Action Alert!

Vatican appointments worth noticing

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Dec 30, 2008

 Today the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict has appointed 14 new consultants to the Congregation for the Clergy. Four of those appointed-- including the one layman, psychiatrist Richard Fitzgibbon-- are associated with Opus Dei. That can't be a coincidence.

Opus Dei is rightly known for doctrinal orthodoxy and ascetical discipline: two qualities that the Pope would no doubt like to see enhanced among the world's clerics. But I'm guessing-- and this is purely a guess, based on no particular inside information-- that there's more to the story.

First and foremost, Opus Dei is dedicated to developing the spiritual life of lay Catholics. So why would the Pope want to build up the prelature's  influence within the Congregation for Clergy? The most likely explanation, it would seem, is to influence diocesan priests in the same direction: to encourage all the world's priests to gain some practical insights from the work founded by St. Josemaria Escriva and his call for "the sanctification of everyday life." 


Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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