Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Opus Dei priest appointed spokesman on Newman before/during Pope's Visit to Britain; kto programme on Church in Great Britain

I learn from Damian Thompson (Holy Smoke) that the Opus Dei priest Jack Valero (a Spaniard?) has been appointed spokesman for the cause of Cardinal Newman before and during the Pope's visit to Britain this coming September. (Do we know exactly who appointed him?)

Damian makes no secret of the fact that he's not keen on Opus Dei. Now, let me make it plain that I am not a member of Opus Dei. and have absolutely no intention of such an allegiance. But I have reason to be deeply grateful to one of their London priests as a holy confessor on more than one occasion. I'll be honest and tell you, that influenced by all the brou-ha-ha about Opus Dei, and I might add, well before Dan Brown's excuse for a well researched novel, I was reluctant and a bit scared to go to him, as advised by my spiritual director, who isn't Opus Dei either. I was half-afraid they would try to recruit me. No such matter. My director was informed later, that there was no need because I already had a well-formed Benedictine spirituality This was meant in the sense of the Rule of Saint Benedict, and not our Pope, who at the time, was at least two years away from the Chair of St. Peter.

Damian's implication seems to be that Opus Dei is rich and can afford to back the kind of campaign we may well witness as September draws near, whereas our bishops can't. You know, some sort of deal has been done. Possibly it has, but I can tell you that I believe it's not so much about money, as about will, that is, known and proved will to support what the Holy Father is doing. And when it comes to the crunch, that's what Pope Benedict needs in this British situation. Opus Dei can be relied upon to provide that unswerving support. Why?

It is not just that Pope John Paull II made Opus Dei a personal Prelature. It goes back to their founder's loving support for the Papacy, see Pro Pontifice Maximo in the sidebar here. It doesn't matter what you think about Opus Dei, or their founder's fast-track canonisation, the fact is that they are loyal to the Pope, and to Benedict that matters hugely in the present circumstance. Since the SSPX business the media have largely forgotten about Opus Dei. They are not maniacal traditionalists. They are just carefully obedient.

I will never be a member of Opus Dei, nor do I wish to be. It has aspects with which I am certainly not comfortable, but I have to say I'm relieved that dealing with the Newman matter in the coming months has been put in their experienced, determined and reliable hands.

The kto programme on the Church in Great Britain?

This indicates to me that kto is gearing itself up for the Pope's visit. They really are trying to get to grips with our crazy situation. Not before time. Most ordinary French don't know the difference between a Catholic and an Anglican. In many rural districts, including my own, Anglicans have been allowed to conduct their liturgies in local Catholic churches. That is fine but nobody tells the catholic faithful that these are not Catholic Masses.

Anyway, unless you speak French, the programme won't enlighten you much, and even if you do, the interviewee Oratorian Fr Keith Beaumont speaks French so fast as to put your average native Francophone to shame!. I saw a few minutes of it tonight and he'd just got on to Elizabeth the First! The interviewer already had a glazed look! Know how you feel mon cher, in either language!

I found the interview just before supper and decided to leave a proper consideration until tomorrow, after which I'll post anything of specific interest to Anglophone readers.

In Christo pro Papa


epsilon said...

many thanks for this post - i've now got a link to kto on the side.
Am watching the Mass for Haiti at Notre Dame

pelerin said...

Thanks for the info on this programme Jane. Quite a delight to hear the English Priest talk with such ease and fluency in French! I did however find it rather strange that they did not interview an Anglican vicar as well for this programme especially when it came to explainig what Anglicans believed, but perhaps they could not find one who spoke French so well!

Yes it is surprising that even today the French are not sure what Anglicanism is and are surprised when they learn that some of us are indeed 'Cathos.' And as for explaining the differences between Great Britain, United Kingdom etc this usually leaves them mystified!

It was stated that the Pope will be coming in September and will beatify Cardinal Newman during his visit. I did not realise this had definitely been announced and presumably as the Priest did not deny that the Pope will be carrying out the beatification, this must be correct?

Interesting to learn that the Catholic population here is between 10 and 12%. I have been asked this a few times but never knew the answer!

Jane said...

Thanks Epsilon and Pelerin: It's cooking time here so will try to reply tomorrow.I think I can explain why the French don't understand our religious history and its results. Thank God, the H>F. DOES!!

A plutard!

Anonymous said...

You will probably find that the priest who directed you to Opus Dei was either a collaborator or the Opus Dei priest was his spiritual director. This is not disclosed and collaborating priests are not members of Opus Dei. The same thing happened to me and it has happened to others. No doubt you were found to be privately not a suitable candidate for Opus Dei for some reason or other and you wouldn't have known that you were being "sized up".