The Vatican has warned Catholic bishops around the world to monitor carefully a secretive traditionalist sect which prays to angels to combat demons.
Opus Angelorum, which means "the work of angels" in Latin, was founded by an Austrian housewife who died in 1978.
She claimed to have identified the angels and demons who were battling for the control of human beings.
The Church said some members of the sect were carrying out "activities that disturb the ecclesiastical community".
The BBC's David Willey in Rome says Opus Angelorum first attracted the attention of the Vatican 30 years ago, after the death of its founder, a woman from the Austrian Tyrol called Gabriele Bitterlich.
Bitterlich claimed to have been in contact with an archangel and to have written down the names of hundreds of angels and demons, our correspondent says. ...
According to a letter sent by the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in 1992 members of Opus Angelorum agreed to follow the doctrine of the Church in return for official recognition.
"In particular, [its] members were not to make use of the 'names' of angels derived from the alleged private revelations attributed to Mrs Gabriele Bitterlich and they were not to teach, spread or make use of the theories originating from these alleged revelations," Cardinal William Levada said.
... Our correspondent says Opus Angelorum has no known connection with the best-selling novel, Angels and Demons, written by Dan Browne, who has been criticised by the Vatican for his fictional works involving superstition in the Catholic Church.
via BBC News - Vatican warns of 'wayward' Opus Angelorum sect.
Yeah, don't read their super secret web site.
Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, the Work of the Holy Angels, is an international movement within the Catholic Church faithful to the Magisterium. It is ordered to promoting devotion to the holy angels and a covenant bond with them through a consecration approved by the Church, so that the holy angels may lead us more effectively to God.
Okay, boys and girls, gather around, m'kay. I have something to tell you. Now, about these "angels"... they are real. (We will cover "demons" next week. ) I can show you the seven archangels. I know where they are right now. I have pictures of them. Huh? Yes, follow along...
"Angel", the word in English comes from the Greek "angelos" which means messenger. Angels weren't always messengers of God's word, however.
The word allaku in the story of Gilgamesh means both 'wanderer' and 'messenger'.
Planets were referred to messengers or wanderers. Wandering and giving news, being a messenger, was a very important job long ago!
The planets were called messengers because they wandered in the sky compared to the fixed motion of the stars... especially Mercury, that speedy god with wings on his head... because the planet Mercury is the fastest moving visible planet in the sky.
Here are the gods (sky wanderers) in the Bablyonian pantheon:
Sun (Shamash), Moon (Sin), Mercury (Nabu), Venus (Ishtar), Mars (Nergal), Jupiter (Marduk), Saturn (Ninurta)
Yes, the Babylonians revered the seven heavenly objects as gods. These were the prototype for the Judeo-Christian archangels.
Kabbalah, the Hebrew word (קבלה), means tradition that is handed on. Kabbalah is a religion thousands of years old which was the basis of Jewish mysticism. Kabbalah appointed angels to the seven traditional planets (instead of calling them gods):
Sol (Michael), Luna (Gabriel), Mercury (Raphael), Venus (Hanael), Mars (Zamael), Jupiter (Sachiel), Saturn (Cassiel)
Those responsible for the Kabbalah, experienced a period of exile in Babylon which brought contact with Parsee and Zoroastrian influences. Zoroastrianism, after arriving in Western Iran, absorbed two Babylonianised Iranian deities: Anahiti and Tiri.
Sun (SHAMASH/MITHRA), Venus (ISHTAR/AN_HITI), Mercury(NABU/TIRI )
You see, the planets remain the same, but the names get mixed and matched as different groups intermingle and fight for dominance. The Book of Revelation (written around 69 AD) has 7 archangels standing before God - They are named in the Book of Enoch which Saint Jude quotes:
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Saraquael, Ramiel, Raguel, Uriel
There are strong parallels, by the way, between the stories of Mithra the Sun, and Jesus the Son. As Jesus said (John 8:12), "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness". Indeed, it would seem to an observer that if one walked fast enough, one could follow the setting sun and never be in darkness. That's an illusion. Actually, depending on your location on earth and the time of the year, you'd have to walk/fly up to 1,038 miles per hour. So, following Jesus, you see, walking with Jesus is no easy task! You'd need a Bloodhound SSC, an F-22 Raptor, or a SR-71 Blackbird, etc. Modern fighter pilots can "walk" with Jesus, but only while the fuel lasts.
Are some lights clicking on? The ancients observed the heavens. They saw the "gods" in the sky, among the stars, moving about, wandering on their unknown errands. Remember, everyone back then assumed the earth was stationary.
Astrology was big time. Astronomy did not exist. The motion of the planets was a complete mystery. That motion of the beings of light in the sky with god (planets!), was thought to influence human behavior. This belief continues in astrology today.
How could the planets influence human behavior? The Moon (Sin), thought at that time to be just another sky god like the other planets, was observed to influence (correlate with) women's monthly menstrual cycles, along with mood swings(!) caused by hormonal changes. This irrationality, the "wages of sin", bothered men so much that they took over to dominate religion. And women, for the most part, were grateful. Yes, angels battle demons for control of humans.
Worship of heavenly bodies is why we have seven week days, a day for each of the major gods in the sky.
Sun-day (Michael), Moon-day(Gabriel), Tuesday (Chamuel/Mars), Wednesday(Raphael/Mercury), Thursday(Zadkiel/Jupiter), Friday(Haniel/Venus), Saturn-day(Cassiel)
The English "Tuesday" is derived from Old English Tiwesdæg and Middle English Tewesday. This was a loan translation of Latin dies Martis, originally associating the day with the planet Mars, but the Germanic name translates Mars, the god of war, as Teiwaz (Old English Tiw)... The astrological sign for the planet Mercury represents Wednesday -- Dies Mercurii to the Romans. In English, we have "Woden's Day", since the Roman god Mercury was identified with Woden in northern Europe. ... In the Hindu religion, Thursday is Guruvaar, from Guru, the Sanskrit name for Jupiter ... The word for Friday in most Romance languages is derived from Latin dies Veneris, "day of Venus" ... In most of the Indian languages, Friday is Shukravar (or a derived variation of Sukravar), named for Shukra, the Sanskrit name of the planet Venus. - wiki
When Christianity took hold, and people shifted to monotheism, you can now see why Sunday remained the one holy day, the day of worship of the one remaining sky gods.
The angels are very old, ancient beings. They are up there in the heavens (sky) watching, (shining) over (above) us. Yes, angels are watching over me tonight... They are there even when I can't see them, such as when it is cloudy....
So, if you believe in angels, you actually came to this belief due to misunderstandings of the writings of ancient people who were worshiping the planets as gods. And isn't that a bit silly?
No, the Vatican does not want the angels named, by Opus Angelorum or anyone else. If the truth was discovered, they'd be out of business and a billion Catholics would simultaneously face palm.