Pope Strikes Back: Dispatches Opus Dei to LA LA Land

A clerical member of the orthodox Catholic organization, Opus Dei, has been appointed as the next Archbishop of the diocese of Los Angeles.  Pope Bendict XVI has named Archbishop Jose Gomez, formerly the Archbishop of San Antonio, as the new head of the scandal-ridden LA diocese.

Opus Dei has been seared into the American consciousness through the bestselling book, The Da Vinci Code, authored by Dan Brown, and the subsequent blockbuster film of the same name.  Featured in both the book and the movie as an evil empire of Catholic fanatics intent on protecting its secrets at any cost, Opus Dei is in fact an organization of very devout men and women who dedicate their lives to the service of God and the Church.  Certainly orthodox in its approach to Catholic doctrine and fiercely loyal to the Pope, some members practice self-flagellation as a way to mortify their earthly flesh.

Archbishop Gomez who is 58, joined Opus Dei in 1978.  He will be taking over for the retiring Cardinal Roger Mahony.  Cardinal Mahony presided over the multi-million dollar settlement to alleged victims of priestly sexual abuse within the LA diocese.  One of Archbishop Gomez’s major tasks will be to reform the priesthood.

Archbishop Gomez is one of 22 bishops around the globe who are members of Opus Dei.  Opus Dei was founded in 1928 by Saint Jose Maria Escriva, a Spanish priest.

With the almost systemic taint of priestly pedophilia creeping through the corridors of the Catholic Church, I find it interesting that within Opus Dei,  the most devout, orthodox, and disciplined of groups within the Catholic hierarchy, none of its 2,000 priests have ever been involved in a sexual scandal.

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5 Responses to Pope Strikes Back: Dispatches Opus Dei to LA LA Land

  1. cathy garcia says:

    From what I understand, the reason the priests of Opus Dei have not been been involved in the scandal that rocked the church is that they take time for a holy hour every day. As a practicing Catholic I cant see commiting a major transgression and be able to spend an hour in Gods presence without it eating me up. We have a parish staffed by Opus Dei here in Chicago and from what I’ve seen the Priests are very dedicated.

  2. Muffy says:

    You’re missing a critical problem with married priests: the cost. The Church would have to drastically increase the salaries of the priests in order to help them support their families, which, of course, would require a dramatic overhaul of the Church’s finances. Probably not such a good idea in a time when the Church is already struggling to afford compensation for the victims of all the sex scandals. Perhaps the Church can strike a compromise: A priest can only get married if his spouse earns enough money to support herself and the kids.

    I think the sex abuse scandal shows the limitations of Christian forgiveness. Jesus advocated forgiving sins over and over again. He never enacted punishment for sexual sins. Of course, if the church promoted such teaching of forgiveness forgiveness forgiveness without justice, people would be outraged.

  3. Tom Degan says:

    In my parish, St. John the Evangelist in Goshen, NY, the first major pedophile scandal materialized in the early nineties. The priest in question, “Father Ed” had been molesting boys in their early teens. To say that the parishioners were traumatized by this would be an understatement. They were devastated. Then something wondrous happened….

    Father Ed was eventually replaced by Father Trevor Nichols. Father Trevor had been an Anglican in merrie old England when he converted to Catholicism. On becoming a Catholic was transferred to Saint John’s – WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO DAUGHTERS! A married priest! WITH TWO KIDS!

    You want to hear the punch line? Our little parish did not implode. The sun did not fall from the sky. Huge cracks did not appear in the earth’s surface. In fact, it was nice having them. They were – and are to this day – deeply beloved by the people of St. John’s.

    Allowing priests to marry would transform the Catholic Church. Having a married priest and his lovely family in our midst certainly transformed the people of St. John’s.


    Tom Degan

    • I agree, Tom. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing married priests any time soon. Conservative Catholicism still views married life as inferior to the priestly celibate state. That old split between spirit and flesh I think is at the heart of this mindset.

      What I really find atrocious about all the pedophilia scandals is the response of Church authorities. It seems that the Church’s only concern was protecting its tainted clergy no matter what they did.

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