Matthew Fox: Yeah. You have to be careful with that word, because the Right Wing loves to play with that. But in a basic sense, evangelization means "Preaching good news." It's really the meaning of the word "Gospel." Evangelium: The Good News. So, that could be taken innocuously, but on the other hand, that's kind of a code word, evangelization, for a lot of Right wing Catholics.
That's another scary thing about [what] Ratzinger and John Paul II have done. They put wind in the sail of extreme Right wing people who get on television all the time saying that they represent Catholicism, and they don't. They represent these cults like Opus Dei, who is very powerful. Opus Dei is this movement that was backed wholeheartedly by the last two Popes, and they're secretive, and they're very powerful.
I'll tell you a story. I was in Frankfurt a few years ago and a journalist took me to lunch in downtown Frankfurt, and he said "Look out there. How buildings do you see being built?" I said, "It looks like seven skyscrapers." He said, "Yes. Every one is about finance, because the head of finance is moving from Switzerland to Frankfurt because of the Euro," and he said that "At the top of each of those skyscrapers will be Opus Dei." So, Opus Dei goes where the power is.
And in America they're embedded in a lot of media, they're certainly represented in the Supreme Court. Citizen's United happened because of five votes from five Roman Catholics Supreme Court Judges. That Citizen's United thing is about as Fascist an idea you can come up with, the idea that Corporations are people. Mussolini defined Fascism (and it's a quote) as " The marriage of corporations and Government." Well, isn't that what Citizen's United is all about? Tell me that it isn't! That's what I read in it. American's are so naÃ¯ve. You know, we think that religion is someone dressed up pretty in white and blessing people - well there's a lot going on behind the scenes. And that's what I tell about in my book, The Pope's War, because we're not just talking religion here, were' talking politics.
Do people know, for example, that when Kerry ran against Bush II in that election in 2004, in June, you know, right in the middle of the election, Bush went to the Pope, went to Vatican and complained, and said, "I'm against gays, I'm against abortion. Why don't the Catholic Bishops support me more?" A week later, Ratzinger, the Pope's right-hand man, wrote a letter to the Bishops of America saying "A Catholic politician (i.e. Kerry) who does not come out against gays and abortion should not receive communion." And this just totally flipped the Kerry campaign upside-down, because Kerry is a practicing Catholic, and they didn't know how to handle it. But the results of the election show that three states, New Mexico, Ohio, and Iowa had a very peculiar percentage never before seen of Catholics who voted for a Republican president, for Bush. If just one of those states had not had that result, Kerry would have President and not Bush.
So there is an interference by a foreign government, the Vatican, into an American election, and the media just kind of yawned it's way through it. It's a very significant thing. And, they got away with it.
Rob Kall: OK. Let's dive into Opus Dei. Now, you mentioned Citizen's United and the five Justices who are Catholic on the Supreme Court. Are any of them Opus Dei? Do we know?
Matthew Fox: I believe at least three are.
Rob Kall: Who?
Matthew Fox: I footnote that in my book. But it's hard to know for sure, because Opus Dei is by definition, very, very secret. We do know this: Santorum, the presidential candidate, sends his teenage sons to a Catholic School where the Opus Dei runs the religion department. And every time I hear Santorum open his mouth about moral issues, it sounds like the straight Opus Dei line. The governor of Kansas, Brownback, converted from being a Fundamentalist Protestant to being an Opus Dei Catholic, and he ran for President eight years ago, and he's now governor there.
So again, Opus Dei goes where the power is. They're in the CIA, the FBI. The greatest spy in American history, about whom Hollywood did a good movie and an accurate movie called Breach, he gave away more secrets than anyone in American history, got more of our spies murdered - he was Opus Dei, and he hid within the organization for twenty years - he got away with it. Finally they caught him. He's now in jail, but he was Opus Dei.
So, you know, it's a very peculiar organization, and yet they're so influential, especially in the media in this country. People who write sweet books about them, you'll see their face on the media representing Catholic Thought, and interpreting the Vatican. People who write critical books about Opus Dei, you don't see them any place. Their works don't get out there at all.
Rob Kall: Now there's another group, or maybe it's not another group, but there's a group called "The Family," that many of the members of the Congress are a part of. Is there a connection between the Family and Opus Dei?
Matthew Fox: Yeah, well, I think the Family is a more Protestant based group. But yes, this is what's going on: The Fundamentalist Evangelical are linking up more with the Fundamentalist Catholic. There is a lot of linking. For example, there's a fellow named George Weigel who has just come put with a new book, Evangelical Catholicism. And he's a very, very Right wing Catholic. One of the really strange things about this book that I just read, and I'm doing a review for [unintelligible word], is that he never mentions Opus Dei the whole book, which is really interesting, because he's hiding something there.
But his whole goal of this book is to link what he calls "Evangelical Catholicism" with Evangelical Protestantism, and to create a religiously-based political Right wing movement. He himself is a Neocon. He cheered the Iraq war and all the rest, even though the Pope was actually against it, and he claims complete fidelity to the Pope. So obviously his Neocon ideology trumps his Catholicism when there's a real crunch of issues. These groups are in bed with each other. More and more, the Right wing of Catholicism has teamed up with the Right wing of Protestantism, and we see more of these movements.
Rob Kall: So, there are some speculations about who will replace Ratzinger. What are your thoughts on that? It sounds to me like you think it's...