OPUS DEI IN NIGERIA 02/11/2020
Guidelines of the Prelate
On February 22, 2020, the Prelate of Opus Dei issued some Guidelines for the entire Prelature, an adaptation to the specific pastoral reality of Opus Dei of the norms promulgated by the Pope: Linee guida per la protezione dei minori e delle persone vulnerabili, of March 26, 2019; motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi, of May 7, 2019.
The measures and procedures contained in these Guidelines aim to contribute to create an environment that is respectful and aware of the rights and needs of minors and other vulnerable persons, and which eliminates all risks of exploitation, sexual abuse and mistreatment in the activities carried out in the apostolates of the Prelature. These guidelines are published for the knowledge of all the faithful of the Prelature and persons who in one way or another collaborate in its apostolic initiatives.
Protocol for the investigation in the Region of Nigeria
Since 2013 a Protocol for the handling of possible cases of sexual abuse of minors has been in place, in conformity with the guidelines established by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in the Circular Letter of May 3, 2011, as well as the indications of the Episcopal Conference and the laws of Nigeria.
In accordance with no. 27 of the Guidelines of the Prelate, and in accord with indications of the Episcopal Conference (February 2017) and the laws of Nigeria (Child’s Rights, July 2003), the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Nigeria approved, on October 21, 2020, a new Protocol for the investigation of complaints or other information regarding the abuse of minors and vulnerable persons in apostolic and Christian formation activities carried out by the Prelature of Opus Dei.
These procedures will apply to people who at the time of the allegation are faithful of the Prelature (priests, deacons and lay people). If the accused work in an educational institution where spiritual care is provided by the Prelature, it should be noted that such institutions have their own procedures for dealing with such matters.
The allegations should be made to the Coordinator for the Protection of Minors, who can be contacted through this email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The coordinator will contact the person and on receiving the allegation, will inform the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei. Upon the advice of a Committee, with legal and medical experts, the latter could decide to proceed with the case, and would thus decree the start of a Canonical process.
In order to initiate a judiciary process, the person or his legal representatives should channel the allegation to the competent civil authorities. If the law indicates that the accusations are to be brought to the attention of the civil authorities, the Regional Vicar will do so.