from "Las Puertas del Infierno"
[The Gates of Hell]
by D. Ricardo de la Cierva (1)
A Partial Translation
We are selectively quoting the
portions from Chapter 9 of de la Cierva's book which are key to
understanding the true spirit of the Opus Dei explained by a friend and not a foe.
In some cases, the names of individuals have been replaced by their
official functions or positions since most of the readers outside Spain
would not recognize their names. The actual names may be found in the
original text (2) in Spanish of Chapter 9.
NOTE: Occasional bold type added by The M+G+R Foundation
[B] I (de la Cierva) have never
abandoned my interest to obtain adequate information about Opus Dei...
...to my knowledge, I believe that I have gathered a collection of
sources and testimonies, positives and negatives, about the Opus Dei,
greater than any in existence.
[C] through [K] de la Cierva
evenhandedly reports on the books written about the Opus Dei by friends
and foe alike.
[L] ... a second division
sociologist, who was inside the Opus Dei for many years without
realizing that he was living in the antechamber of hell. Now he
seems possessed by an inexplicable zeal to destroy the work of padre
Escrivá (the founder of Opus Dei). His personal contributions
are coarse. However, he adduces testimonies of former members of Opus
Dei which, in general, are level headed individuals and for which their
lives in said institution resulted traumatic; testimony which I have no
reason to doubt. Almost all express themselves with respect toward
padre Escrivá but lobe true depth charges against the Opus. I
confess that the book of the referred to sociologist has caused me to
profoundly reflect on this matter to the point of making a decision to
write this section...
[M] The following year [of
Escrivá's Beatification], from the same Editorial House whence
this book (The Gates of Hell) is being published, I (de la Cierva)
published another Essay about the Marquisette of Peralta, the Title,
which in my opinion, father Escrivá incorrectly had conferred
[N] Father Escrivá
rearranged his surname and family name somewhat. .... He combined his
first two names (José María) into one, Josemaría,
as a sign of devotion to the Virgin (Mary) Who had a great impact in
his life. .... He added "de Balaguer" for reasons similar to those
which moved him to request the Title of Marquis of Peralta. Self
[O] through [V] A biographical
sketch of Escrivá.
[W] .... "Camino".... Is the
fundamental book for Opus Dei. It reflects its novelty, its depth and
its spirit, demanding, yet open. To understand it better "Camino" must
be read in accordance to the vision with which it was written. It is
one of the most disseminated works of the 20th Century...
[X] The (Spanish) government and
the organizations which sympathized with it formally declared war to
the Catholic Church. As we have pointed out, the simple fact that a
priest would be seen in Madrid wearing his ecclesiastical garb was a
certain death sentence. Escrivá, a firm supporter of the
"Uprising" (Alzamiento) from the very beginning, just like most of the
Catholic Church in Spain, which suffered the martyrdom of thirteen
Bishops and about eight thousand priests, monks and nuns, was in
[Y] ...he (Escrivá)
joined Franco's (the leader of the anti-Communist forces and later
absolute dictator of Spain) cause, like practically all bishops,
priests, religious and Catholics in Spain and in the world. However, he
did not participate in war activities.
[Z] In 1939 saw the election of
Pope Pius XII just in time to bless the victory over communism in
Spain. He would be a providential man for the Opus Dei.
[AA] ...and in 1946 Opus Dei
established its first house outside Spain, in the Portuguese university
city of Coimbra.
[BB] Opus Dei penetrated the
Universities and actually controlled the most ambitious cultural
project of the Franco regime, the Superior Council of Scientific
[DD] It is a fact that, after
1950, Opus Dei university branches in certain occasions committed
notable injustices; at times in iniquitous alliances with Marxist
professors and against Catholic professors.
[EE] Other professors, members
of the Opus Dei, have helped me (de la Cierva) considerably. Some have
caused me every imaginable damage and, since I do not mince words, I
have forcefully responded to their accusations until they deemed
prudent to fall silent.
[FF] On March 19, 1941, the
Bishop of Madrid, who had understood Opus Dei from the very beginning,
approved it as a Pius Union. This was the first official Ecclesiastical
approval of Opus Dei.
[GG] On February 14, 1943,
during Mass in an Opus Dei Women's Center, he (Escrivá) receives
a new illumination and is inspired to create the Priestly Society of
the Holy Cross, in which to gather the priests of the Opus and
propitiate the approval from the Holy See, which in effect, grants the
approval for the canonical erection of Opus Dei in the Diocese of
[HH] During Holy Week of 1946
(or one close to it) I know for a fact that General Franco asked
Monsignor Escrivá to personally direct the Spiritual Exercises;
a task for which Franco had always called upon the priests whom he
judged well informed regarding the situation of Spanish society;
[II] Nevertheless, starting
in 1953, when a minority faction of Opus Dei started to separate itself
from Franco's regime, the relations between Franco and the founder of
Opus Dei cooled down to the point that, according to a private
communication from an Admiral of the Spanish Navy and a member of the
Opus Dei, Franco left unanswered several letters from padre
[JJ and JJ-1] In 1948 the Roman
College of the Holy Cross was established for the formation of priests
and professionals of the Opus Dei for assignments worldwide..... On
October 29, 1960, the Founder (Escrivá) establishes the first
Opus Dei University in Pamplona, the capital of Navarra.
[KK] On May 17, 1992, in the
presence of the largest gathering ever remembered in the history of St.
Peters Square, more than 300,000 people, he (Escrivá) was
beatified by Pope John Paul II after a fast, maybe too fast, canonical
[LL] The final solution, which
was the preferred one for The Vatican and the Opus Dei was the
establishment of the Opus Dei as a Personal Prelature, as decreed by
the Apostolic Constitution of November 28, 1982...
[NN] Nonetheless, since the time
in the early forties when one could hear talk about Opus Dei, this
institution has never lost its halo of mystery, although padre
Escrivá said that his Opus was not secret; it simply was
[PP] (The populace claimed in
jest that) the great "question" was the one which St. Peter asked
Franco before allowing him to enter into Heaven..... what in hell is
the Opus? With all due respect I would like to explain my and Franco's
answer (to such rhetorical question). The M+G+R Comments:
The answer to that question was before his
and he could not see it.
[QQ] Franco was indignant
with the Opus Dei for many years toward the end of his life. He had
deeply identified himself with the Opus and had, as we know, the
highest esteem for the Founder. However, he could not comprehend
the leader of a certain faction of Opus Dei who, having failed to
become a permanent supporters of Franco's ideology, changed over,
without much ado, to anti-frankism. He created an opposition group
spearheaded by members of the Opus Dei. This was done with obvious
approval of Padre Escrivá, whose one of his salient defects was
the esteem he always felt for his aberrant disciple.
[RR] ...at the time of Vatican
Council II, padre Escrivá picked up the anti-Franco mood of
the Vatican and thus allowed his protégé and his friends
to abruptly start separating from Franco's regime and ideology.
[SS] I believe that the
anti-Franco mood that surfaced in Opus Dei... was perfectly logical and
defensible, except for one detail: The group with such
inclinations, under the leadership of Escrivá's
protégé, led directly to the Democratic Junta of 1974.
That is, a strategic alliance of several members of Opus Dei with
the communists, who then were marxist-lenninists. This was not a chance
event; it was an extreme manifestation of rejection of ideology for
political convenience; a characteristic which I have observed in many
other members of Opus Dei. As the result of such ideological rejection,
as of late, some members of Opus Dei have made electoral agreements
with known communists.
[TT] By virtue of that same
rejection, the key rightist group of the province of Navarra, made
up by many Opus Dei members have entered into certain alliances to form
the government of Navarra... with socialists and communists extreme
defenders of abortion... ....(Catholic political figures) have
every right to establish political coalitions.... except with those who
will influence the government with their atheistic and anti-life ideas.
For such alliances a Catholic does not have freedom unless the other
group renounces their philosophies.... ....I hope no one denies my
statements because then I will be forced to provide dates and names
associated with such activities.
[Note: We remind the
reader of the thousands of Bishops, priests and religious who were
exterminated by the communist revolution in that same Spain so dear to
Opus Dei. See block [X] above.]
[XX] ....Opus Dei goes to
extremes in supporting the Pope. Prepare his trips with great care...
[ZZ] Obviously, the majority
of the Partido Popular (currently in power in Spain) are not members of
Opus Dei, but the members and affiliates of Opus Dei are the ones who
establish that platform of such Party, and thus, the government of
José María Aznar in Spain.
NOTE Added on March 6, 2002
The cover story of the
Spanish magazine Tempo - January 21, 2002 - Issue No. 1,029
features "The Real Power of the OPUS"
On said cover they identify the
following key individuals of the Spanish government as members of Opus
* Luis Valls - Co-President of Banco Popular
* Jesús Cardenal - Attorney General
* Federico Trillo - Minister of Defense
* Juan Cotino - Head of Police
* Isabel Tocino - Former Minister and currently Representative in the
Spanish legislative chamber.
These individuals are those who are known members, which, for a
secretive organization like the Opus Dei, may only represent the "tip
of the iceberg" of the Opus Dei penetration in the government of Spain.
The article richly details the level of penetration of the Opus Dei in
the power centers throughout the world, with the CIA and the FBI of the
U.S.A. heading the list. For those of you who can understand some
Spanish, we recommend the reading of the whole article. It may just
help the reader to further understand what is taking place in the
geopolitical arena of the world.
[BBB] ....the criterion for the
nomination of Bishops throughout the world by John Paul II frequently
uses the candidate's membership in, or level of sympathy towards, Opus
Dei as a determining factor; something that, in my (de la Cierva's)
opinion, is a good idea.
[CCC] Amidst the stunning merits
of Opus Dei, with its sincere Christian spirituality at the head, I
notice certain components which its members should reevaluate and
eliminate. The most dangerous one is its relativistic exclusionary
character; a factor that has brought upon themselves the
accusations of being a sect.
[DDD] I say relativistic
exclusionary character because they do not mind allying themselves
politically and/or culturally with the enemies of the Church while, on
the other hand, they frequently consider the other members of the
Church as alien or undesirable competition.
[EEE] Opus Dei is totally the
opposite [from society infiltrating itself in the Church]: It is the
infiltration of the Church in society.
[GGG] So that my [de la
Cierva's] evaluation be better understood I will summarize it as
follows: Opus Dei was invented, and invented well; however, if it did
not exist, it would have to be invented with great urgency. Many
things, especially within the Church, depend on it.
A Commentary from The M+G+R Foundation
D. de la Cierva's evaluation of The Prelature of the Holy Cross and
Opus Dei is among one of the most balanced presentation of Opus Dei
that we have encountered. Although de la Cierva identifies and
discusses three key problems he perceives: (a) Elitist spirit; (b)
Indiscriminate alliance with the enemies of God; and (c) Discretion
[read "Secrecy"], he fails to see that precisely those three components
reveal the true Spirit of Opus Dei.
(a) Elitist spirit:
(b) Indiscriminate alliance
with the enemies of God: No one can serve
God by entering in alliances (3) with the devil.
This falls in the domain of Darkness which is
not God's Domain. No one can serve God from the darkness.
Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly said:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be
hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your
good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. [Matthew 5:14-16]
Beware! The only spirit which is (a) arrogant, (b) allies itself with
the enemies of God and (c) works in secrecy to safely strengthen a
temporal power base, is the spirit of satan.
- Sects within the Roman Catholic Church
En Español: El Opus Dei según Ricardo de la Cierva
Originally Published in this
Domain on November 1999. Texas, U.S.A.
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