Pope Confirms Fernando Ocariz Braña as the New Prelate of Opus Dei
(Rome) Pope Francis confirmed the election of Msgr. Fernando Ocariz Braña the new prelate of Opus Dei .
Ocariz, who had served as a vicar general of the Personal Prelature for many years, had been appointed deputy by his predecessor, Javier Echevarria, in 2014. With the death of Echevarria last December, Ocariz took over the leadership of the prelacy until the election of a new prelate.
The election of Ocariz aA the third successor of the Opus Dei founder, Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer y Albas, and the third prelate of the personal prelature, had been expected.
The Pope is granted the right of appointment of the prelate by confirming the election. The 1982 Prelacy, established by Pope John Paul II. as Praelatura Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei is so far the only personal prelature of the Catholic Church. For several years this has been discussed formally about the Society of St. Pius X to grant it canonical status, but a corresponding agreement has not been previously concluded. Ocariz is a member of the three-member Vatican delegation, who leads doctrinal talks with the Society of St. Pius X. He is regarded as a key author of the important Declaration Dominus Iesus in 2000.
About 95,000 members, including 2,100 priests
According to the latest information, Opus Dei numbers around 95,000 members throughout the world, who, in ecclesiastical matters and in their religious life, are not subject to their respective diocesan bishops, but to the prelate. About 2,100 priests are incardinated in the personal prelature. There are also an additional 2,000 diocesan priests, who are the priestly members of the Holy Cross Community, but are not incardinated.
Prelate Fernando Ocariz was born in Paris in 1944 as the son of Spanish exiles, who had left Spain during the Civil War. In 1971 he earned the doctorate of theology and was ordained a priest in the same year. After several years in the youth and student chaplaincy, he was called to Rome in 1986 as a consultor to the Congregation of Doctrine and the Faith. 2003 followed, working in same capacity for the Congregation for the Clergy and in 2011 for the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization .
Since 1989 he has been a member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. He was a full professor of dogmatic theology at Opus' Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. Ocariz has published numerous books on theological and philosophical topics, including a comprehensive presentation and criticism of Marxism.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Opusdei.it (Screenshot)
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