Opus Dei clarification on reporting of a work-related legal case in France

“Opus Dei has not been taken to court,” clarifies Béatrice de la Coste, from Opus Dei’s information office in France. The misreporting concerns a legal case brought against two of the directors of Dosnon Catering School.

Press releases and statements

Information office of the Opus Dei prelature, France

(Beatrice de la Coste, from Opus Dei’s information office in France, offers the following clarifications on the summons to appear in court on 22 and 23 September, issued against two of the directors of Dosnon Catering School, France, on matters connected with employment and labour law.)

Paris, 21 September 2011. The judicial case concerns matters of employment and labour law. The parties are Catherine Tissier, plaintiff, and two of the directors of Dosnon Catering  School (www.ecole-dosnon.com), defendants. Dosnon is a privately-run institution, receiving the usual grants, and offering national certificates and accreditations.

Dosnon Catering School has been accused by Catherine Tissier of describing as “work placements” or “practicals” what she considers as a job that should have been salaried. The Catering School denies this version of the facts, and has provided the tribunal with all the relevant documentation.

In the context of the personal life of Catherine Tissier, who at the time of the alleged offences was employed by Dosnon and was a member (until 2001) of Opus Dei, the counsel for the plaintiff has repeatedly tried to involve the Opus Dei prelature in the trial. After a thorough investigation, in which Opus Dei naturally cooperated, the French tribunal concluded that there is no foundation, legally or from any other standpoint, for involving Opus Dei in the case. And Opus Dei has not in fact been summoned before the tribunal at any point.

In view of the widespread reporting of certain accusations, which were not only false but had nothing to do with the case being heard, I would like to make the following clarifications.

First of all, while I do not concur with Catherine Tissier’s version of the facts, I would like to express my respect for her and my sincere compassion for the suffering she has expressed in public, together with my desire to help her in any way possible. At the same time, I wish to underline my support and solidarity for the two directors of Dosnon Catering School, who, from 2002 up till now, have been subject to certain false accusations which have already been discarded by the tribunal. Together with this, it should be made clear that the accusations I referred to, which do not form part of the legal case, have caused suffering to the teachers and students of Dosnon and their families, because these falsehoods have attacked a number of specific people. To this should be added the damage caused to the reputation of the Catering School itself.

On reporting this case, a distinction needs to be made between the facts which are the subject of the legal case, and others which fall completely outside it. The legal case, as I said, concerns questions of employment and labour law, and it is in everyone’s interest that it should be resolved in the best way possible, for the good of students and workers.

It is hard to understand the counsel for the plaintiff’s insistence on mixing up Opus Dei, an institution of the Catholic Church, with sects. Those kinds of statement can only be made out of a basic disregard for the truth, ignorance about the life of the Church, and an absence of common sense.

Finally, I would like to recall that Dosnon Catering School was set up and is run by the “Association de Culture Universitaire et Technique” (ACUT). Its directors have reiterated that they are responsible for the education, human resources and management of the Catering School. The members of Opus Dei who work there, like their colleagues who are not members of Opus Dei, likewise assert their own responsibility; all of them try to perform as competently as possible in the not always easy task of teaching. 

I will be happy to answer questions from the media wanting further information: press@opusdei.fr

Questions relating to the legal case can also be put to the people in charge of Dosnon Catering  School. 

Related links (French):

Website of Dosnon Catering School: http://www.ecole-dosnon.com

Beatrice de la Coste’s blog: http://quelquesdonnees.hautetfort.com

Website of the Opus Dei prelature in France: http://www.opusdei.fr