Ruth Kelly, who was recently appointed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to serve as Education Secretary, has been linked to the far-right religious sect Opus Dei. Described as a cult by some, Opus Dei practices indicate a belief that women should be subservient to men, and some of its more fervent members practice self-mortification. John Allen, the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, writes that Kelly is “staunchly antiabortion” and “against contraception.”
Kelly said of her involvement with the controversial sect, “I don’t see why it should be an issue at all,” according to BBC News. “It is a private spiritual life and I don’t think it is relevant to my job,” she told the Telegraph. A former Home Office minister, Tom Sackville, has called for her resignation, according to the Mirror.