Angels and Demons: Who are the Opus Angelorum?

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. – Hebrews 13:2

According to some, entertaining Angels is the very least we can do… for these heavenly host are daily combating the powers of darkness, on behalf of human kind, and all Creation.

Gabriele Bitterlich, a Tyrolean housewife who originally came from Vienna, Austria, allegedly entertained angels and received their revelations for many years.  It is said that in her lifetime she accumulated some 80,000 pages of manuscript, directly dictated by her ethereal visitors.

In her dictations, 412 Angels are listed by name and description.  But there is more.  She also names 243 demons.  She details the never ending battle between these Angels and Demons, and beseeches the faithful to pray to the Angels for guidance and to help them fight the demons that plague us all.

Read Full ReportIn the years shortly after the Second World War, Get More Information was founded in Austria.  Based upon the private revelations to “Mother Bitterlich”, this secretive sect grew in number and intensity.  Members include Priests and Nuns who dedicate their lives to venerating Holy Angels, learning of their ways (as well as that of the demons), and combating evil minions with their works.

The Opus Angelorum have come under fire by the Vatican.  They are considered by some devout Catholics to be a secretive cult, and by others to be a sinister Masonic-esque group of Occult practitioners.  In recent weeks, the group made mainstream news, as the Holy See issued yet another decree about their practices.

When reading the official website of the OA, rich black man dating site, one would be led to believe that the message from Pope Benedict was favorable.  The OA cites a section of the decree from Pope Benedict, via his Secretary of State, pledging his support to the sect. The letter from the secretary, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, states:

May they (the holy angels) accompany the family of the Opus Angelorum, so that with prayer and apostolic zeal it may serve the unceasing sanctification of the entire People of God.

With that said.. the favor of the Holy See depends solely upon strict adherence to certain guidelines.   Members of OA MUST follow Catholic doctrine to the letter, and not deviate from Canonical law.  Further, followers of Opus Angelorum  are expected to abandon certain practices in “promoting devotion to the Holy Angels”.  In other words,  OA cannot promote the worship of Angels.  Also, it is to distance itself from the writings of Mother Bitterlich and is forbidden to use the names of Angels listed in her dictations that are not a part of the Biblical canon.

In a letter from the Vatican to Bishops:

A certain number of Opus Angelorum members, including some priests who either left or were expelled from the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, have not accepted the norms given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and seek to restore what, according to them, would be the ‘authentic Opus Angelorum’…. The Congregation has learned that very discrete (sic) propoganda in favour of this wayward movement, which is outside of any ecclesiastical control, is taking place, aimed at presenting it as if it were in full communion with the Catholic Church.

This admonition led to many headlines proclaiming  Full Report.  This is somewhat misleading, because the Holy See only admonishes those who do not comply with Catholic doctrine, not the OA itself.  But what makes the OA so frightening to some and so appealing to others?

As stated previously, it is thought that the OA have a hierarchy and initiation structure that mirrors closely the clandestine rituals of the Freemasons.  In order to become a full member of the sect, and to obtain more and more secret knowledge from “Superior Priests”, one must go through a series of secret rituals and rites.  What takes place within these closed door ceremonies remains largely the proprietary information of the OA, but some detail has allegedly leaked.

Anyone interested in learning more about the  OA can embark upon one of their many retreats.  Here you will be given a cursory glance of what the OA holds to be sacred.  But only as you graduate through the ranks will you become enlightened as to the heart of the OA.

Apparently, one begins life in the OA as a sort of initiate.  As certain markers are obtained and works are fulfilled, a member works it’s way up through the ranks.  The goal is to become an “alter angelus.” In other words, a pseudo-angel.  It is said that the best known and most revered work in the OA library is the Kalendarium, a two volume work of around 800 pages.  This book lists Angelic names, colors, tools, feasts, and structure.  Some say that OA priests consider the Kalendarium to not only be on par with the New Testament, but to actually be a modern continuation of the NT.

It is also said that part of the consecration of a member of OA is that a “spiritual marriage” is required to an angel that is assigned to you.

Further criticism has come from the names of the Angels as recorded by Mother Bitterlich.  Many of the names have a distinctly Kabbalistic connotation, if not being derived directly from mystical texts, such as The Sefirot.  For example, some of the names of angels that OA has used: Astaroth – whose “attacking light is visible over Rome”,  Gethuliel – who “can laugh like a silver bell”, and  Ophajim – the “angel of the love of God in Creation”

As with all things that fly in the face of tradition, it is probable that many of the allegations against the Opus Angelorum are exaggerated.  And it is important to stress once again that the headlines released earlier this month about the Vatican’s warnings about wayward cults were very misleading.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, commissioned to investigate the OA, did not admonish the sect as a whole, but only warned of those ex-members who have formed a rival movement that would reject the norms issued by the Holy See.

The Catholic faith itself bases much of its dogma and doctrine on non-canonical, Apocryphal texts.  Many Catholic rites and rituals are steeped in mysticism and mysterious iconography.  It is therefore not surprising that various sects have grown out of the heart of Catholicism, focusing on varying levels of esoterica.  One of the most talked about in recent years is the sect known as “Opus Dei”, made famous by Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.   The beloved Pope John Paul II was himself known by many as the “Mystical Pope”, as he was a devout believer in the “Fatima Revelations“.

Further Reading:

http://www.opusangelorum.org/about-us/brief_history.html

http://www.culturewars.com/CultureWars/Archives/Fidelity_archives/OA1.html

http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/Opus%20Angelorum.htm

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=8171

http://www.opusangelorum.org/Spirituality/Workandmission.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1972555/posts

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/25322/vatican-warns-of-wayward-opus-angelorum-sect

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