Opus Angelorum cleared

I read in CNA that the group called the Opus Angelorum has received a nod from the Holy See after some years of probation.

The Opus Angelorum received some scrutiny because of some question about their veneration and promotion of devotion to the Holy Angels.  Some of their ideas were in part based on private revelations.  Apparently things are now cleared up.

There is an Opus Angelorum group with priests and sisters in Detroit, associated with the great Assumption Grotto parish.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Thank you for drawing attention to this Fr. Z.

    The BBC and the AFP, whose coverage of the CDF note was propogated throughout english speaking countries and beyond, did a terrible injustice to them with untruths in their articles. The tactic used by those secular sources went like this:

    Fr. Z tells Diane that “Jack and Jane are married; Rick and Rose are divorced”

    Diane reports, “Fr. Z says, that Jack and Jane are divorced”.

    By completely eliminating what is in between, then fusing together what remains, I fabricate an untruth. It is an injustice to Bob and Jane who are not divorced, an in justice to Fr. Z when I attribute the fabrication to him, and an injustice to readers and others who then propogate it. If report the untruth I knowingly, that untruth is then called a lie.

    Most secular reports are selectively quoting the actual CDF note in just such a way. A careful reading of the CDF note reveals that – as you say – Opus Angelorum itself was cleared.

    The BBC and AFP reports which were propogated, led people to believe that Opus Angelorum was a “deviant sect”. Rather, the report from the Holy See states reveals that breakaway members, including priests who were expelled or who have left on their own, are making use of things forbidden by the 1992 decree, and in a discreet way that could fool priests or bishops. AFP and BBC did not include the qualifier, “expelled priests” in it’s coverage, among thing. It was pure tabloid journalism.

    This is the authentic site, which can be verified through the delegate appointed by the Holy See, Fr. Daniel Ols, OP:


    In addition to the CNA article, I would invite people to read – very carefully – the actual CDF note as presented by the Vatican Information Service. You will see that much of what is floating around the web, attributed to the Holy See, cannot be reconciled with the actual document.

    Since their mission in the US is at my parish, I’ve had five years of extensive experience with them and have never, ever seen or experienced the kinds of things attributed to them. Rather, they focus on what is in Sacred Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, the Church doctors, the saints, and many Church documents. This is precisely what they were encouraged to do by the delegate all these years, and that has been my only experience. The odd things floating around on the web, I can only attribute to that splinter group. This seems to be the position of the Holy See, as well.

  2. Forgive my typos and errors in the above… I think the intent of what I was trying to say in several spots will be understood. I’m in a hurry to get out the door for Mass – ROFL.

  3. Nuts! In my haste, forgot the link to the actual CDF note, which should be read before any other coverage. Here it is at VIS


  4. MikeM says:

    My favorite ridiculous part of the BBC story:

    “Our correspondent says Opus Angelorum has no known connection with the best-selling novel, Angels and Demons, written by Dan Browne [sic], who has been criticised by the Vatican for his fictional works involving superstition in the Catholic Church.”

    Huh? Why is that mentioned?

  5. ROFL – That part of the BBC report was so out of place, I wondered if they ran out of journalists and got some 12 year old to do the report.

  6. Andy F. says:

    I read this via the New Oxford Review newslinks and it seems to say the opposite. Can we get some clarity here?


  7. InOurLady says:

    The letter from the Congregation of Faith is a positve letter. It basically gives the “go a head” to bishops to allow them in their diocese.
    It says… “[I]n its present state, the Opus Angelorum is a public association of the Church in conformity with traditional doctrine and with the directives of the Holy See. It spreads devotion to the Holy Angels among the faithful, exhorts them to pray for priests, and promotes love for Christ in His Passion and union with it. Therefore, there are no remaining obstacles of a doctrinal and disciplinary kind which would prevent local ordinaries from receiving this movement into their dioceses and promoting its development.”
    I am quite familiar with the movement and the excellent priests in the Opus Angelroum and the sisters. They are liturgically perfect. Their spiritual teachings are without reproach. Their retreats are deeply spiritual and refreshing. If they come to a place near you I strongly urge you to go and participate. You will be thoroughly uplifted in the way that our Holy Father has approved!

  8. Andy Milam says:

    @ AndyF.

    It would seem that the article from the Sydney Herald focuses strictly on the paragraph which speaks of “a certain number of Opus Angelorum members, including some priests who either left or were expelled from the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross.”

    This certainly doesn’t seem to be taking into account any of the rest of the release from the Holy See, which states, “Today, thanks to the obedience of its members, the Opus Angelorum can be considered to be living loyally and serenely in conformity with the doctrine of the Church and with canonical and liturgical law.”

    So, it would seem that your article is skewed to the negative. Hope this brings some clarity.

  9. IntroiboAdAltareDei says:

    @ AndyF,

    It seems yet another all-too-typical media (mis)representation of (especially) good Church-related news, this time courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald rag, and its Agence France-Presse news feed, from where this article was seemingly manufactured. Should we (still) be surprised though when good and positive developments like this (Deo gratias!) are twisted, and good men and women and their tireless efforts are slandered?

    Again, I say slander here, because like many mainstream news reports, I find it hard to understand how a half-competent journalist or press room writer could possibly start with the VIS press release as provided, and manage to end up provided the trash as shipped by SMH / AFP, without there being ill will and an agenda somewhere in the production line. Or was it just the work of the demons?… :-)

    So, let us celebrate news such as this. Let us read what the Vatican really says, and not rely on trash media. Let us pray for much fruit to come from Opus Angelorum in the years ahead.

    May the holy angels greatly assist all of us, and most especially also, … the Pope of Christian Unity! (Just to make Fr. Z’s day… ;-) )

  10. MikeM says:

    Andy F,

    I’ll repost the link Diane posted above… http://press.catholica.va/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/c4_en.htm

    If you want clarity about what the letter said, it’s right there at the link. It’s not long and it’s pretty straight forward. That way you don’t have to take my word for it.

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    There was an article recently on Zenit that focused on the warning about the expelled members who were continuing to spread false teaching. It is my understanding that Opus Angelorum really did have its origins in genuinely eyebrow raising false private revelations (in my opinion there is an urgent need today for the teaching of St John of the Cross on detachment from private revelations). To shortcut the process of forming a religious order, Opus Angelorum took over the ancient order of the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, which had only one living member or something like that. After they drew attention for heretical ideas about angels, thanks be to God they accepted correction and reformed their theology and now from all accounts they are good now. I think they’re a success story.

  12. @Mike M – thanks for reposting that link.

    @Andy F – See my very first comment at the top of this thread. Note that the Sydney Morning Herald is using a syndicated piece by AFP. Note the scenario that I used about Jack and Jane, and Rick and Rose. Both the BBC and AFP put out similar stories with this kind of untruth well ahead of the English release from the Holy See. By my estimation, they had an approximate 9+ hours for their untruthful fabrication of the CDF note to spread (read the link Mike M put up which is from the Vatican, then go back and see what AFP did).

    Once the fabrication was out there, you see all kinds of goofy headlines like which refer to Opus Angelorum as a “sect” and in some cases, a “deviant sect”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The AFP (via sources like the Sydney Morning Herald) and BBC, engaged in classic tabloid journalism.

    I actually wrote to the BBC using their “contact us” form and included a link to the original Vatican document, asking them to correct the errors in their story which was being propogated. This did not happen.

    People using these secular news sources to get an understanding of the status of Opus Angelorum is not much different than using the New York Times for catechism.

    Read the document from the Holy See.

    It would be nice if more people would write the BBC and ask them to put out a correction in light of gross factual errors. I never did find a way to contact AFP. It seemed they wanted membership for that.

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