On the ‘Study Week on Spiritual Accompaniment in Movements and New Communities – Helping Human and Supernatural Growth’ organised by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross – A Cosmetic Operation that aggravates the system of abuses

Coordinamento contro gli abusi sessuali nel clero

On the ‘Study Week on Spiritual Accompaniment in Movements and New Communities – Helping Human and Supernatural Growth’ organised by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross – A Cosmetic Operation that aggravates the system of abuses


The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, the organiser of the “Study Week on Spiritual Accompaniment in Movements and New Communities”, scheduled from 30 January to 3 February, is promoted and governed by the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, to which is entrusted the direction and planning of academic formation activities (Art. 2 and Art. 4 PUSC Statutes);


that there are numerous cases of abuse of power, abuse of conscience and spiritual abuse that have emerged within the Prelature, against clerics and celibate lay people with formation and governance positions (numeraries and associates), and that, from the testimonies of the survivors, it emerges that it is the very structural organisation and content of formation, together with a established praxis, that are the vehicle of an abusive culture, which takes the form of principles and conduct that violate the dignity of the person;

that, of the aforementioned cases of abuse, many have already been reported to the ecclesiastical and/or civil authorities, and the relevant proceedings have ended in a conviction or are still pending (cf. denunciation of the prelature of Opus Dei by 43 auxiliary numeraries before the Vatican and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, September 2021), while many others have been the subject of an ‘internal’ denunciation, before the internal authorities of the prelature, such as the regional or territorial vicars, if not directly before the prelate or his auxiliary vicar;

that those who have been the victims of these abuses have remained substantially unheard or, after being heard only formally, have received no response, abandoned and rejected by the institution to the point of being induced to leave it, often losing their faith, their livelihoods and in many cases reaching the point of mental illness and suicide;

that the very authorities to whom the victims turned, exercised a further abuse of power and conscience, forcing an interpretation of events in question that was always aimed at exonerating the perpetrators of the abusive acts and, ultimately, the institution itself;

that these cannot be considered to be individual and isolated or sporadic cases, but systematic and systemic abuse;


Opus Dei has always referred to the relationship between cleric and layperson, or between layperson in a position of authority and ordinary layperson, not by the term “accompaniment” but “spiritual direction”, considering the latter to be its own particular charism. In this, the asymmetrical nature of the relationship and the authority in the head of the person who directs it is evident, resulting in the subjection of the recipient – who cannot even choose his own ‘spiritual director’, but only submit to the choice imposed by the government as an expression of God’s will – in an area where the freedom of the individual should be sacred;

even within the movements and communities that speak of ‘accompaniment’, there have been equally serious abuses because the quoted expression has been in practice completely emptied of meaning. This is the case of the Focolare Movement, where the accompaniment designed by Chiara Lubich involves the violation of the conscience and freedom of the person through the control of the lay spiritual authority in the ‘private conversation’;          

in this regard, one of the topics under discussion at the event concerns the ‘distinction of roles between authority and spiritual accompaniment’. It is well known, for those who have experience of the practice of the Prelature and similar communities, that the distinction does not exist in the concrete life of the members of these organisations. A cleric (or appointed lay person) has simultaneously a governing role within a circumscription and a spiritual director role towards the faithful of the same circumscription. What normally happens is that each member is required to share his or her intimacy with the spiritual director and that the information he or she gives is used by the government to exercise control over the faithful;

that representatives of movements recently subjected to commissioning by the Vatican because of the confusion between the internal and external forums have been invited as experts on ‘spiritual accompaniment’, and are still under observation.  It is clear that a third body is needed to resolve cases of abuse in the Church. Instead, the current picture presents abuse initiatives organised by the abusers themselves. Yet another scandal is being added to those that have already occurred;

all this is taking place in the presence and with the applause of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, in the person of Card. Kevin Joseph Farrell. This unequivocally means that the Dicastery, and hence the Church, justifies the abuse of power and those who exercised it.

In light of these facts, the #ItalyChurchToo Coordination intends to highlight and bring to the attention of public opinion that the study week in question is a mere window-dressing operation for the benefit of the external image of the prelature and comparable organisations, with the complicity of the ecclesiastical authorities taking part in it, already unsuccessfully urged by the victims to intervene for justice, and therefore well aware of the abuses perpetrated internally.

#ItalyChurchToo is the spokesperson for the indignation and further pain caused to the victims by operations of this kind, which do nothing but aggravate very serious abuses of conscience.

Rome, 30/1/2023

First Accessions:

Laboratorio Re-in-surrezione (rete di persone appartenenti a Donne per la Chiesa – Oss. Interreligioso sulle violenze contro le donne – OIVD)

Organizzazione Ex Focolari – OREF

Rete L’Abuso

Comitato PROMETEO – Tutela dagli abusi nella Chiesa

Marida Nicolaci,  Palermo

Giulia Lo Porto, Palermo

Renata Patti

Lucia Gimenez Argentina.
Nelida Ruiz Diaz Argentina
Claudia Encina Argentina
Ascensión Bonet, Española
Elísa Carmona. Argentina.
Elida  Torancio Argentina
Susana Viero Argentina
Anne Marie Allen. Irlanda.
Elvira Garayoa, Argentina
María Laura Carnelli, Argentina
Amada beatriz delgado. Argentina
Evangelina Rosana Vaccon Argentina
Mònica. I.Espinosa Rojas Bolivia
Agustina López de los Mozos Muñoz. España.
María Asunción Mayor Civit
Maria Magdalena Garcia-Mansilla, Argentina
Isabel Dondo.Argentina
Josefina Sorbello Paraguay
Juliana olivera Argentina.
Carlos Robledo Paraguay
Juliana Sosa Paraguay
Blanca Martinez Paraguay
Silvina Cecerone Argentina
Maria Elisa Cardozo, Argentina.

Paola Cardozo, Argentina

Maria Elena Herrera, Argentina.

Estela Gonzalez Argentina.

Graciela Iribarren, Argentina.

Sandra Carmona. Argentina

Maria Jose Carmona. Argentina
Lucia Donardo. Argentina
Alicia Barillas, El Salvador
Graciela Roldan Argentina
Zunilda Cuellar Paraguay
Mariza Araujo Paraguay
Laura Bonzi Paraguay
Gabriela Petrone. Argentina
Susana Martínez. Argentina.

Susana Irene Lencina Argentina
Gianfranco Mazzanti Canada
Maria Dominga Godoy Canada
Manuel González España
Raquel Consigli Argentina
Gladys Norma Martínez Argentina
Jose Grassi  Argentina
Reina Zulema Acosta Argentina
Susana Martínez
Laura Mariza Araujo Paraguay
Jara Benítez Paraguay
Monica Espinoza Bolivia
Beatriz Espinoza Bolivia
Claudia del Carmen Carrero
Esteban Larrea,  Ecuador
Eileen Jhonson, Scotland

Carmen Charo Pérez de San Román,  España
Angel Valdez, Guatemala
Sergio Dubrowsky, Argentina
Sebastián Sal Capuano, Argentina
Marisa Cardozo, Argentina
Salomeja Fernández  Montojo, Lituania
Gisela  Lutterbach, Alemania
Estela Mary  Martinez Argentina
Carmen Fernandez Pereira. Paraguay.
Antonio Moya Somolinos, España

Sandra Matide Ibáñez, Paraguay
Elena Longo, Italia

Tita Villamayor Paraguay

Nelson Zelaya Paraguay

Maria Rosa Azario Argentina

Susan Almada Australia

Andrea Martínez Argentina

Omar Yini Argentina

Nicolás  Andrés Yini Argentina

Alicia Torancio Argentina

Gladis Haidee Rodriguez Argentina

Norma Maria García- Argentina

José María Reichardt España

Ramona Escalante, Argentina.

Simón Rodríguez, Argentino.

Patricia Andrea Marrussero, Argentina.

Catia Ludmila Carguachin, Peruana

Jovita Burguez, España

Asociación Nacional Infancia Robada – MADRID y LA RIOJA, España

Ana Cristina Cuevas Mazo – La Rioja, España

José Manuel Muñoz, España

Flavia Dezzutto, ex agregada del Opus Dei, Argentina

Marilene Ghanem, Italia

Miguel Garcia-Ferrera, ex-numerary member of the Opus Dei, Spain

Rossella Padula, Italia

Susan Helen Almada, Australiana

Tomás Benjamín Torres, Argentino

Rosalia Mazzola, Italia

Ignacio Arnáiz Izquierdo, España

Maria Trigidia  Ojeda (Paraguay)

Miguel Francisco Ara (Paraguay )

Delia Gonzalez (Paraguay)

Denis Alcides Garay Noguera (Paraguay )

Rosa Elena Ibarra (Argentina)

 Susana Beatriz Rosas (Argentina)

 Francisco Javier Rodriguez ( Argentina)

 Adrián Andrés Rodriguez( Argentina)

 Leonardo Rodriguez (Argentina)

 Reinaldo Rodriguez (Argentina )

Martina Calisaya (Argentina)

Geraldo Rodriguez (Argentina )

Silvia Estela Rodríguez.(Argentina)

Nidia Ojeda (Paraguay)

 Gloria Esther Rodríguez(Argentina)

 Darío Rodríguez(Argentina)

Martha Medina (Paraguay )

Miguel Araujo Contreras (Paraguay )

Ceferina Araújo Nuñez(Paraguay)

María  Lourdes Britos Martínez (Paraguay)

Higinio Fernández Martínez ( Paraguay)

Tomas Sanllorenti(Argentina)

Facundo Arzamendia(Argentina )

Rosa Elena Ibarra (Argentina)

José Hernán Rodríguez


Griselda Cordes – Argentina

Mercedes, Lopez de los Mozos Muñoz, España

Rafael Portillo,  Madrid, Spain

Miquel Mengual Casellas, España

ROCIO Yabar Lopez de los Mozos 

Jacinto Choza Armenta, Catedrático de Antropología filosófica Facultad de Filosofía Universidad de Sevilla,  España

Antonio Mas Arrondo, España, Sacerdote diocesano

Gordon Urquhart, UK

José Fernández Tamames, ex-numerary member of the Opus Dei, España



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