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Opus Dei in the UK

From the Daily Mail:

Sarah Cassidy is the sort of no-nonsense, capable woman you might expect to find as headmistress of a ­primary school. But Sarah doesn’t do children, and she doesn’t do husbands either. No. Sarah is 43, single and celibate — and determined to remain so. Each night she fastens a wire chain, known as a cilice, around her upper thigh. The device has sharp prongs that dig into the skin and flesh, though generally it does not draw blood. To most women, it sounds a peculiarly ­masochistic practice. Yet Sarah says it serves a very different purpose: suppressing her desires and atoning for her sins.

Quite what those sins might be it is hard to imagine. For Sarah is not just good, but very, very good. She doesn’t drink, abhors drugs and has never had sex. More than that, she is a senior female figure in Opus Dei, one of the most controversial forces in the Roman Catholic church. Portrayed as shadowy and sinister in Dan Brown’s international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, the group has been accused of obsessive secretiveness, elitism, misogyny and criticised for its methods of recruitment.

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