Supreme Court Judges Sharing an Opus Dei Seal of Approval

To understand the goings on in SCOTUS today, you must understand Opus Dei, a fascist organization in the Roman Catholic Church.  Why?

Leonard Leo, Federalist Society co-chairman and board member of Opus Dei’s Catholic Information Center, facilitated the appointment of Supreme Court justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Federalist Society.

Because the person who forwarded five names to the senate for approval as supreme court judges is Leonardo Leo, who is an out of the closet Opus Dei operative.  It was he who pushed Mitch McConnell to nominate Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett for SCOTUS.  He is also “closest friends” with Clarence Thomas and has been called “one of the most powerful figures in the United States.”*

Leo is executive vice president of the Federalist Society and co-director of the board of directors of “Catholic Information Center” which is a right-wing Catholic think tank in Washington DC that raises millions of dollars to promote conservative judges.  The Charles Koch Foundation is heavily involved also, having given $30 million to the cause; so too is the NRA. 

I have studied Opus Dei and its founder  who was a fascist Spanish priest and ally of dictator Franco.  He was rushed into canonization under Pope JP II faster than any “saint” in history.  He also “connived” in his own canonization before he died—the only “saint” I ever heard of who did that.** 

“The 10 tactics of fascism,” by Yale professor and author Jason Stanley. Video by Big Think

Opus Dei is about control, not freedom.  Theocracy, not democracy.  Part of fascist ideology is that it is fitting that men have control over women’s bodies (my book documents this).  Indeed, control is what fascism and Opus Dei are all about. 

Mussolini defined fascism as the “marriage of corporations and government” and we are seeing that play out in the current SCOTUS where environmental rights take second place to corporate power; and voting rights get gutted in favor of dark money from very dark corporations (NRA and Koch brothers among them).

“After Which Failed Pregnancy Should I Have Been Imprisoned?” U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (D.,GA) tells the House Judiciary Committee her experience of reproductive care following a stillbirth. Democracy Now!

And the Supreme Court itself becomes a cesspool of religious ideology ignoring the pluralism of American culture in favor of a far right version of evangelical and Roman Catholic Christianity committed to anti-abortion fanaticism.

Susan Sontag defines fascism as “institutional violence”– which is surely what is happening where states are bent on locking up women for miscarriages, inciting bounty hunters to chase pregnant women, forcing women and girls to term even if they have been raped or victims of incest, threatening doctors with jail terms.  Cruelty rules and Institutional Violence is alive and well thanks to this unsupreme court.

*  And Whitehouse Remarks on the Federalist Society and Leonard Leo | U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island

**From Michael Walsh, Opus Dei: An Investigation into the Secret Society Struggling for Power within the Roman Catholic Church (SF: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992), p.195.  Cited in Fox (below), pp. 117ff.

See Matthew Fox, “Opus Dei,” in Fox, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved,” pp. 106-124.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Matthew apologizes for mistakenly associating Leonardo Leo with the Heritage Foundation rather than the Federalist Society in his video teaching.

Banner Image: Active members in the Federalist Society (L-R Top): Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito (Bottom) Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett. Composite image from official Supreme Court portraits on Wikimedia Commons.

Queries for Contemplation

Have you heard of Mr. Lee, “one of the most powerful figures in the United States” before?  And Opus Dei?  Why do you think fascism is so attractive to many “religious” people and to many others in our time?  Doesn’t it seem to be the opposite of what Jesus taught about the poor, the oppressed, love and justice?

Recommended Reading

The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved

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.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.”   — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

21 thoughts on “Supreme Court Judges Sharing an Opus Dei Seal of Approval”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Our Queries for Contemplation today are especially important for us to think about in light of what is happening in our country right now. You ask: “Have you heard of Mr. Lee, ‘one of the most powerful figures in the United States’ before? And Opus Dei?” Yes, you have spoken of him before, and of his influence on the selection of Supreme Court Justices, his friendship with Clarence Thomas, his being Vice President of the the Federalist Society and co-director of the board of directors of “Catholic Information Center,” which is a right-wing Catholic think tank in Washington DC. But most of all that he is one of the top operatives for Opus Dei.
    “Why do you think fascism is so attractive to many ‘religious’ people and to many others in our time?” First of all you share that Susan Sontag defines fascism as “institutional violence”– and which you say “is surely what is happening where states are bent on locking up women for miscarriages, inciting bounty hunters to chase pregnant women, forcing women and girls to term even if they have been raped or victims of incest, threatening doctors with jail terms. Cruelty rules and Institutional Violence is alive and well thanks to this unsupreme court.” And I totally agree!
    “Doesn’t it seem to be the opposite of what Jesus taught about the poor, the oppressed, love and justice?” It seems exactly the opposite, and Opus Dei seems worse than the Pharisees and Sadducees–in fact, not even as tolerant as the Romans. And in terms of the poor and oppressed the unsupreme court justices seem deft to their cries, and are not about to “do justice” concerning these issues.

    You write: “I have studied Opus Dei and its founder who was a fascist Spanish priest and ally of dictator Franco. He was rushed into canonization under Pope JP II faster than any “saint” in history.” Who is this saint ???

  2. Avatar

    Opus Dei is obviously the extreme of another historically unbalanced patriarchal institution such as the church. Unfortunately, humanity has been plagued by many toxic patriarchal societies and institutions with all their destructive consequences such as war, racism, sexism, social inequities, poverty, environmental destruction, and many other personal/social evils and behavior that continue to cause so much human suffering… I’m sure our Personal Creator continues to be saddened by our continued ignorance and slow evolution of the consciousness, heart, and free will that God has given to His~Her children in spite of the many blessings bestowed upon us with All of ongoing Creation. Maybe as many spiritual teachers and spirit guides seem to be saying, humanity and Mother Earth are going through a dark night of spiritual transition or shift in our personal and collective evolution. Personally and in our small earthly spiritual communities (including our larger spiritual multidimensional communities of spirit guides and Angels), we can maintain our faith/trust in God’s
    Spirit of Love~Wisdom~Truth~Peace~Justice~Creativity~Power~Mercy~Compassion~Oneness….to continue to be Present within and among us in the evolution of our eternal souls… our Beloved Cosmic Christ Consciousness….

  3. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    The depth in which we have been descending… into the darkness… and the complexities of all that lies hidden within the shadows… that humanity is now collectively in the midst of struggling with… and the thick, black, tar like debris floating to the surface… is dare I say, the seeping and seething vapour of HELL on EARTH.


  4. Avatar

    Painful as it is, we need to know the truth, and I am grateful to Matthew for his courage in continuing to speak out. Clearly, the court is being run by a cult, as are many of our states. As a friend reminded me the other day, we are now a third world country. It is hard but it is necessary to keep the faith and do what we can. A friend is a midwife and one of her high risk clients asked her, would she be saving her life or the baby’s? I can remember my Catholic friends growing up explaining that if there were a choice between the life of the mother or the life of the baby, that the baby would be saved. I do not know if that was actual doctrine but it was their understanding back in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. So back we come to all the horrors of those decades.

  5. Avatar

    Perhaps we first need to face the collective dark night of the soul, which we are certainly going through right now, so that acknowledging it and knowing that God is there with us, we are less afraid. My friend says that facing our current landscape is like entering a harrowing shadowland, terrified that we will be blown to bits there–until we recognize that the Spirit of God is there with us. Then, having wholly entered, we discover that God is indeed with us. The landscape is less scary than we thought because, in fact, we are not alone, and there is a way out–but that is to go through it, not avoid it. We have to go through the dark night of the soul, not escape it.

    Nonetheless, Like Joe (yesterday) and Damian and Jeanette (today), perhaps we do need to come up for air and learn more of the spiritual practices that help us to carry on in our letter-writing, and sign-carrying, and other forms of dissent and activism. The Opus Dei justices are thundering head-splitting music in their recent, horrendous declarations. We can barely hear anything else–certainly not the sonatas of the three dissenting justices. Every morning after reading the NYTimes and these essays, I meditate and chant with Sounds of the Eternal, John Philip Newell’s Celtic Psalter. Perhaps here in these daily meditations too, after the avalanche of wicked decisions from this Court, we need to come up for air as suggested by Joe, Damian, and Jeanette. Suggestions of additional Via Positiva and Via Creativa spiritual practices at this point could be really helpful.

    1. Avatar

      Dear Michele, (and apologies for being straight forward. Times they are urgent ) do not dismiss that coming up for air might mean becoming “woke”. I hear you and a searching query and it reminds me of a time in my journey in which I felt I was a good person but didn’t know what to do beyond that, I had not truly challenged the lies about what it means to be “good” without being truly egalitarian and painfully honest and willing to give up a sense of security in a limited sphere for a sense of greater understanding even if it means displacement. We are all outliers and outsiders who seek a greater peace and justice. Many more are needed who seek this. If I hear your words rightly, I wish you courage to take a leap in your thinking.

  6. Avatar

    Again, nowhete in biblical history do I read of the collective, or its lawmakers and rulers being redeemed. It’s always a remnant, always the ‘least,’ always the countercultural voice of an awakened minority crying in the wilderness of lies and deceit. And paying a heavy price for it. Regarding those who walk in darkness and the shadow of death (the collective), the message for the redeemed is “come out from among them and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.” Such is neither elitism or separatism, but wisdom. Speaking truth to unreceptive error, hardened hearts and rightest power mainly hardens it, spikes it’s resolve exponentially. (When sun shines on wax, it softens it. But when it shines on mud, it hardens it). Cast not your pearls before swine. The “air” we need to breathe deeply is the pure air (pneuma) of Spirit, just to keep and cleanse our spirits, keeping our uncontaminated wits about us in union and communion. All else are overcome by the toxic fumes of deception, much of it spewed from the airwaves, becoming a stench in the nostrils of the Lord. God is not in that. America is not a Christian nation, never has been, not en toto; been on the wrong side of history since WWII – is now almost thoroughly heathen. Trump has been out of office going on two years, and there’s more than enough evidence to criminally prosecute him, yet no punitive consequences are implemented. And the media keeps headlining him in its frenzied thirst to broadcast the detailed fallout of his sinister deeds. Enough already, it’s overkill, how much more evidence is needed? That he came to power in the first place is an indictment, less against him, than of the electorate who put him there. Shame on them. (It was the same with Hitler, and Germany has still not lived it down.) So much for the foolish collective. Not only that, but get ready, (or get active) because there’s a better than 50% chance that the collective will again vote him into office. With regard to the serial predictability of global darkness, said Solomon, “there is nothing new under the sun,” just the same things, the same patterns of darkness, vanity, futility, and foolishness repeating themselves re: the dominance of the power elite among the nations of the world across generations, an indictment against the mesmerized who allow it to happen. If there’s anything new under the sun regarding the strains of evil that have risen to power in the world, especially of late, is that they have mutated, virus/like, become more virulent, more resistant to the “vaccines” of truth talkers. And along more deceptive political, military, and religious lines. Recall, Jesus declared that darkness (the tares) will increase and ripen, as will the minority of spiritually enlightened (the wheat) over the timeline of world history, with both growing alongside one another “until the harvest.” Only then will the great separation occur, sovereignly arranged and determined. If Jesus is to be believed, the world is in for an increase in the powers of darkness until the latter approaches critical mass. Either that, or Jesus and Paul were not speaking from authority in uttering those words.

    1. Avatar

      Your words and you faith are moving. I would just note that the Hebrew Scriptures address the community as a whole. I understand your points about the remnant, but I do not take Revelation literally. It may be that humanity is doomed, but we must have hope–someone said that hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up. And hope carves a path or a road where there was not one before. It is true that people in power will not willingly give it up, and will fight every inch of the way. There may continue to be violence, and who knows what will result. But I believe that we must all continue to practice our spiritual habits and strengthen our spiritual muscles and stay in that fight against princes and principalities as long as we have breath. Already, the forces of evil have gone too far, and I hope that more and more ordinary people will be so disgusted and revolted that there is a shift. I won’t see it, but I pray that my grandchildren may.

      1. Avatar

        There is hope, Sue, but spiritual truth and awakening isn’t for everybody. I’m a student of world history, biblical history, and being in the social sciences, schooled in human behavior and what makes for effective change. Leopards don’t change their spots, save by divine intervention/ordination. “The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rm. 8:7). Are you ready to disagree with the one book of Scripture and apostle who diagnosed the plague of man’s natural (dark side) condition more skillfully and eloquently than any other? And who was beheaded for it? The gospel doesn’t tickle ears, it challenges hardened hearts, and winnows chaff from wheat. No place for the fainthearted. As for the Bible, I’m certainly no literalist, but for students of it, it is a history of the kingdom of God, like it or not. And it’s revelation is more than just metaphor, or as a Peter stated, more than just a “cunningly devised fable.” One doesn’t get to pick and choose the recorded words of Christ, especially in the Synoptics, just because they’re unpleasant, or because you don’t like or disagree with them. Like fine paintings, they stand in judgement of you, not the reverse. This is why “many turned away,” because it’s truths and rigors were too hard for them, too unpleasant. Everybody wants to go to heaven, Sue, or have a strong sense they’re well on their way, but nobody wants to die, or develop the self-discipline necessary to die to the false self. “These are hard sayings,” said his followers, “who can keep them?” And so many walked away. In that regard, nothing has changed. Human depravity and original blessing are twinned polar expressions of the same energy, used for good in one instance, for evil in the other. They deserve equal time. Last I checked, the dark side is currently holding sway, gaining in power, as it often does. So much so, Matthew has shifted gears of late to attend to it. The bright side does and will rally, usually in fits and starts, in this divine dance of opposing forces. Sort of like in WWF wrestling, where first one guy is allowed to have the upper hand, and then the other, alternately, just like darkness and light. But the outcome is determined beforehand, prearranged. Goliath couldn’t be David to save his butt, despite the odds, not even on his best day. There’s your hope, Sue. It’ll be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, like now, it’s not the end.

  7. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    The really challenging task, which I am sensing as of late… is learning how to stay centered, grounded and balanced in and amidst the dualities of the “WHAT IS”, within the souls journey of experiencing life, here on earth. Acceptance is the subtle fragrant scent, that keeps rising to the surface.

    I see now, how niave I have often been… believing that all these paradoxal, contradicting dualities would somehow come to an end… and that harmony and peace would eventually emerge, rising like a Phoenix from the ashes, becoming the new and long awaited norm… if we could but just spiritually awaken and consciously make the choices to bring this unfolding evolution about.

    I’m slowly beginning to understand that neutrality is not the absence of duality, nor is the acceptance of “WHAT IS”, a defeat… but rather they are the fulcrum point that unconditional love, compassion and mercy… graciously, vulnerably and precariously balances, grounds and centers oneself… amidst the tensions. The image that arises is that of the Cross, yet, with a much more depth to its metophorical meaning.

  8. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    There was a les secretive move by the Catholic hierocracy to take control of women’s bodies the Opus Dei. It was Pope Paul the VI in his encyclical, Humanae Vitae that put a ban on the use of contraceptives for all Catholics. He “prophesied” that there would be four consequences from allowing contraceptives: 1) General lowering of moral standards, 2) Rise of infidelity and illegitimacy, 3) Reduction of women as objects to satisfy men and 4) GOVERNMENT COERCION IN REPRODUCTIVE MATTERS. Now, this last point was spot on in how our present unsupreme court is acting. Pope Paul the VI wasn’t secretive like Opus Dei, he didn’t have to be, he was the Pope.

  9. Avatar

    Thank your for today’s presentation. We are clearly, as the Chinese curse says, in ‘interesting times’. The case you make in text, commentary, and video offers much nourishment to a sound mind in an insane world. It is so important to maintain balance between the subject behind the eyes and the tumult before the eyes. It’s also helpful to remember that no matter what details exist in this defined material realm, the divine source of all creation in whom we live and move and have our being cannot be overcome. The chaos we perceive is a narrative constructed by that source and regardless of our incapacity to understand it, the totality of this defined realm bears meaning on the divine level. We shall all individually and collectively, pass back into the source when our narrative is through and the meaning will have been made.

  10. Avatar

    Jeanette well said, yes. Can we hold the opposites in tension until they release and the “third can be borne”, and not give in to the temptation to run away to one side or the other? Transformation can otherwise never occur. There is much to criticize about Opus Dei. And anyone with an internet browser and an open mind can also find much to admire that is consistent with mature spirituality.

  11. Avatar
    Stephanie Violette

    I read the Bible and kept thinking how historical dates and names were incorrect. Many of the “stories” are almost identical to far east mythology. It is dangerous to use this book as a guide by which we need laws made and one in which has brought so much suffering all in the name of a supernatural being.
    I was turned off from the get-go when even Genesis has two different plots. The 2nd being misogynistic. I am not religious but spiritual due to the mystery of the planet & universe, the amazing body and mind we live in, and how even in the horrors humans can inflict on one another, there still exists compassion. My vote is the existence of parallel universes & science.

  12. Avatar

    I was raised Catholic, as were my 5 siblings, by very devoted parents who grew up in conservative families who had emigrated here from Italy and Poland, respectively. My 60-some year old brother became a Deacon about a dozen years ago and he had swallowed the Church’s positions on homosexuality, birth control and women’s health completely. Since then he has become more and more of a conservative Republican, even a Trump fanatic, believing every lie Trump and other Republicans have put out and refusing to discuss anything remotely political with any of us or our parents while they were alive. My sister tried again just the other day, as we had hoped January 6 and the Mar a Lago top secret documents would cause my brother to begin thinking more, but no; every Democrat and news show are full of lies, he says. Watching my very intelligent, managerial level brother’s descent into fascism has made me realize that to be a devote Catholic, along with those other super conservative religions, prevents one from being an American who is — who must be — invested in understanding and appreciating democracy and in understanding why keeping religion and government separate are fundamental to all Americans’ freedoms. One cannot automatically follow decrees from the Vatican and still exercise any critical thinking ability, as American citizens must. The Catholic Church as it exists these days is a fascist institution, incompatible with American values.

  13. Avatar

    Mary, a gentle reminder…there are catholics and there are catholics. my experience has lead me to believe that many of those have devoted their lives to the democratic values of the United States. Signed, a pagan

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: