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The Statutes of Opus Bono Sacerdotii

Preface: Spiritual Heritage of OBS

Jesus Christ the High Priest as Head of His Mystical Body, of which we are a part, founded the present Priesthood.

The priesthood of the Old Covenant

The chosen people were constituted by God as "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation", but within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service: God himself is its inheritance. (1539 CCC) A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The Priests are "appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins".

At the ordination of priests the church prays with reference to high priests and Moses. Everything that the priesthood of the old Covenant prefigured finds it fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the one mediator between God and Man. (1544 CCC)

The presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, and even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church. (1550 CCC)

The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. Thus it is necessary to love, support, pray for and serve ordained Priest as the ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching, divine worship, and pastoral governance. (1592 CCC) In the 1987 Synod of Bishops, there was a call for active participation of all the faithful in the mission of the Church.

"The Holy Spirit continues to renew the youthfulness of the Church and has inspired new aspirations toward holiness and the participation of so many lay faithful; by active participation in the liturgy; in the proclamation of the Word of God and catechesis; in the multiplicity of services and tasks entrusted to the lay faithful and fulfilled by them; by the flourishing of groups, associations and spiritual movements as well as by lay commitment to the life of the Church and in the fuller and meaningful participation of women in the development of society." (a)

The Holy Father reminds us: "The particular gift of each of the Church’s members must be wisely and carefully acknowledged, safeguarded, promoted, discerned and coordinated, without confusing roles, functions or theological and canonical status." (b)

Permanence of the Priesthood

By the laying on of hands there is communicated a gift of the Holy Spirit which cannot be lost (cf. 2 Tim 1:6). This reality configures the ordained minister to Christ the Priest, consecrates him (cf. PO 2) and makes him a sharer in Christ’s mission under two aspects of authority and service.

This special participation in Christ’s priesthood does not disappear even if a priest for ecclesial or personal reasons is dispensed or removed from the exercise of his ministry. (c) As the priestly character, like that imparted by baptism and confirmation, is indelible, ordination can never be repeated, and a return to the lay state is absolutely impossible. (d)

In light of the present need of those priests that are being singled out by allegations in the news media, it is beneficial that a lay organization be available to deal with the present and future needs of these ordained priests.

John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation (Dec. 30, 1988), 2: AAS 81 (1989), p 396.

John Paul II, Discourse at the Symposium on "The participation of the Lay faithful in the Priestly Ministry" (May 11, 1994), 3

The Synodal Document on the Ministerial Priesthood 1971, #5

Council of Trent, Sess. XXIII, can. Iv, in Denzinger, n. 964

Social Objective and Purpose

Opus Bono Sacerdotii’s (OBS) social objective is to find solutions to the problems confronting priest and religious in accordance with the authentic teaching of the Church, and of the Holy Father and his predecessors. We believe that it is beneficial that a lay organization be available to deal with the present and future needs of these ordained priests. Some of the ways OBS can help the priesthood is in:

  • Facilitating civil, criminal and canon legal defense and due process for accused priests or religious.
  • Outplacing priests that are no longer permitted to perform pastoral work to productive positions and/or new places with the appropriate material, financial and psychological support.
  • Providing living expenses for priests that have been accused and put on leave including financing for room and board, transportation, relocation, health and auto insurance.
  • Advising bishops and superiors confidentially, and acting as liaisons or facilitators in sensitive and complex situations.
  • Providing media relations assistance and public relations.
  • Coordinating the logistics necessary for outplacement or for medical or psychological treatment.
  • Providing the funding for facilities or research.

OBS is an association of the faithful dedicated to the support of the office of the priesthood and religious in union with the Holy Trinity and to intercede for the work of the Holy Spirit in the whole Catholic Church. OBS is a link between some special needs of the Church and secular resources. OBS is created by the mutual agreement of those called by God to intercede in a united, committed, focused way in the support of the office of the priesthood and religious in the Love and Power of the Holy Spirit for the work of the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church world-wide. (Matthew 18:19-20) OBS especially promotes the Mercy of our Lord through the devotion to the Divine Mercy, Holy Spirit and Mary the Mother of God.


OBS is located in Detroit, Michigan, USA with the ability to provide assistance anywhere in the world.


OBS is governed by an experienced management team comprised of a president and treasurer assisted by a support staff utilizing a worldwide network of professional resources. As professionals with Fortune 500 business experience as well as non-profit expertise, the management team is uniquely qualified to respond to the most complex situations and deploy a broad network of professional resources quickly. The management team is advised by competent and vigilant ecclesiastical authority in order to take care that integrity of faith and morals is preserved and to watch lest abuse creep into ecclesiastical discipline (Canon 305:1). In the area of business acumen, OBS is operated with the support of a corporate board of directors made up of experienced and successful business people. Finally, in the area of problems specific to the priesthood, OBS seeks the consultation of a board of advisors comprised of clergy and professionals with expertise in the problems affecting the priesthood.


Membership in OBS is a unique calling to find solutions to the problems confronting priests and religious in accordance with the authentic teaching of the Church, and of the Holy Father and his predecessors. It requires the ability by each member to reserve judgment until the truth can be accurately determined, and then focus on God’s Mercy even in the most desperate situations. In this way, OBS remains objective and can affect the most appropriate activities in order to bring about just resolutions.

Network of Experts

The OBS network is comprised of faithful adult people, loyal to the Magesterium and the Holy Father in Rome, who have immediate access to specific resources of professional, financial, material or spiritual support for priest and religious in crisis. These experts are handpicked and scrutinized by the management team in conjunction with the advisory board, board of directors and its ecclesial advisor. The experts’ function is one of prayer and good deeds. They must understand the importance of priests in the life of the Church and be willing and able to act quickly in a very confidential manner. Once an expert is qualified, invited and approved by the management team, board of directors and ecclesial advisor, the member becomes a part of the network from which OBS draws from to organize professional teams for work on specific cases, or for financial support.


Clients may include any validly ordained Catholic priest from a religious order or diocese recognized and approved by the Catholic Church. Priests that have been granted dispensation from the active priesthood or have left the active priesthood with no intention of returning are not generally eligible for assistance from OBS unless there are specific extenuating circumstances determined by the management team.

In cases where legal procedures in civil, criminal or canon law are required:

· A client’s innocence or guilt is not a determining factor in obtaining assistance from OBS.

· A client’s consistent profession of innocence, or their remorse, repentance and reformation of their life if they have offended are determining factors in obtaining assistance from OBS.

The management team will make this determination, but may seek the advice of the ecclesial advisor, chaplain, advisory board or any other party it feels necessary to determine eligibility for assistance.


The management team with the ecclesial advisor and board of directors, and when necessary at the advice of the advisory board, will make policies based on sound business practices and authentic Church teaching. In addition, where policies concerning legal and health issues need to be addressed, OBS will consult competent experts to develop and implement policies focused on best practices and the most appropriate solutions for OBS and it’s clients. Policies are made with expediency in mind since OBS must often act in a "moment’s notice".

Fees for Services

OBS provides its services of finding solutions to the problems confronting priests and religious without charge. OBS will be entirely self funded through the generosity of its benefactors and will not collect fees for expenses or services rendered to the priests or religious who directly benefit from the support of OBS.


The name is Opus Bono Sacerdotii (work for the good of the priesthood). The name is selected especially in view of our intended purpose and in light of the present need of those priests that are being singled out by allegations in the news media. Opus Bono Sacredotii reflects accurately our mission statement "to find solutions to the problems confronting priests and religious in accordance with the authentic teaching of the Church, and of the Holy Father and his predecessors". Use of the Latin, which is the official language of the Church, helps to identify OBS with the Catholic Church in Rome and the Pope.


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