Opus Dei shrine becomes victim of modernist protection racket

The news of the change of rector of the Sanctuary of Torreciudad by order of the Bishop of Barbastro has come as a cold shower of water within the Prelature. (The Bishop has rejected the three suggestions from Opus Dei)

There is widespread confusion and concern among the 'rank and file' members of the Work and at the top. According to information gathered by various media, among them InfoVaticana, the economic question is playing an essential role in all this controversy.

As we have already told you, there is an agreement between the bishopric and Opus Dei "in perpetuity" for the cession and management of the hermitage (not the sanctuary) and the image of Our Lady. This agreement has been under review for two years between the two parties, to the point that, as this newspaper has been able to confirm, the prelate had to travel to Barbastro to meet with the bishop to unblock the problem.

According to ABC yesterday, "the Diocese wants to update the amount and has requested an annual payment which Opus Dei considers "abusive". Although none of the sources wanted to confirm how much the figure would be, ABC has been able to learn that it would be over half a million euros". Sources consulted by InfoVaticana have indicated that the figure requested by the Diocese from the prelature would be around 600,000 euros. A very juicy figure for a Diocese as small as that of Barbastro.

People linked to Opus Dei, who know what is happening, have stressed to this newspaper that "the sanctuary has always followed the bishop's directives, such as the restrictions during the pandemic".

These sources regret that "the situation created with a sanctuary that many see as a gift for the territory, which has been serving the Church, the diocese and the territory for 50 years, is incomprehensible. It is one of the most visited enclaves in Aragon. This year it received the Medal for Tourist Merit from the Government of Aragon. It forms part of working groups and fairs promoted by the regional government on family tourism. Torreciudad receives pilgrims and also tourists and visitors of all kinds, to whom it offers an evangelising option, modernised after the pandemic".

In addition, they emphasise that "it is also about offering these visitors the richness of the region, so that they can see various things: Barbastro, Alquézar, wine cellars, Ordesa, Roda de Isábena. It is a question of offering the whole".

Likewise, they do not believe that "in a Diocese with so many challenges, it is surprising that problems are added, instead of seeking solutions through dialogue and synodality. Let us add up. In Aragon there is no one too many".

They also point out that "several priests of the Torreciudad staff have been parish priests for years in nearby villages, at the request of the bishop".

These voices emphasise that "Ambrosio Echebarría promoted the construction of a parish church in Barbastro dedicated to Saint Josemaría". They also want to stress that "there are many examples of the good relationship between the city of Barbastro and Opus Dei and Torreciudad. Saint Josemaría is a favourite son, received the gold medal, and has an avenue dedicated to him. There is a lot of correspondence that endorses this affection of his fellow citizens!