List of members of Opus Dei

This is a list of prominent Opus Dei members. It is intended to include people whose membership in Opus Dei is documented in published sources, and therefore a matter of public record.

The names of Opus Dei directors and priests are available in official Catholic journals and Opus Dei's official bulletin, Romana.

Opus Dei maintains lists of cooperators, who are not considered by Opus Dei to be members, and who do not even have to be Roman Catholics, but who agree to assist with the work of Opus Dei in any of various ways. Such cooperators are not included in this list.

This article should by no means be considered an exhaustive list of past and present members and sympathisers of Opus Dei involved in political, religious, cultural, academic or literary life.

Opus Dei policy on publicizing membershipEdit

Opus Dei treats membership status of its lay members in a confidential manner, having a stated policy of neither confirming nor denying the membership of Opus Dei until the member in question has publicly acknowledged his or her membership.[citation needed]

Opus Dei supporter William O'Connor wrote that a person's spiritual life is a private matter, and that the practice of not divulging membership lists is common to many organizations such as trade unions, hospitals, schools and clubs.[1] He stated that it is part of the secular nature of vocation to Opus Dei that its members do not represent the religious organization which provide them with spiritual instruction, in the same way that professionals do not externally represent their alma maters. According to several journalists who wrote independently on Opus Dei[who?] accusations of secrecy come from a clericalist mentality which equates Opus Dei members with monks and priests, the traditional symbols of holiness who are externally identifiable as such.[citation needed]

Detractors[who?] argue that, given Opus Dei's strong defence of traditional Catholic positions in social and moral matters, especially in regards to pro-life and marriage, membership of the organisation is indeed relevant to exercising functions in the public domain. In addition, Opus Dei states that it is a non-political organisation and does not direct or try to influence its members in any way in the fulfillment of their professional duties, whether in the public or private sphere, except where such activities impinge on their duties as Catholics.[citation needed]

For the most part, Opus Dei members belong to the low and middle class in terms of income, social status and education.[2] Among its members are barbers, bricklayers, mechanics, and fruit sellers. Most supernumeraries are living ordinary middle-class lives.[3]

Government and Civil ServiceEdit

Rt. Hon. Ruth Kelly MP(UK)
  • Ruth Kelly, The Former British Transport Secretary, Labour Party (traditionally center-left) in the United Kingdom. John L. Allen, Jr. states that she is a supernumerary member in his book Opus Dei.[3]
  • Paola Binetti, Senator in Italy. A numerary member. Binetti belonged to the christian-social party La Margherita (“The Daisy”), the Democratic Party and now the Union of the Centre.[4]
  • Mario Maiolo, Vice-president of the province of Cosenza. He belonged to the Italian Peoples' Party, La Margherita and later the Democratic Party. He is a supernumerary.[3]
  • Antonio Fontán (died 2010), President of the Senate of Spain in 1977-1979. A journalist who advocated free elections and trade unions, and was persecuted by Franco. He helped draft Spain's new democratic constitution after Franco.[5]
  • Alberto Ullastres Calvo (died 2001), Minister of Trade (1957–1965). He is one of the members of Opus Dei who were appointed by Franco as ministers (Spain under Franco). He pushed forward the so-called Plan of Stabilization which brought about Spain's transition from economic autarchy to liberalization and internationalization of the national economy.[6]
  • Mario Fernández Baeza, Interior Minister of Chile. Belongs to the left-leaning Christian Democratic Party.[7]
  • Adolfo Suárez, President of Government in the democracy in Spain from 1978 to 1982, was a supernumerary member of Opus Dei.[8]
  • Gregorio López Bravo (died 1985), Minister for Industry (1963–1969, Spain under Franco),[9] Minister of Foreign Affairs (1969–1973). A supernumerary
  • Vicente Mortes Alfonso [es] (died 1991), Minister for Housing (1969–1973, Spain under Franco).[10] A supernumerary
  • Juan José Espinosa San Martín, Minister for Finance (1965–1969, Spain under Franco).[11]
  • Faustino García-Moncó Fernández, Minister for Trade (1965–1969, Spain under Franco).[11]
  • Fernando Herrero Tejedor (died 1975), Secretary General of the Movimiento (Franco's political party) (1975).[11]
  • José María Albareda (died 1966), Secretary General and head of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas). He was close friend of Escrivá and one of the first numerary members of Opus Dei. He was also a close friend of José Ibáñez Martín, falangist and Minister for Education for Franco from 1939 to 1951, who is widely credited with sponsoring the great expansion of Opus Dei into Spanish third-level education during that period. Both take much of the credit for developing the political concept of "Nacional-Catolicismo".
  • Jesus Estanislao, Secretary of Economic Planning and subsequently Finance Secretary of the Philippines under Corazon Aquino (1989–1992), who toppled the dictatorial government of Ferdinand Marcos. A numerary member of Opus Dei, who started Opus Dei in the Philippines.[12]
  • Joaquín Lavín, politician in Chile, twice defeated in his bid for the presidency of Chile. He is a member of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI) party and former mayor of Santiago and Las Condes municipalities of capital Santiago. He was also Minister of Education and Social Development (2010-2013)[13]
  • Robert Hanssen, FBI agent who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia.[14] His treason has been described as "possibly the worst intelligence disaster in US history." A supernumerary, he reportedly left Opus Dei after his arrest.
  • Rory O'Hanlon (died 2002), Professor of Criminal and Constitutional Law at University College Dublin and High Court Judge in Ireland (1981–1995). He was dismissed by the Irish Government from Presidency of the Law Reform Commission in 1992, after commenting that if membership of the EU forced the introduction of abortion to Ireland, the country should withdraw from the Union. He later sued the Government and won substantial damages.[15] He was a supernumerary member of Opus Dei.[16]
  • Jorge Rossi Chavarría (died 2006), Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1971-1974. He co-founded the National Liberation Party (PLN), a social democrat party. He was a supernumerary of Opus Dei.[17]
  • Federico Trillo-Figueroa y Martínez-Conde, Spanish politician of the Partido Popular, ex-chairman of the Spanish Chamber of Representatives, former minister of Defence and current ambassador for Spain in the United Kingdom.[18]
  • Jorge Fernández Díaz, Spanish politician of the Partido Popular, current minister of the Interior.[19]
  • Patrick Ngugi Njoroge, PhD, Kenyan economist, banker and the governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.

Writing and journalismEdit

Antonio Fontán, Spanish journalist who fought for press freedom. He later became the first Senate President of Spain's democracy.
  • Joaquín Navarro-Valls (born November 16, 1936, Cartagena, Spain), physician and journalist who later served as the Director of the Vatican Press Office, taking the post in 1984. A numerary member.[20]
  • Robert Duncan, journalist.[21] An ombudsman for foreign press in Spain; vice-president of OPCI Ibero-American press association; vice-president of APSCE, association for energy and telecommunications; past executive board member for Spain's oldest and largest foreign press body, the Club Internaciónal de Prensa; editor for Spero News and EnerPub.[22]
  • Rafael Calvo Serer (1916-1988), editor and founder of Diario Madrid who was hounded into exile for his criticism of Franco, who closed the publication. Although Messori states that Calvo, by working underground, helped to bring democracy to Spain,[23] According to some, he did not oppose Francoism, but Franco himself about Franco's succession (see Preston 623-3, 663 and 671).
  • Antonio Fontán (1923-2010), journalist who advocated free elections and trade unions in Spain under Franco. Later served as President of the Senate and helped draft Spain's new democratic constitution.[23]
  • Francisco Fernández Carvajal, wrote In Conversation with God, which has sold over two million copies in several languages, including Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovakian and Polish. It consists of over 450 meditations, one or more for every day of the year, as well as three meditations for each Sunday, corresponding to the three-year cycle in the Catholic lectionary.[24]
  • Pilar Urbano, Spanish journalist whose interviewing technique has become a model for other journalists. A numerary.[25]
  • Cesare Cavalleri, Italian literary critic and publisher. He received the Premio internazionale Medaglia d'oro per la Cultura cattolica (International Golden Medal Award for Catholic Culture).[26]
  • Alberto Michelini, Italian film director, journalist and politician. A supernumerary member.[27]
  • Michael Adams (died 2009), Irish publisher, was a numerary member and the Managing Director of Four Courts Press, Ireland's largest academic publishing house.[28] Adams was the author of a book Censorship: The Irish Experience, which was critical of the operation of the former Irish system of literary censorship.
  • Paul Dumol, Filipino playwright, famous for Paglilitis ni Mang Serapio. He is also the Chairman of the Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy.[29]
  • Alexandre Havard, writer.


Social work and medicineEdit

  • Toni Zweifel (1938–1989), Swiss engineer who patented several inventions. He founded and served as director of the Limmat Foundation,[42] a foundation that supports social projects all over the world with a majority of women as project beneficiaries.[43] His process of beatification has been opened.[44] A numerary.
  • Margaret Ogola (1958-2011), medical director of the Cottolengo Hospice in Nairobi for HIV-positive orphans and Kenyan author. A supernumerary with four children, she heads the Commission for Health and Family Life for the Kenyan bishops' conference.[45] Her novel The River and the Source, which follows four generations of Kenyan women in a rapidly changing country and society, won the Africa Region Commonwealth Award for Literature. Interested in women's empowerment, she is also Vice-President of Family Life Counselling (Kenya).
  • John Henry, "one of the world's leading authorities on drugs and poisons" and "Britain's best known toxicologist [who] made frequent appearances on television and radio."[46]
  • Umberto Farri (died 2006), founder and President of Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria (Institute for University Co-operation) or ICU.[47] It is a non-governmental organization which has completed over 200 development co-operation projects in 32 countries.
  • Felipe González de Canales, co-founder of a system of agriculture schools and rural development centers called Escuelas Familiares Agrarias (Agrarian Family Schools) which has 30 schools in Spain and has influenced 68 other agricultural schools in other parts of the world.[48] He is also the founder of two trade unions. He is an associate member of Opus Dei.[49]


Sports, fashion, and entertainmentEdit


For other members of the clergy, please see Opus Dei: Priestly Society of the Holy Cross


  1. ^ O'Connor, William. "Opus Dei: An Open Book". Archived from the original on 19 July 2012.
  2. ^ Messori, Vittorio (1997). Opus Dei, Leadership and Vision in Today's Catholic Church. Regnery Publishing.
  3. ^ a b c John Allen (2005). Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church. Doubleday Religion.
  4. ^ Daniel Mansueto: Labels Don't Apply: An Interview with Paola Binetti, Godspy Magazine, July 26, 2006
  5. ^ Casas Rabasa, Santiago "Conversación en Madrid con Antonio Fontán" Anuario de Historia de la Iglesia Vol. 15 (2006) p. 333-365 ISSN 1133-0104
  6. ^ Biografías y Vidas: Alberto Ullastres Calvo (span.), 2004
  7. ^ "Redirección".
  8. ^ " Encuentro digital con Luis Herrero".
  9. ^ Intervencionismo estatal durante el franquismo tardío Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine. Mikel Buesa y Luis E. Pires, s/f. Universidad Rey Juan Carlos I (pdf)
  10. ^ Fuente, Santiago de la. "Gobiernos Dictadura Franco, Portal Fuenterrebollo".
  11. ^ a b c Santiago Mata: El Opus Dei, Josemaría Escrivá y Franco Archived 2008-03-09 at the Wayback Machine, October 4, 2005
  12. ^ a b Ma. Ceres P. Doyo: Opus Dei in RP: It began with 3 Harvard boys, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 18, 2006, p A1
  13. ^ a b Vernon Silver and Michael Smith: Opus Dei, Vilified in `Da Vinci Code,' Runs Global MBA Schools,, April 26, 2006
  14. ^ "An In-Depth Look At Opus Dei: A Conservative Catholic Group". May 18, 2001.
  15. ^ Annemarie Bruinsma Hanlon: Justice Rory O'Hanlon, Hanlon people & Businesses, (undated)
  16. ^ Sunday Tribune 19 March 2006 Archived 22 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Opus Dei. Romana Bulletin - Faithful of Opus Dei and members of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross who died in the first half of the year 2006 (In Pace)".
  18. ^ "Datos personales de, toda su historia y su biografia - Todos los Personajes famosos desde".
  19. ^ El País, 4 March 2013
  20. ^ BBC 21 December 2001
  21. ^ Allen says he is a member in his book, Opus Dei.
  22. ^ Template:Cite , Member of the Knights of Columbus web
  23. ^ a b Messori, Vittorio (1997). Opus Dei, Leadership and Vision in Today's Catholic Church. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 0-89526-450-1.
  24. ^ [1] Archived September 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Giles Tremlett The Guardian October 5, 2002
  26. ^ "Vignetta anti-Islam su Studi cattolici Ma l'Opus Dei prende le distanze - Politica -".
  27. ^ John Allen in National Catholic Report January 30, 2004 Archived October 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ a b c Kieron Wood: Founder of controversial religious group to be canonised Archived January 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,, September 29, 2002
  29. ^ Larry Henares, Saints and Sinners
  30. ^ John Allen, Pope taps Princeton water expert, believer in global warming for science academy Archived January 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine January 10, 2008.
  31. ^ Romana #31 July 2000
  32. ^ John F. Coverdale: The Vocation to Opus Dei, 1994
  33. ^ Scott Hahn: Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace: My Spiritual Journey in Opus Dei (excerpt), 2006
  34. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2009-10-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ Comunidade jurídica reverencia Ives Gandra pelos 70 anos Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (portug.)
  36. ^ "His own webpage".
  37. ^ First Things, 2003 The Holocaust: What Was Not Said
  38. ^ "Msgr. Ocáriz: "Opus Dei Opens its Doors to Everyone"".
  39. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "Josemaria Escriva. Founder of Opus Dei -".[permanent dead link]
  41. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2012-05-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  42. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-05-29. Retrieved 2006-11-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  43. ^ Limmat-Stiftung: FAQ 9: Why are the majority of project beneficiaries women? Archived August 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, accessed December 3, 2006
  44. ^ Opus Dei Information Office: Toni’s Life, accessed December 3, 2006
  45. ^ John L. Allen: A journey to Africa: confronting AIDS, relations among religions, and the challenges of poverty, National Catholic Reporter, vol 4 no 4, September 17, 2004
  46. ^ Times, May 14, 2007
  47. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2007-09-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  48. ^ Hoy: 'Roturar y sembrar' hace historia de las Escuelas Familiares Agrarias, accessed October 22, 2007
  49. ^ Felipe González de Canales: Roturar y sembrar, accessed October 22, 2007
  50. ^ "CaixaBank becomes Spain's biggest bank by assets". BBC News. March 27, 2012.
  51. ^ El Mundo (Spain) (supplement): Los españoles más influyentes del año 2004, 2004
  52. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  53. ^ Le Point: Les ambitions de Jacques de Chateauvieux, June 22, 1996
  54. ^ El País:Ultimátum del Opus a Ruiz-Mateos para que rectifique sus declaraciones, 28.05.1986
  55. ^ "Isaac Viciosa ex atleta". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28.
  56. ^ Valladolid, Opus Dei (17 August 2007). "Isaac Viciosa: "Hoy nuestra mayor empresa son nuestros hijos"".
  57. ^ José Miguel Cejas: Antonio Bienvenida, torero. Supernumerario del Opus Dei, (undated)
  58. ^ Wikipedia: Giovanni Trapattoni - October 23, 2010
  59. ^ Irish Independent: The true cost of landing Trapattoni – February 17, 2008
  60. ^ Allen, John, Jr. Opus Dei, The Truth about its Rituals, Secrets and Power, 2005, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-102465-8, pp 287-290
  61. ^ Cheney, David M. "Julián Cardinal Herranz Casado [Catholic-Hierarchy]".
  62. ^ "Cardinal Mahony retires, passes leadership in LA to Archbishop Gomez".

External linksEdit

  Media related to Opus Dei members at Wikimedia Commons