Statement from the Rome Press Office of the Prelature of Opus Dei

This statement responds to some inquiries about the nature of the Prelature occasioned by the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus."

With the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, which establishes personal ordinariates for Anglicans who enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, various questions from the media have come to our office about the canonical and ecclesial nature of the Prelature of Opus Dei. In response to this interest we want first to stress that the publication of this Apostolic Constitution is a source of deep joy and thanksgiving to the Holy Father Benedict XVI, for this important step towards Christian unity.

Regarding the nature of the Prelature of Opus Dei, we want to once again highlight the fact that it is made up of lay faithful under the guidance of the Prelate, assisted by his presbyterate, as is the case in other personal ecclesiastical circumscriptions. This was established by the Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit (November 28, 1982), and by the statutes given by the Roman Pontiff. In this regard, John Paul II, when addressing some faithful of the Prelature, referred to "the components by which the Prelature is organically structured, that is, priests and lay faithful, men and women, headed by their own Prelate. This hierarchical nature of Opus Dei, established in the Apostolic Constitution by which I erected the Prelature (Ut Sit), offers a starting point for pastoral considerations full of practical applications. First of all, I wish to emphasize that the membership of the lay faithful in their own particular Churches and in the Prelature, into which they are incorporated, enables the special mission of the Prelature to converge with the evangelizing efforts of each particular Church" (Address, March 17, 2001).

The new document is also a spur for all Catholics to renew our prayer for Christian unity.

Rome, November 9, 2009