Testimonies and Other Writings
The following is the work of the individual author and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc.
Opus Dei Superiors Lied to Church Officials
by Dennis Dubro, Former numerary member
When I was a numerary member of Opus Dei in Australia, the local bishop (a Cardinal) visited the Opus Dei center so that he could get to know who we were as a group. Members of the Commission were there as well as the Vicar. We were still a small group and the bishop did not know much about us. We had some hors d’oeuvres and snacks and then we sat down to tell the bishop about us. Prepared speakers stood up and explained who they were and what types of jobs they held and told stories about the apostolate. The bishop asked a question about the freedom of members to make personal decisions like visiting friends, spending their money and what recreation they do, and the Vicar said that we were perfectly free to make those decisions. This was quite a surprise to us which initially opened our horizons to new uses of our Christian freedom, because we had been told by our directors that we had to ask permission in all of these matters. Our hopes were quickly dashed after the bishop left.
The director called us all together and told us that we still needed to ask permission in all of these matters. He said the Vicar had explained Opus Dei to the bishop in a way that he would understand.
Then years later, when I requested help in filing a complaint about Opus Dei with the Vatican from my local bishop, where I was living in California, this different bishop asked what the problem was, because Opus Dei had explained to him that membership was simply one of mutual acceptability.
Regarding the guidelines issued by Cardinal Basil Hume of England in 1981, we, as Opus Dei numeraries in Australia, were given an official summary of the criteria and Opus Dei’s response. The summary was quite short and we were told that Opus Dei in
England had agreed to all of the conditions. Years later, I read the conditions that Hume had given, on the Internet, and one of them was that a person should be free to choose his spiritual director. This was one thing that was omitted in the summary given to us, and Opus Dei never permits a person to choose his spiritual director. Spiritual directors are assigned and it is a condition of membership that you joyfully accept the person assigned to you, since the directors have put so much “love and prayer” into the assignment.
Note: For more information about how this subtle means of absolute control and blind obedience is executed in Opus Dei, see the companion piece written by Dennis Dubro “Voluntaristic Obedience.”
Posted May 22, 2006