Opus Dei to hold Extraordinary General Congress in 2023
By Benedict Mayaki, SJ
The Prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, has announced that he will convoke an Extraordinary General Congress in the first half of 2023 to adapt the Prelature’s statutes to the indications contained in the motu proprio “Ad charisma tuendum.”
Monsignor Ocáriz made this announcement in a letter published on the website of the Opus Dei on 6 October, the 20th anniversary of the canonization of the founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá.
Working in line with the Motu proprio
In the letter, the head of Opus Dei explained that the General Council and Central Advisory are studying what the Pope asked of the Prelature in order to bring the Statutes of the Work in line with the motu proprio.
He added that the Dicastery for the Clergy had advised the Prelature not to limit itself to considering only what refers to its dependence on the Dicastery and the change from every five years to annual reporting to the Holy See on the Prelature’s activities.
Thus, he encourages proposing “other possible adjustments to the Statutes that seem appropriate in light of the motu proprio” noting that they have been advised to“spend as much time as necessary without any hurry.”
“Ad charisma tuendum”
Pope Francis issued the motu proprio Ad charisma tuendum on 22 July, modifying some of the Prelature’s structures on the basis of Predicate Evangelium, with the aim of "protecting the charism" and "promoting the evangelizing action that its members carry out in the world" by spreading "the call to holiness in the world, through the sanctification of work and family and social commitments."
Among the Holy Father’s provisions in the document are that the prelate of the Opus Dei will no longer hold episcopal status, and the institution must transfer competencies from the Dicastery for Bishops to the Dicastery for the Clergy. Also, the institution must adapt its statutes and present an annual report to this Dicastery.
Extraordinary General Congress
Monsignor Ocáriz notes that since this is an initiative of the Holy See, “it is not necessary to hold the General Congresses foreseen in order to introduce changes in the Statutes.”
However, he announces his decision to convoke an Extraordinary General Congress, which will take place in the first half of 2023, “with that precise and limited purpose.”
In this light, the Prelate said that guidelines will soon be sent out to aid the men and women who will take part in the Congress to prepare in advance, as well as to send in their contributions and specific suggestions.
The head of the Opus Dei went on to stress that “it is a question of complying with what the Holy See has indicated, not of proposing any change that might seem interesting to us,” and reminded members to keep in mind “the good for everyone that the legal stability of an institution entails.”
He, however, added that the text of the motu proprio can give rise to other suggestions apart from what is related to the statutes “to give new impetus to apostolic work” and informed members that they will be asked to send those later, “when future Work Weeks are convoked.”
The Prelate concluded his letter by entrusting “all of this effort to the intercession of the founder", St. Josemaría Escrivá, asking the Lord “that the charism God entrusted to our Father in the service of the Church may bear fruit with renewed strength in the life of each one of us, as Pope Francis has urged us.”
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