But the real Opus Dei, which is Latin for ‘The Work of God,’ is a personal prelature or association of priests and lay people that was formed in 1928, by the actions of a certain Spanish priest, Father Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer y Albás. To the devotees of Opus Dei he is referred to simply as “The Founder”. His spiritual movement had found its way into Australia in 1963, through the efforts of a humble and holy Springwood identity and father of ten, Professor Ron Woodhead. Convinced of its merit he welcomed the movement and all it stood for into NSW University in 1971. I became involved in Opus Dei while still a University student and was soon overcome with the zeal of its adherents. I tell of my involvement in my book.
Opus Dei’s influence spread through Warrane College, a residential college of NSW Uni that provided a home predominantly for country students and the members worked tirelessly to ensure that other young and energetic Catholic students would be introduced to their founder’s teachings. Its agenda is to indoctrinate educated people of the validity of its aims and infiltrate the legal profession, medicine and politics to influence them to enforce the extremely restrictive interpretation of Catholic social teaching that its founder inculcated. Pope John Paul II who favoured the spirituality of the cult that emphasised personal sanctity and obedience to the Pope, canonised the Founder in record time and declared the cult a valid separate category of associations in Canon Law.
Its influence continues today through its schools and institutes which never bear any identifiers that associate them to this secretive organisation. Its attempts to place members in positions of influence in Australia (and in fact throughout the world) are extremely successful.