The new head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will have a lot of power to wield in Washington DC, on the media, as well as in decision making about priorities and other matters for the bishops to follow individually and as a group. For this reason it is truly alarming that a person immersed in Opus Dei is now occupying this prominent position.
Again, with no rancor to him personally (because I do not know him personally and my faith tells me to love everyone including enemies) I pose questions I hope Bishop Gomez will respond to–first in his own soul. And then to his fellow pastors and Catholics. And then to Americans as a whole. For he holds a very prominent and influential position.
Bishop Gomez: The founder of your sect, Father Escriva, worked while still alive to pile up awards for himself and even to prepare for his self-canonization. This is truly remarkable and unprecedented. Do you respect him for pushing for his own canonization while he was alive? Should others emulate him? Do you think this is what “holiness” means?
Your founder Escriva praised Hitler. Why did he do that? Do you praise Hitler? Do other Opus Dei affiliates like William Barr for example praise Hitler?
Do you understand why some of us are very nervous that you and the Opus Dei sect you represent are nervous about your being in the position you are in?
Your founder, in addition to being profoundly misogynist, was also deeply homophobic.
Are you homophobic? Will the American Catholic church, with you as head, carry on homophobia? Have you and your fellow bishops read the scientific conclusions about homosexuality published back in the 1970’s that instruct us that homosexuality is perfectly natural for about 8 % of any given human population (and we have counted 464 other species with gay and lesbian populations)?
Speaking of homosexuality, have you studied the recent book In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy?
It tells the sordid story of gay bishops and members of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the “Holy Inquisition). During the day, they put out documents condemning homosexuality for the ‘faithful’ but at night are acting out either with their male lovers or with prostitutes.
The sin is not their being gay; it is being self-hating gays who have to lord over others out of their self-hatred. And their utter hypocrisy. And their cynicism. And acting it out in drives for power.
Escriva promoted a “spiritual practice” that his followers beat and abuse their bodies as he supposedly did.
Do you teach people to be self-hating about their bodies and their sexuality?
See Matthew Fox, “Review of Frederic Martel’s In The Closet of the Vatican“ in Tikkun Magazine.
Also Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War, chapter 6, “Opus Dei,” pp. 106-124.
And Matthew Fox, Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality, pp. 149-152.
Banner Image: Catholic Bishops at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), 2019 Spring meetings in Baltimore, Tuesday, Jun 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Queries for Contemplation
Do you “cherish your body” and encourage others to do so?
The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic christianity. Matthew Fox presents insights from his 12-year, up-close-and-personal battle with Ratzinger, tracing the historical roots of degradation in the Church and offering a new way to understand why Benedict XVI is now mired in crisis as Pope. Fox then outlines his vision for a new Catholicism-one that is not Vatican-based but truly universal, celebrating critical thinking, diversity, and justice.
Matthew Fox renders Thomas Aquinas accessible by interviewing him and thus descholasticizing him. He also translated many of his works such as Biblical commentaries never before in English (or Italian or German of French). He gives Aquinas a forum so that he can be heard in our own time. He presents Thomas Aquinas entirely in his own words, but in a form designed to allow late 20th-century minds and hearts to hear him in a fresh way. The result is exciting!