In an interview with the Guardian, Senator John Crown (above) has claimed Opus Dei (symbol, top) has been lobbying Irish professionals to try and thwart the expected abortion legislation.
Senator Crown said he received abuse after he told a subcommittee 30 terminations were carried out in Ireland last year.
He calls for members of the Dáil and Seanad to be required to declare their membership of organisations such as Opus Dei.
“That is something that should be declared because there are potential conflicts of interest if one believes that one is answering to a higher authority than the parliament of the republic.
“We have several examples in history where leaders of this country asked if people should state their allegiance. Garret Fitzgerald [a former taoiseach] once famously asked his cabinet to inform him if they were members of secret organisations, which I think is not a bad idea at all for the whole of the Oireachtas.”
Opus Dei accused of lobbying to prevent Irish abortion reform, Henry McDonald, Guardian)
Opus Dei, eh?
According to Dr John Roche, who was in Opus Dei for 14 years:
The Irish wing of Opus Dei numbers its membership at more than 1000 with about 30 priest-members…
Numerarii are the top people, taking private vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, from which hunchbacks, the one-eyed and stutterers were excluded. Dr. Roche said that such exclusions were common at certain levels in the Church until recently.
Next are Supernumerarii, which made up most of the membership, and are mainly married lay people, offering their first loyalty to Opus Dei, not their spouse, and who supported the organisation financially to some extent.
Associates come next, and are intellectually inferior most often to the high ranks, while the Numerarii are almost always graduates.
Cooperators have been more of a helping role, mostly financially. Freemasons and Communists are excluded, while membership of Opus Dei generally is open to all religions, but in Ireland is mainly Catholic.
Dr John Roche, Irish Times, 1998