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Process to elect a new prelate for Opus Dei begins this weekend

2017-01-20

This Saturday the process to choose the new prelate of Opus Dei begins in Rome. Almost 200 people are directly involved in the procedure from the places where Opus Dei works. The prelate will be chosen from one of the 94 priests who will be attend.

BEATRIZ GARCIA CLAVEL
Central Advisory, Opus Dei 
"We start with a meeting on Saturday the 21 with all the women who are part of the council or Central Advisory in Rome."

The new prelate must have been a priest for at least five years, have spent at least 10 years in Opus Dei and be over age 40. The candidates come from 45 countries and are between 42 and 93 years old. Many are vicars of the prelate in areas where Opus Dei works or have government roles at the central headquarters in Rome.

JOHN WAUCK
Opus Dei Priest 
"They are going to receive the votes from the women. They will take a look at who the women think and based on that make their own decision and vote for the prelate.” 

BEATRIZ GARCIA CLAVEL
Central Advisory, Opus Dei 
"He who is chosen from that vote must personally ask the Holy Father, or through another person, for the appointment; because it is necessary for the pope to confirm it and therefore name the prelate."

The election will probably take place between Monday and Tuesday, but as the pope appoints him, it will be the Vatican that will communicate the decision.

EDUARDO BAURA
Canonist, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
"The pope verifies that the election is correct, both in the procedure and in the person chosen. That is, he has the characteristics provided by the law of the Church. Some are objective characteristics such as age or years of priesthood, others are only for the pope to discern: like if he can excel with culture, piety, love and obedience to the Church and its Magisterium.”

JOHN WAUCK
Opus Dei Priest 
"The prelate of Opus Dei is a very important figure in the life of the prelature. Not only because he is in charge of the government of Opus Dei, making decisions about personnel in charge of Opus Dei in different countries, and guiding Opus Dei in its postulates, but also because he is a father figure, he is truly a father of a family.”

BEATRIZ GARCIA CLAVEL
Central Advisory, Opus Dei 
"Opus Dei faces the same challenges as the Church, because it is part of the Church. What challenges are they? To be present and carry the Christian message to all peripheries, as Pope Francis says. Not only geographically, but also existentially, because our society is in constant change. It is a society in which Christians are a minority.”

Opus Dei is living with serenity during this new period. It will be the first time that the new prelate has not worked for decades with Saint Josemaría Escrivá, as was the case of his first two successors, Álvaro del Portillo and Javier Echevarría.


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