User talk:Thomas S. Major

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Hello, Thomas S. Major, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Where to ask a question, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions. Again, welcome!  -- Rama 10:07, 14 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Late reply to your message[edit]

Hi, Thomas. Thanks for your message on my talk page about the Opus Dei article. I meant to reply sooner, and I would have liked to contribute more to that article. Unfortunately, shortly after getting your message, I began to get some anonymous stalking messages, with personal threats about finding out my home address, etc. It wasn't a big problem (my address is not listed in any public directory), but it took up quite a lot of my time, tracking IP adresses, writing to adminstrators, etc. I'm now revising for exams at the end of this month, so while I'm still on Wikipedia (mainly for relaxation), I only edit things that won't take up too much time. (At least, that's the rule I've made – I don't at all guarantee that I stick to it!) I hope to be back editing Opus Dei at the end of this month. Thanks again. Ann Heneghan (talk) 10:45, 5 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opus Dei[edit]

Hi Thomas, reply to both of your comments (and apologies for taking so much time).


Currently there isn't any proper system that I know which is designed to split proper footnotes from the page. It could be made quite easily. However, I'm strongly against that. Having footnotes on the same page has many benefits

  • fast moving back and forward between them and the text
  • easier and clearer editing (all in the same single document == less confusion
  • unlikely to be separated (e.g. in mirrors etc.)

I think, to be honest, that the length of the page is better tackled by fundamental measures rather than superficial ones. The page should aim to be about 30k, but you should count that excluding footnotes, tables and illustrations. The correct thing to do is to convert to Summary style and make separate pages for each of the correct topics. Almost all of the theology should be moved out to one single coherent page where it will be easier to read and understand.

Your edits:

This is an excellent direction. I'm happy that you read my comments and are taking them into account. Obviously, however, I'm hoping for much more of this material. However, your edits come across as very defensive of Opus Dei. For example you say "Critics, however, say that Opus Dei is powerful.." which you then contrast with "assets are [..] $344 million, compared with [..] $102 billion". These aren't really matching comments. Money should not typically be the measure of influence in religeous organisations. This comes across as fairly strong POV where probably a stronger statement ("however alwyn says the organisation disdains secular influence {{ref|alwyn-34}} and no example has ever been made of Opus Dei inspired legistlation") could probably be much less POV pushing.

Keep up the good work :-)

Mozzerati 19:48, 13 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Turin etc[edit]

Happy now. Cheers JackofOz 12:09, 8 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Introvigne photo and quote.[edit]

I think it's fine - the only change I would suggest:

"Massimo Introvigne, author of numerous works on sociology of religion, says that secularists and liberals "stigmatize" their "prime target," Opus Dei, since they "cannot tolerate the 'return to religion'" of the secularized society."


"Massimo Introvigne, author of numerous works on sociology of religion including the Encyclopedia of Religions, says that secularists and liberals "stigmatize" their "prime target," Opus Dei, since they "cannot tolerate the 'return to religion'" of the secularized society.

as it is not immediately obvious (although one does figure it would hope, anyways) why the picture of the book cover is there. Out of curiosity, is that quote out of the Encyclopedia? DonaNobisPacem 07:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey Thomas -

I'd like you to take a look at the Talk:Transubstantiation page at the discussion brewing over the origins of the doctrine. Most of the discussion is contained under Consensus, what consensus? DonaNobisPacem 07:03, 26 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks - I was starting to re-think my postition, after a friend brought up the topic after mention was made by a professor in a Greek & Roman studies course. I'll see what I can do about a scholarly reply.... DonaNobisPacem 21:50, 30 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The issue has been moved to the page on Eucharist, which is a better choice than transubstantiation anyways - but it seems to be resolving itself amongst some rather knowledgeable folks on that page. Thanks for your input, though. DonaNobisPacem 09:50, 6 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opus Dei Mediation[edit]

Hi Thomas! Glad you'll join us for the mediation thingy. Don't forget to add yourself to the list and sign that you agree to participate on this page: Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Opus Dei

--Alecmconroy 02:30, 5 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A mediator has shown up ready to begin mediation. Do come join us when next you're here. :) --Alecmconroy 14:15, 17 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi, I am willing to be mediate your case, regarding Opus Dei.

The first thing that needs to be decided is what format the mediation should take, and my preference would be to conduct it on Wikipedia (as opposed to e-mail, IRC etc.). If you are planning to take a wiki-break in the near-future or will be unable to partcipate in the mediation could you please let me know. I should point out that I shall be on a wikibreak from the 3rd July until the 7th July. --Wisden17 23:03, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mediation Started[edit]

Hi, I've posted the intial questions regarding the Opus Dei case, here. This is where I intend to carry out the mediation. If anybody plans to be away from Wikipedia in the near future then please let me know a.s.a.p.. I look forward to working with you. --Wisden17 23:13, 13 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

cutting of references[edit]

Why did you cut the interesting links pro and contra opus? It's a loss.

Louisar 19:14, 24 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Potential compromise[edit]

Thomas! Thanks for the kind words on my talk page. You know, we don't get to say this enough-- thank you so much for the way you've handled yourself in this dispute. You've always been the utter HEIGHT of civility. It all but makes me feel guilty to even disagree with you about the article.

I'm really enjoying the Allen book-- thank you for recommending it to me. I actually am having amazon ship a copy to a close relative of mine who is, in fact, a member of the priesthood, though not of a member of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross (at least not yet heheh). At family gatherings, he and I always stay up late into the night talking about all kinds of things, so it promises to be an interesting Thanksgiving.

My position in this dispute is a little awkward for me-- I'm in a role not unlike a defense attorney who finds himself representing a murderer or a rapist. I have a duty to represent them, to make sure that the trial is a fair one, and to present their case. But at the same time, I'm not for one second saying my client is right.

Anyway, in the middle of the night last night, I woke up, and had a flash of insight about a potential compromise first step. It would allow me to feel comfortable that the critics are getting a fair chance to make their case, but would still allow us reduce the total amount of space devoted to criticism in the article. I really really hope you like the idea, it could be a huge step towards reaching consensus. I think you will. :)

--Alecmconroy 23:06, 29 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thom, in response to your post on my talk page. I think you're overzealous in protecting children. Do you really think a little bit of criticism would be that great a threat to Opus Dei? --Alecmconroy 04:29, 3 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I made a change you might find controversial, so I wanted to bring it to your attention so you could revert it immediately. Discussion is here Talk:Opus_Dei#links. --Alecmconroy 08:24, 5 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Well, Thomas-- I gave you a barnstar, cause you have got to be the nicest, most civil disputant I've ever met online. You're still wrong about the Opus Dei page, though!  :). But honestly, I'm glad to be done with the whole thing, and I honestly hope ever person I show the article to tells me "Alec, it's fine-- leave it be". I really don't care if I right, I just want to make sure Wikipedia gets it right here. Besides--- I'm utterly sick of having to be the public defender-- the unpaid advocate for causes I don't even believe in. Why can't the people who actually DO think Opus Dei is a cult take this issue to mediation, instead of me having to do it for them? hehehe. oh, I joke, but tommorrow I'll have some new cause I don't believe in to try to work on. I don't trust myself enough to work on the ones I do care about. Hey, check your email! --Alecmconroy 00:23, 8 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi Tom! I am so sorry my reply's late. Been extremely busy with so many mundane concerns. ;-) I thought about your request... and I did obtain a copy of the Opus Dei Headquarters at NY....But after some thought... isn't it much better to put in a regular center rather than that huge thing at NY? Think about it. Regards and nice job at mediation! Walter Ching 04:50, 15 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opus Dei RFC[edit]

Thomas-- there's a RFC on the Opus Dei article that I'm pretty sure you're going to want to comment on. I don't guess your going to like the changes, but I thought I should give you a heads up to them all the same. There is a silver lining, though-- given the overwhelmingly positive response the changes have gotten, I think I can get Opus Dei up to being a Feature Article in no time, and have in a featured article on Opus Dei will be a very good thing for everyone. --Alecmconroy 19:09, 27 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, I was afraid you would want to seek a Request for Arbitration over the rewrite. I really wish I could convince you that it's a huge improvement and that if you just trust me, I really will deliver you an article that meets all the Wikipedia standards and policies and can one day show up on the front page of Wikipedia. I know you worry I'm somehow out to slander Opus Dei-- I'm really not. I just want it to be the best page it can be, and that means taking the approach I've taken. The old page could never reach FAC-- it couldn't even pass WP:V.
That said-- if I really can't convince you, then yeah, I guess Arbitration is what you'll have to do to get the old version back. I hope it won't come to, but if it does, I'll participate fully and promptly. If you do file, I'll won't let them take the NPOV dispute template down from the time you file the Request until the time a decision is rendered. And I guess I'll just have to take a deep breath and hope that they see it my way.
Your a good guy, Thomas. The worst insult I can say about you is that you put your duty to God ahead of your duty to Wikipedia-- and in the grand scheme of things-- that's really not an insult at all. :) --Alecmconroy 20:35, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your OD essay[edit]

Thomas-- I took the liberty of moving your "Opus Dei FAQ" essay to User:Thomas S. Major/Opus Dei essay. Although essays of this type are probably best left to userspaces anyway, I actually moved it mostly because I figured it no longer reflected your view about the current page, so I didn't want anyone to think that the authors of this essay feel similarly about the Opus Dei article in its current form. Similarly I'm going to delete the link to it, but if you still want people reading it, feel 100% free to make a new comment on the talk page pointing people to it along with whatever reminders you want to give them that the essay refers to your support for the OLD article not your support for the current one. We've got people still coming in from RFCs and I wouldn't want them to think that the current article has an even greater consensus than it actually does. --Alecmconroy 23:40, 2 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Escriva on indiscriminant reading[edit]

A few months ago, you added text to the Controverises article summarize Escriva. You wrote: "Escriva said that it is his responsibility to ensure the fidelity of Opus Dei members to the faith. Some readings, he says, are dangerous to the faith and to morals, and he likened indiscrimate reading to taking any nice-looking pill in a drugstore." I think it's a good defense to the criticism-- do you have a source? I've looked around but haven't found one as of yet. --Alecmconroy 15:49, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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