OPUS ANGELORUM - Satanism and Disobedience

Richard Salbato


Based on 80,000 pages of private revelations that Gabriele Bitterlich allegedly received from heaven, the Opus Angelorum was founded in Austria in the years shortly after the Second World War. The 80,000 manuscript pages written by Frau Bitterlich came into existence within a period of only two months:  [See Note below] Opus Angelorum retreat masters state: "an angel stood behind her and commanded: 'Write!'...The angel didn't give her a moment's peace, and she had to write almost continuously for the entire time."


Attracted to the various retreats and days of recollection sponsored by the Opus Angelorum, the unsuspecting faithful are led more and more deeply into a spirituality which is quasi-Masonic in its degree-based structure--from the promise to the guardian angel at the lower end to the angelic consecration in the middle to the consecration of atonement at the upper level. The goal is to become an "alter angelus." Consecration requires a “spiritual marriage” with an angel that a name is assigned to probably from the list of names given to Bitterlich in her two months of revelations.  No real need to quote some of these revelations as Rome investigated them and ruled on them.  But consider that some of the nuns of Opus Angelorum advise people not to eat or even put garlic and onions together because garlic angels and onion angels fight with each other. 


Starting in Innsbruck, Austria the order of Priests and nuns of Opus Angelorum has spread to three houses in Rome, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, Detroit, Michigan, Brazil to name a few.  In violation of the tradition of the Catholic Church most if not all houses of priests and nuns are one and the same buildings.  The nuns are the housekeepers and cooks of the priests, and their contact is too close, leaving many of the parents of members to imply that sexual activity is common.  In violation of Catholic tradition final vows of the nuns (consecration) is secret and even the parents are not invited.


Opus Angelorum never went though the regular process of becoming a canonical order in the Church and therefore did not have their rules investigated at first.  They simply took over an old order of priests, Order of canonical regular ones of the Holy Cross, that had diminished down to only one brother still living. That one living brother gave the new priests an order to take over without creating a new one.  Canonically their are the Order of the Holy Cross as you will see in the Vatican’s introduction at the end of this Newsletter.  Publicly they are Opus Angelorum but officially they are the Order of the Holy Cross but with no resemblance to the old order.      


The fast growth of Opus Angelorum over 20 years is due to great devotion to Adoration, very reverent priests at Mass, good Confessors, and both priests and nuns dress according to the old laws before Vatican II.  The outward signs are good, just like Pius X Society, but the disobedience and secret rituals are the problems.  It is hard for me to come to these conclusions since Father Wagner, retreat master out of Rome, is a personal friend of mine and a loving priest.  But the facts are the facts.  And although Father Wagner does not mention Bitterlich in his talks, I wonder what he does after he gets new members in the secret rituals and hidden teachings. 


The number of families in the Parents' Association for Opus Angelorum Victims has risen to over 30. And although Rome issued a decree concerning the Opus Angelorum in June 1992, but the problems have not yet been solved, inasmuch as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not ban Opus Angelorum as the organization’s opponents had hoped.  It only banned the writing and promotion of Bitterlich’s messages and its use in the order.  This has not been obeyed at all as you will see below.


Gabriele Bitterlich (1896-1978), a Tyrolean housewife who originally came from Vienna, is greatly venerated by the organization as "The Mother".  But Bitterlich’s background shows a family steeped in spiritualism and esoteric literature, above all occult Jewish Kabbala teachings.  Some of "Mother" Gabriele's angels bear the names of cabalistic Sefirot.  One of the things the Vatican spotted in her writing is the similarity between her “angels” and early occult practices.  Some of the names of angels that OA has used: Astaroth - whose "attacking light" (according to the Opus Angelorum Handbook of the Demons)"is visible over Rome" Gethuliel - who "can laugh like a silver bell"  Ophajim - the "angel of the love of God in Creation"


One of the reasons I believe her apparitions are demonic is their similarity to Satanic Angels in other esoteric and accult literature.  By making use of the occult practice of "mystical marriage with the angels" - an idea, by the way, which is traceable to the Jewish Gnostic Kabbala - Opus Angelorum was involved in a pertinacious way in violating the consciences of its members. [What is being described is the alchemical wedding familiar to Gnostics and associated with Christian Rozenkreutz. See item 4) Qabala - Year Three - ct]  Gabriele Bitterlich’s writings are Gnostic.

The mysterious Arab Abramelin transmitted to the equally mysterious Abraham of Worms, a nebulous recipe for the compilation of personal rituals that are to lead to a communication/communion with the personal Holy Guardian Angel. By these means one becomes firstly befriended with the Angel and secondly, the master of the demons. The process seems to be reciprocal: Human and Angel become One and together forge a bridge to the divine. ("Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon: Smoke gets in your Aiwass") Gabriele Bitterlich’s writings are the same.


In 1945, L Ron Hubbard became involved with Crowley's acolyte, Jack Parsons. Parsons wrote to Crowley that Hubbard had "described his angel as a beautiful winged women (sic) with red hair, whom he calls the Empress, and who had guided him through his life and saved him many times. In the Crowleyite system, adherents seek contact with their "Holy Guardian Angel". ("Factnet: Hubbard and the Occult")  Gabriele Bitterlich’s writings are the same.


Scientology seems to be a hybrid of science-fiction and magic. [L. Ron] Hubbard's reflection on philosophy seem (sic) to derive largely from Will Durant's Story of Philosophy and the works of Aleister Crowley. Aleister Crowley is surely the most famous black magician of the twentieth-century. It is impossible to arrive at an understanding of Scientology without taking into account its creator's extensive involvement with magic. ("Factnet: Hubbard and the Occult") Gabriele Bitterlich’s writings are the same.


Crowley identifies the Empress as the "Great Mother" and indeed on her robe are bees (34), the traditional symbol of Cybele. ("Factnet: Hubbard and the Occult")


These mysteries of the faith found a particular and poignant expression in Mother Gabriele's writings along side her extensive contact with many angels. ("The Work of the Holy Angels and Its Mission within the Church")

Satanist Aleister Crowley and Theosophist Alice Bailey both obtained their material in a similar manner. Crowley's angel was named Aiwass. Alice Bailey's angel was named Djwhal Khul. Gabriele Bitterlich’s writings are the same.

Automatic writings are a form of divination and are forbidden by the First Commandment, as explained in CCC 2116. Yet the Opus Angelorum still have recourse to Bitterlich as can be seen on their webpage as of this writing. This refusal to stop mentioning a false seer brings the entire body of work of OA into question, particularly when there does seem to be some evidence that in the past they have refused to abide by the rulings of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Condemnation of Rome 1983 and 1992

On June 19 [1992] the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued its judgment. A crucial sentence at the heart of this statement pronounces a clear condemnation of the Opus Angelorum: "The angelology which is typical of the Opus Angelorum, as well as certain practices which have been deduced from this teaching, are alien to both Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church, and as a result cannot serve as a basis for the spirituality and activities of groups which have the approval of the Church."

"Declaration of His Excellency Heinrich von Soden-Frauenhofen, auxiliary bishop of Munich-Freising, on the decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Opus Angelorum" issued on June 6, 1992:

It [the decree]makes unmistakably clear that the closely interconnected organizations associated with the Opus Angelorum, as well as their teachings concerning the activity of the angels and demons and their connection with the universal work of salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ, are not compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church and that for years now they have not been following the 1983 rulings issued by Pope John Paul II.

The Opus Angelorum has functioned as a secret society, and has become deeply involved in magical and occult practices which totally misrepresented the faith of the Church.

The crucial judgment issued by the Congregation on Sept. 24, 1983 entailed the following judgment:


"In fostering devotion to the holy angels, the Opus Angelorum must adhere to [sic] the teachings of the Church as well as that of the Church fathers and doctors." The Handbook of the Opus Angelorum, which was discovered in 1988, most certainly does not fulfill these conditions. The leadership of Opus Angelorum, however, made no attempt to distance itself from the content of this book, but rather saw its prohibition as "a death blow" for the OA, as evidenced in the Club 2 broadcast over ORF, the Austrian Radio Network, on April 5, 1990.

Knowledge of the writings of the Opus Angelorum was a necessary precondition for those who wished to make an oath of consecration to the angels. The content of these writings, however, goes far beyond the teaching of the Church on the angels. Recent teaching materials disseminated by the OA make it clear that their current practices were in clear defiance of the 1983 prohibitions issued by the Vatican.

The Vatican prohibition of the Opus Angelorum vow of silence, to give just one example of this defiance, was not obeyed...It remains to be seen, then, whether the Opus Angelorum protestations of loyalty to the Holy Father become any more credible in the wake of the the [sic] most recent Vatican decree.

The condition for admission into the Opus Angelorum was the consecration to the guardian angel. In this oath, the candidate promised to take the hand of his guardian angel and "never again" let it go. As of the promulgation of the Decree of June 6, all such consecrations to angels have been explicitly forbidden.

The current Vatican document added the following norms:

The theories which derive from the alleged revelations of Gabriele Bitterlich concerning the work of the angels, their personal names, their rank and function may no longer be either taught or in any way, either explicitly or implicitly, made use of in the organizational structures of the Opus Angelorum or in any cult or in prayer or in spiritual formation or in any public or private spirituality. The use and the dissemination of books and other writings which contain the above-mentioned theories is forbidden both within the above-mentioned organization as well as outside its formal structures.



Many of those who know the Opus Angelorum will find it difficult to believe that its members have renounced their former beliefs. They suspect that the majority of Opus Angelorum members continue to hold on to the Bitterlich tenets and are sticking to their intention to infiltrate the Church.

On June 22 the Opus Angelorum Press Secretary reprimanded the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by claiming that their decree was "not a distinguished way" of treating a religious community. He also warned that the extent of the decree "was still unclear", and that "It will be necessary to correct this decree". He polished off his critique with the statement that "Ratzinger isn't God."

Dr. Erich Leitenberger, editor-in-chief of the June 24, 1992 edition of the Austrian "Kathpress" said that "Rome has declared with admirable clarity that both the teaching and the practices of the controversial Opus Angelorum are out of bounds."

It must be extremely painful for the Opus Angelorum to have to admit that the entire body of writings produced by "Mother" Bitterlich, for whose canonization they pray in public, had to be jettisoned as incompatible with the Catholic faith. They have to recognize, with a clarity that must strike them as painful, that they have been up to now on the wrong road, and that it is now their duty to turn back to the terra firma of solid Church teaching."

Our chief fear is that the OA will continue to hold fast to its beliefs and at the same time redouble its efforts to camouflage them as well.

Today the Opus Angelorum still uses a consecration to the guardian angel. As you can see at the website, they state that this consecration was approved by the CDF on May 31, 2000.


From their own words

Opus Angelorum on their web site http://www.opusangelorum.org admits to being founded by Bitterlich and implies that, although contemned by the Holy See, in time Bitterlich will change Catholic Doctrine.  The following comes directly from their web site.  


“The Work of the Holy Angels (Opus Angelorum for short) arose through the instrumentality of Gabriele Bitterlich (b. 1897), who from early childhood had enjoyed a singular intimacy with her own Guardian Angel, who conversed with her visibly, counseled and guided her. This grace remained a very personal and private matter until the latter part of the 1940’s when the intensification of this charism, together with her obedience to her spiritual director led to the initiation of the Work of the Holy Angels at Innsbruck, Austria. From the beginning of this charism, the focus of the angels was always upon the greater glorification of God and the salvation and sanctification of souls, particularly of priests. Only from this perspective could the apocalyptic proliferation of the angelic mission within the Church be properly understood. …


“At the beginning of the Work of the Holy Angels we find a small group of priests, seminarians and laymen who had become familiar with the charism and writings of Mrs. Bitterlich and desired to correspond and unite more intimately with the holy angels in their ministries. From the very beginning, Bishop Paulus Rusch, initially administrator for the diocese, recognizing a particular charism, took a personal interest in the movement and oversaw its development. For many years he personally issued the "imprimatur" for the Circular Letters. He appointed Msgr. Walter Waitz to be Mrs. Bitterlich’s confessor and director, and who oversaw and collaborated in the development of the Work for many years. …


 “Both because the writings of Gabriele Bitterlich contained many quite personal matters -- being as they were a journal of her spiritual contact with the holy angels and her own call to victimhood (often for particular souls) and the inclusion of the names and ministries of many angels not found in Sacred Scripture, the writings were not circulated widely. Still, already in 1951 some of these writings were presented to Pope Pius XII, with other works presented at a later date. Bishop Rusch was kept regularly informed through Msgr. Waitz as well as by means of a regular but infrequent personal contact with Gabriele Bitterlich. That initial prudence with respect to the dissemination of the writings, which yielded more and more to an eager zeal on the part of some sacerdotal directors in the spiritual movement, somehow anticipated the later decisions of the Church.


“At the personal initiative of Bishop Rush the Confraternity of the Guardian Angels was canonically founded and erected in the Diocese of Innsbruck in 1961 with its consecrations to the Guardian Angel and to all the holy angels. The finality of this ecclesial institution was to foster the sanctification of its members and a deeper collaboration with the holy angels in the glorification of God and for the salvation of souls. In the latter part of the 1960’s the Movement also began to set up Confraternities of Priests in the Opus Angelorum in different dioceses around the world in order to help priests in their spiritual lives and to help coordinate the apostolate on a local basis. …


Then the web site lies about the motive of the Vatican


“The depth and extent, however, to which her writings dealt with the vast world of the angels raised occasions considerable discussions and questions which eventually lead to their examination by the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith, both at the request of several bishops and the Direction of the Work of the Holy Angels.


“The examination of the names of the holy angels, the corresponding presentation of a particularized doctrine on the structure and functions of the choirs and groupings of the holy angels (as well of the fallen angels) and certain practices associated with this body of doctrine constituted the essential points in the examination of the writings and practices of the Work of the Holy Angels by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith between the years 1977-1983 and 1987-1992. The very length of the studies indicates something of the complexity and depth of the issue.


“The result of the final examination was issued in the Decree of the Holy Office from June 6th, 1992 in which it was declared that only the certain deposit of the Faith could constitute the spiritual foundation for any institute within the Church. This is simply a theological principle which is valid for all times and places in the Church. Now from the examination of Gabriele’s writings it was determined that they contained the names of individual Angels and a certain body of particularized doctrine on their ministries and rankings which are extraneous to Scripture and Tradition; hence, this portion of her writings could not be used as the basis for the spirituality or practices of any institute of the Catholic Church. At the same time, the Congregation, aside from several clear and particular restrictions, left a large body of Gabriele Bitterlich’s writings untouched. 


“The decree, moreover, acknowledged the ecclesial status of the Work of the Holy Angels. In fact, the Congregation made no judgment on either the personal life of Gabriele Bitterlich or even upon the origin or veracity of her writings, but only maintained that a part of what stands written in her manuscripts goes beyond what is verifiable in Scripture and tradition.


And Implies that Bitterlich will change Doctrine


“The question arises, "If no private charism can ever add anything new to the Apostolic Deposit of Faith nor constitute a foundation for an ecclesial institute, then what is their purpose and function in the Church?" Charisms, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, are intended to serve as a beacon in the Church, focusing their light on those truths of the Faith which are opportune (and perchance neglected) for the present hour in the life of the Church. In this the Holy Spirit can evidently communicate prophetic charisms and lights to the Church that look to the future or deal with particulars not contained in the Deposit of Faith. Such charisms may also act as a catalyst, stimulating theological discussions and research which lead to an organic development of doctrine from within the Church’s treasure of divine truth. …”

What the Vatican Actually Said

Litteris decree diei

The association “Engelwerk

The “Opus angelorum”, particularly diffused in Austria and Germany in the more conservative wing of the Catholicism, is made up of many distributions, between which an association for the priests (diffused in beyond 50 dioceses), a male congregation (“Order of canonical the regular ones of the Holy Cross”) and feminine (“a feminine Fraternità of the Holy Crosst”), Other important centers of the “Opus angelurum” are to Rome, in Portugal, Brasil them and India. In the Handbook of the Opus angelorum, that it collects part of the 80,000 sheets of the diary of visionary G. Bitterlich, the names of 400 angels and 200 demons are recensiti.

A letter was sent to the Apostolic Center on December 01, 1977, by Cardinal Joseph Höfner, archbishop of Colony and President of the German Episcopal Conference, asking that Angelorum (Engelwerk was proceeded by an examination of the Opus association) and its doctrines and particularly how it draws its origin from the presumed private revelations of Mrs. Gabriel Bitterlich.

After completing the examination of the variety of documents containing the above mentioned doctrines, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith communicated a memo to the involved parties a letter on September 24, 1983 with the following decisions, previously approved by the Holy Father in an audience  on July 01, 1983 (cf. AAS (1984), 175-176):

1. In the promotion of the devotion of the Work of the Angels you must obey to the Doctrine of the Church and its Fathers and Doctors.

In particular you will not circulate to its members and the faithful a cult of the angels who claim “known names” of a presumed private revelation attributed to Mrs. Gabriel Bitterlich. It will not be lawful to use those names [of angels] in any prayer from any part of the community.

2. The Work of the Angels will not require from its members the so-called “promise of silence” (“the Schweige-Versprechen” or even suggest it), even if it seems legitimate to guard against just discretion about the inner things of the Work of the Angels, when it assembles the members of institutes of the Church.

3. The Work of the Angels and its members will observe with rigor all the liturgical norms; especially those regarding the Eucharist. This is in reference to the so-called “repairing communion”.

Later the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was able to examine other documents coming from the same source and concluded that its previous decisions have not been interpreted and executed correctly.

The examination of these additional documents confirms the foundation of the previous judgment and of previous decisions - that the angelology of the Opus angelorum is positively derived from writings that are strangers to Church Writings and Tradition (Cf. BENEDICT XIV, Doctrine de beatificatione servorum Of ET de canonizatione beatorum, lib. IV. Pars II, c. XXX. De angels ET eorum cultu, Venetiis, 1777) and therefore cannot be the basis for the spirituality and the activity of Associations approved by the Church.

Therefore the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has found it necessary to make known such decisions and implementing them with the following norms:

I. proceeding from theories of the presumed revelations received byMrs. Gabriel Bitterlich regarding the world of the angels, their personal names, their groups and functions, cannot neither be taught nor used, explicitly or implicitly, in the organization and the operating structure (“Baugerüst”) of the Opus angelorum, therefore like in the cult, the prayers, the spiritual formation, the public and private spiritualità, the ministry or apostolate. The same disposition applies to any other institute or association recognized by the Church

The use and the spread, inside or outside of the association, the books or other written documents containing the aforesaid theories are prohibited to all.

II. The various forms of consecration to the angels (“Engelweihen”) practiced by Opus angelorum are forbidden.

III. Moreover, the so-called “administration at a distance” (“Fernspendun”) of the Sacrament, let alone its insertion into the Eucharistic Liturgy and the Liturgy of the Hours of Witnesses’, and these prayers or rituals that directly or indirectly refer to the aforesaid theories are forbidden.

IV. The exorcisms are the exclusive practice of the Church and subject to the norms, the discipline and the formulas approved by it. 

V. a delegate with special faculties, named from the Sede Saint, will verify and urge, in contact with the bishops, the application of the norms established. It will strive to clear up and regularize the relationships between the Canonical Opus angelorum and the regular ones of the Holy Cross.

I add pontefice Giovanni Paul II, in the course of the audience come to an agreement to the undersigned prefetto, has approved of present the decree, decided in the ordinary reunion of this congregation, and of it he has ordered the publication.

Rome, from the center of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 6, 1992.

+ JOSEPH card. RATZINGER, prefetto
tit. of Cesarean section of Numidia, secretary



1.  Gabriele Bitterlich’s writings are the same exactly as two seers in Germany just 40 years before Bitterlich. She may have gotten copies of these or was inspired by the same evil spirit.

2.  No evidence has ever been produced that she wrote everything in two months and in fact no 80,000 pages has ever been produced.  Her family claims 20,000 pages but even that has never been published entirely. 

3. The names of Angels in her documents are in many cases the same as demonic angels in Gnostic writings.


Fidelity http://www.culturewars.com/

Families of members of Opus Angelorum

Vatican Documents on Opus Angelorum

Personal Experience

OA Web Site  http://www.opusangelorum.org