Search This Blog

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Church Militant’s Hatred for the SSPX Explained - Part 2

The Opus Dei Connection…

 In order to understand the Church Militant/Opus Dei connection, one needs to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the OD network. So let’s take a look at their background.

The story actually begins, not with Jose Maria Escriva, OD’s founder, but with another Spanish priest, Fr. Francois Vallet, a young Jesuit who developed an abbreviated version of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Most people don’t have the leisure to do the entire 30 days. Fr. Vallet’s vision was to develop a five day retreat based on the Exercises. (As someone who’s been making a five-day Ignatian retreat annually for almost 20 years, I consider myself a beneficiary of this holy priest’s activities.)  

With the approval of his superiors, Fr. Vallet left the Jesuits to found the Parochial Cooperators of Christ the King. (OD’s “cooperators” echo Vallet’s idea.) Their mission focused entirely on offering the five day Ignatian retreat. From 1923 to 1927 they grew from 19 retreats annually to 35 reaching a total of nearly 13,000 retreatants. Fr. Vallet’s movement spread to France as well. The proof of the holiness of Fr. Vallet’s enterprise is graphically demonstrated in the fact that 5,000 of his spiritual children died a decade later at the hands of the Communist “Republic” during the Spanish Civil War.

So what does Fr. Vallet have to do with Msgr. Escriva? For whatever reason, the bishop of Madrid suppressed Fr. Vallet’s work in 1928 and banished him. While he was busy persecuting this holy priest, he was, at the same time, busy elevating Escriva who was given the go-ahead for his “work of God” only a few weeks after Vallet’s dismissal. Escriva adopted some of Vallet’s practices for engaging the work of the laity in evangelization. However, as OD empire has grown to a nearly $3 billion dollar enterprise, it’s clear Escriva’s vision was quite different from Fr. Vallet’s.

So what is the organizational structure and the strategy of OD? There are different levels of commitment. Numeraries are fully fledged and committed members vowed to celibacy. Numeraries turn over their salaries to OD and are given an allowance and live in a controlled environment both spiritually and physically. Among the practices required of these fully committed individuals is the use of a spiked cord around the upper thigh worn for several hours a day and use of the “discipline” for flagellation once a week. They report regularly to their lay directors about their recruitment efforts and personal life, keeping detailed log accounts. One of OD’s strategies is to go after the young and they even draw minors into their work urging them not to inform their parents of their involvement because their parents “won’t understand.” It is an especially seductive siren song to young, devout, and impressionable youngsters. Among their strategies is to tell members it is a “grievous” and sinful matter to leave OD. Are you are beginning to sense a cultic atmosphere?

The largest group of members are the supernumeraries, mostly married, who actively support the work with their time and money and encourage the involvement of others. Since OD focuses on presenting an elite corps to the world, many of these supernumeraries are  intelligent, attractive, and, above all, wealthy. 

Escriva himself loved luxuries and some of his closest co-workers testify that they never saw him reach out to the poor. In fact, one numerary, Miguel Fisac, who worked closely with Escriva and OD for two decades and witnessed his tight-fisted dealings with the poor, attempted to testify during the canonization process, but was rebuffed as were other devils advocates critical of Escriva.

A third level of membership are the cooperators, those who support “the work” with their time and finances. They may not even be Catholics. No matter, their money and influence are most welcome. This type of  “ecumenism” was condemned by a number of popes before Vatican II, but has become normative in the conciliar Church where modernism reigns and Tradition is considered old fashioned.

One of the most troubling aspects of OD is their relationship with young women, the “numerary assistants,” recruited to clean OD’s houses all over the world. Some of these women were recruited as young as 14 or 15 with promises of being “trained” in housekeeping and catering skills. Family information gathered during interviews before and after hiring was used to manipulate some of these children into making lifetime commitments to OD while keeping their families in the dark. The Opus Dei Awareness Network carries testimonies of this type of exploitation suffered by these women.

Church Militant ran an article in in May about a lawsuit by 43 numerary assistants. Unlike their coverage of the SSPX dubbed as “Sympathetic to Perverts,” the CM headline read - “Opus Dei Members Allege Unpaid Wages” with a sub headline, “Opus Dei Denies Claim, Says Women Donated Their Compensation.” Note the difference in treatment of OD vs. the loaded language used to malign and demonize the SSPX.

OD has 4,000 of these “numerary assistants” who “donate” their salaries to the work and receive no or little social security. Anyone of them who leaves “the work of God” is likely to be destitute. The horror stories are legion, but CM has done little to discuss this crime, one of the four that cries to heaven for vengeance. And when they do bring it up, it’s with a totally different tone than that used against the SSPX. Witnesses among these exploited women who are essentially sculleries for the dozens of OD centers around the world, describe the radical difference in living arrangements for them compared to their so-called “equals” among the elite, well educated women numeraries. 

Don’t expect CM to become advocates for these exploited women or to make much of those sexually abused by OD connected priests and laity. They can’t use them as cudgels to beat up the SSPX. 

It becomes increasingly clear that CM’s agenda is only to defend victims of abuse and exploitation if their stories assist the goal of damaging the SSPX. When stories involve OD abuse, like that of Fr. John McCloskey, the high profile priest who oversaw Newt Gingrich’s conversion, CM totally lowballs them. 

OD paid out almost a million dollars to one of McCloskey’s victims in 2005. After paying the hush money, OD shipped the priest off to England, then Chicago, and then to California. He was finally removed from ministry but not until 2017 when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Only recently did the story come out. So how did CM respond? They did not attack OD for their “cover up” or malign OD’s leadership. They hardly covered the case at all, in fact, simply linking to the Washington Post Story. 

This type of hypocrisy exposes CM for what they are — an agenda-driven organization bought and paid for by OD-connected individuals like Terry Carroll who remains on their board of directors and works for them five hours a week. How much are they actually beholden to Carroll who, according to several sources, wrote the 2014 CM “manifesto” condemning any criticism of the pope? Who knows? 

That’s also about the time that Church Militant’s shooting war against the SSPX began. Carroll’s hatred of the SSPX is well known. Why does Carroll have so much influence at CM? And is he just a front man for Opus Dei? Answering that question would go a long way to explaining Church Militant’s obsession with destroying the SSPX. 

Are they paid assassins?



  1. Several years ago a Vortex video was released in which Voris opined that Opus Dei was an answer to the ills plaguing the Church. I posted some cautionary comments on the youtube video, based on my own first-hand experiences with charismatic cults. Immediately Simon Rafe leapt to OD's defense. When I say "immediately", I mean within two minutes. We had a bit of a "back and forth". One comment I posted rather late in the evening and went to bed, not expecting to see a reply until the next morning. I was wrong, he had replied within minutes of that one, too. Rafe was very adamant about his defense of the OD. A few days later, I went back to that video and found that the whole discussion had been removed. Is that odd, or what?

  2. Not odd at all. Covering for OD is what they do.

  3. Mary Ann, thank you for what you’re doing. For whatever intentions Opus Dei was founded, it has evolved into something really creepy. It’s almost freemasonic when you look at the secret society atmosphere, the tethers on its members and then there’s that whole obsession with destroying the SSPX. As a side note, I’m coming to the conclusion that the SSPX is probably the remnant Church amidst the anti-Church, but that’s a topic unto itself. It all rings eerily similar to the hysteria of those who infiltrated and undermined the Church during the French Revolution. As for “Church Militant,” they have become the tabloid press that slandered the Church as well as the Monarchy at the behest of the French Revolutionaries. History is repeating itself.

  4. Let's not forget Voris connection to Opus Dei priest Fr. Paul Nicholson of the now defunct "Cracker Jack Club" whose talks gave rise to the "worst than a black mass" slam against the SSPX.

    Voris insisted that Nicholson was 'excommunicated' here:

  5. There is a possibility Escriva was a converso or crypto-Jew, many think so. BIG mistake getting rid of the "devil's advocate" in the canonization process...I think we see why it was done: just more opportunity to subvert the Church.

  6. Another oldie but goodie from Louis Verrechio worth reviewing:

    Voris/Opus Dei/Lies-and-falsehoods collide


  7. This post on OD and the comments are false claims, actually, calumny. OD isn't for everyone, but since when is corporal mortification against the Catholic Faith? when is reaching out to non-Catholics "modernism"? You use words like "secretive" and then hide the fact that OD advocates frequent Confession, daily Rosary, daily Mass, daily spiritual reading, daily reading of the NT, and the apostolate to bring as many as possible to Our Lord.

    I love the TLM, but when I hear Traditional Catholics speaking such trash, it really makes me wonder if you all are actually listening to the Gospel.

  8. I was a regular poster and member of CM until they started attacking SSPX and I linked to the single CM article reporting OD sex abuse and noted the stark difference in tone. Simon perma-banned me immediately.

  9. Michael Ortiz:

    Pretty hard to argue against an article that simply lays out the facts of an organization’s history, structure, internal practices and specific examples of things that happened. In my short research, the information revealed here matches public information available elsewhere.

    Anything in particular that strikes you as false?

  10. My goodness, Michael Ortiz. Calling people "lying coward(s)" isn't very Opus Dei-like, is it? Or is it? It sounds as if you're the one not "actually listening to the Gospel".


  11. My apologies. I thought my first comment was ignored.

    God bless everyone who reads this blog. He is Risen.

  12. Apology accepted. Checking comments is not my first priority at present. My family is in the midst of a serious crisis with my son- in-law’s mom, who has Alzheimer’s, missing for over a week. Prayers for her safe return would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Illuminating and much appreciated.

  14. From my experience with Opus Dei the article rings entirely true and its implications of fraud and deceit by OD confirm my experience as an OD Cooperator. One confirmation is that anyone who becomes a member of OD is to keep their membership secret. They are also instructed not read certain books and Catholic papers, the Catholic Family News for one. After leaving OD I tuned into Church Militant TV for a time until I was banned for saying something critical about Pope Francis while excoriating most Bishops for negligence, which, on the face of it doesn't make common sense.

    Surely, OD has done much spiritual good for many. But the question is: at what cost? To me OD is carrying on a covert operation co-opting Traditional and disaffected Catholics in order to keep them from joining SSPX or becoming sedvacantist. But given OD's strident condemnation of SSPX, particularly recently, one must suggest that this false-flag approach is not working well.

  15. Some years ago, a friend in OD who was a supernumerary approached me and strongly pitched me to consider it. This went on for about a year. Then I had a car accident and was forced onto disability, where my former executive compensation level vanished.

    I never heard from him again. I guess my salary going away was a turn off. Oh well.

  16. I will indeed pray for this poor lady's safe return.

    We just returned from my mother-in-law's funeral. She was elderly.

  17. Aqua:

    "OD paid out almost a million dollars to one of McCloskey’s victims in 2005. After paying the hush money, OD shipped the priest off to England, then Chicago, and then to California."

    It wasn't "hush" because as widely reported; it was a legal settlement much as dioceses do in cases of abusive clerics. Not saying this was a great idea, I don't know all the details, but it wasn't cash for silence. Which is partly why we're talking about it.

    Like any organization in the Church, OD priests are human, and liable to sin. Overall, I think it's a slam dunk that the record of its priests in this regard is excellent. If other priests in the Church conducted themselves to the same high standards, well, things would be better.

  18. Well, Michael, I have to laugh at your saying it wasn’t hush money. I’m betting there was a non-disclosure agreement and the fact that is took 17 years for it to be “widely reported” speaks for itself, not to mention that OD movied the offending priest around. Money can buy a lot of silence and coverup, so I’m not so convinced of the OD “record.” I’ll be looking into that more. But there are lots of other scandals.

    Read the testimony of a former numerary who left OD after years and suffered serious medical abuse at the hands of OD doctors. The cultic manipulation by OD leaves scars every bit as serious and damaging as sex abuse. I refer you to the case of Eileen Johnson an ex numerary who finally left after years. She was put on all kinds of drugs by OD doctors who played mind games to keep her in the group. When she finally left her family doctor said he had only seen comparable trauma in prisoners of war. She is not the only one. When is Christine Niles going to interview Eileen Johnson and her ex-OD sisters in suffering or any of the other abuse victims of Opus Dei?

  19. Mary Ann,

    Here is a pretty good summary of the case:

    In all honesty, I think Niles is too busy persecuting the SSPX.

    I've never contended that individuals have had rotten experiences with OD. But if you read, say, Chesterton, you will remember his references to "Maria Monk" and the typical protestant "personal testimony" of "ex-Catholics" used to discredit the Catholic Church.

    Such practices were underhanded and unjust then, and now.

    God Bless.