"Saint" José María Escriba y Albás

Opus Dei: “Reconciling” the City of God and the City of Man


Be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Escriba conceived the ideal Christian as a member of both the Heavenly and Earthly Cities, an allusion with clear Augustinian overtones particularly given the religious context in which these allusions were made, while in contrast St Augustine in City of God sets up an irreconcilable, radical antagonism between these two Cities – the City of God and the City of the Devil. This amounts to nothing less than an attempt to reconcile the Church with the liberal principles of the Revolution, so often condemned by the pre-Conciliar pontiffs. Sacred Scripture is filled with references to the fact that we are here on earth as pilgrims on our way to Heaven, and that therefore our “citizenship” is truly there: “But our conversation [i.e. “citizenship”] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 3:20) St Paul calls us as pilgrims here on earth to look up to heaven for our salvation, where Christ the King reigns. In Hebrews 11:13-16, St Paul mentions that the faith of the Patriarchs called them to confess their “status” of pilgrims here on earth while looking to the future divine promises to be fulfilled in Heaven, of which they were truly its citizens: All these died according to faith, not having received the promises, but beholding them afar off, and saluting them, and confessing that they are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. For they that say these things, do signify that they seek a country. And truly if they had been mindful of that from whence they came out, they had doubtless time to return. But now they desire a better, that is to say, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city [i.e. the “Heavenly City”].” Furthermore, St Paul associates the citizen of this world as the earthly man, while that of heaven as one attached to the heavenly things: “As was the earthly man, so also are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:48) For St Augustine in City of God (XV, 1) Cain, the fratricide, is the founder of the Earthly City (both from an exegetical and literal perspective, cf Genesis 4:17), while his murdered brother Abel belongs to the City of God; they are both therefore types for the reprobate and the predestinate, respectively. Using the exegetical possibilities of the animal-spiritual sequence alluded to in 1 Corinthians 15:46, Augustine comments that Cain, the founder of the Earthly City, represents those tainted by original sin (“evil and carnal”), while Abel is the type for the souls reborn in Christ (“good and spiritual”). While Cain is, “born a citizen of this world (saeculum)”, Abel is “an alien in this world (peregrinus in saeculo)…predestined by grace, chosen by grace, by grace an alien below, by grace a citizen above.” [1] In trying to reconcile the Heavenly and Earthly Cities, Escriba is therefore taking up the project of liberal Catholicism, which as we saw in Part II was described by Pius IX (lamenting the liberal takeover of France) as that, “which endeavours to unite two principles as repugnant to each other as fire and water.

The apologists of the Work will argue, of course, that Escriba’s insistence that the Christian should be a citizen of the Earthly City (otherwise described by its semantic equivalents, e.g. City of Man) simply means that he is calling on Catholics not to forego their responsibilities in the affairs of the secular world, whether it be in the political, economic, cultural, or any other field where they may have a positive influence. But such an explanation does not hold water, because Catholics – as Catholics, that is as pilgrims in this valley of tears – have always and everywhere been involved in the secular life of the world which surrounds them, and in the Spanish context in which the Work had its beginnings this was certainly also the case (Catholic movements actively attempting to turn the tide of the Revolution in either the political or religious realms were certainly not lacking). If Escriba felt an urgency to call on the world’s Catholics to be citizens of both Cities, that is simply because, in the sense in which he expressed these ideas, this was a call entirely novel to Catholic ears. That is, if he had expressed his ideas regarding the “City of Man” in any way which could have been construed according to an orthodox understanding already then in circulation, then he would have simply been stating the obvious. But we know that Catholics in the early days of Opus Dei recognized that Escriba was not merely “stating the obvious” because a suspicion of heresy hung over the “Founder” himself since the start, going as far as being denounced before the Holy Office, as we saw in Part I of this study. Therefore, Escriba’s talk of the two Cities must be understood within the liberal framework of ideas in which he expressed them, and it is through these “lenses” in which his insistence that Christians should also be members of the Earthly City should be understood. Escriba was conjuring up a new, revolutionary thesis of which his followers would later openly boast about, hence his calls for Catholics to take up now what had been condemned before – all of it hidden under a façade of “reactionary”, even “traditional” Catholicism that cunningly masked its revolutionary nature all the more efficaciously. Moreover, particularly in the context of Spanish Catholicism, Escriba would have been keenly aware of the deeply theologically charged nature of the concept of the “two Cities”. In the early stages of the Civil War the Spanish bishop (later Cardinal Primate) Enrique Plá y Deniel wrote a pastoral letters called, Las Dos Ciudades – “The two Cities”. Bishop Plá charged the communist-anarchist republican coalition of being “sons of Cain” – whose spiritual seed also constituted the members of the Earthly City according St Augustine.

In a letter from 1945, Esriba linked membership of both Cities with the priestly and fully lay outlook or mentality that he called on his followers to adopt: “In everything we do we must all of us (priests and lay people) have a truly priestly soul and a fully lay outlook, if we are to understand and use in our personal lives that freedom which we enjoy in the sphere of the Church and in temporal things, considering ourselves at one and the same time citizens of the CITY OF GOD and citizens of the CITY OF MAN.” [2] As Escriba expressed it in his infamous homily delivered at the University of Navarra from October 8, 1967, the locus for the unholy union of the Heavenly and the Earthly Cities in his followers must be the heart itself – the center of our deepest and most intimate desires, hopes, and aspirations: “Across the line of the horizon Heaven and Earth appear to merge. But no, where they truly merge is in your hearts, when you live in a holy manner ordinary life…”

In a letter from 1944 on the occasion of the first priestly ordination, Escriba highlighted the importance of the intimate union between the priestly soul and the lay mentality, calling it the “foundation” of the Work: “I want all of my children, priests and laity, to engrave firmly in your head and in your heart a reality that we cannot consider in any way as something merely external, but that is, on the contrary, the hinge and foundation of our divine vocation.” Escriba was thus drilling into the minds of his adepts that even priests too, were without doubt also members of the same “City of Man” he would allude to one year later. (God forbid his followers should have thought then priests are consecrated souls, set apart from the world for His divine service!) A later letter from 1955 further highlights the all-important link between the priestly and lay outlooks for members of Opus Dei, thus conflating the sacred and the profane similarly to Chardin in Le Milieu Divin as we saw in Part II: “Since the work of Opus Dei is eminently lay, and the priesthood informs the whole of Opus Dei with its spirit; and since the work of lay people and that of priests complement one another and mutually benefit each other, our vocation requires that all members of the Work manifest this intimate union between the two elements in such a way that each is to have a truly priestly soul and a fully lay mentality.” [3]

Christ was certainly not part of the lay “foundation” of the priestly apostolate in Opus Dei, because contrary to Escriba’s insistence that his priests adopt a strictly lay, secular mind-set – that is, that they be of the world, taking up a comfortable place amidst the Earthly City, He said: “If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you..” (John 15:19) From this we can reasonably argue that, Escriba, the priest passionately infatuated with the world, was spectacularly successful in spreading his apostolate in the post-war Catholic world because he was able to find an ever increasing number of Catholics ready to give an ear to Opus Dei’s priests who they could acclaim as “its own”. That is, priests offering lukewarm faithful (who were at the very least already tainted with modernist and liberal tendencies) a comfortable liberal spirituality that would not require them to be set apart from the world, and who were thus only too happy to join the Conciliar Church in its embrace of the Earthly City, particularly as set out in Gaudium et Spes. Escriba’s tirades against clericalism and his insistence that Christians be citizens of the two Cities seems to have had a long history: as far back as a letter from 1932, we find him denouncing the “clericalism” which purportedly runs roughshod over the legitimate rights of the State. These abuses must be, according to Escriba, corrected by means of “the laity, who feel that they are sons of God and citizens of the two Cities [!].” [4]

To those who have not yet given up on the Aristotelian principle of non-contradiction this attempt to reconcile the two radical opposites inherent in the two Cities seems like an absurd, impossible enterprise. In fact, as patently absurd as the attempt to conciliate the Church with the principles of the Revolution, which is to say, the Church with the liberal principles condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX (achieved by the Conciliar Church at Vatican II, according to Joseph Ratzinger), or in sum, to reconcile “Christ and Belial” (Leo XIII, Custodi Di Quella Fede, 1892). The reconciliation of opposites, coincidentia oppositorum, is a typically gnostic-Kabbalistic paradigm that in modern times was expounded at great length by the overtly neo-gnostic and Luciferian “psychologist” Carl Jung (who also took an avid interest in alchemy, incidentally). Following this gnostic-Kabbalistic paradigm, therefore, the Work and the Conciliar Church are working to be reconciled with the liberal principles of modern civilization such as it has been set up by the lodges. As regards the Catholic Church, this is an impossible task, of course, because we have Christ’s promise that the gates of Hell will never prevail over the Church. But the attempt at this reconciliation which Opus Dei and the modernists have been working on tirelessly for decades does not mean, of course, that this could not result in some grotesque parody of the authentic Church being set up by worldly, faithless men masquerading as “conservatives” but thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the world, or quite simply, by flaming liberals and explicit apostates of the Bergoglian variety no longer hiding under the mask of an ostensible orthodoxy.

Accordingly, in his homily from 1967 delivered at the University of Navarra (aptly titled by Opus Dei themselves as “Passionately Loving the World”), José María, viewing himself as both a citizen of the Earthly and Heavenly cities, criticizes those Christians who turn their backs upon the world and its spirit, that is, those whose worldview is still defined by the age old Christian spirit of contemptus mundi memorably expressed by Thomas à Kempis (“This is the highest wisdom: to despise the world and to aspire to the kingdom of Heaven.”):

When things are seen in this way, the Temple becomes the place par excellence of the Christian life; and being a Christian therefore means going to the temple, participating in the sacred ceremonies, being engrained in an ecclesiastical environment, a sort of segregated environment that presents itself as the antechamber of heaven, while the ordinary world walks its own path. The Christian doctrine, the life of grace, would therefore pass along as if barely touching the busy progression of human history, but without ever meeting it [directly].”

In the same homily, Escriba contrasts this purportedly erroneous view of Christianity (ordinarily associated by modernists as a “medieval mind-set” still attached to the principles of Scholasticism) with that of the laity he wishes to see formed in the Church, represented by the “man who knows that the world – and not only the temple – is the place of his encounter with Christ”, and is therefore someone who “loves that world.” Teilhard de Chardin in Le Milieu Divin similarly expressed concern that those Christians who (according to Escriba) remained in a “segregated environment” might stifle the course of human progress: “There was reason to fear, as we have said, that the introduction of christian perspectives might seriously upset the ordering of human action; that the seeking after, and waiting for, the kingdom of heaven might deflect human activity from its natural tasks, or at least entirely eclipse any interest in them.” [5]

The followers of Opus Dei must eschew anything that smacks too strongly of “clericalism” and have the spirit of the world engrained in their very bones, from which it follows that they must adapt all of their actions and demeanour to worldly standards. In the aforementioned 1967 homily Escriba also said, “NOTHING distinguishes my sons from his fellow citizens” (!). The ideal “Christian” for Escriba therefore should become as if a mirror image of the world which surrounds him, whose liberal values and mentality he will ultimately adopt, either wittingly or unwittingly. Escriba envisages an ideal “Christian” who in his comfortable adaptation to the world cannot possibly be the, “salt of the earth”, and who could neither let his, “light shine before men” so that seeing his good works others may “glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13,16). These are the same essential thoughts he had already expressed nearly thirty years before: “We must have a harsh piety, we must speak and act with the words and actions corresponding to an ordinary Christian who remains within the environment that surrounds him. We cannot separate ourselves from the world…. The habits of others must be our own. Let us therefore remove from our exterior [appearances] – in our language, in our conduct – any strange movement, that should make us stand out from the environment in which we must act.” [6]

It was also in his infamous 1967 homily when Escriba publicly manifested his passionate love for the world, “I AM A SECULAR PRIEST: PRIEST OF JESUS CHRIST, WHO LOVES PASSIONATELY THE WORLD. Vázquez de la Prada in his book El Fundador del Opus Dei [7] highlights this same aspect of the personality of the “Founder”: “He loved the world dearly.” Commenting on Psalm 44, verse 11 (“Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear: and forget thy people and thy father's house.”), St Robert Bellarmine says that the latter part of this passage refers to the fact that the Church, which has come out of the world, is to “forget” this world: “ forget thy people and thy father’s house,’ that you may the more freely serve your spouse, and forget the world and the things that belong to it, for the Church has been chosen from the world, and has come out from it; and though it is still in the world, it ought no more belong to it than does its spouse. By the world, is very properly understood the people who love the things of the world, which same world is the mansion of our old father Adam, who was driven into it from paradise. The word ‘forget’ has much point in it, for it implies that we must cease to love the world so entirely and so completely, as if we had totally forgotten that we were ever in it, or that it had any existence.

Similarly, the Argentinian Fr Julio Meinvielle [8] in La Iglesia y el Mundo Moderno (“The Church and the Modern World”) describes the genuine attitude that the Christian should adopt with respect to the world. In contrast to Escriba’s infatuation with the world, the Church exhorts us to, “despise worldly things and to love heavenly ones: ‘Terrena despicere et amare celestia’…” This rejection of the world, Fr Meinvielle says, “does not allude to an ontological but to a mystical contempt.” That is, the world itself as God’s creation (the ontological aspect, which is good) is not to be despised. The “mystical contempt” for the world refers to the Earthly City with its unholy trinity of allurements traditionally referred to as “the world, the devil, and the flesh.” This is the Earthly City that is ruled by “the god of this world”, that is Satan, who “hath blinded the minds of unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 4:4). This mystical contempt also refers, because of our fallen human nature, to the spiritual attitude adopted by the citizens of the Heavenly City who are most characteristically defined by, “the love of God, reaching to contempt of self” (City of God, XIV, 28). Meinvielle continues, “But this is a profound and total mystical contempt, as it is explained extensively and wisely by St John of the Cross in ‘The Ascent to Mount Carmel’, where he shows that the active and passive nights of the senses and the spirit imply a total emptying of the soul from any affection to creatures so that they can be filled only by God.”

José María’s passionate love for the world, very interestingly – but not at all surprisingly – finds a remarkable parallel in Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit heresiarch from whom he quite possibly plagiarized his apostolate of “sanctification” through work. In the introduction to Le Milieu Divin, Pierre Leroy, S. J., says: “People who were shocked by him never realised how deep lay the roots of this simultaneous love of God and of the world. ‘Throughout my whole life,’ he wrote, ‘during every moment I have lived, the world has gradually been taking on light and fire for me, until it has come to envelop me in one mass of luminosity, glowing from within… The purple flush of matter fading imperceptibly into the gold of spirit, to be lost finally in the incandescence of a personal universe.’ ” [9] The ontological basis for his ardent love of the world appears to be his pantheistic conflation of the world with Christ, and given the similarity, even identity between Chardin’s and Escriba’s conception of “sanctification” through we work (as we described in Part III of this study), we believe there is good reason to believe this would equally apply to Escriba. Dom Georges Frenaud, in his work Pensée Philosophique et Religieuse du Pere Teilhard de Chardin reports a letter from Chardin to the early Modernist Maurice Blondel where he writes: “Christ must be loved as a World, or rather as the World, that is to say, as the physical centre imposed on everything that must survive from Creation.” [10]

“Saint” José María Escriba y Albás became perhaps the first and only priest in modern history to literally buy a title of nobility (“Marquis of Peralta”) to which he could not make any legitimate claim whatsoever based on his family ancestry. Does this scandalous fact indicate that he actually believed, that above all, the Christian striving for sanctity should despise worldly things and love heavenly ones: Terrena despicere et amare celestia, as the Church exhorts all Christians, or that he was more concerned with accumulating the vain honours and titles granted by the Earthly City? We believe rather that this was the very practical consequence of the radically liberal lay mentality of a proud man who proclaimed before a global audience to loving “passionately” the world, and in practical terms called on his followers to do likewise through his obsessive calls for them to adopt a liberal attitude of openness and reconciliation with the world.

Can Escriba’s embrace of the Earthly City possibly be viewed as a tertium quid for the Christian? According to the Augustinian vision, such a “third” path embracing both Cities is not possible, and thus Johannes van Oort in Jerusalem and Babylon says: “Not once did Augustine mention an independent, neutral area between the two cities, a city of man. But he did repeat emphatically that there are only two cities.” [11] So, although in an ontological sense there are indeed only two cities, in the present world or age (hoc saeculum), they are intermingled and it is only in the last judgment that they will be separated (Matthew 13:30) and their radical anti-thesis will be fully revealed. Further, Augustine uses saeculum in a pejorative sense, and indeed this world is anti-thetical to the future one. [12] While, as has been noted, there is no neutral area between the two cities, nevertheless, Opus Dei (and the adepts of the Conciliar Church) pretend that they can “stand” somewhere in the middle as neutral agents between the City of God and the City of the Devil, engaging in “dialogue” (eg ecumenical or political) and “cooperation” with the forces working against the Church and Christ, in the financial, political, cultural, and even pseudo-“scientific” fields. All of these misguided efforts would be carried towards the construction of the Wojtylian and Utopian “Civilization of Love” without Christ and the Church as its sole foundation. In reality, this embrace of the two Cities is an attempt to “baptize” modern civilization, or put another way, the Revolution, whose daughter it is. And as we noted earlier in Part II, Msgr Delassus in L’Américanisme et la Conjuration Antichrétienne writes that this is nothing else than the work of men of weak faith who do not believe that our faith can indeed “overcome the world” (1 John 5:4), while calling on Christians to take up the banner of Pius IX’s Syllabus as the anti-dote to reverse the course of the Revolutionary principles infiltrating into the Church [13]. It is possible that the Dragon in Revelation 12:17 who stands on the shores of the sea – neither fully in the land (representing the solidity and sure ground of the faith), nor fully in the sea (representing the turbulent forces of the world and its nations working against the Church) is an image of the Dragon who must gather up forces whose origin lies in both Cities (because, as we have pointed out, there is no tertium quid) before he can finally conjure up the Beast rising out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). In other words, this eschatological event will not happen until a pseudo-religious movement arises comprising characteristics of both Cities, which will occur when the consummation of the “marriage” between the Earthly City and a parody or satanic counterfeit of the City of God takes place. The liberal, modernist spirit and gnosis of the post-Conciliar Revolution that seeks to reconcile the City of God and the City of Man, which includes the spirituality of the Work and Vatican II, therefore, appear as key instruments leading up to Revelation 13:1

The sad reality of history clearly demonstrates that compromise with the modern world (that is, the Earthly City) leads to the utter decomposition of Christian civilization. Hence, when Escriba proudly called himself a citizen of the City of God and City of Man, wishing to embrace both poles in an attempt as absurd as trying to square the circle, whether he realized it or not, he was moving Christian civilization precisely towards this rot and decay. The insidious infiltration of Opus Dei in Spanish society during the Franco regime, which initially emerged out of the civil war with a spirit of unprecedented religious fervour not seen perhaps in centuries, is a testament to the “rotting” influence of attempting to reconcile Christian civilization with liberalism. According to María Angustias Moreno in La Otra Cara del Opus Dei, government ministers for Franco’s cabinetmore often than not holding the most important posts were routinely selected out of the central office of Opus Dei in Madrid and delivered to the Generalísimo for approval. Opus Dei personally took it upon themselves to ensure that the Franco regime faithfully put the Conciliar revolution into practical action, and accordingly, member Laureano López Rodó, who at one point held the important post of minister of foreign affairs in an audience with Franco from December 15, 1965 insisted that: “The reforms demanded by the Conciliar documents is a banner that we cannot allow to be taken away from us.” [14] Let us see what the erudite Fr Meinvielle had to say about the long-lasting influence of Opus Dei in Spain:

The anti-communist Crusade of ‘36 was the most promising hope [for constructing a Christian state in Europe], where ‘requetés’ [(infantrymen of the traditionalist ‘Carlist’ monarchical movement)] and Falangists opposed with the bravery of lions the judeo-communist advance, stopping then this danger over Western Europe.  But it was then when the Jewish people learned only one lesson: the Hispanic race is invincible only, and only if confronted head-on. It can be betrayed if one succeeds in providing a properly dosed treatment of ‘Christianity and modern world’, with which, under the appearance of apostolate, the viruses against religion and patriotism are inoculated. Such was to be the mission of ‘Opus Dei’ in Franco's Spain. The heroic Spain of ‘36 has been utterly brutalized and debased and, today in the decade of the 70's, has been completely gained over for the Jewish world.” [15]

Perhaps there is no better example which demonstrates the practical outcome of the liberal, non-confessional mentality of the Work than its political action behind the scenes during the last years of the Franco regime. Here we find that the very prominent numerary Rafael Calvo Serer – personally known by the “Founder” – was one of the most significant personalities in the so called “Transición” (“Transition”) which transitioned Spain from a so called “dictatorship” to a liberal-style “constitutional” and “democratic” monarchy entirely founded on the principles of the Revolution. This action led to the formation of the “Junta Democrática”, a conglomeration of political movements and intellectuals looking to take the political initiative in post-Franco Spain, in which the two most influential figures were the leader of the Spanish Communist Party, Santiago Carrillo, and Opus Dei numerary Rafael Calvo Serer. It is not merely that these two figures happened to be “founding” members of the same political movement (and that would have been bad enough), but it is something more than that: they were the two most visible figures actually cooperating in friendly terms towards the same liberal vision for Spain. This cooperation was visibly seen in quite explicit terms for all the world to see on July 29, 1974 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Paris when the “Junta Democrática” was first launched in a press conference. Both Carrillo and Calvo Serer presided over the event as they sat next to each other, thus showing their unity of intention, and were also seen standing next to each other shoulder to shoulder, as can be seen in the photo below:


Santiago Carrillo (left) and Rafael Calvo Serer (right) standing shoulder to shoulder during the presentation of the "Junta Democrática"

To fully understand the sinister significance of these images and this remarkable event one must bear in mind that the Communist onslaught less than forty years earlier during the Civil War had presided over the greatest massacre of Christians in Spain since the Diocletian persecutions, exhibiting a level of hatred towards anything Christian matching anything seen during the Bolshevik revolution, and in some cases perhaps even exceeding it. At least, the fratricidal element in the Spanish Civil war was arguably greater than during its Russian counterpart, which involved an overwhelming Jewish majority in the Bolshevik party structures presiding over the persecution of the Orthodox faithful. In Spain, it was generally a case of former Catholics overseeing the cruel persecution of their former brethren with a level of hatred reminiscent of the Jacobin persecution of the Catholics of the Vendée. And yet here was a very prominent Opus Dei numerary, during the “Founder’s” own lifetime, actively cooperating with communists whose hands were still drenched in the blood of Spanish Christian martyrs for the liberal self-destruction of Spain. Fr Meinvielle’s assessment of the insidious influence of Opus Dei in Spain was confirmed here – an event that occurred after his death, which according to some occurred under suspicious circumstances –, utterly and completely. Calvo Serer’s actions must necessarily have been carried out with the implicit or explicit blessing of the “Father”, because as past experience had shown such as in the case of numerary priest Raimundo Pannikar, anyone who dared to step “out of line” from the directives issued by Opus Dei was promptly “excommunicated” from the sect. Escriba could quietly sit back and smile in his office at Opus Dei headquarters in Rome while he let Calvo Serer free reign to work towards the dismemberment of Catholic Spain, all in the name of the holy “liberty” which Escriba purportedly guaranteed his followers in order to engage in whatever political movements they deemed worthwhile. Thus in the name of a liberal Catholicism Opus Dei sees no problem cooperating with those partaking of the Utopian, anti-Christian dreams of modernity, and hence Bernal says that: “Since the Work's beginnings, and not only since the Council, they have tried to practice a liberal ["abierto", i.e. "open"] Catholicism that defends the legitimate freedom of consciences leading to relations of fraternal charity with all men, whether Catholic or not, and to collaborate with everyone, [thereby] taking part in the various noble dreams that move humanity.” [16] In this 1974 meeting of the “Junta Democrática”, the practical meaning of Opus Dei’s somewhat opaque lay and liberal “theology” was thus demonstrated: Escriba was quite happy to see his Work embrace the most hostile forces of the Earthly City – the Communist party – all under the pretext of working towards the liberalization and “democratization” of Spain after Franco’s death. It was the adulterous “marriage” of a purportedly Catholic movement with the City of the Devil. As we have already pointed out referencing Msgr Delassus, such action is the work of faithless men who do not believe in the power of our faith to overcome the world (1 John 5:4), or perhaps, who simply do not wish that it do so because they are content to be and remain as citizens of the Earthly City themselves. The opaqueness and heterodox colouring of the teachings of Opus Dei, much like those of Vatican II, are best interpreted by carefully scrutinizing their praxis and action; to demonstrate the clear validity of this, even John Paul II later admitted that the apostasy at Assisi in 1986 visibly and tangibly communicated to the Catholic world was the practical consequence of the Conciliar “magisterium”. Similarly, the political meddling of Opus Dei in the last years of the Franco regime and during the post-Franco years which led to the revolutionary transformation of Spain from an officially Catholic country to one where liberalism reigned supreme is the practical consequence of Escriba’s radically liberal, non-confessional lay apostolate.

Opus Dei was therefore one of the main actors moving a Spain that was admittedly in the process of Catholic disintegration – but nevertheless, still retaining for the most part its Catholic essence – towards a country officially constituted on the basis of a lay, liberal political existence. However, Spain, perhaps more than any other nation, due to its history is defined almost ontologically by its Catholicism. Many have argued that once Spain loses the faith which gave it birth, the essence of Spain disappears; what remains is a shell of its former self, a mere political entity known by that name. The Bishop of Salamanca, Enrique Plá y Deniel, author of the pastoral letter, Las Dos Ciudades (30 de septiembre de 1936), “The Two Cities” in support of the nationalist uprising against the forces of anarcho-communism and basing himself on texts from St Robert Bellarmine and Thomas Aquinas had defined the national conflict as a crusade (which was confirmed later by Pius XII). (We note the Augustinian theme of the two Cities which serves as the overarching theme for his arguments.) In the letter, he had described “the communists and anarchists” as “sons of Cain, fratricides of their brothers, envious of those who honour virtue and for that they are murdered and martyred,” and further stating bluntly that “a secular Spain is no longer Spain.” [17] Cardinal Gomá of Toledo, primate of Spain, in his pastoral letter from 23 November (“El Caso de España”) expressed himself in similar terms: “This extremely cruel war is fundamentally a war of principles, of doctrines, one concept of life and society against another, of one civilization against another. It is a war that the Christian and Spanish spirit is carrying out against this other spirit – if it can be called a spirit – which would like to merge all that is human, from the heights of human thinking to the smallest details of daily living, within the mold of Marxist materialism.”

Adolfo Suarez, an Opus Dei member with an insatiable lust for power, presided over the “masonization” of Spain after Franco’s death, beginning with the legalization of the communist party and Freemasonry in 1978, and promptly followed in the following years by the legalization of divorce (this, not merely with the acquiescence, but with the complicity of a modernist hierarchy) and abortion. Fr Meinvielle’s assessment of a Spain in 1973 de facto politically dominated by Opus Dei, still during the era of Franco’s regime, actually fell extremely short of the moral, political, and even (following as a necessary consequence) economic decay that would follow in a few short years. Today, according to official statistics, less than 60% of Spaniards identify as Catholics, which of course is no indication with regards to how many among that percentage actually believe, let alone practice the real faith. Today, amidst rampant apostasy, a crumbling economy, and widespread corruption – both moral and political – Spain is rushing at break neck speed towards becoming a Venezuelan style, corrupt socialist dictatorship. St Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique said that the Sillon, which sought to reconcile the Gospel with the Revolution [18], brought “socialism in its train”. The fundamental premise which underlies this statement proved to be prophetically true in the case of Spain: a host of modernist “Catholic” groups endorsing the same liberal principles of the Sillon (“The Neo-Catechumenal Way”, radical Jesuits, etc, but most prominently Opus Dei, of course, largely due to its financial and political weight) and a hierarchy permeated by the modernist spirit of Vatican II have been responsible for spearheading the liberal, revolutionary transformation of Spain from a bastion of Catholicism into a modernist wasteland where Freemasonic principles reign supreme, so that they, just like the Sillon, have indeed brought “socialism” as part of the same liberal “train”.


1.     Augustine’s City of God – A Reader’s Guide, Gerard O’Daly, Oxford University Press, 2020, p 190.

2.     Josemaría Escrivá, Letter of February 2, 1945, no. 1, cited by Jose Luis Illanes, “The Church in the world: the secularity of the members of Opus Dei”, in Opus Dei in the Church, p. 165

3.     Letter, March 28, 1955, no. 3. cited in The Canonical Path of Opus Dei, p. 271.

4.     “Es preciso, hijos míos, combatir estos dos abusos por medio de seglares, que se sientan y sean hijos de Dios y ciudadanos de las dos Ciudades, etc” (Escriba y Albás, letter from 9-I-1932)

5.     Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu, p 64.

6.     Crecer para adentro: LAS BODAS DE CANÁ (11-VII-1937).

7.     Vázquez de la Prada, Opus Dei, Rialp, p. 420.

8.     Fr. Julio Meinvielle (1905-1973), author of works such as De Lammenais a Maritain, La Cosmovisión de Teilhard de Chardian, is perhaps best known in the Hispanic world for his important work describing the gnostic influence in progressivism, De La Cábala al Progresismo [“From the Kabbalah to Progressivism”].

9.     Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu, p 13.


11.  Jerusalem and Babylon – A Study of Augustine’s City of God and the Sources of his Doctrine of the Two Cities, Johannes van Oort, Brill, 1990, p. 151.

12.  Ibid, p. 152.

13.  L’Américanisme et la Conjuration Antichrétienne, Msgr Henri Delassus, p 383.

14.  Las reformas exigidas por los documentos conciliares es una bandera que no podemos dejarnos arrebatar.” (López Rodó, 1990, 591), Extracted from Santos y Pillos by Joan Estruch.

15.  In 1974, the “Dictio” publishing house edited in a single volume three works of Fr Meinvelle: La concepción católica de la política, Los tres pueblos bíblicos en su lucha por la dominación del mundo and El comunismo en la Argentina. The cited segment is found in p. 292 of the mentioned single volume.

16.  Opus Dei, Peter Berglar, p. 247.

17.  Bishop of Salamanca Enrique Plá y Deniel, pastoral letter Las Dos Ciudades (30 de septiembre de 1936): “los comunistas y anarquistas”…“hijos de Cain, fratricidas de sus hermanos, envidiosos de los que hacen un culto a la virtud y por ello les asesinan y les martirizan”…“una España laica ya no es España.”

18.  St Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique: “…leur idéal étant apparenté à celui de la Révolution, ils ne craignent pas de faire entre l’Évangile et la Révolution des rapprochements blasphématoires qui n’ont pas l’excuse d’avoir échappé à quelque improvisation tumultueuse.”