Friday, August 28, 2020

An Old Jewish Sect and the “Work of the Holy Angels”


Opus Angelorum Catholic Holy Cross heresy angels demons gnosticism Manicheism

In early September of this year, a 26 year old women by the name of Elizabeth Huber was discovered wandering through the woods not far from the Austrian Headquarters of the Opus Angelorum (Work of the Holy Angels) near Innsbruck.  She had spent the week in the woods, burying herself, according to her own report, under a pile of stones, to escape from the curse of an Opus Angelorum priest as well as “the demons of the Opus Angelorum.”  Huber had lost weight and was in a state of exhaustion, disorientation and anxiety when discovered; however, in a few days she related some of the details of her “retreat” at the headquarters of the Opus Angelorum and what had driven her to flee. 

The retreat took place in a cabin in the forest.  Elizabeth and the other participants were repeatedly asked for dates when departed relatives had died and told repeatedly of their connection with the dead souls in the fires of Purgatory.  Huber also noticed strange sights and sounds in her room at night.  After inspecting the room she found gas jets which filled the room with the odors of fragrant oils and incense.  During the night Huber also heard screams.  By the time morning came, Huber had had enough.  Shortly after the gates to the compound were opened, she fled into the forest and disappeared.  When the local newspaper, after hearing of her disappearance, called the OA headquarters, it was told that the OA people had never heard of her, a fact registered in the records of the local police. 

It was a scenario right out of a cheap remake of an Edgar Allen Poe story, and the local press gave maximal attention to all of its Gothic details.  The Vienna newspaper Kurier featured a picture of the OA castle towering above the village with the headline “Castle of Demons holds a village in fear.”  The reaction, however, was hardly limited to the Austrian tabloids.  Two days after the story broke, the local ordinary of the diocese of Innsbruck, Reinhold Stecher, pressed Rome for a quick decision on the OA, complaining that the OA had still not responded to his demand that they distance themselves from all teachings on angels not sanctioned by the Church.  Stecher reminded Catholics that the OA had been forbidden any use of Church facilities in his diocese.  The liberal Catholic press in Austria used the occasion to attack Cardinal Ratzinger for allegedly shielding the group.  In the German speaking world, the OA had become a convenient stick for beating the Church and those within the Church in positions of authority, like Ratzinger. 

In neighboring Germany, Dr. Franz Heinrich, Director of the Catholic Academy in Munich, talked about the “general horror in Bavaria that a swamp of superstition like this could spread in our Church.”  Heinrich felt that the attraction of a group like the OA “had roots which reached back thousands of years in human history, back to the religious ideas of the Persians and ancient Hebrews, as well as to Gnosis and Dualism.”  In an article which appeared in the May/June l988 issue of Una Voce Korrespondena (“Ein alte juedische Sejcte und thr chistiliches Echo: Zur Problematikdes “Engelwerkes, “  [“An old Jewish Sect and its Christian Echo,”] pp. 157-175), Father J.P.M. van der Ploeg, O.P. shows that the OA is promoting a set of doctrines which goes back through the Cabala, the Jewish Gnostic writings, all the way to the writings of the Essenes, commonly known as the Dead Seas Scrolls.  (more...)

An Old Jewish Sect and the “Work of the Holy Angels”


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  1. Gabriela Bitterlich said if you pick up a book after Holy Communion Jesus leaves, which made me think she was criticizing TLM missals. Ever since I read that I haven't trusted. No messing with supernatural beings for me. This is also Bp. Schneider's order. thanks.

  2. Rather Bp Schneider is Order of the Holy Cross but they're connected I believe.

    1. Osusanna, I looked into this. My God, how deep this rabbit hole goes: