With the motu proprio Ad charisma tuendum, Pope Francis encouraged Opus Dei to "promote evangelising action" and "[spread] the call to holiness in the world, through the sanctification of work and family and social commitments." The motu proprio modifies two articles of the Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit (by which the Prelature was erected in 1982) to adapt them to the norms established by the recent Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, on the Roman Curia. Furthermore, in its third article, the motu proprio added that the Statutes 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" (Ad charisma tuendum, no. 3).
For this reason, the Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz, has convoked an extraordinary general congress in Rome "to carry out what the Pope asked of us regarding bringing the Statutes of the Work into line with the motu proprio Ad charisma tuendum."
Previously, the Prelate had invited all the faithful of the Prelature to participate by making specific suggestions. In a message on 30 March, he explained: "The suggestions have been studied in Rome, with the help of experts, both women and men, in order to present specific proposals at the Congress. Those that were not relevant to the request of the Holy See contained in the motu proprio can be considered, as I mentioned in my October message, during the next Work Weeks, when they are organized, and will help to prepare the next Ordinary General Congress in 2025. They are very valuable material, for which I again want to thank you."
126 women and 148 men are participating in the Extraordinary General Congress, including 90 priests. They come from all around the world: Africa (6.6%), Asia (6.2%), Europe (50%), North and South America (36%), and Oceania (1.1%). On 12 April, before the meetings begin, a Mass will be celebrated to entrust their work to the Lord. Then the participants will be divided into working groups to address the proposed adaptation of some of the points in the statutes of Opus Dei.
The work and conclusions of these days will then be presented to the Dicastery for the Clergy, the organism of the Holy See responsible for personal prelatures. Later, the Holy See will communicate the final modifications to the statutes approved by the Pope, who is the legislator in this matter.
In a recent letter to the faithful of the Prelature, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz pointed out that "all the General Congresses are very special moments of unity among the entire Work, and of the Work with the Holy Father and with the whole Church. During these weeks, we want our Father's aspiration to be especially present: Omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam (All with Peter to Jesus through Mary)."
A page about the congress has been published on the website of Opus Dei, including previous documents from the Pope and the Holy See, messages from the Prelate, some questions and answers about the congress and the motu proprio, and information for the press about current events in the Prelature of Opus Dei. All these materials can be found here: opusdei.org/en/page/ad-charisma-tuendum-extraordinary-general-congress.
Opus Dei offers inspiration and help to find Christ in work, family life, and everyday activities. At present, 93,600 people belong to the Prelature, of whom 60% are women. Many more people — cooperators and friends of the faithful of Opus Dei — participate in activities for Christian formation.