Courtesy of: http://www.balaams-ass.com/journal/resource/rc-2.htm (no longer available)


ANSWER:  Revelation 17:6,   And I saw the woman (Roman Catholic Whore system) drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:

Graphic:  St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre--  It COULD happen again!

The following item will be left on this page, Lord willing, until the Rapture comes.  We will add to it as we hear from you who have been attacked by Opus Dei and the Jesuits.  Tell pastors and church leaders about this exposé.  Copy it and distribute it.  It is based upon the experiences of many who have been attacked by the Whore of Rome.

February 2001-- Regarding the spy Robert Hanssen


I have told you the stealth and purpose of Opus Dei is to take over the world for the Pope.

May I say, "I told you so? Circa 1997

A reader writes: Found this while browsing today's on-line version of "The American Spectator." I thought you would find this MOST interesting....

Regarding: Hanssen's Conservative Catholic Connection

"Suspected spy Robert Hanssen was many things, including a devout Catholic. He was a member of an organization, Opus Dei, a religious group of lay men (some of whom take a vow of chastity) and priests that has a strong following in Washington.

"Fifteen years ago, at the height of the Reagan administration, dozens of Opus Dei members held prominent jobs in the White House, on Capitol Hill, and throughout the government. Now that group, which meets regularly in a large house in Washington, is coming under scrutiny by the FBI.

"If Hanssen was active in this group, who's to say what he heard, what he saw, or whether there might be others who inadvertently and unknowingly aided him over the years," says an FBI source. "It's troubling because this is such a high-profile group. The names of its members and friends reached into the cabinet of the Reagan and Bush administrations.

"We don't believe anyone knowingly aided Hanssen, but he was very good at manipulating people, and we have to check it out."Opus Dei is a beloved organization of Pope John Paul II. It is known for its good works, particularly in the areas of education. While it is often referred to as "secretive", there has never been a whiff of scandal about the group."

Editor: I know for a fact that Opus Dei members swear absolute obedience to the Pope personally. They have NO authority between the members and the Pope who can pull rank on them. They are about 98% laymen, and priests are not invited to join. They vow to do anything the Pope tells them to do.

I believe that Robert Hanssen was doing exactly what the Pope told him to do-- destroy the United States. The Vatican has had a policy of destruction for the USA since long before the days of Abraham Lincoln, whom they assassinated. So, let's not go all soft headed-- The Vatican is in absolute control of ALL Opus Dei members. They take an oath inviting death on themselves if they betray the Pope. I fully expect George Bush and the FBI to wimp out on this one just like the Feds wimped out on Abraham Lincoln.

We will NEVER have a man who will stand up to the Pope. Lincoln was the last. John Kennedy also made it very clear that he would not obey the Vatican but seek the good of the USA. 


We are doing an ongoing examination of Opus Dei, the Knights of Columbus, The Knights of Malta, and the Jesuits.  We want to hear from you who have been attacked by one of the above.  Your editor has been subjected to the stealth of Opus Dei or the Jesuits.  The one involved will not be named, but he and his so-called wife will know who they are.  



OPUS DEI'S HOME PAGE-- http://www.opusdei.org/index.htm  This is sweet and mushy, and it totally hides the infiltration of Protestant churches, but it is on interest nonetheless.

Opus Dei's new 17-story complex in midtown Manhattan cost $54 million

  June 18, 2001

Opus Dei on the Rise Conservative Catholic Group Grows Quietly

By David Ruppe
N E W  Y O R K, June 18 Opus Dei may have been little known to most people before member and FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested and charged this year with spying for Russia.

Even with that arrest and the spotlight on the group, Opus Dei was considered a low-profile, conservative Roman Catholic organization.

But in a special investigation, ABCNEWS.com has found this relatively small, well-connected — some would say secretive — group appears to be quietly gaining strength within the U.S. Catholic Church.

Praised and granted a special status by the pope, Opus Dei is viewed by religious scholars as a remaining conservative holdout against a wave of liberal reforms in the church that began in the 1960s. Its conservative approach to practicing the faith includes strict adherence to church doctrine and practices largely done away with in recent decades, including self-flagellation.

Opus Dei's rise is perhaps best symbolized by the recent relocation of the group's headquarters from suburban New Rochelle, N.Y., to a new $54 million brick complex in midtown Manhattan. A chapel in the building is expected to soon be blessed by Cardinal Edward Egan, the archbishop of New York.

Opus Dei's strength can also be marked by the $17 million it says was collected last year by its largest U.S. fund-raising organ, the Woodlawn Foundation.

Members are increasingly found in prominent church positions. The pope's own spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, is a member.

Still, much remains to be known about the group, which declines to provide specifics on the composition of its membership and its sources of income.

"I think they really fly under everybody's radar screen and that they're a lot more powerful than a lot of people think," says the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and associate editor of the respected Jesuit magazine America, who has written critically of the group. "And, you know, if the cardinal's coming, that certainly would be a sign of that."

The Right Place at the Right Time

Latin for "God's work," Opus Dei was founded in 1928 by a Spanish priest, Josemaria Escriva. His message of "lay spirituality" — that ordinary people should bring their spirituality into their everyday lives — was a well-accepted and not particularly new one in the Catholic Church. But his promotion of the idea came along at a good time.

Church leaders, assembled at an important meeting in the mid-1960s, opted to emphasize "lay spirituality" in the everyday practice of the faith.

Pope John Paul II, in particular, has favored the group. In 1982, he made Opus Dei a "personal prelature," uniquely placing it somewhat outside of the church's geographical hierarchical structure. The designation is intended to help Opus Dei better spread its message worldwide. And it appears to have done so quite well.

Opus Dei currently claims more than 80,000 members in more than 80 countries.

"I think it allows them to avoid a lot of the red tape that other lay organizations and other clerical organizations have to deal with," says Martin. "I would think it would just give you a little more prestige than other groups."

A Traditionalist Appeal

But Opus Dei is hardly a mass movement within the estimated 62 million-member U.S. Catholic Church. Since it was first brought to the United States in 1949, Opus Dei has grown only to about 3,000 official members nationwide, 98 percent of them lay, according to Brian Finnerty, Opus Dei's national spokesman.

Some 4,000 nonmembers, called "cooperators," also support the group with time, prayers and money, he said.

Opus Dei is said to attract Catholics interested in a conservative practice of their faith, following the Vatican's teachings strictly and within a structured organization, according to the group. Opus Dei describes itself as "conservative," in the sense of "trying to adhere to the Church's teaching on faith and morals."

By design, membership expands gradually. New members are recruited through close friendships.

Members agree to certain obligations, including attending Mass and saying the rosary daily, praying each morning and evening, and — reflecting the group's central tenet — trying "to do their work out of love for God."

Unmarried members, called "numeraries," commit to celibacy, turn over their salaries to Opus Dei and live in group-run "centers," where men and women are segregated.

Numeraries also regularly practice acts of "corporal mortification" uncommon to most Catholics, which can include flagellating one's buttocks and wearing a spiked chain on one's thighs. Such acts are said to help bolster self-discipline and recall the suffering of Christ.

In the new headquarters, the sexes live, work and worship in separate parts of the building. They even come and go through separate entrances.

Female members are encouraged to pursue all occupations, but within Opus Dei residence facilities, certain women and not men perform the housekeeping chores.

"I suppose Opus Dei appeals to people who want to belong to a spiritually disciplined group," says Ken Woodward, religion writer for Newsweek magazine. "There always is going to be a certain number of Catholics to whom that is going to appeal."

An Increasing Presence

While U.S. Opus Dei membership may not be exploding, there are many signs of a growing strength and influence.

Most striking is the newly constructed headquarters in the heart of New York City. The 17-story building houses at least six chapels, 26 bedrooms for guests visiting on retreats, quarters for permanent residents, a gym, a cafeteria and offices.

Opus Dei also has facilities in 34 other cities, including four conference centers, three high schools, and five inner-city tutoring centers. It also operates more than 60 residence centers for members nationwide.

"It started basically with three people coming over 50 years ago with nothing," says Finnerty, the organization's spokesman. "So when you consider, from those three people, four high schools, three major conference centers, this building and the 3,000 members of Opus Dei, and other people connected, all of them trying to put the message of Opus Dei into practice, it's a significant thing."

Official Sanction

As for influence, Opus Dei's founder and central message have been praised by many of the nation's top Catholic leaders, including the late archbishops of Chicago and New York, and the current archbishop of Washington, Cardinal James Hickey.

Hickey last September dedicated the first public chapel in the United States honoring Opus Dei's founder. The chapel is located in the Washington Archdiocese's Catholic Information Center, which is currently run by an Opus Dei priest, Father John McCloskey, just two blocks from the White House.

In March, Opus Dei reached another milestone, when the Rev. Jose H. Gomez became the first Opus Dei member to be ordained an auxiliary bishop in the United States. The pope named him to the Archdiocese of Denver in January.

And, New York's new cardinal, Egan, is expected soon to bless a chapel in the new Opus Dei headquarters.

Support in Rome

Opus Dei's most significant support, though, may be found in Rome, and particularly with the pope's 1982 designation of personal prelature.

The status made Opus Dei's leader equivalent to the head of a religious order, though the organization remains subject to a certain measure of authority of local bishops and dioceses.

"That has a huge significance. The Vatican is saying, 'you are totally unique,'" says Martin, the Jesuit priest. "It's highly unusual. It's a symbol of the high personal regard in which the pope holds Opus Dei."

In 1992, the pope also made the controversial move of beatifying Opus Dei founder Escriva just 17 years after his death, making him the "Blessed Josemaria" and bringing him just a step short of canonization. It usually takes many decades and sometimes centuries for candidates to be declared saints.

"They've got a lot of power in Rome," says Woodward. "They also have Pontifical University there. That's very important, that gives you a base in Rome."

Significance Downplayed

Professor Frank K. Flinn, an expert on modern religious movements at the University of Washington in St. Louis, downplays Opus Dei's influence in the Catholic world.

"They have some power but I don't think it's significant at all," he says.

Citing its relatively low numbers in the United States, Flinn argues the group has minimized its mass appeal because members are asked to live in a sort of clerical state. Flinn calls the money spent on the new headquarters "less than a drop in the bucket," compared to, say, the nearly $2 trillion U.S. federal budget.

He also says the pope in the early 1980s had rejected a bid to make Opus Dei a prelature nullius, meaning without a diocese, which would have made it even more independent of regional bishops.

"The pope made it a personal prelature [a diocese over people], which means he in effect brought it under his control," says Flinn. "He co-opted them, and that's the last thing they wanted."

Building Influence From Within

How influential Opus Dei has become within American society is difficult to determine. The group normally does not identify prominent members or provide any detailed financial information, provoking charges by critics that it is secretive.

An Opus Dei published primer, called "On the Vocation to Opus Dei," says members don't object to people knowing they belong, but prefer not to publicly announce it. "The vocation of members of Opus Dei is quiet and unobtrusive, like Christ's hidden life."

Opus Dei leaders acknowledge the group tries to attract or influence influential members of society.

It is "most appropriate," said the organization's current head, Spanish Bishop Javier Echevarria, that the newly dedicated chapel in Washington, "be here in the center of the public life of the country where so much of what transpires has influence throughout the world."

Father McCloskey, a prominent Opus Dei member in Washington, has argued the group can bring change by influencing secular and Catholic institutions from within. But he says Opus Dei is far from having any major presence in the Washington area. "I mean, there's several hundred members of Opus Dei in a metropolitan area of a couple million. More people eat lunch at Wendy's next door than are involved in Opus Dei."

Opus Dei, which he says has been in the nation's capital for almost 50 years, has had members who work in the U.S. government, he said, but, "not any that would be recognizable to you or me."

There has been speculation outgoing FBI Director Louis Freeh is a member, but Finnerty dismissed that. He said accused spy Hanssen is Opus Dei's most well-known American lay member.

Reaching Tommorow's Leaders

Opus Dei also spreads its influence by recruiting from top U.S. colleges and universities. It has residential centers located at or near many of the country's top secular and nonsecular universities, including Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth, the University of Chicago, Columbia, Georgetown and Notre Dame.

McCloskey, in an interview published on his Web site, stressed the importance of the church evangelizing at elite schools. "These people are going to be the leaders in the world, and also, understood correctly, in the Church — not in taking on clerical functions, but in taking leadership roles in the diocese and the parish."

Critics have charged Opus Dei is elitist. Church leaders have sought to dismiss the idea. New York's late Cardinal John O'Connor, at a June 1998 Mass, denounced as "bordering on calumny" the notion that "Opus Dei is concerned only with the wealthy and the well-educated," adding, "I wish the myth about Opus Dei would be dispelled forever."

"It's important that the spirit of Opus Dei be lived by people in all sectors of society. We're interested in trying to reach everyone," says spokesman Finnerty.

"At the same time, there is recognition of the fact that in reaching everyone there are certain people who are in a privileged position to help you do that. So we do consciously try to have activities that might appeal to intellectuals, or to people who have an ability to pass on that message."

Financial Support?

Finnerty declines to provide any specific information on Opus Dei's finances, including exactly how much money it takes in each year.

And while he did disclose $17 million was raised by the Woodlawn Foundation in 2000, he provided only generalities on where it came from.

"There are contributions from cooperators, from members who work, from friends, from investments. That's pretty much where it comes from," he says. "In terms of a specific breakdown, I don't have a specific breakdown."

Finnerty also declines to disclose any of the major donors for Opus Dei's new headquarters: "Sorry, but that information has not been released."

Name: Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (Latin for "Work of God").

Founded: Oct. 2, 1928.

Founder: Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975), beatified in 1992.

Current Prelate (leader): Bishop Javier Echevarria.

Guiding Texts: The Holy Bible, Opus Dei constitutions, and Escriva's writings including The Way, a spiritual guide with 999 maxims.

Size: An estimated 80,000 members in 80 countries, including more than 3,000 in the United States. Non-member supporters, called cooperators, estimated at 700,000 worldwide, 4,000 in the Untied States.

Category: Some of Opus Dei's critics say it resembles a sect, arguing it practices a set of doctrines unrelated to the norm of the Roman Catholic Church, or a cult, because of certain recruitment practices. In sociological terms it is neither of these, since it is part of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei was made a "personal prelature" in 1982 by Pope John Paul II, a special designation placing it outside of the church's normal geographical hierarchy.

Sources: The Religious Movements Homepage at the University of Virginia; Opus Dei

In countries where it has a strong presence, Opus Dei labours silently and stealthily to align government policies with those of the Vatican. But its quest to introduce a neo-Renaissance to the Catholic world has so far produced mixed results.

Because they form a closed, disciplined group guided by an authoritarian ideology, Opus Dei strategists have been largely successful at the Vatican. Under John Paul II, the organisation has become the most dominant force in the Roman Curia, the body of 2,500 prelates and trusted lay people that governs the Catholic Church. Opus Dei's manoeuvrings evoke endless speculation in Rome, where getting on the wrong side of God's Work is not something to be lightly undertaken.

But Opus Dei is a relative newcomer to the Vatican power structure. Founded in 1928 by Josemaria Escrivá, the son of a bankrupt Aragonese mercer who found power and fame in the priesthood, Opus Dei's rise to influence and fortune has been nothing short of spectacular. As a socio-religious phenomenon, it was intricately bound up with the politics of Franco's Spain. Today, according to Annuario Pontificio (the Vatican yearbook), Opus Dei has 80,000 members around the world, of whom about 2,000 are priests.

As the Catholic Church's only floating diocese - known as a personal prelature - it is governed by a prelate-general, who holds the rank of bishop, and operates above and beyond the authority of local bishops. Said to be richer than many Third World states, Opus Dei publishes no financial statements, no membership lists, and it reports - once every five years - only to the pope.

Although run from opulent headquarters in Rome's Parioli district, Opus Dei protests that it is "poor" and does not possess the means of carrying out a political agenda. It claims that its only concern is the spiritual well-being of members. But this is highly deceptive, for the more one gets to know Opus Dei, the more one realises it is highly secretive and elitist. Its primary goal is to return the —Catholic Church to the centre of society, as in medieval times.

That by itself may seem harmless enough, but Opus Dei possesses many of the characteristics of a dangerous sect. Members - there are basically two sorts: celibate and noncelibate - are subject to a secret initiation rite. Obedience is sworn to the prelate-general and "other authorised persons of the prelature". Once inducted, they must submit to what is known as the "formative norms" - a manner of mind conditioning. These include reporting weekly to a "director" who has a right of regard over all their activities, personal and professional. Confessing once a week to an Opus Dei priest is mandatory. Celibate oblates must regularly wear a cilis - a spiked thigh chain used by religious communities in the Middle Ages - and practice self-flagellation. Married members are encouraged to send their children to Opus Dei schools. The schools serve as recruitment centres.

Opus Dei has been accused of being a church within the Church. It has its own doctrine, which it claims was divinely inspired. Moreover, it is the only Roman Catholic organisation - other than the Church herself - that believes it was created by God.

Most sects practice the cult of the founder. In Opus Dei's case, it is determined to have Escrivá, who died in 1975, declared a saint before the millennium. But a number of prominent Catholics have protested, claiming that canonisation would weaken the credibility of the Church. One of Spain's leading theologians, Juan Martín Velasco, remarked : "We cannot portray as a model of Christian living someone who has served the power of the state and who used that power to launch his Opus, which he ran with obscure criteria - like a Mafia shrouded in white - not accepting the papal magisterium when it failed to coincide with his way of thinking".

Such weighty protests have not moved John Paul II, whose views on Escrivá's saintliness, and regard for Opus Dei in general, are well known. A few days before the first 1978 Conclave after the death of Pope Paul VI (which elected John Paul I, who died after only 33 days in office) the future pope paid a visit to the Villa Tevere headquarters and prayed at Escrivá's tomb. After the death of the founder's successor, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, in 1994, John Paul II returned to the prelatic church and knelt before the prelate-general's funeral bier. This bending of protocol - a pope only kneels before the earthly remains of a cardinal - was regarded by many as a sign of fidelity to the organisation that had done everything in its power to raise him to the papal throne.

In spite of opposition from Paul VI's closest adviser, Cardinal Giovanni Benelli, in November 1982 John Paul II elevated Opus Dei to the unique status of personal prelature. Benelli had died of a sudden heart attack the month before. Since then the papal household has increasingly come under Opus Dei's domination.

The Work and its allies control the papal purse strings and the Vatican, after years of piling up deficits, now runs at a profit. It is claimed that the papal secretary, Monsignor Stanislaw Dziwisz, is an Opus Dei associate. During papal travels, Dziwisz makes a point of exchanging the customary Opus Dei form of salutation with local members. Opus Dei Archbishop Juliarl Herranz, one of the most powerful members of the Roman Curia, is co-chairman of the Papal Council of Advisers. His two co-chairmen are strong Opus Dei supporters, one of them having given key testimony to the Roman tribunal investigating Escrivá's saintliness. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, a celibate lay member, holds ministerial status in the papal entourage.

On the secular front, Opus Dei is well represented throughout Latin America, where it has penetrated all levels of government, the military, and the business and financial establishments. In Peru, for example, Opus Dei forged a coalition of business and banking leaders with high-ranking bureaucrats that gave its backing to President Alberto Fujimori. When Tupac Amaru rebels seized the Japanese embassy last December, creating the 126-day hostage crisis, Fujimori called upon Archbishop Juan Luis Cipliani, from the mountain diocese of Ayacucho, to mediate - over the head of the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Augusto Vargas Zamora, a Jesuit. Cipriani, one of seven Opus Dei bishops in Peru, is now favoured to succeed Cardinal Vargas, who is past the retirement age, as archbishop of Lima, which traditionally means promotion to the cardinalate.

Opus Dei's fortunes in Europe have been less certain. The exception is Spain, where its political influence regained considerable potency after last year's electoral victory of the conservative José María Aznar. A devout Catholic whose wife is close to Opus Dei, Prime MinisterAznar's government is laced with Opus Dei dignitaries.

Opus Dei's political ideology has changed little since the 1950s when two of its leading strategists, Rafael Calvo Serer, a former director of the Spanish lnstitute in London, and Florentino Pérez-Embid, published their treatises on Opus Dei as a Catholic regenerator with worldwide reach.

They maintained that the emergence of a new Spain within the European Community presented a Godgiven opportunity to recreate a form of militant Catholicism initiated by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in the 16th century. Charles V was known as God's viceroy on earth. His imperial policies brought Spain to the height of her creative success, but they also aggravated the European rift between Catholics and Protestants and ended up bankrupting the empire. Nevertheless he placed on Peter's throne two popes of his choosing.

Calvo Serer and Pérez-Embid reasoned that with galloping secularism overtaking the Westem world, the only way to revitalise Christianity was to resume the Catholic crusade of Charles V - not this time with the resources of a single nation, but through a powerfull and vital transnational Catholic movement, headed by Opus Dei. Like the Spanish empire of old, Opus Dei's new-look Holy League was to have large-spectrum antennae in Latin America and the United States.

Opus Dei's American influence blossomed during the Reagan administration. The prelature placed its agents inside the White House and recruited among the middle ranks of the Pentagon. Under Clinton, the situation is more ambiguous, with the exception of the FBI, whose director, Louis Freeh, is said to be a supernumerary (non-celibate) member. When asked for confirmation, Freeh declined to respond, having an FBI special agent reply in his stead. (The official FBI spokesman in Washington had never heard of Opus Dei.)

"While I cannot answer your specific questions, I do note that you have been 'informed' incorrectly," John E Collingwood stated, without giving further details.

However it seems that Special Agent Collingwood was himself misinformed, as Opus I)ei subsequently admitted that Freeh's brother, John, was indeed a celibate director of the Work's large centre in Pittsburgh.

In Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy, Opus Dei members are highly placed in the commercial and central banking sectors and within the government bureaucracy. Opus Dei was introduced to the Catholic aristocracy of Europe by former Queen Fabiola of Belgium, who is related through the House of Aragon to the Spanish Borbón family. One of Opus Dei's bitterest reversals occurred earlier this year when a Belgian parliamentary commission placed the organisation on a list of dangerous religious sects, proposing legislation to bring them under stricter control.

Opus Dei was handed another setback by the Socialist victory in France, where it has strong connections among the business establishment. President Chirac's wife, Bernadette Chodron de Courcel, although not a member, is a strong Opus Dei sympathiser. Under Alain Juppé, Opus Dei members held several important cabinet positions, controlling government policy on social communications, proposing legislation to repenalise homosexuality and playing a key role in the privatisation of TF1, a national television channel.

The presence of Opus Dei in the UK, though now well rooted, is nowhere near as pervasive. Its network of schools, subsidised with statefunds, is concentrated in London, Manchester and Glasgow. Recently, however, Opus Dei established itself in Belfast. Opus Dei members run a youth club called Citywise, and have links with schools in Northern Ireland. A similar club exists in Dublin. Both have secured European Union support under the Youth for Europe programme.

It is part of Opus Dei's modus operandi never to spend - except as a last resort - its own money to finance "good works", but always to dig into someone else's resources, public or private. Financial backers of Opus Dei projects are often private foundations, or public entities such as US AID, Adveniat in Germany, Unesco (whose director general, Federico Mayor, is Opus Dei) or the public instances of the European Union, where the Work is especially well represented.

Opus Dei schools in Kenya and Nigeria are partially financed by the British government. One former numerary, Dr John Roche, spent 10 years as a director of Strathmore College in Nairobi. During this time the British government paid a third of his salary into an account in London. But numeraries are required to turn their salaries over to the prelature. In this case, the amount totalled £25,000.

After leaving Opus Dei, Roche - now a lecturer at Oxford - sued in the Chancery Division of the High Court of London to recover that part of his salary retained in the UK and other sums he loaned the prelature. Opus Dei successfully defended the case, claiming it owed him nothing. Afterwards Roche and his solicitors questioned the authenticity of certain documents placed in evidence by the defendants. Opus Dei's solicitors belatedly admitted that "a number of the letters placed on exhibit were not written on the dates they bear but in 1976" - ie after the lawsuit was filed. Roche received an apology and recouped £6,500 of the money as part of an out-of-court settlement.

If, as widely expected, Archbishop Cipriani receives a red hat in the next Consistory - the meeting of cardinals with the Pope - he will become Opus Dei's first cardinal. As a conservative Latin American, young (53 years old), and trimly sportive (a former Olympic athlete), this would make him an eminent papal candidate during the next Conclave. With the 77-year-old John Paul II ailing, many believe the next Conclave cannot be far off. Should an Opus Dei pope be elected, the sons of Josemaria Escrivá will have successfully created a neo-Renaissance power structure with striking parallels to the one constructed by God's viceroy in the 16th century.

FROM: http://www.pacificnews.org/jinn/stories/6.31/010305-spy.html

Was FBI Agent's True "Loyalty" To Opus Dei?

By Yoichi Clark Shimatsu

Date: 03-05-01

The mystery within the mystery concerning Robert Hanssen, accused of spying for the Soviet Union for more than 15 years, is simply what motivated him to do it? With no signs of pro-Soviet ideological commitment or extravagant spending, the answer may lie in Hanssen's membership in Opus Dei, an ultraconservative Catholic organization. PNS commentator Yoichi Clark Shimatsu is former editor of The Japan Times Weekly in Tokyo, and has reported on the Aum Shinrikyo sect.

Intelligence experts and congressional committees are puzzling over what motivated FBI agent Robert Hanssen to spy for Moscow over the past 15 years.

Money seems to offer no clues, because Hanssen lived in an ascetic style. Nor is there yet any evidence that this happily married man fell into a "honey trap" involving a coy Natasha.

The search for a motive is complicated by the fact that his colleagues say that Hanssen was fiercely anticommunist and a devout member of Opus Dei, an ultraconservative Catholic organization. He was a regular parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Church, in a Virginia suburb of the capital, where an elite congregation, which includes Supreme Court justice Antonia Scalia, attend traditional Latin masses.

It might be reassuring to believe that Hanssen acted alone. But if that is the case, he would likely have repented and confessed all. The opposite reaction -- his stony silence -- indicates something other than the sins of a prodigal son.

Hanssen's one-word explanation for his treason, according to an FBI affidavit, was "loyalty." It may well be that his loyalty -- to Opus Dei and, by extension, the foreign service of the Vatican state -- hold the key to the mystery.

Opus Dei, Latin for "Work of God," is a secretive lay group within the body of the Catholic Church, with more than 80,000 members worldwide. As the only personal prelature in the Church, it is an entity unto itself, separate from the diocesan structure.

Founded in the late 1920s by Spanish priest Josemaria Escriva, Opus Dei assumed a political role from the start, openly siding with the Franco dictatorship. Its members served in cabinets while Spain was allied with Hitler and Mussolini.

Opus Dei floundered in the wake of World War II, but regained impetus under Pope John Paul II, after providing crucial support for his papal candidacy. In the Polish pope, the group found a champion willing to back its harsh stance against abortion, birth control, its crusade against communism, the push for Catholicism as a state religion, and war on left-leaning liberation theologians within the church.

It may seem paradoxical that Hanssen would spy for the Soviet Union, a moral adversary and indeed a satanic force in the eyes of Opus Dei. During Gorbachev's glasnost era, however, there is evidence of behind-the-scenes collaboration between the Vatican and Moscow. In particular, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, a powerful Opus Dei supporter, pursued a policy of reaching out toward Moscow with the aim of gaining Poland's release from the Warsaw Pact.

Rivers of money, much of it provided by Bill Casey's CIA, poured into Warsaw and Moscow, and the Vatican found ready support from the U.S. because the security establishment under President Ronald Reagan was packed with conservative Catholics, including Casey, Richard Allen and William Clark.

Hanssen's most damaging activities in FBI counterintelligence coincided with these years, 1985-89. Secrets from America's intelligence vaults could well have been part of the quid pro quo in the late cardinal's dance with Moscow.

Certainly, the Vatican has had no qualms about violating American sensitivities. Indeed, it seems to reflect a Eurocentric triumphalism. The papal encyclical on labor rights slapped rampant materialism -- that is, the immoral United States -- as the "other" great evil afoot in the world.

The Vatican's political work with Moscow paid off handsomely with the independence of Catholic-dominant Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine and later, from Moscow's nominal ally Yugoslavia, of Slovenia and Croatia. All the while, Hanssen kept up the flow of U.S. secrets to Moscow.

Why might a conscientious Catholic be accused of betraying the FBI's Russian recruits to the firing squad? Hanssen has spoken of his schoolboy fascination with a book about Kim Philby, Britain's notorious turncoat spy (a claim flawed by the fact that "The Philby Conspiracy" was published after Hanssen graduated from high school).

But Hanssen may well have read John LeCarre's 1974 "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," based on the Philby saga, in which a high-ranking mole betrays his fellow agents in order to advance his career inside the British intelligence bureaucracy. As Moscow rolls up their spy rings, his rivals, one by one, lose their chances for promotion, while the double agent becomes the golden boy headed for the pinnacle of power.

The plot of "Tinker, Tailor" bears a disturbing resemblance to the recent chaos inside U.S. intelligence. Did Hanssen clear the path to the FBI directorate for his fellow Opus Dei member Louis Freeh? This possibility cannot be dismissed, nor should reluctance to interfere with a religious organization prevent a probe into Hanssen's ties within Opus Dei.

In nearly every case involving a secretive sect, like the Branch Davidians or Aum Shinrikyo, law enforcement authorities have erred on the side of acting too slowly.

For the faithful, the response to the Hanssen affair should not be limited to sermons about a lost sheep tangled in Satan's snares. Opus Dei, models itself after the Counter-Reformation, appears to be repeating the worst mistakes from that chapter of church history. As the church became engrossed in the fates of nations, its moral certitude against Protestant dissent was lost. The institutional paranoia of the Inquisition gave rise to the secret police of Cardinal Richelieu who were at the service of the state.

That attempt to remold the state into the image of the church resulted in its very opposite, the French Revolution.