Pope Receives Prelate of Opus Dei

Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz

Papa prelado Opus Dei
El Papa junto a Mons. Fernando Ocáriz en 2017 © Opus Dei

At 9:15 am on Monday, November 29, 2021, Pope Francis received in audience  Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, Prelate of Opus Dei, accompanied by the Auxiliary Vicar, Monsignor Mariano Fazio.

According to a note, published on the Opus Dei’s official Webpage, during the audience, “which lasted some thirty minutes, the Prelate and Auxiliary Vicar informed the Holy Father on the different aspects of the Prelature’s faithful’s apostolate in various nations.”

They address especially “the process of simplification of the organizational structure to improve the stimulation and coordination of apostolic works. The Pope was happy with this process and said: ‘It’s important that all be on the street, engaged in the apostolate.’”

Moreover, the Holy Father expressed “his desire that all the Opus Dei faithful live the foundational spirit with fidelity, following at the same time the changes that the current challenges of the contemporary culture present to the Christian experience. He also encourages them to spread around the world the spirit of veracity, to oppose the superficiality  and lack of justice that reign in social relations.”

According to the press release, the Prelate gave the Pope two books in Chinese on Saint Joseph, publications promoted by two faithful of the Prelature. And the Holy Father gave them two books on the Statio Orbis of March 27, 2020.

As happened in audiences in previous years, “the Pope imparted his Blessing and thanked them for the Prelature’s work in the service of the Church.

Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz

 Monsignor Ocáriz was born in Paris on October 27, 1944, the son of a Spanish family exiled in France due to the Civil War (1936-1939).

He has a Licentiate in Physical Sciences from the University of Barcelona (1966) and in Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University (1969). He obtained a doctorate in Theology in 1971 from the University of Navarre. He was ordained a priest that same year. In his first years as a priest, he dedicated himself especially to youth and University pastoral care.

Since 1986, he has been a Consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Other organizations of the Roman Curia of which he is Consultor are the Congregation for the Clergy (2003) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization (2011). In 1989 he entered the Pontifical Theological Academy. In the decade of the ‘80s, he was one of the Professors that started the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, where he was an ordinary Professor (now emeritus) of Fundamental Theology.

He has been Vicar General of the Opus Dei since 1994 and, in 2014, was appointed Auxiliary Vicar of the Prelature. During the last  22 years, he accompanied the former Prelate, Monsignor Javier Echevarria on his pastoral visits to more than 70 nations. In the ‘60s,  being a student of Theology, he lived in Rome with Saint Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer, founder of the Opus Dei.

After the death of Monsignor Javier Echevarria on December 12, 2016, Pope Francis confirmed his election by the Opus Dei’s Elective College and appointed him Prelate on January 17, 2017.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester