Opus Dei

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seal of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei: “A cross embracing the world”
Formation2 October 1928; 91 years ago
TypePersonal prelature
PurposeSpreading the universal call to holiness in ordinary life
HeadquartersViale Bruno Buozzi, 73, 00197 RomeItaly
Coordinates41.9218°N 12.4841°ECoordinates41.9218°N 12.4841°E
Region servedWorldwide
Membership95,318 (2018)[1]
FounderJosemaría Escrivá
PrelateFernando Ocáriz Braña
Main organGeneral Council
Central Advisory
Parent organizationCatholic Church

Opus Dei, formally known as the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (LatinPraelatura Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei), is an institution of the Catholic Church which teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity.[2][3] The majority of its membership are lay people; the remainder are secular priests under the governance of a prelate elected by specific members and appointed by the Pope.[4] Opus Dei is Latin for “Work of God”; hence the organization is often referred to by members and supporters as the Work.[5][6]

Opus Dei was founded in Spain in 1928 by Catholic saint and priest Josemaría Escrivá and was given final Catholic Church approval in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.[7] John Paul II made it a personal prelature in 1982 by the apostolic constitution Ut sit; that is, the jurisdiction of its own bishop covers the persons in Opus Dei wherever they are, rather than geographical dioceses.[7] Controversies about Opus Dei have arisen during its history.

As of 2018, there were 95,318 members of the Prelature: 93,203 lay persons and 2,115 priests.[1] These figures do not include the diocesan priest members of Opus Dei’s Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, estimated to number 2,000 in the year 2005.[8] Members are in more than 90 countries.[9] About 70% of Opus Dei members live in their private homes, leading family lives with secular careers,[10][11] while the other 30% are celibate, of whom the majority live in Opus Dei centers. Aside from their personal charity and social work, Opus Dei members organize training in Catholic spirituality applied to daily life; members are involved in running universities, university residences, schools, publishing houses, hospitals, and technical and agricultural training centers.


Escrivá surrounded by working people, in a Filipino painting entitled, Magpakabanal sa Gawain or “Be holy through your work”.See also: Timeline of Opus Dei

Foundational period

Opus Dei was founded by a Catholic priest, Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, on 2 October 1928 in Madrid, Spain. According to Escrivá, on that day he experienced a vision in which he “saw Opus Dei”.[12][13] He gave the organization the name “Opus Dei”, which in Latin means “Work of God”,[14] in order to underscore the belief that the organization was not his (Escrivá’s) work, but was rather God’s work.[15] Throughout his life, Escrivá held that the founding of Opus Dei had a supernatural character.[16] Escrivá summarized Opus Dei’s mission as a way of helping ordinary Christians “to understand that their life… is a way of holiness and evangelization… And to those who grasp this ideal of holiness, the Work offers the spiritual assistance and training they need to put it into practice.”[17]

Initially, Opus Dei was open only to men, but in 1930, Escrivá started to admit women, based on what he believed to be a communication from God.[7] In 1936, the organization suffered a temporary setback with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, as many Catholic priests and religious figures, including Escrivá, were forced into hiding. After the civil war was won by General Francisco Franco, Escrivá was able to return to Madrid.[18] Escrivá himself recounted that it was in Spain where Opus Dei found “the greatest difficulties” because of “enemies of personal freedom,” and traditionalists who he felt misunderstood Opus Dei’s ideas.[19] Despite this, Opus Dei flourished during the years of the Franquismo, spreading first throughout Spain, and after 1945, expanding internationally.[7]

In 1939, Escrivá published The Way, a collection of 999 maxims concerning spirituality for people involved in secular affairs.[20] In the 1940s, Opus Dei found an early critic in the Jesuit Superior General Wlodimir Ledóchowski, who told the Vatican that he considered Opus Dei “very dangerous for the Church in Spain,” citing its “secretive character” and calling it “a form of Christian Masonry.”[21]

In 1947, a year after Escrivá moved the organization’s headquarters to Rome, Opus Dei received a decree of praise and approval from Pope Pius XII, making it an institute of “pontifical right”, i.e. under the direct governance of the Pope.[7] In 1950, Pius XII granted definitive approval to Opus Dei, thereby allowing married people to join the organization, and secular clergy to be admitted to the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.[7]

Post-foundational years

In 1975, Escrivá died and was succeeded by Álvaro del Portillo. In 1982, Opus Dei was made into a personal prelature. This means that Opus Dei is part of the universal Church, and the apostolate of the members falls under the direct jurisdiction of the Prelate of Opus Dei wherever they are. As to “what the law lays down for all the ordinary faithful”, the lay members of Opus Dei, being no different from other Catholics, “continue to be … under the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop”, in the words of John Paul II’s Ut Sit.[22]

One-third of the world’s bishops sent letters petitioning for the canonization of Escrivá.[23] Escrivá was beatified in 1992 in the midst of controversy prompted by questions about his suitability for sainthood. In 2002, approximately 300,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square on the day Pope John Paul II canonized him.[24][25] According to John L. Allen Jr., “Escrivá is… venerated by millions”.[8]

There are other members whose process of beatification has been opened: Ernesto Cofiño, a father of five children and a pioneer in pediatric research in Guatemala; Montserrat Grases, a teenage Catalan student who died of cancer; Toni Zweifel, a Swiss engineer; Tomás Alvira and wife, Paquita Domínguez, a Spanish married couple;[26] Isidoro Zorzano Ledesma, an Argentinian engineer; Dora del Hoyo, a domestic worker;[27] and Father José Luis Múzquiz de Miguel.

During the pontificate of John Paul II, two members of Opus Dei, Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne and Julián Herranz Casado, were made cardinals.[28]

In September 2005, Pope Benedict XVI blessed a newly installed statue of Josemaría Escrivá placed in an outside wall niche of St Peter’s Basilica, a place for founders of Catholic organizations.[29]

During that same year, Opus Dei received some unwanted attention due to the extraordinary success of the novel The Da Vinci Code, in which both Opus Dei and the Catholic Church itself are depicted negatively. The film version was released globally in May 2006, further polarizing views on the organization.

In 2014, Pope Francis through a delegate beatified Alvaro del Portillo and said that “he teaches us that in the simplicity and ordinariness of our life we can find a sure path to holiness.[30]

At the end of 2014, the prelature has been established in 69 countries,[31] while its members are present in 90 countries.[9]

Bishop Echevarría died on 12 December 2016,[32] and was succeeded by Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz. He was elected the new prelate of Opus Dei on 23 January 2017, and on the same day was appointed by Pope Francis as such.



Main article: Teachings of Opus Dei

Opus Dei is an organization of the Catholic Church. As such, it shares the doctrines of the Catholic Church and has “no other teaching than the teaching of the Magisterium of the Holy See“, as per the founder.[33]

Opus Dei places special emphasis on certain aspects of Catholic doctrine. A central feature of Opus Dei’s theology is its focus on the lives of the ordinary Catholics who are neither priests nor monks.[34][35][36] Opus Dei emphasizes the “universal call to holiness“: the belief that everyone should aspire to be a saint, as per Jesus’ commandment to “Love God with all your heart” (Matthew 22:37) and “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Opus Dei also teaches that sanctity is within the reach of everyone, not just a few special individuals, given Jesus’ teaching that his demands are “easy” and “light,” as his divine assistance is assured. (Matthew 11:28–30)[37][38]

Opus Dei does not have monks or nuns, and only a minority of its members are priests.[39] Opus Dei emphasizes uniting spiritual life with professional, social, and family life. Members of Opus Dei lead ordinary lives, with traditional families and secular careers,[40] and strive to “sanctify ordinary life”. Indeed, Pope John Paul II called Escrivá “the saint of ordinary life”.[41]Fernando Ocariz, present prelate of Opus Dei

Similarly, Opus Dei stresses the importance of work and professional competence.[42][43] While some religious institutes encourage their members to withdraw from the material world, Opus Dei exhorts its members and all lay Catholics to “find God in daily life” and to perform their work excellently as a service to society and as a fitting offering to God.[44][45] Opus Dei teaches that work not only contributes to social progress but is “a path to holiness”,[46] and its founder advised people to: “Sanctify your work. Sanctify yourself in your work. Sanctify others through your work.”[47]

The biblical roots of this Catholic doctrine, according to the founder, are in the phrase “God created man to work” (Gen 2:15) and Jesus‘s long life as an ordinary carpenter in a small town.[48] Escrivá, who stressed the Christian’s duty to follow Christ’s example, also points to the gospel account that Jesus “has done everything well” (Mk 7:37).[49]

The foundation of the Christian life, stressed Escrivá, is divine filiation: Christians are children of God, identified with Christ’s life and mission. Other main features of Opus Dei, according to its official literature, are: freedom, respecting choice and taking personal responsibility; and charity, love of God above all and love of others.[40]

At the bottom of Escrivá’s understanding of the “universal call to holiness” are two dimensions, subjective and objective, according to Fernando Ocariz, a Catholic theologian and Prelate of Opus Dei since 2017. The subjective is the call given to each person to become a saint, regardless of his place in society. The objective refers to what Escrivá calls Christian materialism: all of creation, even the most material situation, is a meeting place with God, and leads to union with Him.[8]

Different qualifiers have been used to describe Opus Dei’s doctrine: radical,[50] reactionary,[51] faithful,[15] revolutionary,[50] ultraconservative,[52] most modern,[53] conservative,[54][55] and liberal.[56]


See also: Interior life (Catholic theology)

All members – whether married or unmarried, priests or laypeople – are trained to follow a ‘plan of life’, or ‘the norms of piety’, which are some traditional Catholic devotions. This is meant to follow the teaching of the Catholic Catechism: “pray at specific times…to nourish continual prayer,”[57] which in turn is based on Jesus‘ “pray at all times” (Luke 18:1), echoed by St. Paul’s “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). According to Escrivá, the vocation to Opus Dei is a calling to be a “contemplative in the middle of the world,” who converts work and daily life into prayer. Additionally, members should participate yearly in a spiritual retreat; a three-week seminar every year is obligatory for numeraries, and a one-week seminar for supernumeraries. Also members are expected to make a day-trip pilgrimage where they recite 3 5-decade rosaries on the month of May in honor of Mary.


See also: Mortification of the flesh

As a spirituality for ordinary people, Opus Dei focuses on performing sacrifices pertaining to normal duties and to its emphasis on charity and cheerfulness. But much public attention has focused on Opus Dei’s practice of mortification—the voluntary offering up of discomfort or pain to God; this includes fasting, or for its celibate members, “corporal mortifications” such as self-inflicted pain self-flagellation, sleeping without a pillow or sleeping on the floor, fasting, and if compatible with their family or professional duties, remaining silent for certain hours during the day. Mortification has a long history in many world religions, including the Catholic Church. It has been endorsed by popes as a way of following Christ, who died in a bloody crucifixion and who, speaking of anybody that sought to be his disciple, said: “let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23)[58] Supporters say that opposition to mortification is rooted in having lost (1) the “sense of the enormity of sin” or offense against God, and the consequent penance, both interior and exterior, (2) the notions of “wounded human nature” and of concupiscence or inclination to sin, and thus the need for “spiritual battle,”[59] and (3) a spirit of sacrifice for love and “supernatural ends,” and not only for physical enhancement.

Organization and activities


Main article: Personal prelature

In Pope John Paul II’s 1982 decree known as the Apostolic constitution Ut Sit, Opus Dei was established as a personal prelature, a new official structure of the Catholic Church, similar to a diocese in that it contains lay people and secular priests who are led by a bishop. However, whereas a bishop normally has a territory or diocese, the prelate of Opus Dei is pastor to the members and priests of Opus Dei worldwide, no matter what diocese they are in. To date, Opus Dei is the only personal prelature in existence. In addition to being governed by Ut Sit and by the Catholic Church’s general law, Opus Dei is governed by the Church’s Particular Law concerning Opus Dei, otherwise known as Opus Dei’s statutes. This specifies the objectives and workings of the prelature. The prelature is under the Congregation for Bishops.[2][60]

The head of the Opus Dei prelature is known as the Prelate.[2] The Prelate is the primary governing authority and is assisted by two councils—the General Council (made up of men) and the Central Advisory (made up of women).[61] The Prelate holds his position for life. The current prelate of Opus Dei is Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz Braña, who became the third Prelate of Opus Dei on 23 January 2017.[62] The first Prelate of Opus Dei was Álvaro del Portillo, who held the position from 1982 until his death in 1994.[63]

Opus Dei’s highest assembled bodies are the General Congresses, which are usually convened once every eight years. There are separate congresses for the men and women’s branch of Opus Dei. The General Congresses are made up of members appointed by the Prelate, and are responsible for advising him about the prelature’s future. The men’s General Congress also elects the Prelate from a list of candidates chosen by their female counterparts.[64] After the death of a Prelate, a special elective General Congress is convened. The women nominate their preferred candidates for the prelate and is voted upon by the men to become the next Prelate—an appointment that must be confirmed by the Pope.[64]


Main article: Types of membership of Opus Dei

Based on the language of Catholic Church law and theology, the prelature calls the people under the pastoral care of the prelate as “faithful of the prelature”, since the term member connotes an association rather than a hierarchical structure such as a prelature or a diocese.

As of 2016, the faithful of the Opus Dei Prelature numbered 94,776 members, of which 92,667 are lay persons, men and women, and 2,109 priests.[65] These figures do not include the priest members of Opus Dei’s Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, estimated to number 2,000 in the year 2005.[8]

About 60 per cent of Opus Dei faithful reside in Europe, and 35 per cent reside in the Americas.[66] Women comprise 57% of total membership.[67] According to the study of John Allen, for the most part, Opus Dei faithful belong to the middle to low levels in society, in terms of education, income, and social status.[68]

Opus Dei is made up of several different types of faithful.[10] According to the Statutes of Opus Dei,[69] the distinction derives from the degree to which they make themselves available for the official activities of the Prelature and for giving formation according to the spirit of Opus Dei.[70]

Supernumeraries, the largest type, currently account for about 70% of the total membership.[71] Typically, supernumeraries are married men and women with careers. Supernumeraries devote a portion of their day to prayer, in addition to attending regular meetings and taking part in activities such as retreats. Due to their career and family obligations, supernumeraries are not as available to the organization as the other types of faithful, but they typically contribute financially to Opus Dei, and they lend other types of assistance as their circumstances permit.Dr. Ernesto Cofiño, Guatemalan pioneer of pediatrics

Numeraries, the second largest type of the faithful of Opus Dei, comprise about 20% of total membership.[71] Numeraries are celibate members who give themselves in “full availability” (plena disponibilitas) for the official undertakings of the Prelature.[72] This includes full availability for giving doctrinal and ascetical formation to other members, for staffing the internal government of Opus Dei if asked by the regional directors, and for moving to other countries to start or help with apostolic activities if asked by the Prelate.[73] Because they are making themselves fully available to do whatever needs to be done for the undertakings of the Prelature, numeraries are expected to live in special centers run by Opus Dei, and the question of which particular center a numerary will live in depends upon the regional needs.[74] “Numerary” is a general term for persons who form part of the permanent staff of an organization. Therefore, in order to maintain a family atmosphere in the centers (rather than an institutional one), it is considered very important for numeraries to participate in daily meals and “get-togethers” in which they converse and share news.[75] Both men and women may become numeraries in Opus Dei, although the centers are strictly gender-segregated.[54] Numeraries generally have jobs outside of Opus Dei, although some are asked to work internally full-time and many modify the way that they go about their professional goals in order to be available for the Prelature. They devote the bulk of their income to the organization.[76]

Numerary assistants are a type of numerary that exists in the Women’s Branch of Opus Dei. Their full availability for the Prelature is lived out as full availability for doing a specific type of work, namely looking after the domestic needs of the conference centers and the residential centers of Opus Dei.[77] Hence they live in special centers run by Opus Dei and do not have jobs outside the centers.

Associates are celibate faithful who make themselves fully available to God and to others in apostolic celibacy, and stably take on at least one (sometimes more) apostolic assignment(s) from the Prelature in giving doctrinal and ascetical formation and/or coordinating activities.[78] They differ from numeraries in not making themselves “fully” available to staff the official undertakings of the Prelature, instead giving themselves in additional social realities, such as through their profession or to their own families.[76] Because of this difference in availability for the official activities of Opus Dei, unlike numeraries the associates do not live in Opus Dei centers but maintain their own abodes.[78] Some of their family life (emotional and social support) comes from the centers of Opus Dei, some from other associates of Opus Dei, and some from their personal families and friends; the precise ratio of this distribution depends upon the circumstances of the individual associate.

The Clergy of the Opus Dei Prelature are priests who are under the jurisdiction of the Prelate of Opus Dei. They are a minority in Opus Dei—only about 2% of Opus Dei members are part of the clergy.[71] Typically, they are numeraries or associates who ultimately joined the priesthood.

The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross consists of priests associated with Opus Dei. Part of the society is made up of the clergy of the Opus Dei prelature—priests who fall under the jurisdiction of the Opus Dei prelature are automatically members of the Priestly Society. Other members in the society are diocesan priests—clergymen who remain under the jurisdiction of a geographically defined diocese. These priests are considered full members of Opus Dei who are given its spiritual training. They do not however report to the Opus Dei Prelate but to their own diocesan bishop.[79] As of 2005, there were roughly two thousand of these priests.[8]

The Cooperators of Opus Dei are non-members who collaborate in some way with Opus Dei—usually through praying, charitable contributions, or by providing some other assistance. Cooperators are not required to be celibate or to adhere to any other special requirements. Indeed, cooperators are not even required to be Christian.[79] There were 164,000 cooperators in the year 2005.[8]

In accordance with Catholic theology, membership is granted when a vocation, or divine calling is presumed to have occurred.


Main article: Opus Dei in society

Leaders of Opus Dei describe the organization as a teaching entity whose main activity is to train Catholics to assume personal responsibility in sanctifying the secular world from within.[14][80] This teaching is done by means of theory and practice.[81]

Its lay people and priests organize seminars, workshops, retreats, and classes to help people put the Christian faith into practice in their daily lives. Spiritual direction, one-on-one coaching with a more experienced lay person or priest, is considered the “paramount means” of training. Through these activities they provide religious instruction (doctrinal formation), coaching in spirituality for lay people (spiritual formation), character and moral education (human formation), lessons in sanctifying one’s work (professional formation), and know-how in evangelizing one’s family and workplace (apostolic formation).Central building of the University of Navarra

The official Catholic document which established the prelature states that Opus Dei strives “to put into practice the teaching of the universal call to sanctity, and to promote at all levels of society the sanctification of ordinary work, and by means of ordinary work.”[2] Thus, the founder and his followers describe members of Opus Dei as resembling the members of the early Christian Church—ordinary workers who seriously sought holiness with nothing exterior to distinguish them from other citizens.[14][82][83]

Opus Dei runs residential centers throughout the world. These centers provide residential housing for celibate members, and provide doctrinal and theological education. Opus Dei is also responsible for a variety of non-profit institutions called “Corporate Works of Opus Dei“.[84] A study of the year 2005, showed that members have cooperated with other people in setting up a total of 608 social initiatives: schools and university residences (68%), technical or agricultural training centers (26%), universities, business schools and hospitals (6%).[8] The University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain or the Austral University in Buenos Aires, Argentina are both examples of the corporate work of Opus Dei. These universities usually perform very high in international rankings. IESE, the University of Navarra’s Business School, was adjudged one of the best in the world by the Financial Times and the Economist Intelligence Unit.[85] The total assets of non-profits connected to Opus Dei are worth at least $2.8 billion.[86]

More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_Dei

Problem Solvers Caucus

About the Caucus


Beginning in 2017, the Problem Solvers Caucus became an independent member-driven group in Congress, comprised of representatives from across the country – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – committed to finding common ground on many of the key issues facing the nation. Co-Chaired by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), the Caucus’  aim is to create a durable bloc that champions ideas that appeal to a broad spectrum of the American people. It is a group united in the idea that there are commonsense solutions to many of the country’s toughest challenges. Only when we work together as Americans can we successfully break through the gridlock of today’s politics. 

In the 115th and 116th Congress, Problem Solvers Caucus members agreed to find bipartisan solutions on issues including:

Infrastructure: Despite overwhelming bipartisan support for reinvestment in America’s infrastructure, congressional gridlock has caused our nation’s highways, roads and bridges, transit and railways, ports and airports, and water and sewer systems to fall into disrepair. The Problem Solvers’ report, “Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure,” is a comprehensive bipartisan proposal that includes recommendations on building a twenty-first century infrastructure for a twenty-first century economy.

Criminal Justice Reform: Working with a bipartisan coalition, including Van Jones, Jared Kushner, Grover Norquist, and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the Problem Solvers Caucus helped Congress pass much-needed criminal justice reform to provide relief for those who earn and deserve a second chance.

Rules Reform: On January 3, 2019, the House enacted an unprecedented agreement made with Leader Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairman McGovern, known as “Break the Gridlock.” These commonsense congressional rule changes promote increased openness, bipartisanship, and transparency, by instituting a new “Consensus Calendar” for any bill with more than 290 cosponsors, requiring three days’ notice for Committee mark-ups, and preferential treatment for popular bipartisan amendments. For the first time in two decades, the new rules package received support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Gun & School Safety: The Problem Solvers Caucus agreed to support H.R. 4477, the Fix NICS Act of 2017; H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act of 2018; H.R. 4811, the Securing Our Schools Act of 2018; and appropriations to fund mental health programs established by the 21st Century Cures Act, all of which were passed by the House of Representatives and Senate and signed into law.

Health Care: Beginning in the 115th Congress, the Caucus identified and promoted several commonsense proposals to help stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace and reduce health care costs, especially the price of prescription drugs.

 Click here for a list of some of the Problem Solvers Caucus’ accomplishments throughout the 116th Congress.

Secret Mind of Slime

NOVA Season 47 Episode 12 | 53m 17s |pbs.org

Scientists investigate the bizarre “intelligence” of slime molds, which appear to learn and make decisions—without a brain. These cunning, single-celled blobs can navigate mazes and create efficient networks. Can they also redefine cognition?

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

The Minimalists See the film on Netflix or at http://minimalismfilm.com and watch “Maximal” episodes of The Minimalists Private Podcast exclusively at http://patreon.com/theminimalists How might your life be better with less? MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less. After its successful theatrical run, MINIMALISM, the #1 indie documentary of 2016, is now available online: http://minimalismfilm.com

Poem: “Kindness”

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

From Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Reprinted with the permission of the author.


Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit.

(Submitted by Sara Walker via Poets.org)

Word-built World: Epicene

From Late Middle English epiceneepicenepicinepcynepiscenepycenepyceneepycynypsen (“(grammar) having only one form for masculine and feminine gender, common”),[1] from Late Latin epicoenosepicoenus (“of a noun: applicable to either males or females”), Latin epicoenon (“noun applicable to either males or females; grammatical gender of such nouns”), from Ancient Greek ἐπίκοινος (epíkoinos, “common to many people, things, etc.; promiscuous, sluttish”) (compare γένος ἐπίκοινον (génos epíkoinon, “common gender”)), from ἐπι-(epi-, prefix meaning ‘on, upon; on top of; all over’) + κοινός (koinós, “common; general, public”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European*ḱóm (“beside, by, near, with”) + *-yós (suffix forming adjectives from noun stems)).[2]



epicene (not comparable)

Examples (linguistics)
Ancient Greek ἀλώπηξ (alṓpēx, “fox”)This word is epicene in sense 1: it is always grammatically feminine, even when referring to male foxes.French enfant (“child”)This word is epicene in sense 2: it is gendered (either grammatically masculine or feminine) but invariant – its form does not change regardless of the child’s sex.English violinistThis word is also epicene in sense 2: it is genderless and is used to refer to both males and females.
  1. (linguistics) Of or relating to a class of Greek and Latin nouns that may refer to males or females but have a fixedgrammatical gender (femininemasculineneuter, etc.). quotations ▼
  2. (linguistics) Of or relating to nouns or pronouns in any language that have a single form for male and female referents.quotations ▼Synonym: common
  3. (by extensionSuitable for use regardlessof sexunisexquotations ▼
  4. (biology and figurative) Of indeterminatesex, whether asexualandrogynoushermaphrodite, or intersex; of a human face, intermediate in form between a man’s face and a woman’s face.quotations ▼Synonyms: gynandromorphicgynandrous
  5. (by extensionIndeterminatemixed.
  6. (by extension, usually derogatory) Of a man: effeminatequotations ▼Alternative formsEditDerived termsEditTranslationsEditshow ▼of or relating to a class of Greek and Latin nouns that may refer to males or females but have a fixed grammatical gendershow ▼of or relating to nouns or pronouns in any language that have a single form for male and female referentssuitable for use regardless of sex — seeunisexasexual — see asexualandrogynous, hermaphrodite — seeandrogynous,‎ hermaphroditeindeterminate, mixed — see indeterminateeffeminate — see effeminateNounEditepicene (plural epicenes)
    1. (linguistics) An epicene wordpreceded by the: the epicene words of a languageas a classquotations ▼
    2. (biology and figurative) An epicene person, whether biologically asexualandrogynoushermaphrodite, or intersex; an androgyne, a hermaphrodite. [from 17th c.] quotations ▼
    3. (by extension) A transsexual; also, a transvestitequotations ▼
    4. (by extension, usually derogatory) An effeminate manquotations ▼TranslationsEditshow ▼epicene wordepicene person — see androgyne,‎ hermaphroditetranssexual — see transsexualtransvestite — see transvestiteshow ▼effeminate manNotesEdit
      1. From the collection of the Pergamon Museum in BerlinGermany.
      1. epicēn(e” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
      2. epicene, adj. and n.”, in OED Online  ⁠, Oxford: Oxford University Press, March 2016; “epicene, adj. and n.” in LexicoDictionary.comOxford University Press.
      Further reading

(Contributed by Hanz Bolen, H.W., M.)


September 25, 2020 By JON CHRISTIAN (Futurism.com)

Big Tobacco

Facebook’s former head of monetization, Tim Kendall, unloaded on the social media giant during a hearing about social media’s role in spreading extremist content — saying that his former employer, like big tobacco companies, worked to make its product as addictive as possible.

“We sought to mine as much attention as humanly possible,” he said. “We took a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset.”

Zuck Fix

Kendall, who worked for Facebook during the pivotal growth years from 2006 to 2010, said that the tech giant made upgrades to the site designed specifically to keep users coming back for more.

“Tobacco companies initially just sought to make nicotine more potent,” he said. “But eventually that wasn’t enough to grow the business as fast as they wanted. And so they added sugar and menthol to cigarettes so you could hold the smoke in your lungs for longer periods. At Facebook, we added status updates, photo tagging, and likes, which made status and reputation primary and laid the groundwork for a teenage mental health crisis.”

Civil War

Now, he said, the chickens have come home to roost, with the addictive platform spreading harmful content at scale.

“The social media services that I and others have built over the past 15 years have served to tear people apart with alarming speed and intensity,” Kendall said in his opening testimony (PDF). “At the very least, we have eroded our collective understanding — at worst, I fear we are pushing ourselves to the brink of a civil war.”

READ MORE: Former Facebook manager: “We took a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook” [Ars Technica]

More on Facebook: Report: Gene-Hacking Plants and Animals Could Fight Climate Change


Netflix On the heels of Woodstock, a group of teen campers are inspired to join the fight for disability civil rights. This spirited look at grassroots activism is executive produced by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with 183 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION | Full Feature | Netflix https://youtube.com/Netflix

(Contributed by Bob of Occupy aka Political Bob)

Former Priest Shares Old Photos Of Same-Sex Couples: “People Have Always Been Gay”

Former Priest Shares Old Photos Of Same-Sex Couples: ‘People Have Always Been Gay’

Caitlyn Clancey 14 Aug 2019

While we now have the privilege of being able to proudly preach that love is love without facing serious repercussion, society hasn’t always been so accepting.

At various times throughout history, there was only severe sexual repression and hostility towards homosexual relationships. But during these periods when such romances were “the love that dare not speak its name,” as Oscar Wilde once wrote, radical romantics still found ways to express their love for one another.

It’s 2020 now and love has never been louder, but society wasn’t always this way.

Unsplash | Tristan Billet

As both a celebration of the pride we’re able to express in 2020 and a reminder of the trailblazing lovers who came before us, one former priest took to Facebook to share photos of vintage same-sex couples who didn’t let their time periods stop them from being exactly who they were with who they wanted to be with.

Several years ago, Father Nathan Monk gave up his priesthood after coming out in favor of gay marriage.

Facebook | Father Nathan Monk

In a blog post, he revealed that his decision to leave the church came from a desire to “step away from something that was condemning others, rather than building them up.”

“The truth is that marriage ‘between one man, one woman’ is not in the scriptures,” Monk wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post. “Our hearts are capable of more love than our ancient religions can comprehend.”

Since leaving the church, Monk has gone on to become an author and human rights activist.

Facebook | Father Nathan Monk

He has continued to speak out on behalf of the LGBTQ community in the face of condemning religion. Most recently, he took to Facebook to share photos of vintage same-sex couples, proving to others that “people have always been gay.”

“Being LGBTQ+ isn’t something millennials invented,” he wrote in the post. “You aren’t seeing an increase, you’re seeing how many people were once silenced.”

The post currently has nearly 20,000 reactions and almost 40,000 shares. Here are some of the best pictures from the collection.

Stolen kisses in wintertime.

Facebook | Father Nathan Monk

“I have no pictures of my partners during those days,” one user commented on this photograph. “DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) and prior meant the pictures were used against us so we did not take them. Until the Polaroid. Then we hid them away.”

A dance between two gentlemen.

Facebook | Father Nathan Monk

This particular photograph comes from the album of celebrated photo artist Brassai and was taken in 1932 at a dance hall in Paris. The two gentlemen were photographed not to make a statement on homosexuals in general, but on the homosexual subculture of the 1930s in France.

Tender embrace.

Facebook | Father Nathan Monk

This photograph was taken circa the 1900s and shows two women posing for a portrait together, one smirking shyly at the camera while the other only has eyes for her lover.

Day at the beach.

Facebook | Father Nathan Monk

In this photograph, two men appear to have been caught in a candid embrace while enjoying all the sun and fun a beach day has to offer. Judging from the quality of the shot and the pair’s attire, I’d estimate this pic to have been taken sometime during the 1950s.

Putting a ring on it.

Facebook | Father Nathan Monk

This same-sex couple appear to have been photographed in the middle of a wedding ceremony with a woman officiating the happy couple and another acting as a witness to their holy matrimony.

~ https://crafty.diply.com/64615/former-priest-shares-old-photos-of-same-sex-couples-people-have

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