By Nicolás de Cárdenas
The prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, announced in a letter Oct. 5 that he will convene an extraordinary general congress in the first half of 2023 to adapt the prelature’s statutes to the instructions in the motu proprio Ad charisma tuendum.
The head of Opus Dei made the announcement to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the canonization of the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá.
Ocáriz explained in the letter that the Dicastery for the Clergy has advised the general council and the central advisory of Opus Dei not to limit themselves in this process “to considering what refers to the dependency of the prelature on this dicastery.”
Thus, he encouraged proposing “other possible minor adjustments to the statutes” in light of the motu proprio and to spend “without haste all the necessary time.”
On July 22, the Vatican published Ad charisma tuendum (To safeguard the charism), in which Pope Francis ordered a reform of Opus Dei.
Among the pope’s provisions are that the prelate who directs Opus Dei from now on will no longer be a bishop; the institution must adapt its statutes and present an annual report; and it will no longer answer to the dicastery for bishops but to the dicastery for the clergy.
Ocáriz wrote that since the reform is an initiative of the Holy See, convening the general congresses planned for the modification of the statutes is not mandatory.
However, he has decided to convene an extraordinary general congress “with that precise and limited purpose” that will take place in the first half of 2023.
With this objective, Ocáriz announced that guidelines for making contributions will be sent to congress participants sufficiently in advance to allow for their study.
The prelate stressed that “it’s a matter of complying with what the Holy See has indicated, not of proposing any change that might seem interesting to us.”
“Along with the desire to be faithful to the heritage of our founder, it’s important to consider the general good that the juridical stability of the institutions entails,” he said.
Regarding the other suggestions that can be made in light of the motu proprio “to give new impetus to apostolic work,” Ocáriz noted that they will be asked for later “when future Work Weeks are convened,” with a date yet to be set.
Finally, the prelate of Opus Dei entrusted the process to the intercession of St. Josemaría Escrivá and encouraged asking “the Lord to make fruitful with renewed strength in the life of each of us — as Pope Francis has urged us — the charism that God entrusted to our Father in the service of the Church.”