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Apostolic Letter issued “Motu proprio” of the Supreme Pontiff Francis “Ad charisma tuendum”, 22.07.2022





"Ad charisma tuendum"

In order to safeguard the charism, my predecessor Saint John Paul II, in the Apostolic Constitution Ut sit of 28 November 1982, erected the Prelature of Opus Dei, entrusting it with the pastoral task of contributing in a special way to the evangelizing mission of the Church. Indeed, in accordance with the gift of the Spirit received by Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, the Prelature of Opus Dei, with the guidance of its Prelate, carries out the task of spreading the call to holiness in the world, through the sanctification of work and family and social commitments by means of the clerics incardinated therein and with the organic cooperation of the laity who devote themselves to apostolic works (cf. cann. 294-296, CIC).

My venerable Predecessor stated that: “With very great hope, the Church directs its attention and maternal care to Opus Dei …so that it may always be a valid and effective instrument of the saving mission that the Church fulfils for the life of the world” [1].

This Motu Proprio is intended to confirm the Prelature of Opus Dei in the authentically charismatic sphere of the Church, specifying its organization in keeping with the witness of the Founder, Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, and with the teachings of conciliar ecclesiology on personal Prelatures.

By means of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium of 19 March 2022, which reforms the structure of the Roman Curia in order to better promote its service in favour of evangelization, I considered it appropriate to entrust to the Dicastery for the Clergy the competence for all that pertains to the Apostolic See regarding personal Prelatures, of which the only one erected so far is that of Opus Dei, considering the pre-eminent task carried out in it, according to the norm of law, by clerics (cf. can. 294, CIC).

Wishing, therefore, to protect the charism of Opus Dei and to promote the evangelizing action carried out by its members in the world, and at the same time having to adapt the provisions relating to the Prelature to the new organization of the Roman Curia, I order the following norms be observed.

Art. 1. The text of Art. 5 of the Apostolic Constitution Ut sit shall henceforth be replaced by the following text: “In accordance with Art. 117 of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, the Prelature depends on the Dicastery for the Clergy, which, according to the subject matter, shall evaluate the relative questions with the other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia. The Dicastery for the Clergy, in dealing with the various questions, shall make use of the competencies of the other Dicasteries through appropriate consultation or transfer of files”.

Art. 2. The text of Article 6 of the Apostolic Constitution Ut sit shall henceforth be replaced by the following text: “Each year the Prelate shall submit to the Dicastery for the Clergy a report on the state of the Prelature and on the fulfilment of its apostolic work”.

Art. 3. By reason of the amendments to the Apostolic Constitution Ut sit brought about by this Apostolic Letter, the proper Statutes of the Prelature of Opus Dei shall be suitably adapted upon the proposal of the Prelature itself, to be approved by the competent bodies of the Apostolic See.

Art. 4. While fully respecting the nature of the specific charism described in the above-mentioned Apostolic Constitution, it is intended to strengthen the conviction that, for the protection of the particular gift of the Spirit, a form of governance based on charism more than on hierarchical authority is needed. Therefore, the Prelate shall not be honoured with the episcopal order.

Art. 5. Considering that the pontifical insignia are reserved for those who are conferred the episcopal order, the Prelate of Opus Dei is granted, by reason of his office, the use of the title of Supernumerary Apostolic Protonotary with the title of Reverend Monsignor and therefore may use the insignia corresponding to this title.

Art. 6. As from the entry into force of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, all matters pending at the Congregation for Bishops concerning the Prelature of Opus Dei shall continue to be dealt with and decided by the Dicastery for the Clergy.

I decree that this Apostolic Letter in the form of a Motu Proprio be promulgated by publication in L'Osservatore Romano, entering into force on 4 August 2022, and then published in the official commentary of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 14 July 2022, the tenth year of the Pontificate.





[1] Cf. Preamble Ut sit.