A French woman has brought charges against the controversial and secretive Catholic society Opus Dei, alleging that she was brainwashed into working as a domestic servant with virtually no pay. This would have been the story line if Silas had simply sued Bishop Aringarosa in The Da Vinci Code.
Catherine T. stated that she did not know she had joined an Opus Dei group when she joined a hoteliers’ school in northeastern France in 1985 at age 14. She later took vows and worked as a servant. She says that she was forced to work 14-hour days, seven days a week. What little money she made she says was taken for her room and board.
When her parents finally pulled her out of the school in 2001, she weighed only 86 pounds.
24 thoughts on “Opus Dei in Court”
Consumer Group Helps Student Suing CIA Over Opus Dei Records
Published June 01, 2011
Arguing that the CIA has no right to withhold records that are more than 30 years old, a watchdog group filed a motion this week seeking a federal court to compel the spy agency to reveal what it knows about the conservative Catholic group that is the stuff of legend.
Public Citizen is working on behalf of Harry Cason, a Ph.D. student at the City University of New York who filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the CIA in 2009 for research he was doing on the U.S. role in Spain’s Franco regime, where Opus Dei allegedly played some part.
But Cason decided to take the CIA to court in January after the agency partially denied his request by releasing more than 200 pages of records but refusing to confirm or deny the existence of other records.
The agency argued that acknowledging the existence of these records would tip the CIA’s hand on whether it has information about a covert operation or a confidential source — information that is not covered under FOIA.
But Public Citizen contended in the motion filed Monday that revealing whether the CIA possesses records which are between 31 and 64 years old would not compromise national security.
“The CIA should not be able to avoid the disclosure requirements of FOIA by making vague appeals to national security, completely divorced from the records requested in this case,” said Michael Page, an attorney for Public Citizen who is spearheading the case. “Not only are the records subject to automatic declassification because of their age, but it is implausible that the existence of a half-century-old interest in Opus Dei would undermine national security.”
Page added that acknowledging these records would not reveal the CIA’s intelligence capabilities.
“Whether the CIA had the ability to monitor Opus Dei before the Internet, cell phones and other modern technologies existed says nothing about the agency’s capabilities today,” he said.
One hopes French law is less deferential than US law is to religion; the plaintiffs in the Sea Org (Scientology) trial alleging a similar situation lost the case.
Opus Dei is an interesting organization. Opus Dei was organized in Spain. The Pope, any pope, is ex-officio the head of Opus Dei and is pretty much independant of local bishops. it has its own clergy much like any diocese would. The newly installed archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Horacio Gomez, was ‘ordained a priest of Opus Dei.’ Once he became a bishop he was no longer subject to Opus Dei and now works exclusively for the Vatican cleaning up the mess Mahony left behind.
You make excellent points but I must say I have heard of some frogs discussing Kant over an exquisite repast.
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