catholicism. Expressing this sentiment, one Opus Dei member stated “Opus Dei has become a victim of Christianophobia.” Others argue that critics employ the term “cult” in order to intentionally stigmatize Opus Dei because “they cannot tolerate ‘the return to religion’ of the secularized society”.

Wolfy Becker

(with information from Wikipedia)