Pope Francis concluded the process by which the prelature of Opus Dei will no longer depend directly on him and will now be located within the Dicastery for the Clergy, which thus assumes its supervision, as already stated in the new Apostolic Constitution ‘Praedicate Evangelium ‘ which entered into force on June 5.
To materialize the change, Pope Francis published a Motu proprio (Catholic Church document issued directly from the pope) titled ‘Ad charisma tuendum’ which will enter into force on August 4 where the religious urges to take care of the charism of Opus Dei “to promote the evangelizing action carried out by its members” and, in this way, “spread the call to holiness in the world, through of the sanctification of work and of family and social occupations”.
From the communication office of Opus Dei, he assured in a statement that the Motu Proprio it does not directly introduce changes in the regime of the Prelature, “nor in the relations of the authorities of the Prelature with the bishops.”
The papal document also states that the prelate will no longer be a bishop. This is an initiative and decision of the Holy See, within the framework of a restructuring of the government of the Curia, to reinforce -as the Motu Proprio– The charismatic dimension of Opus Dei.
The new regulation also provides that Opus Dei propose “an adaptation of the Statutes to the specific indications of the Motu Proprio.”
Lastly, the papal document ‘Ad charisma tuendum’ refers to the existence of a title of supernumerary apostolic prothonotary.
It is a decision with which the figure of the prelate is conferred an honorary title and a treatment that, reaffirming the secular condition -which is central to the charism of Opus Dei-, unites him in a special way with the Pope, as part of the so-called “pontifical family”.
It is said “supernumerary”, to distinguish it from those who are notaries in the Holy See.
Fernando Ocáriz, current prelate of Opus Dei, who is not a bishop, claimed to have accepted the Pope’s decision “filially.”
“The Pope’s willingness to underline now the charismatic dimension of the Work invites us to reinforce the family atmosphere, of affection and trust: the prelate must be a guide, but, above all, a father”, he communicated.
In this way, Ocáriz highlighted the fruits of “ecclesial communion that have meant” that his two predecessors, Álvaro del Portillo and Javier Echevarría, were indeed bishops, but he has stressed that “the episcopal ordination of the prelate was not and is not necessary for the guide of Opus Dei”.