Opus Dei in the News Media
The following news sites are provided for information purposes only. External sites are not endorsed by the Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN), nor are the views expressed necessarily those of ODAN, Inc. The articles are divided into the following sections:
Articles and Programs about Opus Dei
Articles about Fr. McCloskey
Canonization of Opus Dei’s Founder
Completion of Opus Dei’s North American Headquarters Building
Former FBI Agent and Supernumerary Robert Hanssen Convicted of Spying
CNN Paula Zahn, May 19, 2006
Former Opus Dei numerary assistant Colleen O’Neill was interviewed live on CNN
Paula Zahn at 8:00 pm on Friday, May 19. Colleen left Opus Dei in 2005 and has been
providing interviews to the media about her experiences in Opus Dei, which mirror those of
former members who left Opus Dei many years ago. The testimony of a former Opus Dei
numerary assistant can be read at the following link:
Opus Dei Unveiled, The History Channel, May 16, 2006
Directed and produced by George Tzimopoulos and Bill Brummel Productions
Opus Dei: A Silent Revolution (2005, 52min) by Marcela Said and Jean de Certeau
Wednesday, May 17
Ex-Opus Dei Members Decry Blind Obedience
ABC News, by Charlotte Sector
Opus Dei members: ‘Da Vinci’ distorted
Daily Record by Abbott Koloff, May 14, 2006
Does Opus Dei Have a Dark Side?
NBC 11, San Jose/San Francisco/Oakland, May 17, 2006
The Real Story on Opus Dei – Not the Hollywood Version
The Ottawa Citizen; the Associated Press, May 8, 2006
Opus Dei lifts veil
NorthJersey.com, by John Chadwick, May 18, 2006
Opus Dei in Spotlight Thanks to “Da Vinci Code”
KDKA Pittsburgh, Sonni Abatta reporting, May 15, 2006
Behind the Secret Sect of Opus Dei
CBS2 Chicago, Antonio Mora reporting, May 15, 2006http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_134231944.html
Expansion of Opus Dei group home has neighbors concerned
WNDU-TV: South Bend, Indiana, May 9, 2006
Note: The following two articles from the National Catholic Reporter detail extreme changes
recently made by Opus Dei Bishop Robert Finn in the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO.
Extreme makeover – the diocese
National Catholic Reporter, May 12, 2006 http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2006b/051206/051206a.php
No Rationale for upheaval in Kansas City
National Catholic Reporter, May 12, 2006 http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2006b/051206/051206t.htm
Many in Bay Area Part of Opus Dei
ABC7News: San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, May 12, 2006
The New York Daily News, April 30, 2006
The Sunday, April 30 edition of the New York Daily News featured the following article about Opus Dei: http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/413507p-349475c.html
The Record.com, May 13, 2006
“Doing ‘the work of God'” by Mirko Petricevic
The History Channel, May 16, 2006
On Tuesday, May 16th @ 8pm eastern / pacific …The History Channel premieres Opus Dei Unveiled … a new High Definition documentary directed and produced by George Tzimopoulos and Bill Brummel Productions.
The History Channel was granted unprecedented access inside Opus Dei — considered the most controversial organization in the Catholic Church.
Cast as the diabolical villains of the bestselling novel and feature film The Da Vinci Code, Opus Dei’s leadership including Bishop Javier Echevarria and Father Thomas Bohlin respond to disturbing accusations that this religious organization is a secret and clandestine cult, that it recruits aggressively, that it has vast sums of money and that it controls the Vatican.
From its fascinating birth in Spain to its remarkable global imprint and influence throughout the Catholic Church, discover the real story behind the spiritually-demanding and controversial lifestyle of Opus Dei¹s 87,000 worldwide members – the secrets of Opus Dei are unveiled.
Opus Dei: A Silent Revolution (2005, 52min) by Marcela Said and Jean de Certeau
Wednesday, May 17
Filmmaker Marcela Said presents the U.S. premiere of her groundbreaking work Opus Dei: A Silent Revolution (Marcela Said & Jean de Certeau, Chile/France.) This documentary is a journey into the heart of one of the most secretive groups of the Catholic Church, Opus Dei. Through meetings with Opus Dei members, the film penetrates and reveals bit by bit this unknown society. In Spanish, French and Italian with English subtitles.
Presented with the Embassy of Chile.
General $5, Members, Visitors 60 and over and Students $4. Welcome to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to recognizing the contributions of women artists.1250 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3970
For more information: http://www.nmwa.org/calendar/detail.asp?eventId=456
Information about “Marcela Said’s I Love Pinochet“, May 18:http://www.nmwa.org/news/news.asp?newsid=213
National Geographic Program, April 24, 2006
Opus Dei was the topic of a television program that appeared on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, April 24 at 8 pm. The program about the Da Vinci Code, with a segment about Opus Dei, appeared on the show “Is it Real?”
CNN, Paula Zahn Now, Wednesday May 17
CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now” featured a special on Opus Dei on Wednesday, May 17 at 8:00 pm.
ODAN Representatives on CBS Sunday Morning, April 30 with Martha Teichner
Opus Dei was the topic of a broadcast on CBS Sunday Morning that aired on Sunday, April 30. Martha Teichnerinterviewed ODAN Executive Director and former numerary Tammy DiNicola. To read the transcript: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/30/sunday/main1561631.shtml
Time Magazine Cover Story on Opus Dei
A recent issue of Time Magazine featured Opus Dei. Former members of Opus Dei were interviewed for the issue. To read the articles please follow this link: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1186134,00.html
Geraldo At Large, Friday, May 5, 2006
Geraldo At Large on the FOX Channel aired a special about Opus Dei on Friday, May 5, 2006. When and if a link is available, we will post it at this site.
Bloomberg.Com, April 26, 2006
Opus Dei, Vilified in ‘Da Vinci Code,’ Runs Global MBA Schools
By Vernon Silver and Michael Smith
(Note that the Opus Dei member Eduardo Guilisasti, age 53, stated that he had joined Opus Dei in 1968 after attending Opus Dei events while in high school. Despite claims by Opus Deithat they do not allow minors to join, this individual reveals that he was only 15 or 16 years old when he joined Opus Dei. Former members testify that they were told by Opus Dei directors not to tell their parents about their lifetime commitmentsto Opus Dei because “parents do not understand.” Guilisasti’s statements in this article also seem to imply that he relinguishes control ofhis entire salary to Opus Dei, who then supplies his minimal needs. Contrast this with the statement of Opus Deipriest Father Michael Barrett on Hardball with Chris Matthews, June 9, 2005 “MATTHEWS: Do they have to turn over their paycheck to Opus Dei? BARRETT: They don‘t turn over their paycheck.” It is unfortunate that Opus Dei has not been truthful about its practicesand has never admitted to any wrongdoing.)
Soft-focused Opus: Reporter runs interference for controversial Catholic group
Irish Echo, March 15-21, 2006
By Peter McDermott
Catholic Group Says of ‘Da Vinci Code’ Film: It’s Just Fiction
New York Times, February 7, 2006By Laurie Goodstein
Opus Dei aims to improve its public image ahead of ‘Da Vinci Code’ movie
AP Religion Writer
Feb. 8, 2006 12:00 AM
Da Vinci Code’ Fight Brews
ABC News – Good Morning America
Opus Dei Program Aired on Monday, March 20 in Boston
Opus Dei was the subject of a news program on WHDH-TV Channel 7 in Boston on Monday,March 20 on the 11 pm news, and again on Tuesday March 21 between 4-6:30 pm. ODAN Executive Director Dianne DiNicola and former numerary Tammy DiNicola were interviewed for the program.
To view the transcript of this program: http://www1.whdh.com/features/articles/specialreport/BO16386/
OPUS DEI Featured On BBC Radio Program
On Thursday, October 27, 2005, a BBC documentary on Opus Dei aired on BBC Radio 4 – 93.5 FM (United Kingdom.) The show was produced by Simon Cox. Former Opus Dei numerary member Tammy DiNicola was featured on the program, along with several Opus Dei members, former Opus Dei priest Reverend Vladimir Feltzmann, and thought reform counselor and cult expert David Clark. The program may be listened to via the internet at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/clubclass/pip/ufnn8/ . The program is called Club Class on Opus Dei and is 30 minutes long.
CBC French Language International
A story about Opus Dei in French aired during the presentation of a show called “5 sur 5”, a show one
can see on the French-language international network TV5 throughout the world.
Radio Program on Opus Dei
Opus Dei was the topic of a radio program that aired on Friday, November 4 on The Current, CBC National Radio’s morning current affairs program. CBC Radio One broadcasts throughout Canada (visit http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2005/200511/20051104.html to listen on-line – scroll down to “Listen to Part 3.”) Former Opus Dei numerary member Tammy DiNicola was featured on the program along with John L. Allen, Jr., whose book on Opus Dei is now available.
OPUS DEI FEATURED On MSNBC program “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews
MSNBC program “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews featured a special “Inside Opus Dei” on June 8, 2005. Executive Director Dianne DiNicola and former numerary Tammy DiNicola appeared on the show as well as Opus Dei members. To view the written transcript, go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8160121/
“Opus Dei has stake in new pope,” by Matthew McAllester, Newsday, April 15, 2005. Bancroft readily acknowledged that Opus Dei had made “mistakes” by putting “too much pressure” on some new members during initiation rites. Some former members have publicized what they saw as cult-like brainwashing techniques. “We feel bad about it,” said Bancroft, 35, of Stow, Mass., referring to any mishandling of new members.
“Pope election: Opus Dei pulls strings,” by Barry James in Vatican City, Sify.com, Monday, April 11, 2005. One of the unanswered questions about next week’s secret conclave to elect the next pope is how much influence will be wielded by “the Work,” the conservative Roman Catholic organisation called the Opus Dei.
“Opus Dei and the Pope” by Jerome Socolovsky, NPR’s Morning Edition, April 5, 2005. Members of the conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei occupy leadership positions throughout the church. The late Pope John Paul II made the founder a saint in 2004. But critics of the movement accuse Opus Dei of unscrupulous brainwashing.
“Spotted history aside, Opus Dei forges close campus links,” ‘Work of God’ at Princeton by Neir Eshel, The Daily Princetonian March 22, 2005. “During the past five years, the organizations affiliated with Tellez and Opus Dei have contributed more than $500,000 to University professors and programs, according to a review of tax records.”
“The secret life of Opus Dei,” by Michael Walsh, January 26, 2005, The Guardian, UK. Ruth Kelly says the Catholic group’s support is a private matter, but it is surrounded by a reactionary miasma.
“Whips, Spiked Garters and Bloodshed…My Terrifying Life in Ruth Kelly’s Religious Sect,” by John Roche, The Mail on Sunday, UK, January 23, 2005. A former member tells how a lust for power drives the secretive Catholic organisation Opus Dei.
“Reporting on Opus Dei,” by John L. Allen Jr., National Catholic Reporter, July 30, 2004. John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter visited ODAN in June because he is writing a book about Opus Dei. He aims to produce a book that is journalistically serious, reliable, and balanced and welcomes people’s feedback “to keep him honest.”
|“Thank You Lord May I Have Another?” by Craig Offman, Gentleman’s Quarterly (GQ) magazine, December 2003. Several ODAN supporters speak out. It is best to print the article out in order to read it.|
“Secret Societies: Opus Dei,” ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES, Aired on CNN, December 9, 2003 – 19:00 ET. Dianne and Tammy DiNicola of ODAN are interviewed. Tammy showed the viewers an actual cilice and disciplines or cord-like whip.
“Catholics scrutinize enigmatic Opus Dei,” by Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, December 7, 2003. “Depending on the eye of the beholder, the teaching kitchens of Lexington College, bedecked with pots and pans, mark either a place where young people learn an employable skill in a Christian setting, or a clandestine battlefield in an intense struggle for the soul of the Roman Catholic Church.”
|“Fact, Fiction And Opus Dei,” by Paul Moses, Newsday, August 26, 2003. “The bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code puts the Catholic sect in the spotlight’s harsh glare. Some who have left call the group manipulative and cult-like, but adherents cast it in a soft light.”|
“Opening the Doors of Opus Dei, Part 1” and “Opening the Doors of Opus Dei, Part 2” by Elizabeth W. Green, Harvard Crimson magazine Fifteen Minutes, April 10, 2003. This article was published in two parts in a monthly supplement to the Harvard University student newspaper.
Book about Opus Dei written by John L. Allen now available
John L. Allen, Jr., Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, has written a book about Opus Dei entitled, OPUS DEI: THE FIRST OBJECTIVE LOOK BEHIND THE MYTHS AND REALITY OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL FORCE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. The book was compiled using over 300 hours of interviews with people in Italy, Spain, Africa, Latin America and the United States; representatives from ODAN were also included.
Several links to reviews of the book appear below. The book is published by Doubleday, 389 pages, list price $24.95. In the near future, ODAN will provide a statement about Allen’s work along with a review of the book.
Reviews of Allen’s “Opus Dei”:
Damian Thompson: Editor-in-chief, Catholic Heraldhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2005/10/23/boall223.xml&sSheet=/arts/2005/10/23/bomain.html
Molly Ziegler, The New York Sun: http://www.nysun.com/article/22056
John Jay Hughes, National Catholic Reporterhttp://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2005d/102105/102105p.htm
Official Announcement of ICTOD, the International
Collaboration for Truth about Opus Dei
A collaboration of three separate groups who have experienced
firsthand the deceptive, manipulative and cult-like practices of Opus Dei
has been formed in response to Opus Dei’s depiction of itself to the
media and the general public.
Note: Regrettably, it is our understanding that the domain name www.opuslivre.org has been purchased
by Opus Dei and is no longer a source for information about Opus Dei. Nevertheless, concerned individuals
and former Opus Dei members remain in Brazil. Please contact ODAN if you would like to be placed in
contact with others from Brazil.
Reflecting on this action by Opus Dei, the question to ask is this: What does Opus Dei fear about the
free flow of information that it would pursue shutting down those who have experienced firsthand Opus Dei’s
deception and manipulation? This is the type of action employed by extremist regimes, whether fascist or
communist, where information is routinely stifled through control of all forms of media.
ODAN supporters and those familiar with cult information may remember the similar demise of the
Cult Awareness Network (CAN) which was completely taken over by Scientology in 1997. Opus Dei’s
actions speak louder than its words…
OpusLivre, Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. and Opus Libros have announced the formation
of The International Collaboration for Truth about Opus Dei (ICTOD). The collaboration is the
result of three separate groups of people who have had harmful experiences with Opus Dei in
locations from all over the world wherever Opus Dei operates.
ICTOD was formed to challenge the statements made by Opus Dei in its recent media campaign
to dispel the image depicted in the book and recent movie, The DaVinci Code.
ICTOD believes Opus Dei has focused on the extremes of the movie, such as bloody use of the
discipline (whip) and the cilice (spiked chain) while saying nothing about how the organization takes
away a person’s freedom through a subtle indoctrination process consisting of aggressive recruiting
techniques, the withholding of information necessary to make an informed choice and the use of subtle
pressure, fear and guilt to exact blind obedience upon its members. ICTOD will focus its resources
to educating the public about the absolute control and obedience that exists in Opus Dei along with
deceptive and manipulative recruiting practices.
For more information about ICTOD, including contact information and a statement from the
coordinator of Opus Libros: ICTOD
“Watergate in Lima: Opus Dei Cardinal Accuses Bishops and the Vatican Curia,” by Sandro Magister, www.chiesa website, March 3, 2005. Falsified letters, plots, and lies. The Church in Peru is at war. The target is the archbishop of the capital, the first Opus cardinal. And he´s fighting back.
Read the recently translated letter from Opus Dei founder Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer to Spanish dictator Francisco Franco congratulating him on the union of church and state in Spain.
“Peru cardinal upset by Alzamora probe,” By Rick Vecchio, Associated Press Writer, printed in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Wednesday, April 21, 2004.”Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani’s ultraconservative views and cozy relationship with fugitive ex-President Alberto Fujimori have frequently helped snare him in Peru’s tangled web of political intrigues. But even his adversaries were surprised when he indignantly announced recently that he had been subpoenaed to testify in an investigation into the alleged murder of his predecessor, Monsignor Augusto Vargas Alzamora – at the hands of Fujimori’s now-jailed spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.”
“Religious right crams into Lib branches,” by Aban Contractor, Mark Metherell and Mike Seccombe, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, April 12, 2004. “A significant number of the 125 male students at Warrane College, affiliated with the University of NSW – where Opus Dei is entrusted with pastoral care – have been signed up to the Randwick-Coogee Young Liberal branch, according to a membership list seen by the Herald.”
“In God they trust,” by by Aban Contractor, Mark Metherell and Mike Seccombe, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, April 12, 2004. “God is appearing in more and more places around the Federal Parliament, and among all sorts of people. Mike Seccombe, Aban Contractor, and Mark Metherell report on the growing link-up of church and state.”
“UCD launches inquiry into Opus Dei claims by students,” by John Downes, Irish Times, April 3, 2004. UCD is conducting an inquiry into claims that a college lecturer told students they had to attend an Opus Dei event in order to pass their exams.
“Opus Dei cookbook,” Inquirer News Service, Manila, Phillippines, July 21, 2002. “Documents filed in the ongoing CIPI insolvency case at the Pasig Regional Trial Court show that even Opus Dei stalwarts can cook corporate books and engage in self-dealing a la Enron and Worldcom.”
“Pell, Opus Dei And Signs Of A New Elitism,” by Chris McGillion, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 22, 2002. McGillion reports that the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev. George Pell is looking favorably towards Opus Dei. The prelate participated in a congress sponsored by the city of Rome, and the Italian Government commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founder of Opus Dei.
“Inside Opus Dei: Strong Catholic Tastes on Campus” by Mike O’Riordan, an article from The Varsity, the University of Toronto’s Student Newspaper in Toronto, Canada, July 24, 2001. Highlights Ernescliff College, a student residence whose activities of doctrinal and spiritual formation are entrusted to Opus Dei.
“Clergy alarm over ‘white mafia'” by Erica Cervini, Church Storm, Sunday, April 2001. “But Father Gonzalo Munoz, a Melbourne Catholic priest, believes Melburnians should be wary of the group. “The more we expose them the better…My concern is really that they are trying to influence the church with values that are contrary to the Gospels. It’s about elitism, it’s about wealth and prestige,” Father Munoz said. “My concern is that they are going to infiltrate universities.”
“The hand of Opus Dei in El Salvador,” by Marianne Johnson, The Tablet UK, November 18, 2000. “According to Jon Sobrino, this apparent rejection of the recent past should not come as too great a surprise. Liberation theology from the outset had the weight of the world against it, after all, and would inevitably provoke division and conflict between Church and state. A Church that is at war with a state is not in a position to suffuse all levels of society, instead of just the poor, with the Christian faith – an objective that has taken on a new force under Pope John Paul II; while a state that is at war with the Church is hard pushed to find moral justification for its existence and policies. An end to the rift offers mutually beneficial outcomes.”
“Opus: secrets and lies, Special report: Northern Ireland,” by Henry McDonald, The Observer, section of the Guardian, UK, Sunday August 6, 2000. This article discusses the Patten Report, of which one of the key requirements of reforms is that future police recuits are obliged to reveal membership of various secret societies. The list included Opus Dei, the extreme right-wing Catholic sect.
“The Crusaders,” By Charles P. Pierce, The Boston Globe, November 2, 2003.
“A powerful faction of religious and political conservatives is waging a latter-day counterreformation, battling widespread efforts to liberalize the American Catholic Church. And it has the clout and the connections to succeed.”
“Selling orthodoxy to Washington power brokers,” by Joe Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter, September 5, 2003. Opus Dei priest brings conservatives to Catholicism. The National Catholic Reporter printed a Letter to the Editor “Manipulation of Guilt” on September 26, 2003 by a former numerary.
“How a Tyco Lawyer Channeled Windfall Into an Unlikely Cause,” by Laurie P. Cohen, The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2003. Indicted Counsel Mark Belnick was converted to Catholicism from Judaism by Father C. John McCloskey III, a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei. “On Sept. 30, 1999, [Belnick] received the first of several huge Tyco payouts: $3.4 million from the sale of restricted company shares. Six days later, he e-mailed Father McCloskey to say, ‘I’m sending you my check for $2M towards my pledge to the new Sanctuary/Altar’ in the Catholic Information Center in Washington.”
“The Rev. John McCloskey, The Catholic Church’s K Street lobbyist,” by Chris Suellentrop, Friday, August 9, 2002. “‘A good Catholic isn’t worried about going deep into these theological levels,’ [McCloskey] says. ‘You say, I believe.’ It’s an anti-intellectual approach: All members of the church take a leap of faith, but McCloskey wants them to do it with their eyes closed and their hands over their ears. That demand of total, uncritical obedience is reminiscent of the most damning criticism leveled at Opus Dei by former members—that it uses cultlike methods of recruitment and indoctrination to prey on the unwitting.”
“Opus Dei – Quotes from Father McCloskey,” by Franz Schaefer from the website Opus Dei – The Unofficial Homepage.
“Princeton Catholics divided,” by Deborah Kovach, The Trenton Times, October 22, 1989. “[One student at Princeton] said he was initially attracted to Opus Dei because ‘it provided security and it makes complicated lives very simple. Everything is black and white. You don’t have to think.’Taliercio said, ‘Opus Dei is dangerous in the sense that this reactionary Catholicism can take over what is really mainline Catholicism and stamp out those who do not agree.'”
“Opus Dei priest loses campus job,” by Deborah Kovach, The Trenton Times, April 10, 1990. “The Rev. Vincent Keane, director of the Aquinas Center where the Catholic chaplaincy at Princeton is housed, told McCloskey on Dec. 8 that he would be dismissed.”
“Opus Dei in the Open: A shadowy church within the Church gets its saint,” by Kenneth Woodward, Newsweek International, October 7, 2002. “Escrivas genius was to fashion a movement of worldly ascetics organized in a loose, cell-like structure.”
“Power and Mystery,” by Jeff Israel, Time Europe, Oct. 7, 2002.” As Opus Dei’s founder is canonized, Catholics wonder if the secretive lay group will one day help pick the next Pope.” This link has a photo of the newly appointed Cardinal Julián Herranz, a numerary priest of Opus Dei.
“Founder of Opus Dei Gets His Day: Controversial leader declared a saint today,” by Carol Eisenberg, Newsday, Long Island, New York, October 6, 2002. “But Tammy DiNicola, 34, of Pittsfield, Mass., who joined the group’s elite echelon of celibate members after being lobbied heavily as a student at Boston College, said Opus Dei operates like a cult.” “I see this as a black day in the history of the church,” she said of Escriva’s canonization. “I really think that Opus Dei is a cancer on the church.”
“Opus Dei Saint,” by Sylvia Poggioli, National Public Radio, Sunday Morning Edition, October 6, 2002. Listen to this radio broadcast from Rome regarding the canonization of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of the Roman Catholic movement Opus Dei (“God’s Work”). Segment features former numerary member Alberto Moncada, who gave a negative testimony at Escriva’s beatification proceedings. (5:31)
“Opus Dei,” by Duncan Moon, National Public Radio, All Things Considered, Sunday, October 6, 2002 Listen to this radio broadcast by NPR religion correspondent Duncan Moon who reports on the canonization this week of Josemaria Escriva, the controversial founder of the Catholic group Opus Dei. Pope John Paul II has publicly praised Opus Dei, but some accuse it of being a secretive cult. (4:45) Transcript of broadcast.
“Former Follower Slams Opus Dei’s Saint-To-Be,” by Emma Ross-Thomas, Madrid, Reuters, October 5, 2002. “But to former follower Isabel de Armas, Opus Dei is like the Unification Church, better known as the Moonies after its leader Sun Myung Moon. De Armas says she even wondered during one Opus Dei meeting if she was in revolutionary Cuba.”
“Sainthood beckons for priest linked to Franco: Controversial founder of Opus Dei will be canonised tomorrow,” by Giles Tremlett, Madrid, The Guardian, October 5, 2002.
“Vatican proves the power of Opus Dei founder,” by Bruce Johnston in Rome and Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent, Daily Telegraph, UK, October 5, 2002. “But the organisation, a mainly lay body devoted to striving for perfection in daily life, particularly in the workplace, has inspired as much suspicion as admiration.”
“Home town divided over ‘cult’ of sanctity through work,” by Isambard Wilkinson in Madrid, Daily Telegraph, UK, October 5, 2002. “This week the Socialist opposition party criticised the government, saying that state television and radio’s coverage of Escriva’s canonisation was excessive. A spokesman described the two and a half hours of airtime reserved for the ceremony as “a clear example of what the PP [the Popular Party led by Jose Maria Aznar, the prime minister] understands of public service: to broadcast a programme as if we all vote for the PP, go to Mass and belong to Opus Dei.”
“The rise of Opus Dei,” by Peter Gould, BBC News Online, October 4, 2002. “Critics accuse the organisation of being secretive and elitist. They have expressed concern over its recruitment methods, likening it to a religious cult.”
“New Saint Reflects Lay Group’s New Influence,” by Frank Bruni, New York Times, Rome, October 3, 2002. In addition, some former members and their relatives complain that Opus Dei is cult-like in the way it grooms new prospects, separating them from their friends and families. The Rev. James Martin, an associate editor of America magazine, a Jesuit-run journal, said that after he wrote an article raising questions about the group’s recruitment techniques, ‘the number of heart-wrenching phone calls that I got from parents was astounding.'”
“Sainted or Tainted,” by Paul Bompard, from the Times Higher Education Supplement, June 22, 2001. “Opus Dei encourages members to live like saints and counts the pope among its supporters, but critics call it manipulative and pernicious.”
“Leopards in the Temple” by John Martin, The Remnant Newspaper on June 30, 2002. “It’s not simply that Escriva and Opus Dei have a legion of critics and a history of dubious practices, it’s the startling pace John Paul II has followed in exalting this mysterious shepherd and his multinational flock through a series of breathtakingly honorific 10-year milestones — granting Opus Dei personal prelature status (1982), beatifying Escriva (1992), and now (2002) declaring this dynamic but disturbing son of Spain worthy to rub elbows with such giants as John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, Joan of Arc, Thomas More, Therese of Lisieux, and Christina the Astonishing.”
“Controversial Priest to become Saint” by Frances D’Emilio, Chicago Sun-Times, March 8, 2002. This article reports that the founder of the conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei will be elevated to sainthood this October, receiving a posthumous honor in 27 years that’s often bestowed on notable Catholics only after centuries.
“Silence on Escriva’s Canonization is No Option” by Ruth Bertels a veteran Catholic journalist January 19, 2002 from her website Taking Five, where she has a series of otherarticles on Opus Dei as well.
“Priest Linked to Franco to be Canonised: Pope Helps Opus Dei Founder Towards Sainthood” by Stephen Bates, The Guardian (UK), December 21, 2001. This article discusses the Vatican’s acceptance of the miracle attributed to Opus Dei’s founder.
“Catholics’ Strict Offshoot,” by Charles W. Bell,
“Opus Dei: A Journal News Special Report — Inside the World of Opus Dei” by Shawn Cohen and Gary Stern, from The Journal News, based in Westchester/Rockland Counties, New York, April 22, 2001. Mentions the new 17-story, $55 million Opus Dei’s North American Headquarters building.
Architectural Details of Opus Dei’s North American Headquarters. The architect for this building was May & Pinska. This has pictures from the interior and exterior, and describes how the architects solved some of the challenges presented to them, like having separate entrances and parking lots for men and women.
Building statistics of Opus Dei Headquarters Building. Includes square feet, height, number of floors and address of building.
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
CNN Transcript. This is a transcript of an interview conducted by Bill Delaney on May 18, 2001 after former FBI Agent Robert Hanssen, supernumerary member of Opus Dei, was indicted on charges of spying for Moscow. Both ODAN and Opus Dei were represented.
“Spies, Spooks, and the Catholic Church?” by Catharine A. Henningsen, The American Catholic, April, 2001. Questions the secrecy surrounding Opus Dei, given its influence in the corridors of power.
“A Question of Why: Contradictory Portrait Emerges of Spying Suspect,” by Carol Morello and William Claiborne, The Washington Post, February 25, 2001. This article is a portrait of convicted spy Robert Hanssen, a supernumerary member of Opus Dei. “One after another, the six Hanssen children trooped off to private schools affiliated with Opus Dei: the three daughters to Oakcrest, a girls’ school now in McLean; the sons to The Heights, a Potomac school.”
“Opus Dei’s Secret Revealed: It Takes Spies in From the Cold,” by Eugene Kennedy, Religion News Service, 2001. The arrest of accused FBI spy Robert Hanssen shines a spotlight on Opus Dei, the enigmatic Catholic group he belonged to. “This intersection of secret group and secret agent, however, demands that Opus Dei either reveal itself and its operations more fully or find that questions and doubts about it will multiply in the future.”
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:
“Trial near for 3rd ex-Tyco exec,” by Jayne O’Donnell and Greg Farrell, USA Today, April 6, 2004. “It turns out that Belnick, once a conservative Jew, donated some of that money to a conservative branch of the Catholic Church known as Opus Dei. This was after Belnick quietly converted to Catholicism [through Fr. McCloskey — see Wall Street Journal article.] without telling his wife, parents or other family members.”
“Vatican Intrigues: ‘The Passion,’ the Pope, and the Phantom Review,” by Sando Magister, February 6, 2004, L’espresso. The preview of Mel Gibson’s film sends the curia into confusion. Dziwisz and Navarro speak, and then recant. Opus Dei plays a role as well. And two thunderbolts fall from the heavens.
|“The Smell of Death,” by Mark Fellows, The Catholic Family News, November 3, 2003. Mark Fellows reviews the book by John Follain, City Of Secrets, The Truth Behind The Murders At The Vatican, New York, HarperCollins Publishers, 2003. One of the murder victims, the Captain Commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, Colonel Alois Estermann, was a member of Opus Dei.|
“A compromise bailed out Dance Marathon 2003 and its initial beneficiary,” by Matt Donnelly, The Daily Northwestern, February 26, 2003. “People on the listserv clicked over to MEF’s site, and their eyes caught what Hall, Wessel and two DM executive boards didn’t: a line at the bottom reading, ‘MEF is inspired by the social teachings of the Catholic Church and the Prelature of Opus Dei.’ A pair of links took visitors from MEF’s site to Opus Dei’s Web site for the United States.”
According to Vatican Information Services on May 2, 2002, The Holy Father appointed “As members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Cardinals Ignace Moussa I Daoud, Jan Schotte C.I.C.M., Agostino Cacciavillan and Sergio Sebastiani; Archbishops Luigi Dossena and Giovanni Coppa; Bishops Lino Fumagalli, *****Javier Echevarria Rodriguez****, Jozef Zlatnansky and Franco Croci.” Javier Echevarria Rodriguez is the current Prelate of Opus Dei. This news is relevant in light of the following article, “Beatification process begins for one of the first women members of Opus Dei.” This article also reports that in the year 2000, the Diocese of Pamplona opened the process of canonization of her brother Eduardo Ortiz, also a member of Opus Dei.
Opus Dei lifts lid without revealing secrets, by Isambard Wilkinson, The Daily Telegraph, London, March 23, 2002. In this article, numerary Luis Gordon shrugs off criticism about Opus Dei’s use of corporal mortification by saying, “Do you like pretty women? So do I. Do you know what effort they make to get a nice figure, and increase their height with high heels — this is a very hard mortification, much more than a cilice.” When asked about the accusations that Opus Dei is dripping with worldly riches, Gordon said it was impossible to gauge its wealth. “There are no figures.”
“Opus Dei prestige on display at centenary event,” By John L. Allen. Jr., Rome, National Catholic Reporter, January 19, 2002. Allen reported on the Rome Congress, which marked the centennial of Opus Dei founder’s birthday. The Congress, which took place January 7-11, drew 1,200 people from 57 countries. American VIPs included Archbishop John Myers of Newark, N.J., a member of Opus Deis Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania. Santorum told NCR he is not a member of Opus Dei, but an admirer of Escriva. He also “told NCR that a distinction between private religious conviction and public responsibility, enshrined in John Kennedy’s famous speech in 1960 saying he would not take orders from the Catholic church if elected president, has caused ‘much harm in America.'”
PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Cover Story: Opus Dei, June 29, 2001. In Rome andthe U.S., Kim Lawton talked with Opus Dei members and critics.
“Controversy Over Opus Dei: Some Criticize Group’s Methods,” one of four articles of an ABC News Series by David Ruppe, June 18, 2001. ODAN is mentioned in the article.
“Catholic Group Opus Dei purchases Boston-area estate for use as spiritual center,” by Mary Price, Culpepper News, February 12, 2001. “Longlea, an 844-acre estate in Boston,Virginia (80 miles from Washington DC), was sold to Opus Dei, a secretive Roman Catholic organization, for $7.4 million. According to Jack Luther, facilities director at what is to be renamed the Longlea Conference Center, an anonymous donor located the property for Opus Dei and supplied the entire purchase price. According to the Rev. William Stetson, a priest with Opus Dei in Washington, D.C., the property will be used as “a center for spiritual conferences and retreats.”
|“Poison pen stains the Vatican,” by Philip Willan in Rome, The Guardian, UK, Saturday November 20, 1999. The book Blood Lies in the Vatican alleges that the murder of the commander of the Swiss Guard was due to a Vatican power struggle between the secretive, traditionalist Catholic movement Opus Dei and a masonic power faction ensconced in the Curia.|
National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. (Scroll down and click on Opus Dei.) This is a Real Audio segment from Weekend Edition that was broadcast on July 25, 1998. Lynn Neary reports from Rome on some of the controversial aspects of Opus Dei, and she interviews several authors including Michael Walsh, Fr. James Martin, and Maria del Carmen Tapia. The segment is 16 minutes long.
“The Vatican’s Own Cult,” by Robert Hutchison, The Guardian, September 10, 1997. Article on the influence of this dangerous religious sect. Robert Hutchison is the author of the book “Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei.”
Opus Dei — The Pope’s Bold and Beautiful. Transcript of a Finnish TV documentary byJan-Erik Andelin from 7 November, 1995. Andelin interviews three numeraries, four supernumeraries and two former numeraries, one male and one female.
“Opus Dei in the United States,” by Father James Martin, S.J., America magazine, February 25, 1995. He describes the dichotomy of views on Opus Dei: a “Way” to the sanctity of everyday life versus a powerful, even dangerous cult-like organization. (Also available in the ODAN Information Packet.)
Revised December 13, 2010