Friday, December 24, 2010

Opus Dei's same old tricks in Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, new Archbishop of Los Angeles: ODAN

Deceptions in Opus Dei

Dear Friends of ODAN,

On April 9, 2010, the Catholic News Service announced the appointment of Opus Dei member Archbishop Jose H. Gomez to be the coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, one of the largest Catholic dioceses in the world. In this CNS story it stated, “Archbishop Gomez is one of 24 Opus Dei Bishops around the world, although like any priest, once a member becomes a bishop, he answers directly to the pope and no longer to his bishop or religious superior.”[1]

The important question being asked is how much influence will Opus Dei have with Gomez in this powerful position? “Will he be accountable to Los Angeles first and to Opus Dei second?” Archbishop Gomez says he is no longer a member of Opus Dei but are his loyalties going to cease to an organization that he has been associated with since his college days? “Anyone who has read the governing documents or is familiar with Opus Dei, knows that his loyalties are going to be with Opus Dei. He will be required to have a spiritual director, who is going to be a member of Opus Dei, and he will have an obligation of obedience to his spiritual director, with all of the fine shades of meaning that would accompany his official statements about his loyalty.[2]

ODAN was the first to post the Opus Dei Constitution and its Statutes to its website in English. Without these translations, who would know many of the inconsistencies that exist between what Opus Dei says is its Church-approved mode of operation and what it actually does in practice? When ODAN released those secret documents to the public, it forced Opus Dei to reveal more of itself than it had ever done before. For years, the Opus Dei Constitution/Statutes were only written in Church Latin, a hard translation to accomplish.

Recently a former member of Opus Dei told of how the Constitutions of Opus Dei (10 S1) say the priests will not accept stipends for saying Mass, but when the former member’s mother, some years ago, offered a priest of the Work a stipend to say a Mass for the Dead, he said the price had gone up. It leads to having secret documents that tell the Church their priesthood is doing something more noble than is required of priests, but then it is not lived in practice.

Another important and troubling discrepancy is Opus Dei’s “contract” or ‘agreement’ pertaining to its membership. What is the nature of membership in Opus Dei? Why is it not defined? It seems as if the cart came before the horse. Dennis Dubro, former numerary member of Opus Dei, writes:

The same old tricks

Opus Dei continues to put forward its same old message of being fully approved by the Church without any secrecy. In the leaked 1982 Statutes on ODAN's website the closing paragraphs say that "All of the members are bound by the same obligations and conserve the same rights which they had in the preceding juridical government (secret 1950 Constitutions), unless the prescriptions of this Code expressly establish something else." That says quite explicitly that the 1950 Constitutions remain in effect except for the changes approved in the 1982 Statutes. Members continually try to deny this, saying the Statutes replace the Constitutions. This is not even logical since Constitutions establish the basic operating rules for an organization and then Statutes are the laws that are made, based upon those Constitutions. The Constitutions of Opus Dei explicitly foresee and make way for any future Statutes that may be approved in Paragraph 89.

In John Allen's book on Opus Dei (Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church), John asked Opus Dei why the governing documents were kept secret. The answer, quoting his book on Page 153, is "The deeper logic, according to Opus Dei insiders, is that some essential terminological questions have not yet been settled in canon law. For example, is the relation between a member and Opus Dei best described in terms of a 'contract' or an 'agreement'? ... and many canonists feel it's inappropriate for describing the nature of a bond in the Church". This raises a clear question how the Vatican can have approved an organization when such critical things as membership are not acceptably defined in the Law of the Church?

Anyone familiar with the operation of Opus Dei knows that Opus Dei says everyone is free to leave at any time. Yet Paragraphs 102 and 103 of the Constitutions say that anyone who leaves his assigned Center can be declared a fugitive and an apostate. Why would anyone incur such penalties if they were truly free to leave?

If you have donated to ODAN in the past and continue to do so, thank you for your years of support. If you have donated in the past, but not recently, please consider supporting ODAN again this year. If you have never donated to ODAN before, please consider a donation this year. ODAN runs solely on your generosity. Since the economic crisis, ODAN, like all non-profits, has experienced a downturn in our donations. This year your donation is critically important to continue our important work. There is no other source in the United States where a person can find factual, truthful commentary about Opus Dei’s questionable practices.

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN) is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and all donations may be taken as a charitable deduction. Please keep ODAN in your prayers and consider a generous donation to keep the ODAN website online and functioning. Go to the ODAN website to keep informed!

Sincerely yours,

Dianne R. DiNicola

Executive Director

[1] Catholic News Service,`.htm Apr-9-2010
[2] Dennis Dubro, former numerary Opus Dei member Dec-10-2010

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Opus Dei Bishop Appointed Head of Los Angeles Diocese

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez was announced coadjutor and future archbishop of the Los Angeles diocese on April 6, 2010. Ordained as an Opus Dei priest in 1978, Gomez is the first Latino archbishop in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles diocese is the largest diocese in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Gomez will succeed Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in February 2011 when Manony turns 75, the age when bishops must submit their resignation to the Pope.

Born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1951, Gomez joined Opus Dei when in college. He has degrees in business and philosophy from the National University of New Mexico (1975) and a doctorate in theology from the Opus Dei-run University of Navarre. Previous to his appointment in Los Angeles, Gomez was archbishop in San Antonio, Texas since 2005. Gomez became a US citizen in 1995.

News reports predict that it is likely Gomez will be appointed a cardinal in the years ahead. In an article written by John Allen Jr., Gomez is quoted as saying that "he is not a "member" of Opus Dei, but rather that he was ordained a priest in Opus Dei and that his spirituality reflects that background. If he's a "member" of anything now, he says, it's the diocese he leads."

For more information:

"Four Points to Make about Gomez and LA" by John Allen Jr., April 9, 2010
Catholic News Service,`.htm Apr-9-2010

Testimonies about Opus Dei:

"Opus Dei Recruits Minors and Deceives Church Officials"
"Opus Dei Superiors Lied to Church Officials"
"Government, Direction and Control in Opus Dei"
"Fathers, don't let your sons grow up to be Opus Dei recruits"
Included with these testimonies are the guidelines issued by the now deceased Cardinal

Basil Hume in 1981 in England (Cardinal Hume Guidelines) directing Opus Dei to comply
with a number of criteria, including not allowing minors to make any commitments to
Opus Dei; requiring that minors discuss the matter with their parents or guardians before making any commitments; allowing Opus Dei members to choose their own spiritual directors (in Opus Dei or not) and enter or leave the organization without undue pressure.

The testimonies show clearly that Opus Dei before, during and after that time period, has clearly violated all those guidelines while making false statements to church officials. While several of the authors have chosen to remain anonymous for various reasons, including fear of repercussions from Opus Dei, ODAN has verified that they are true accounts written by sincere individuals who contacted ODAN with the desire that their stories be known. It is ODAN's hope that by posting this information for public perusal it will lead to a change in Opus Dei's
deceptive and unethical practices.

The testimonies can be found under Testimonies and Other Writings.

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN™)
PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333,
Tel: (413) 499-7168; Fax: (413) 499-7860
Web:, e-mail:


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