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Letter to His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph Höffner,
Archbishop of Cologne,
regarding the “Opera degli angeli (Work of the angels)”


Your Eminence, 

With the letter of December 1, 1977, addressed to the Cardinal Secretary of State, Your Eminence has requested an examination of  the “Work of the angels.” 

This question has been transmitted by the Secretary of State to this Sacred Congregation according to its competence. 

Their Eminences, the Cardinals of this Congregation, after an examination on Wednesday, June 22, 1983, have agreed on the following decisions which the Supreme Pontiff has approved in the Audience of July 1st. 

1. The Work of the angels in the promotion of devotion to the holy angels must obey the doctrine of the Church and of the Sacred Fathers and Doctors. 

In particular, among your members and among the faithful, no devotion to the angels is to be fostered that makes use of “names” recognized by alleged private revelation (attributed to Mrs. Gabriela Bitterlich).  It is not permitted to use those same names in any prayer on the part of the community. 

2. The Work of the angels is not to request of its members nor propose to them the so-called “promise of silence,” even if it is legitimate to maintain appropriate discretion regarding the internal matters of the Work of the angels, which is fitting for the members of the institutes of the Church.

3. The Work of the angels and its members are to rigorously observe the liturgical norms, especially those regarding the Eucharist.  This applies particularly to the so-called “Communion of reparation.” 

I take this opportunity to express my most sincere sentiments of esteem to your Eminence,

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

 +Jerome Hamer, O.P.
Titular Archbishop of Lorium


Rome, September 24, 1983.