Reflections on life, meaning and purpose

Opus Dei Must Amend Its Statutes

In the motu proprio, Pope Francis amended two articles of the apostolic constitution Ut sit (November 28, 1982) of Pope John Paul II, who erected the prelature, to adapt them to the norms set by the recent apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia, Prædicate evangelium (March 19, 2022).

Thus, Francis “considered it opportune to entrust to the Dicastery for the Clergy the competence for all that pertains to the Apostolic See concerning personal prelatures, of which the only one erected so far is that of Opus Dei.”

The motu proprio requires the prelature to submit an annual report on its activities, which was formerly to be submitted every five years. And the prelate of Opus Dei, continues Ad charisma tuendum, will no longer be a bishop. However, because of his office, he is “granted the title of Supernumerary Apostolic Protonotary with the title of Reverend Monseigneur.”

The Roman meeting was therefore intended to reflect on the best way to adapt the statutes of the Work, as Opus Dei was informed in a statement. This is why 126 women and 148 men, including 90 priests, coming from five continents, participated in this extraordinary general congress.

The work and conclusions of these days will be presented to the Dicastery for the Clergy. The Holy See will later communicate the final amendments of the statutes approved by the Pope.

Fernando Ocáriz, current Prelate of Opus Dei, was received by Pope Francis on June 3, 2023. In his message to his “dear daughters and sons,” the Spanish priest said that he had thus “informed us of the work carried out last April during the days of the extraordinary general congress.”

He stated that he had “also told the Holy Father that we had begun to work with the Dicastery for the Clergy on the document resulting from the Congress, with a view to the decision to be taken by the Holy See.”

The prelature today consists of 93,600 people, including 2,093 priests. The membership is about 60% women and 40% men. The breakdown by continent is: Africa 4%, America 36%, Asia 4.5%, Europe 54.5%, and Oceania 1%.

Finally, 1,957 priests incardinated in various dioceses of the world are part of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, an association of clerics intrinsically united to the prelature and which allows the ordination of the priests of Opus Dei.

274 members of Opus Dei – an institution founded in Madrid in October 1928 by Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer – gathered for an extraordinary general congress in Rome from April 12-16, 2023, to adapt the prelature’s statutes to the motu proprio Ad charisma tuendum (July 14, 2022).