Francis New Motu Proprio Changes Opus Dei Prelature Organization

Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio “Ad charisma tuendum” foresees some changes in the organization of Opus Dei’s prelature.

Newsroom (22/07/2022 10:15 AM Gaudium Press)
Forty years ago, Pope John Paul II erected the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei with the Apostolic Constitution Ut sit, of November 28, 1982.

With the new Motu Proprio, “Ad charisma tuendum” (To guard the charism), Pope Francis makes some changes to his predecessor’s text.


Francis’ document envisages changes to the structure of the prelature in coherence with the new Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium of March 19, 2022.

“With this Motu Proprio we intend to confirm the Prelature of Opus Dei in the authentically charismatic context of the Church, specifying its organization in harmony with the witness of its Founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, and with the teachings of conciliar ecclesiology on personal prelatures,” the text of the document explains.

The purpose of the new Motu Proprio is to conserve the charism, as the Latin title “Ad Charisma tuendum” announces. As such, one of the changes refers to the Vatican dicastery that will take charge of the prelature.

Regarding the dicastery and episcopal ordination

From now on, the Congregation for the Clergy will be responsible for the prelature and no longer the Dicastery for Bishops. The Motu Proprio thus establishes that the Prelate may no longer receive episcopal ordination.

The decision is “intended to strengthen the conviction that, for the protection of the particular gift of the Spirit, a form of government based more on charism than on hierarchical authority is necessary,” the document notes.

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Next, the Motu Proprio explains that the Prelate’s title will be that of Supernumerary Apostolic Protonotary with the title of Reverend Monsignor.

The Motu Proprio came to light this Friday, July 22, will enter into force next August 4.

Letter from the Prelate of Opus Dei

Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, Prelate of Opus Dei, wrote a letter to the members of the prelature with some considerations regarding the Motu Proprio, which he “filially” welcomes.

The Prelate urged the members of Opus Dei to follow the Pontiff’s request to “spread the call to holiness in the world, through the sanctification of work and family and social commitments,” as the document states.

In his letter, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz refers to the Pope’s decision not to grant the prelate episcopal ordination: “The episcopal ordination of the prelate was not and is not necessary for directing Opus Dei.”

The letter also states that “the Pope’s desire to emphasize now the charismatic dimension of the Work invites us to strengthen the family atmosphere, one of affection and trust: the Prelate must be a guide but above all a father.

Together with Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz’s letter, Opus Dei published a question-and-answer guide to the Motu Proprio and its practical consequences for the lives of its members. (FM)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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