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Opus Dei: News, SOME Background, and Ramifications

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English: Expansion of the Roman Catholic organ...

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Hey — all the graphics here were suggested by wordpress, and I clicked to include some of them.  See text . . . .

Note:  Also search the term on main page of my blog — as I didn’t go back and move text onto this one.  I’m not real big on blog formatting & housekeeping — but readers know this.  I put the efforts into reading, assembling, and posting; hey — it’s a volunteer blog

 

 

 

Escrivá surrounded by working people, in a Fil...

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Opusdeiwomenescrivacongress

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Pot, Slovenian translation of The Way, the mai...

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St. Josemaría, founder of Opus Dei and the Pri...

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Pope John Paul II, who made Opus Dei the first...

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Opus Dei central headquarters in Rome

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The present Bishop-Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. ...
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Note:

Recent posts have more information on historical and political background of this cult. (THAT link should be read…) Similar to this one:

In 1982, the Opus Dei organization became a personal prelature of the Vatican–that is, a separate church entity beholden only to the Pope. From that moment on, Opus Dei members escaped the authority of the bishops in the territories in which they reside. Consequently, they function as a sort of instrument of Vatican social control, like its very own global SS, something that brings to mind another historic sect which ruled with religious terror in the Spain of the 16th Century before imposing and exporting its fanaticism to the universal Church: the Inquisition.

{{Do NOT underestimate the comparison!}}

Although Opus Dei is a part of the church’s structure, it is not like traditional dioceses, which are defined geographically, but instead is defined by its “worldwide purpose,” which is to dominate the church and selected governments while promoting extremist, right-wing policies aligned to a corporate, imperialist, and big business agendas. {{WHICH the link then documents}} With roughly 88,000 members worldwide, including about 2,000 priests, the organization spans some 61 countries, including roughly 3,000 members in the United States.

Estimated to hold assets of about $3 billion, the free-floating personal prelature, which purports to do “the work of God” (translation of “Opus Dei,”), Opus Dei is beholden to no one but the Pope, whose spokesperson, Cardinal Joaquin Navarro-Valls, is also an Opus Dei member. Appointing its own priests and bishops to rule over the lay membership, it runs 15 universities, 7 hospitals, 11 business schools and a great number of primary, secondary and technical schools, functioning as an underground force for political reaction within the Catholic church, keen on the tactics of infiltration and “holy deception.”

The organization’s membership includes elite elements who wield influence at the highest levels of government, the Vatican, and the Vatican Bank. The individuals that Opus Dei chooses to recruit for membership are the cream of American, European and Latin American society. They include owners of big multinational companies, members of the U.S. Congress, the press and finance magnates, as well as heads of state, governmental, religious and even secular educational bodies. U.S. Supreme Court judges Alito, Scalia and Thomas have been linked to Opus Dei, as have Congressmen Brownback and former Congressman Rick Santorum.

One current Opus Dei member worth noting is Joseph E Schmitz. A former Pentagon Inspector General, he became Chief of Operations for Blackwater Worldwide, the private security firm, in 2005. . . .

Not to be ignored, in other words . . .

 This page, though, is more narrative. From Survivors, and then on the good cover-up priests.

Warning:  This page may not be good for your blood pressure.

But then, civic & human duty requires facing some very hard facts about the world we inhabit, and future of the U.S.A. . . . . .       Not to mention its reputation . . . . .

The Daily Mail:

Two members of the mysterious Catholic cult featured in film The Da Vinci Code, will go on trial today accused of holding a woman hostage as a ‘brainwashed slave’ for 16 years.

Catherine Tessier, 40, claims she was forced to work 100-hours-a-week for no wages by leaders of the Opus Dei society made famous in Dan Brown’s best-selling novel.

The woman maintains she was held captive by the ultra pious group – which is funded by the Vatican – after her parents sent her on a live-in catering course in north-east France.

But unknown to her, the so-called University and Technical Culture Association boarding school was thought to be a hotbed of right-wing belief run by Opus Dei.

Ms Tessier, now 40, is set to tell the court in Paris how she was treated as a ‘virtual slave’ after joining the college in 1985 at the age of 14. Instead of being taught catering skills, she claims she was made to work as a domestic servant for college staff.

She was allegedly made to take religious vows, followed by staff at all times, locked in her room at night and given mind-numbing sedatives…

‘They compelled me to take vows of obedience, poverty and chastity. I was then made to work 14-hour days, seven days a week, cleaning and serving.

‘The staff paid me a salary and then reclaimed money by making me sign blank cheques supposedly to pay my room and board.

‘Staff accompanied me everywhere, including on visits to the doctor when I was prescribed tranquilisers that left me senseless,’ she added…

Lawyers first took legal action that year alleging ‘mental manipulation’ and other charges, but the case had been delayed by years of legal wrangling with Opus Dei.

The Rome-based society with 90,000 members around the world has denied it ran the catering school.

New book sheds light on Opus Dei

Véronique Duborgel, a 44-year old kindergarten teacher and former Opus Dei supernumerary,
has written a book about her 13 years in Opus Dei, “Inside the Hell of Opus Dei.”  As recounted
by Susan Bell of the Telegraph (Britain), in her book Duborgel “describes techniques of psychological
isolation similar to those sometimes used by sects, and claims that Opus Dei intrudes into the 
most intimate areas of members’ private lives, encourages them to inform on each other and 
drains their financial resources…she was instructed not to tell family or friends that she was a 
member of Opus Dei.”

To read the full article by Bell:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/04/nopusdei104.xml

True Story of Opus Dei Supernumerary in Movie “Breach”

Once again, Opus Dei members are featured in a movie entitled “Breach.”
Unlike the fictional Da Vinci Code, however, the movie is based on the true story
of convicted FBI spy and Opus Dei supernumerary Robert Hanssen.

Many wonder, how could a seemingly pious, dedicated and hard-working man be at
the heart of one of the worst security breaches in the history of the United States?
The answer can be partly found in the paradoxical nature not only of Hanssen, but also
of Opus Dei, both of whom share similarities such as elitism, superiority, secretiveness,
intelligence, detachment, and isolation.

For current and past news articles about Hanssen, along with some thoughts on the
paradoxical nature of both Hanssen and Opus Dei:  Hanssen and Opus Dei

Official Announcement of ICTOD, the International
Collaboration for Truth about Opus Dei

About this Father Finn — he’s heading off to trial soon for coverup of child sexual abuse, and appears to have substantial legal support in protecting him in this matter:

Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 08:11:20 AM EST

The trial date for Bishop Robert W. Finn,of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri will be September 24, 2012.  Finn and the diocese were charged with failing to report suspected child abuse of one of his subordinates, Rev. Shawn Ratigan.

As I reported here and here, Bishop Finn, previously best known for his Opus Dei vision for the Church and society, had constructive knowledge of improper touching of young girls and possession of child pornography by Father Shawn Ratigan, who also faces criminal charges.Missouri State Law makes it a misdemeanor crime not to report such behavior.  If convicted, Finn faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine; the diocese only faces a fine of $5,000.Bishop Finn avoided similar charges in nearby Clay County, Missouri by agreeing to government oversight of all pedophilia investigations for the next five years.The controversial Opus Dei prelate and Father Ratigan have been receiving legal help from the ultra-conservative, Opus Bono Sacerdotii (OBS), an organization with strong ties to Opus Dei member Thomas Monaghan, William Donohue and several prominent Catholic neocons.  As I have previously reported, any setback for Finn (especially resignation) would remove a high-profile social conservative voice in a Mid-Western bastion of liberal thought.

and this is an exceptionally volatile and angry site, — but so is the topic!  And failing to talk about it enables continuation — talking about the “JP2” army meaning, of priests to coverup the extent of priestly rape of children over the years.   Nevertheless, it shows the timeframe of appointment of this Father Finn to his KCMO post:

‘The Vatican is the MOST EVIL POWER on Earth. The Vatican’s worst crimes are the SECRET Vatican Swiss Banks that hoard despots’ ill-gotten wealth hence they perpetuate poor countries and poor peoples.UN UNITED NATIONS must END the VATICAN as a “COUNTRY” because it is ONLY ONE BUILDING for male homosexual GAYS (population half a USA High School). Women and children are forbidden…The Pope, Nuncios, Cardinals do not need DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY to RE-INCARNATE JESUS in the EUCHARIST = MAGIC + SORCERY

OR:

Last year during Lent and on the eve of the Annunciation on March 24, 2010, the New York Times revealed the personal cover-up role of Cardinal Ratzinger now Benedict XVI in the most notorious American priest rapist-priest in Wisconsin who raped 200 deaf boys read it here http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2010/03/b-b-benedict-xvi-and-cardinal-bertone.html The infallible response of Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sodano was unforgettable as they made a spectacle fool out of themselves by branding the New York Times expose as “Cheap Gossip” during the entire Holy Week world show in Rome.

Bishop Finn Chaplain to John Paul II in 2003

Note — only a year after priest pedophilia has erupted in Boston

Bishop Finn was personally named by Blessed Pope John Paul II as Chaplain to His Holiness in August 2003, upon the recommendation of the then-Archbishop of St. Louis, Justin Francis Rigali (later Cardinal and Archbishop of Philadelphia), who had named him to the posts he was then exercising (the honor was bestowed while he was still serving as CFP Director and editor of the St. Louis Review; Father Finn received the title of Reverend Monsignor). Monsignor Finn served in several other capacities including Chairman of the Archdiocesan Committee on the Diaconate. Read about the cover-up of Cardinal Regali of 37 rapists-priests in our related article herehttp://jp2army.blogspot.com/2011/03/philadelphias-37-rapists-priests-under.html

Therefore, Bishop Finn was groomed by John Paul II and Cardinal Regali to cover-up pedophile priests.

Opus Dei and Bishop Finn

Fr. Finn applied for membership in Opus Dei in January 2004, Monsignor Finn was named two months later as coadjutor bishop (with right of succession) of the diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph. Monsignor Finn was consecrated to the episcopate on May 3, 2004, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City. He is also now a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. On May 24, 2005, the Vatican accepted Bishop Boland’s request for retirement. As Coadjutor, Bishop Finn automatically succeeded him as sixth bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

In April 2005, Bishop Finn became a member of Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, which is the exclusive elite priesthood of the Catholic personal prelature Opus Dei. In an interview with the Catholic Key, Bishop Finn told of how Opus Dei had helped open his heart to the work of the Holy Spirit. Bishop Finn is not technically a member of the Opus Dei prelature, as he is a diocesan priest, but he is able to receive spiritual formation from the prelature in a similar way as its members do.

Bishop Finn is technically or officially called an “associate” member of Opus Dei.

THIS SITE TALKS ABOUT THE SAME BISHOP TAKING ON LIBERAL PRESIDENT OF NOTRE DAME, IN:

Home

Submitted by NYGaribaldi on Mon, 05/11/2009 – 08:03

I t is not surprising that an Opus Dei bishop such as Robert Finn would attack Father Jenkins and Notre Dame. The Catholic university at South Bend has a long history of open-mindedness towards those who disagree with Church dogma. During the 1980s then presidentFather Theodore Hesburgh gave the pro-choice Catholic governor of New York Mario Cuomo the opportunity to make his case.  Jenkins invitation to President Obama to give this year’s commencement address places  Jenkins squarely in that tradition.

Where Hesburgh and Jenkins have no fear of different points of view, Finn is compelled to acts of censorship. As I previously noted:

He [Bishop Finn] is not tolerant of dissent and personally censors articles that appear in diocesan publications. To that end, he has ordered the editor of the diocesan newspaper to immediately cease publishing columns by the progressive Notre Dame theologian Fr. Richard McBrien. He also announced that he would review all page one stories, opinion pieces, columns and editorials before publication. This behavior is consistent with Opus Dei’s own internal practice of discouraging free thought through censorship. The lay group maintains a list of “forbidden” books, it does not want its members to read. It is a list that includes Enlightenment writers such as Locke,** Rousseau and Voltaire.

Such a fear of knowledge and different ideas epitomizes Opus Dei, the highly secretive and ultra-conservative Catholic, personal prelature of the Pope to which Bishop Finn belongs. Although Catholicism no longer maintains a list of banned books, Opus Dei still does. In El Salvador, for example Opus Dei has used its heavy hand to erase any vestige of liberation theology.

While Bishop Finn may see himself as a pro-life warrior, he is acutally a modern-day Inquisitor. In a zeal of religious supremacy he has little or no toleration for the idea that other Americans follow different paths to salvation. Such a concept is simply unacceptable to the bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

(A little Wikipedia reminder about John Locke’s relationship to the origins of this country):

John LockeFRS (play/ˈlɒk/; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704), widely known as the Father ofLiberalism,[2][3][4] was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential ofEnlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work had a great impact upon the development ofepistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanismand liberal theory are reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.[5]

Locke’s theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self, figuring prominently in the work of later philosophers such as HumeRousseau and KantLocke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa. Contrary to pre-existing Cartesian philosophy, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and thatknowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from senseperception.[6]

It takes a while to finish formulating one’s views on life — mixing experience, observation and theory over a lifetime.  It’s not hard to enthusiastically endorse one or another view while young, and live with it for a while– but some just do not bear the test of time.  I see it as a process of navigation.
I speak as a woman raised in an agnostic household, but both sets of grandparents were Christian, although it skipped our household, and I have some speculation as to why.  But, for reasons known only somewhere between the soul, spirit, circumstances (i.e., me & God), about as soon as I got away from home, starting with some leanings in high school, though — I became a Christian, although in a rather nontraditional way.
This and study of the Bible has served me WELL over the years, and able to talk back to “religion.”
But after the horror of marriage and separation, in my lifetime, and seeing how women, particularly mothers, are treated by both atheists AND religionists in this society, I speak as a woman — the buck stops HERE.  The influence of women-hating religion HAS to be stopped practically, although it has invaded nearly every single institution which regulates most of our common lives, particularly the courts.
And what happens to us when we DARE to protect our own children, let alone ourSELVES!, or seek some collective assent that this should be done without treating us as criminals, or as brood mares whose work is now done, except to extort more services from us and mates through any family law courts.    Thus traumatized, we then live wondering how our kids will fare, as the place gets more and more extreme.
It is complicated by the fact that the Bible really, truly, does not endorse homsexuality or any of that — it is valued as bad.  But then again, so is adultery, stealing, and a lot of other forms of idolatry, chief of which is “covetousness.”  And as George Carlin, comedian, asserts — one can’t get rid of covetousness, it’s what drives the economy – it’s good for business!
~ ~ ~ Here’s an article by the daughter of a mother who joined OD — but the daughter, even as a little girl, age 5 —  maintained her independence, and then (by age of 14), apparently told them to get lost.
It’s illuminating, and I think the handwriting on this group is on the wall.  Time to read it!

This Apple Falls Guiltlessly Far From The Tree:  Recollections of a Supernumerary’s Daughter.”

My reluctance to attend clubs did not stop the numeraries interest in me. During my freshman year of high school, month after month, I received phone calls from numeraries asking me to attend pilgrimages, days of recollections and retreats for teenage girls. The invites usually ended with a bribe such as, “we will all go for ice cream afterward!” No matter how many times I asked my mother to tell them to leave me alone, she would not. She said, “Just talk to them; be nice. They are such nice people. They like you.” As though their liking me was an honor, I thought–enough is enough.

One evening the phone rang. My mother told me to talk to the numerary. I picked up the receiver and said, “Don’t ever call me again!” I hung up the phone. My mother was mortified. I said, “That’s OK, Mom. Don’t worry. I am sure you will all pray for my soul.” Why a good 14-year-old-Catholic girl needed salvation by OD perplexed me. The numeraries were in for a surprise if they thought the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Unlike my mother, this apple had a mind of her own. This apple did not need people telling her how to love God. This apple did not need affirmation. This apple was secure in God’s love. And this apple knew she brought enough to God’s table on her own.

Where my sense of self worth came from at such a young age is a mystery to me. Everyday I thank God I saw the reality of OD. Growing up in OD is a way of life; it revolves around OD activities. You hardly ever participate in your local parish. Local parish priests are beneath “us.” I cannot tell you how many times I heard negative comments regarding parish priests, “Oh, well, you know what they are like; they are liberals.” To which I would respond, “How do we know that? We never get to know them.” Opus Dei members only go to confession to OD priests and all spiritual direction comes from OD priests and numeraries. I watched many friends suffer tremendously from the subtle manipulative guilt and pressure techniques that OD imposes on children of supernumeraries.

Another concept that is familiar to OD is never speaking ill of a priest. Opus Dei priest and director of The Catholic Information Center in Washington, DC, Father C. J. McCloskey, wrote in a recent article, “Speak often positively about the Church and the greatness of being called to a life of dedication in it. Never speak negatively about persons who have dedicated their lives to God no matter what their human failings might be.” This philosophy is disturbing. This concept is not only outdated, but in light of the current sex scandal in the church, extremely dangerous. It is also hypocritical considering within its inner sanctum OD is vocal in their disdain for parish priests. Whenever I had a legitimate complaint, I was hushed with words such as, “He is an Opus Dei priest. He would never do something wrong.” “Don’t say anything bad about them (OD priests or numeraries.) They are wonderful people. They have given their lives to God.” or “Don’t tell Susie about the bad things that have happened to you. She is thinking of joining.” This blind faith is precarious, at the least. We need to teach our children to be discerning, not naive.

{{. . . . more of her observations on finances, after the practice of teaching children to live modestly — give them more brothers and sisters, less Stuff:}}

Theologically speaking, this is a fine and lofty practice, but it doesn’t mesh with OD numeraries’ and priests’ living in renovated mansions and their employing cooks, maids and chauffeurs, who mainly come from third-world countries. Also, check out the 41 million dollar structure that makes up the newOD Manhattan headquarters in New York City.

The donations by supernumeraries keep the organization flourishing. OD expects supernumerary members to treat OD financially as another child. OD couples tend to have large families; so if a couple has eight children, OD becomes their ninth. Many times, this mindset places the biological child at the back of the cash register line.

I never understood why my mother told me she could not afford to buy my high school ring. I knew we were not poor. I regularly went without things my friends had and never complained, so a $75.00 dollar ring did not seem much to ask for, especially since my mother gave monthly donations to OD, aside from paying hundreds of dollars for yearly week-long conferences, weekend retreats and clothing donations.

I watched friends pointlessly suffer. One friend needed a dress for a black-tie event. My friend was a wonderful daughter who never worried her parents. I found her crying in her room. Her father said he could not afford the dress. Her parents were wealthy, so this excuse made no sense. I tried to dry my friend’s tears. She said, “How can he tell me he cannot afford the dress? He gives thousands of dollars to Opus Dei. He gives them precious antiques, for crying out loud!” Going without hurts enough when there is good reason to be denied, but to watch your parents give antiques away at the same time you need an $80.00 dress makes the wound burn and bleed more.

Instead of parents’ telling OD they cannot make their monthly donation because their child needs the money, parents tell their children they need to live the spirit of generosity. Kids feel guilty about asking for anything . . . I watched my mother undergo uncalled-for stress when it came time for me to get braces. She made herself sick trying to figure out how to pay the orthodontist bill. I said, “Just tell Opus Dei you can’t afford to pay them for a while.” She said, “I cannot do that! I am committed to my payments.” (What about her being committed to me?) . . .

The principal message I want to leave with you from my 39-year OD experience is that I have never seen any one in Opus Dei change. They stay the same. They are robots who do the same thing day after day after day. No matter what life brings, they muddle through living the philosophy: “offer it up.” Their view of “offering it up” translates into remaining static. If a child is having a serious problem, OD’s pat answer is, “Offer it up” or “They are just going through a phase. Pray for them.” Praying is a fantastic tool, but God also calls a person to act. With God’s help, we can take steps to change and grow. Opus Dei’s “offer it up” philosophy is another term for denial.

LGH P.O.V.

I am estranged from religious communities because of what they represent and have done to my family, me, and others like me over the few decades I’ve been along.  Looking back, there hasn’t been a year of my life since adolescence in which life was not affected by gender, and by women’s second-class status within the country.  Over the long haul, it’s formed my life, despite privileges gained by parents who dealt every bit as much as me with what we now call “domestic violence” and ‘children exposed to abuse.”  While they covered it up, this generation has simply patented the term and exploited it, and stuck a sports figure and a Jesuit Priest on the task force to address this — IMMEDIATELY after the scandal of Penn State University (Sandusky) and overlapping not a few other scandals involving Jesuit priests.  There’s a lesson in there somewhere!
Then we have to actually LISTEN to contender Republican Santorum as if this weren’t a joke!  And he comes from a state, Pennsylvania, whose scandals fall close on its own heels, there seems no end…
(It turns out, while regulating women’s reproductive functions, he protested regulation of pro-wrestling . . . . although failure to regulate the use of steroids and drugs in the field apparently led to several men dying around the time they turned 50 . . .  )

Written by Let's Get Honest

February 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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