With John Allen's new book
on Opus Dei
coming out November 1st, vaticanisti
cannot let Allen have all the fun reporting on The Work's "secrets." Something that hasn't been widely reported are the number and identity of Opus Dei bishops in the United States. There are currently 4 American Opus Dei bishops. The only numerary priest who is a bishop is Archbishop José Gomez
of San Antonio. His affiliation with The Prelature of Opus Dei is well-known. The other 3 bishops are what's known as supernumerary priests because of their status as diocesan priests. They are members of The Work through the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross -- an association of clergy intrinsically united to Opus Dei made up of the clergy of the Prelature, who are automatically members, and other diocesan priests and transitional deacons. Archbishop John Myers
of Newark, New Jersey is counted among this group and his affiliation is fairly public. However, two other bishops have kept their connection very private: Bishop Robert Finn
of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
of Brooklyn, New York.
According to the Opus Dei communications office, the diocesan clergy who belong to the Priestly Society seek exclusively spiritual help and strive for holiness in the exercise of their ministry, according to the spirit of Opus Dei. Their membership in the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross does not involve incorporation into the presbyterate of the Prelature. Each one continues to be incardinated in his own diocese and depends solely on his own bishop (or if bishop, to himself), to whom alone he gives an account of his pastoral work.