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Opus Dei Convokes An Extraordinary General Congress Following the Pope’s Request for Reform

(ZENIT News / Rome, 05.10.2022).- In a letter dated Thursday, October 6, addressed to the faithful and priests of the Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz states that an Extraordinary General Council will be held in the first semester of 2023, to adapt the Work’s Statutes to the indications of the Motu Proprio Ad Charisma Tuendum.

Monsignor Ocáriz says that he has been ”studying how to proceed to carry out what the Pope requested us regarding the adaptation of the Work’s Statutes to the indications of the Motu Proprio.” He adds that “the Dicastery of the Clergy has advised us not to limit ourselves to consider what refers to the dependence of the Prelature on the Dicastery and to the change from a quinquennial to an annual Report to the Holy See on the Prelature’s activities, but for us to propose other possible modifications to the Statutes, which seem suitable to us in light of the Motu Proprio.” To carry out the above, they have been advised to take the necessary time and to do so without hurry. 

Given that it is an initiative of the Holy See, the Prelate of the Opus Dei thinks that “the General Congresses planned, to introduce changes to the Statutes, should not be held. Instead, with the favourable opinion of the Central Consultancy and of the General Council, I will convoke an Extraordinary General Congress with that specific and limited end, which will take place in the first semester of 2023.”

The letter also states that, “to prepare the work of the delegates it is also of interest to count on, with sufficient time, on the contribution of those of you who wish to send concrete suggestions,” adding in this connection that: “you will soon receive guidelines on the way and time to send them to me, to facilitate their study.” 

Monsignor Ocáriz invites to take into account that it’s about “complying with what the Holy See has indicated, not to propose any change that might seem interesting to us,” adding that “[t]ogether with our desire to be faithful to the heritage of our Founder, it’s important to consider the general good implied by the legal stability of institutions.”

The Prelate’s letter ends stating that “the text of the Motu Proprio may elicit other suggestions, apart from those that relate to the Statutes, to give new impetus to apostolic works.” Hence he says, ”you will be asked for these later on when future Weeks of Work are convoked.”

The General Congresses of the Opus Dei

According to the information provided by the Work, “the Prelature’s General Congresses are held ordinarily every eight years, with the participation of members from all the different countries where the Opus Dei is present. The apostolic work of the Prelature is studied in those Congresses and guidelines are suggested to the Prelate for its future pastoral activity. During the Congress, the Prelate proceeds with the renewal of his councils.” In this case, the General Congress convoked by Monsignor Ocáriz is “Extraordinary” and limited to the end he explained.