Saint Josemaría Escrivá and the Jewish people

A statement and documentation concerning false allegations that appear occasionally claiming that St. Josemaria was a ‘holocaust denier’, or in some degree sympathetic to Hitler.

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It has occasionally been suggested that the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá, was a ‘holocaust denier’, or in some degree sympathetic to Hitler. The allegation was first made in an article in Newsweek , dated 13 January 1992, and has been repeated several times since. It is completely untrue.

In the first place, there is a lack of evidence for the allegation. St. Josemaría (1902-1975) published books, appeared on videos and lived his life in the public gaze. From at least as early as 1959, when he was profiled in The Times , he was well-known internationally. His life has been thoroughly documented and put on the record. In his writings and actions there is nothing that could support a charge of being anti-semitic, and nobody alleged during his lifetime that he harboured such tendencies.

Secondly, there is considerable evidence the other way. The dossier attached (click on the ‘pdf’ attachment) consists of documentation that verifies St. Josemaría’s affection for the Jewish people, as well as his express opposition to the Nazi ideology during World War II. The evidence is made up of certain of his own recorded statements, and testimonies written by people who met him. (Some of these testimonies cover similar ground, so the dossier contains only a selection.)

Perhaps the most vivid direct evidence appears on a video of him speaking at a public meeting in February 1975, in which he says, “I love the Jews very much because I love Jesus Christ madly, and He is Jewish”. The clip, which pre-dates the Newsweek article by seventeen years, can be viewed on this website by clicking on the link: www.opusdei.org.uk/art.php?p=24902 .  A transcript of the exchange appears in the dossier, as well as a letter (sent to Newsweek ) from the person to whom St. Josemaría was speaking.