Opus Dei - Devil in a sheephide

A couple of days before Christmas Eve (in 2001 yr) pope John Paul II had signed documents, which began canonization procedure of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer - catholic priest and founder of the notorious Opus Dei. In 1992 Balaguer had been beatified which provoked enormous spell of protests on the whole world, but the most intensive ones took place in Spain - the place of foundation.

Opus Dei came into being in 1928 by Balaguer and three members of general Franco's government, but until 1950 got no Vatican's approval. In 1982 thanks to the Polish pope, the organization has become "personal prelature". It means that it's independent from national bishops and is subordinated directly to the pope JPII. The organization does not use ordinal monastic and secular friars or nuns, but prepares priests of its own. Oficially, the main goal is to sanctify life of laymans. Opus Dei members' primary tasks include: holiness seeking through hard religious training, intensive spiritual life, ascetic practicies and apostolate. Their spiritual life encompasses daily presence on a mass and communion, an hour private prayer, religious reading, saying rosary and making an examination of conscience. Furthermore once-per-year retreat and a few days' seclusion are mandatory.

Opus Dei runs professional training centres, dormitories, educational centres. One joins the organization at the age of 18, but preparations for future participation embrace even small children. Recruitment is performed mainly at a rosary circles and so-called Oases. Results of recruitment of children in mental diseases, suicides has triggered off tremendous spell of outcry, firstly in Spain, further in Italy. Opus Dei is organized hierarchically. Lay members comprise communes not infrequently. The spouses are not allowed to make sexual intercourse except for fertilizing wife. Members are ordered to infiltrate almast all spheres of social activity and implement Rome catholic social tutelage. It applies especially to local and national governmemt.

Opus Dei makes a living by offerings in theory. Nevertheless the organization has widely known connections with famous economic scandals. In the 80's members of "God's act" as a part of national governmemnt of Spain and supervisory board of Central Bank had been assisting organization with public funds so passionately that the Bank was in grievous financial troubles. Similar problems took place in The Bank of Vatican. In result of conducted investigation several members of the organization were sentenced to long-term imprisonment. There are Opus Dei' members activities largely known to the public at a government level in Mexico, Peru, Brasilia. Their activity with direct back-support of pope resulted in falling into privation and misery of a 100 milion individuals at Latin states. The high government members and bishops were connected with Opus Dei. Common priests and the faithfuls spoke against Opus Dei and its twining Lumen 2000, at the same time propagating theology of liberation. As we see a conflict between the faithfuls and the organization lays on many spheres - theological, moral and economical as well.
Opus Dei started to act in Poland, at Szczecin in 1989.

Organizations such as Opus Dei, Lumen 2000 and former Catholic Action Movement are not transparent for the public. Training books are not the same for the press, for not-enrolled individuals and for common members. They are even more distinct for the activists on different levels of initiation. Their task is non-open and ulterior transformation social spheres towards a confession state. It is somewhat odd that John Paul II despite of enormous and loud outcries in secular and clerical circles pushed for making saint of Jose Escriva. .

Relevant additional information can be found at: The Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN)

Issued on lewica.pl: 26 December 2001
Issued on home web page: 8 April 2002
English translation (by author): 26 October 2003