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Vatican warns of angels Vs demons sect

Cult group also “spreads devotion to the Holy Angels among the faithful, exhorts them to pray for priests, and promotes love for Christ”. No, it’s not the Catholic Church…

CATHOLIC BISHOPS AROUND the world have been warned by the Vatican to keep an eye on the workings of a secretive sect in their midst.

The bishops received a letter from the Vatican on “the status of the association called Opus Angelorum”, a group devoted to battling demons with the help of angels. While the Opus, whose full title means “work of angels”, is accepted by the Catholic Church, it was only given this official stamp of approval in , 1992 when Opus members agreed to follow the doctrine of the Church.

Now, the Vatican is warning that some renegade members of the sect are reverting to the original workings of Opus. The sect was founded by an Austrian housefrau called Gabriele Bitterlich, who died in 1978. She claimed to have been visited by angels and wrote 80,000 pages of “revelations” that she received within two months just after World War II. Critics of the sect cite secret rituals, a quasi-Masonic structure and advice from some nuns devoted to the Opus Angelorum that people not eat garlic and onions together “because garlic angels and onion angels fight with each other”.

The Opus Angelorum website carries an “encouraging message” 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.

However, its approval was dependent on followers of Opus Angelorum abandoning certain practices in “promoting devotion to the Holy Angels”. In particular, says the Vatican’s letter, the members were not to make use of the “names” of angels derived from “the alleged private revelations attributed to Mrs Gabriele Bitterlich”.

The Vatican complained in its letter to the bishops that

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.

The Vatican asks bishops to “be vigilant” to “such activities” and to forbid them in their dioceses should they come across them.

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