• RSS Queering the Church

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Lutheran “Vision and Expectations” Revisited April 4, 2019
      The ELCA Church Council meets today at the Higgins Road headquarters in Chicago to consider a document entitled Trustworthy Servants as a replacement for a prior document entitled Vision and Expectations. The proposed document comes to the Council following recent action by the Conference of Bishops. To be sure, the current document purports to be […] [[ Thi […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Early Amazon reviews for Wormwood and Gall March 26, 2019
      Folks who received advance reader copies of Wormwood and Gall have posted five-star reviews on Amazon. Pastor Wesley White has penned his own book centered in Mark’s gospel, entitled, Slow Reading the Gospel of Mark, a reflective, meditative, and introspective invitation into the gospel narrative.  Pastor White’s review of Wormwood and Gall lauds the histori […]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Photo of the Day April 19, 2019
      See also the previous Wild Reed posts:• In This In-Between Time . . .• Down By the River• Mississippi Adventure• Time By the River• A Magical Time and Place• O Dancer of Creation• Bde Maka Ska Sunset• Time and the RiverImage: “Adnan, with Sunset Reflections and Jet Trail” (4/16/2019) by Michael J. Bayly.
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day April 18, 2019
      [Pete] Buttigieg’s ability to articulate his sexual orientation through the lens of faith has captured public attention and drawn him into a theological spat with Vice President Mike Pence. The fact that the first openly gay major presidential candidate is also a Christian is indeed remarkable, a milestone in the visibility of L.G.B.T. people of faith. Yet i […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • In The Closet of the Vatican: New Investigative Study February 22, 2019
      In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy - just published today, February 22nd, 2019.Thanks to Kittredge Cheery of the wonderful gay Christian blog,  QSpirit Blog, for the heads up about the publication of this major new investigative study into the secret homosexual double lives of many priests (and bishops and cardinals) in the vatican […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Wanderer by Sarah Leon: Gay Debut Novel of the Year February 11, 2019
      A very young Sarah Leon published this heat-wrenching  love story in French in 2016 when she was barely twenty years old. Three years later we are blessed to have this exquisite English translation of the work  by John Cullen, a translator of note with many books to his name. It is one of the most affecting love stories you will ever read.Wanderer has alread […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • The Mueller report April 19, 2019
      The redacted Mueller report is online to be read/downloaded (here is one of the many versions). And you can also get it in book form.We now know Russia messed with our elections through social media and hacked documents released by WikiLeaks. We know Trump and his minions worked together with Russia to doom Hillary and elect Trump in these ways.And we know T […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)
  • Advertisements

“Opus Dei’s Influence is Felt in All of Washington’s Corridors of Power”

The Opus Dei Catholic Information Center’s “members and leaders continue to have an outsize impact on policy and politics. It is the conservative spiritual and intellectual center … and its influence is felt in all of Washington’s corridors of power,” stated the Washington Post.

In the past two decades, the center’s “K Street NW location, just two blocks from the White House, became a bustling gathering place for conservative academics, politicians, journalists, young professionals.”  “The noon Mass became known as a ‘Who’s Who’ scene in conservative circles” including “Judge Robert H. Bork, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), economist Larry Kudlow and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).”

Opus Dei’s influence is enormous in the U.S. judiciary.

“The center’s board includes Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society, which helped shepherd the Supreme Court nominations of Brett M. Kavanaugh and Neil M. Gorsuch. White House counsel Pat Cipollone is a former board member, as is William P. Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush and is now President Trump’s nominee for the same position.”  Barr, a “committed Catholic,” was highly recommended  by Leonard Leo.

The U.S. judiciary has been shaped not only through Leo’s control over Trump’s judicial appointments but also by the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) directed by Leo and run by Carrie Severino, a former law clerk for supreme court justice Clarence Thomas.

The JCN is a 501(c)(4) organization, meaning its donors are secret. “It has spent millions across the country to influence the elections of judges and attorneys general as well as judicial appointment and confirmation processes.”

“Leo’s efforts to ensure that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito were confirmed engaged the dark money spending power of JCN. In 2005 and 2006, Leo and the Federalist Society worked with JCN to coordinate radio and online ads as well as on grassroots efforts to support the confirmation of the right-wing justices.

To block the appointment of Barack Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, and support the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch, Leo helped coordinate the JCN’s expenditure of $17 million. The campaign was highly effective in allowing Gorsuch, the Federalist Society’s pick, to take the place many thought rightly belonged to Merrick Garland.”

What is Opus Dei

Opus Dei is a secret society and an official arm of the Catholic Church as I’ve noted before but bears repeating. Its roots are in fascist Spain 

In 1982, Pope John Paul II designated the group as a “personal prelature,” that is, they are under the sole jurisdiction of the pope and no other prelate. Its website states, “Opus Dei’s mission is to spread the Christian message that every person is called to holiness and that every honest work can be sanctified.” As of 2017 there were 92,892 lay members and 2,212 priests worldwide.

Non-Catholics are welcomed as “cooperators” who “assist the educational and social undertakings promoted by the Prelature.” Priests not ordained into Opus Dei can be a member of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, “intrinsically united to the Prelature.”

Only the identities of Opus Dei priests are public. Members of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross and all lay members’ and cooperators’ names are secret unless self-disclosed, for example by being openly affiliated with the Catholic Information Center.

At the top:

“Opus Dei is an efficient machine run to achieve worldly power,” wrote investigative reporter Penny Lernoux in her book, People of God.

“Opus Dei pursues the Vatican’s agenda through the presence of its members in secular governments and institutions and through a vast array of academic, medical, and grassroots pursuits. Its constant effort [is] to increase its presence in civil institutions of power. [T]heir work in the public sphere breaches the church-state division that is fundamental to modern democracy,” noted Gordon Urquhart, author of The Pope’s Armada: Unlocking the Secrets of Mysterious and Powerful New Sects in the Church (1995).

“Opus Dei uses the Catholic Church for its own ends which are money and power …. Its members form a transnational elite. They seek to colonize the summits of power. They work with stealth – ‘holy discretion’ – and practice ‘divine deception,’” Robert Hutchison wrote in the introduction to his book, Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei

“Opus Dei is mostly middle- and upper-class businessmen, professionals, military personnel and government officials. Its members control a large number of banks and financial institutions,” according to Martin A. Lee, author and activist who has written books and articles on far-right movements.

Other Government Agencies Influenced by Opus Dei

Because it is a secret society, usually we can only know government officials’ affiliations with Opus Dei.

Roger Severino, Carrie Severino’s husband, is Trump’s Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Severino was a trial attorney for seven years in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

Larry Kudlow is Trump’s director of the National Economic Council. Plutocracy is “just what America needs,” Kudlow wrote in December 2016. “Putting the incredibly wealthy in charge of the U.S. government” is described as Kudlow’s great idea.

Former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is now Trump’s Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

Mick Mulvaney is serving as Trump’s acting White House Chief of Staff. He remains director of the White House Office of Management and Budget and interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mulvaney “has reportedly met with a long list of lobbyists, corporate executives and wealthy people with business interests before the government.” His meeting with Opus Dei’s Jeff Bell, architect of Reaganomics, covered “religious and political matters.

As an example of  Opus Dei-affiliated military personnel, veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh “claimed that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Vice Admiral William McRaven and others in the JSOC were members of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei.” JSOC is “the elite Special Ops force” who killed Osama bin Laden. “We’re gonna change mosques into cathedrals … This is not an atypical attitude among some military – it’s a crusade, literally,” Hersh reported. “He added that members of these societies have developed a secret set of insignias that represent ‘the whole notion that this is a culture war’ between religions.”

Vatican Connection

That Newt Gingrich is close to Opus Dei helps explain Trump’s appointment of Callista Gingrich as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. (Newt’s three marriages would have raised eyebrows in the Vatican diplomatic corps even though the first two were annulled when he became Catholic and married Callista.)

Newt was an early and constant supporter of Trump. He provides Pope Francis with direct access to Trump. For Trump, he has trusted emissary in a diplomatic corps described as a “prime listening post” in global affairs.

Trump attended Callista’s swearing in ceremony in October 2017.

The U.S. Embassy to the Vatican also has a “Political and Economic Chief” and two “Political and Economic Officers.”

“Political” officers are understandable given that Trump and Pope Francis share so many positions such as restricting women’s access to abortion and contraception, restricting LGBTQI and transgender human rights and, most importantly, continued tax-payer funding of Catholic charities, schools and hospitals.

Pope Francis might have a more benign view on immigration, but he does agree that “a country has the right to protect its borders.” For all his rhetoric – and in spite of billions of dollars of personal income – Pope Francis has sponsored only six refugee families even though the Vatican owns “thousands” of apartments in Rome.

The necessity for “economic” officers is less obvious. The pope is also head of a global network that can act as a conduit for “dark money” thanks to “religious” exemptions granting the Church monetary secrecy in the world’s financial centers. That is a magnate for Opus Dei to maintain power inside the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis has made sure that the Vatican retains its expertise and capacity in this regard. He has has hired and appointed vulture capitalists and Opus Dei members and associates to manage his assets. And now he has an American ambassador and embassy staff as allies.

 

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. McCloskey is the OD cleric who caught many of the big fish in this article. He is perhaps first OD cleric to be caught in the web of clerical sexual abuse but not the last. And OD has plenty of money to pay off victims.

  2. I thought it interesting Greg Burke had resigned from his position within the Vatican.
    The handling of Archbishop McCarrick maybe….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: