Opus Dei establishing presence in Melbourne
Opus Dei has been invited by Melbourne Archbishop Dr George Pell to supply a priest to run St Mary's Star of the Sea parish in West Melbourne.
Fr Joe Martins will take up duties at the parish next month.
Opus Dei has only recently been welcomed into the Archdiocese. Pell's predecessor, Archbishop Frank Little, declined to admit the group after consultation with his priests.
Archdiocesan spokesman Fr Christopher Prowse told The Sunday Age that he was unaware of a similar vote taking place during Dr Pell's reign. He said archbishops were not compelled to follow the senate of priests' recommendations.
Opus Dei is to open a $2.2 million centre in Carlton in June called the Drummond Study Centre. It will offer spiritual development and personalised tutorials to male tertiary students.
It will also serve as a housing centre for Melbourne's two Opus Dei priests and male members who are professionals and students.
Fr Gonzalo Munoz SSS, was critical of the group. "They are like snakes; they live in secrecy," he told The Sunday Age. "I come from Spain where, in the '60s, the majority of Franco's ministry were members of Opus Dei."
Dr Amin Abboud, information officer for Opus Dei in Australia, rejected claims that the group was secretive. "My experience has been that the spirit of Opus Dei encourages openness and honesty," he said. "In fact, the statutes governing Opus Dei expressly forbid any kind of secrecy."