1982 Statutes of Opus Dei -- Latin and English INTRODUCTION This document (see link below) contains the original Latin text and an English translation of the 1982 Statutes of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei. Opus Dei is the first Personal Prelature in the Catholic Church, a new figure of government which was established by Vatican II. Opus Dei is immediately and directly subject to the Holy See (see N 171) and resides in the Congregation for Bishops. The 1983 Code of Canon Law dedicates a sparse four canons to Personal Prelatures, NN 294 to 297. These canons say, basically, that Personal Prelatures can be established by the Church for specific pastoral purposes, but their purposes, their law, regulations and relationships are to be defined and set forth in their statutes. The Latin text of these statutes has been published in several places, among which are the three citations listed at the end. The second citation refers to a Latin-Spanish translation of these statutes published by the Spanish magazine TIEMPO, in 1986. (The Spanish translations of the 1950 and 1982 statutes are available on the Opus Libros website.) This translation is intended to be a working document for those who need access to the scope, content and general direction of the statutes. Anyone requiring juridical correctness or interpretation should consult a canon lawyer. However, this translation should assist such persons in identifying relevant passages. There is also a short Appendix displaying the central offices of government defined in these statutes. Prior to 1982, Opus Dei was a Secular Institute, governed by statutes approved in 1950. From the Final Dispositions listed at the end of this document, traditions and laws of the 1950 statutes, not directly abrogated by this current edition, still apply.
Although these statutes have been kept in the shadow of a "discretion" tantamount to secrecy for many years, they were obviously written to be made public someday, and are intended to inspire people, from all walks of life, to search for higher things. From this point of view, they can only be praised. They say very little about the actual methods and practices employed by Opus Dei. For individuals deeply concerned about these methods and practices, you will find little in these statutes to settle your concerns. Opus Dei is a uniquely self-defined and self-defining organization, although public dissemination of these statutes will help place limits on the extent of its definition. For the purposes of retaining rights of public access, copyright is hereby asserted over this English translation, which at the time of this posting, is the only one. Formatting Notes The original electronic document is distributed in RTF (Rich Text Format), which is a universal word processing format that can be read by most word processors. The original Latin text is shown in black, and the English translation appears indented, boldface and in a blue color. When printed on a black and white printer -- the original Latin text will appear in black, and the English translation will appear indented, boldface and in black. This document is in 12 point text. It prints in about 135 pages. It may be re-saved in any form or style convenient to the user, however some of the original formatting may be lost. ====================================================
CONTENTS Codex juris particularis seu Statuta Praelaturae Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei a Sede Apostolica probata Code of particular law and Statutes of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei approved by the Apostolic See. Titulus 1 -- De Praelaturae Natura Ejusdemque Christifidelibus Title 1 -- Concerning the Nature of the Prelature and its Christian Faithful (N 1 -- 35) Caput 1 -- De Praelaturae Natura et Fine Chapter 1 -- Concerning the Nature and End of the Prelature (N 1 -- 5). Caput II -- De Praelaturae Christifidelibus Chapter 2 -- Concerning the Christian Faithful of the Prelature (N 6 -- 16) . Caput III -- De Fidelium Admissione et Incorporatione in Praelaturam Chapter 3 -- Concerning the Admission and Incorporation of the Faithful into the Prelature (N 17 -- 27). Caput IV -- De Fidelium Discessu et Dimissione a Praelatura Chapter 4 -- Concerning the Departure and Dismissal of the Faithful from the Prelature.(N 28 -- 35). Titulus II -- De Praelaturae Presbyterio Deque Societate Sacerdotali Sanctae Crucis Title 2 -- Concerning the Priesthood of the Prelature and the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross (N 36 -- 78). Caput I -- De Compositione Presbyterii et Societatis Sacerdotalis Sanctae Crucis Chapter 1 -- Concerning the Composition of the Priesthood and the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross (N 36 -- 43). Caput II -- De Promotione ad Sacros Ordines et de Presbyterorum Missione Canonica Chapter 2 -- Concerning the Promotion to Sacred Orders and the Canonical Mission of Priests (N 44 -- 56). Caput III -- De Sociis Aggregatis et Supernumerariis Societatis Sacerdotalis Sanctae Crucis Chapter 3 -- Concerning the Associates and Supernumeraries of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross. (N 57 -- 78). Titulus III -- De Vita, Institutione et Apostolatu Fidelium Praelaturae Title 3 -- Concerning the Life, Education and Apostolate of the Faithful of the Prelature (N 79 -- 124) Caput I -- De Vita Spirituali Chapter 1 -- Concerning Spiritual Life (N 79 -- 95) Caput II -- De Institutione Doctrinali Religiosa Chapter 2 -- Concerning Religious Doctrinal Education (N 96 -- 109). Caput III -- De Apostolatu Chapter 3 -- Concerning Apostolate (N 110 -- 124) Titulus IV -- De Regimine Praelaturae Title 4 -- Concerning the Government of the Prelature (N 125 -- 180). Caput I -- De Regimine in Genere Chapter 1 -- Concerning Government in General (N 125 -- 129). Caput II -- De Regimine Centrali Chapter 2 -- Concerning Central Government (N 130 -- 149). Caput III -- De Regimine Regionali et Locali Chapter 3 -- Concerning Regional and Local Government (N 150 -- 161). Caput IV -- De Adunationibus Regionalibus Chapter 4 -- Concerning Regional Conferences (N 162 -- 170). Caput V -- De Relationibus cum Episcopis Dioecesanis Chapter 5 -- Concerning Relations with Diocesan Bishops (N 171 -- 180) Titulus V -- De Stabilitate et Ui Huius Codicis Title 5 -- Concerning the Stability and Force of this Code (N 181 -- 185) Dispositiones Finales Final Dispositions ====================================================
Codex juris particularis seu Statuta Praelaturae Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei a Sede Apostolica probata Code of particular law and Statutes of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei approved by the Apostolic See. Titulus 1 -- De Praelaturae Natura Ejusdemque Christifidelibus Title 1 -- Concerning the Nature of the Prelature and its Christian Faithful ======================================================
Caput 1 -- De Praelaturae Natura et Fine Chapter 1 -- Concerning the Nature and End of the Prelature 1S1 Opus Dei est Praelatura personalis clericos et laicos simul complectens, ad peculiarem operam pastoralem perficiendam sub regime proprii Praelati (cfr n 125) Opus Dei is a personal Prelature, composed of both laity and clerics, in order to perform its own pastoral work under the government of its own Prelate. 1S2 Praelaturae presbyterium constituunt illi clerici qui ex ejusdem fidelibus laicis ad Ordines promoventur et eidem incardinantur; laicatus Praelaturae ab iis fidelibus efformatur qui vocatione divina moti, vinculo juridico incorporationis speciali ratione Praelaturae devinciuntur. The priests of the Prelature are those clerics who are promoted to Orders from the lay faithful of the Prelature and are incardinated into it; the laity of the Prelature, are formed from those faithful, who moved by divine vocation, are bound by reason of a special juridical bond of incorporation to the Prelature. 1S3 Praelatura, quae Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei, breviato autem nomine Operis Dei nuncupatur, est ambitu internationalis, sedem suam centralem Romae habet atque regitur normis juris universalis Praelaturarum personalium necnon horum Statutorum, et juxta Sanctae Sedis specialia praescripta vel indulta. The Prelature, which is that of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, and also uses the name "Opus Dei" for short, is of international scope. It has its central seat in Rome, and is governed by the universal norms of law for personal Prelatures, those of these statutes and also according to special prescriptions or indults of the Holy See. 2S1 Praelatura sibi proponit suorum fidelium, juxta normas juris particularis, sanctificationem per exercitium in proprio cuiusque statu, professione ac vitae condicione virtutum Christianarum, secundum specificam ipsius spiritualitatem, prorsus saecularem. According to the norms of its particular law, the Prelature aims at the sanctification of its faithful through the exercise of the Christian virtues, in the peculiar state, profession, and condition of life of each person, according to its specific spirituality, which is completely secular. 2S2 Item Praelatura intendit totis viribus adlaborare ut personae omnium condicionum et statuum civilis societatis, et in primis quae intellectuales dicuntur, Christi Domini praeceptis integro corde adhaereant ipsaque, etiam ope santificationis proprii uniuscuiusque laboris professionalis, in praxim deducant, in medio mundo, ut omnia ad Voluntatem Creatoris ordinentur; atque viros ac mulieres informare ad apostolatum item in societate civili exercendum. Moreover, the Prelature intends to work with all its strength so that persons of all conditions and states of civil society, and in the first place those called "intellectuals", may adhere wholeheartedly to the teachings of Christ the Lord; and that by sanctifying their own professional work, they may put these teachings into practice in the midst of the world so that all things are ordered to the Will of the Creator, and to form men and women to do apostolate in civil society. 3S1 Media, quae, ad hos fines supernaturales obtinendos, christifideles Praelaturae adhibent, haec sunt: The means which the Christian faithful of the Prelature use in order to reach these supernatural ends are as follows: 3S1P1 imprensa vita spiritualis orationis et sacrificii, juxta spiritum Operis Dei: ipsorum enim vocatio est essentialiter contemplativa, fundatur in humili ac sincero sensu filiationis divinae et subridenti ascetismo constanter sustinetur; -- a deep spiritual life of prayer and sacrifice, according to the spirit of Opus Dei, since their vocation is essentially contempative, founded on a humble and sincere sense of divine filiation and constantly sustained by smiling asceticism. 3S1P2 profunda ac continua institutio ascetica et doctrinalis religiosa, ad personalia cuiusque adjuncta accommodata atque in ecclesiastico Magisterio solide innixa, necnon constans studium adquirendi et perficiendi necessariam formationem professionalem propriamque animi culturam; -- a profound and continual ascetical tradition and religious doctrinal instruction adapted to the personality of each one, solidly based on the ecclesial Magisterium, and the constant effort to acquire and perfect the necessary professional formation and their own intellectual culture. 3S1P3 imitatio vitae absconditae Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in Nazareth, etiam in sanctificatione proprii laboris professionalis ordinarii, quem, exemplo et verbis, convertere satagunt in instrumentum apostolatus, unusquisque propria attingens actionis sphaeram, prout sua cuiusque cultura et aptitudo expostulant, sciensque se esse debere tamquam fermentum in massa humanae societatis latens; item, seipsos sanctificent christifideles in perfecta adimpletione huius laboris, peracti quidem in constanti unione cum Deo; necnon per ipsum laborem alios santificent. -- by imitating the hidden life of our Lord Jesus Christ in Nazareth; also in the sanctification of their own ordinary professional work, which they strive to convert, by word and example, into an instrument of apostolate, each one affecting his own sphere of action, to the extent that his culture and aptitude allows, and knowing that he must be hidden leaven in the mass of society;. moreover, the Christian faithful sanctify themselves in the perfect fulfillment of this work, carried out in constant union with God; and they also sanctify others through their work. 3S2 Propterea omnes Praelaturae christifideles: For these reasons all the Christian faithful of the Prelature: 3S2P1 se obligant ad exercitium laboris professionalis vel alterius aequipollentis non derelinquendum, quia per ipsum sanctificationem et peculiarem apostolatum persequentur: -- are obliged not to neglect the exercise of their professional work or other occupation, for it is through it that they reach their sanctification and particular apostolate; 3S2P2 quam maxima fidelitate adimplere satagunt officia proprii status necnon actionem seu professionem socialem cuiusque propriam, summa semper cum reverentia pro legitimis societatis civilis legibus; itemque labores apostolicos perficiendos, a Praelato ipsis commissos. -- for they strive to fulfill with maximum fidelity the responsibilities of their state and also their own social profession or activity, always with the greatest respect for the legitimate laws of civil society, and also carrying out the apostolic work committed to them by the Prelate. 4S1 Sub regimine Praelati, presbyterium suo ministerio sacerdotali universum Opus Dei vivificat atque informat. Under the government of the Prelature, Opus Dei vivifies and instructs the universal priesthood by its priestly ministry. 4S2 Sacerdotium ministeriale clericorum et commune sacerdotium laicorum intime conjunguntur atque se invicem requirunt et complent, ad exsequendum, in unitate vocationis et regiminis, finem quem Praelatura sibi proponit. The ministerial priesthood of the clerics and the common priesthood of the faithful are intimately joined. They require and complete each other in order to fulfill, in the unity of vocation and government, the end which the Prelature proposes to itself. 4S3 In utraque pariter Operis Dei Sectione, virorum scilicet ac mulierum, eadem est unitas vocationis, spiritus, finis et regiminis, etsi unaquaeque Section proprios habeat apostolatus. In a very similar way, both the men's section and the women's section of Opus Dei have the same unity of vocation, of ends, of spirit and of government, even though they each have their own apostolates. 5 Praelatura tamquam Patronos habet Beatam Mariam semper Virginem, quam uti Matrem veneratur, et S. Joseph, ejusdem Beatae Mariae Virginis Sponsum. Peculiari devotione chistifideles prosequuntur SS. Archangelos Michaelem, Gabrielem, et Raphaelem, atque SS. Apostolos Petrum, Paulum et Joannum, quibus universum Opus Dei ejusdemque singula actionis genera specialiter consecrantur. The Prelature also has as patrons the Blessed Mary, ever virgin, venerated as its mother and St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Christian faithful follow with particular devotion the holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael as well as the holy apostles, Peter, Paul and John to each of whom, Opus Dei as a whole and the several kinds of activity are especially consecrated. ======================================================
Caput II -- De Praelaturae Christifidelibus Chapter 2 -- Concerning the Christian Faithful of the Prelature 6 Cuncti christifideles qui Praelaturae incorporantur, vinculo juridico de quo in n 27, hoc faciunt eadem divina vocatione moti: omnes eundem finem apostolicum prosequuntur, eundem spiritum eandemque praxim asceticam colunt, congruam recipiunt doctrinalem institutionem et curam sacerdotalem atque, ad finem Praelaturae quod attinet, subsunt potestati Praelati ejusque Consiliorum, juxta normas juris universalis et horum Statutorum. All the Christian faithful who are incorporated in the Prelature, are obliged by a juridical bond mentioned in N 27. They all contract this obligation motivated by the same divine vocation; they all pursue the same apostolic ends; they cultivate the same spirit and ascetical practice; and they receive proportionate doctrinal instruction and priestly care; and in all that pertains to the end of the Prelature; they are subject to the power of the Prelate and his Councils according to the universal norms of law and these Statutes. 7S1 Pro habituali cuiusque disponibilitate ad incumbendum officiis formationis necnon aliquibus determinatis Operis Dei apostolatus inceptis, fideles Praelaturae, sive viri sive mulieres, vocantur Numerarii, Aggregati vel Supernumerarii, quin tamen diversas classes efforment. Haec disponibilitas pendet ex diversis uniuscuiusque permanentibus adjunctis personalibus, familiaribus, professionalibus aliisve id genus Based upon the habitual availability of each person to devote himself to the responsibilities of formation and the determined undertakings of the apostolates of Opus Dei, the Prelature faithful, whether men or women, are called Numeraries, Associates or Supernumeraries, without, however, their forming different classes. This availability depends upon the diverse permanent circumstances of each one, whether they be personal, family, professional or some other type. 7S2 Quin Praelaturae fideles efficiantur, ipsi aggregari valent associati Cooperatores, de quibus in n 16 Without becoming faithful of the Prelature, they may include associated Cooperators, of whom N. 16 speaks. 8S1 Vocantur Numerarii illi clerici et laici qui, speciali motione ac dono Dei coelibatum apostolicum servantes (cfr Matth, XIX, 11), peculiaribus inceptis apostolatus Praelaturae totis viribus maximaque adlaborandi personali disponibilitate incumbunt, et ordinarie commorantur in sedibus Centrorum Operis Dei, ut illa apostolatus incepta curent ceterorumque Praelaturae fidelium institutioni se dedicent. Numeraries are those clerics and laity who, by a special motion and gift of God live apostolic celibacy (cfr Matt: 19:11). They devote themselves to the particular apostolic undertakings of the Prelature, with all their strength and with maximum personal availability to work. Ordinarily, they live in Centers of Opus Dei in order to care for the apostolic undertakings and to dedicate themselves to the formation of the other faithful of the Prelature. 8S2 Numerariae familarem insuper administrationem seu domesticam curam habent omnium Praelaturae Centrorum, in loco tamen penitus separato commorantes. Female numeraries, as mentioned above, care for the family or domestic administration of all centers of the Prelature, even though they may live in places completely separate. 9 Admitti possunt qua Numerarii ii omnes fideles laici qui plena gaudeant disponibilitate ad incumbendum officiis formationis atque laboribus apostolicis peculiaribus Operis Dei, quique, cum admissionem expostulant, ordinario praediti sint titulo academico civili aut professionali aequipollenti, vel saltem post admissionem illum obtinere valeant. Praeterea, in Secione mulierum, Numerariae Auxiliares, eadem disponibilitate ac ceterae Numerariae, vitam suam praecipue dedicant laboribus manualibus vel officiis domesticis, quae tamquam proprium laborem professionalem voluntarie suscipiunt, in sedibus Centrorum Operis. All those lay faithful, who enjoy the full availability to dedicate themselves to the duties of formation and the particular apostolic works of Opus Dei, can be admitted as Numeraries; ordinarily each one, when he requests admission, ought to have a civil academic degree or professional equivalent, or be able, at least, to obtain one after the admission. In addition, in the women's section, there are Numerary Auxiliaries [Assistants], who have the same complete availability as Numeraries, who dedicate their lives to the manual work or domestic tasks in the Centers of Opus Dei, which they voluntarily undertake as their special professional work. 10S1 Vocantur Aggregati illi fideles laici qui vitam suam plene Domino tradentes in coelibatu apostolico et juxta spiritum Operis Dei, curam tamen impendere debent in suas concretas ac permanentes necessitates personales, familiares vel professionales, quae eos ordinarie ducunt ad commorandum cum propria ipsorum familia. Haec omnia determinant simul eorum dedicationem aliquibus officiis apostolatus vel formationis Operis Dei perficiendis. Those lay faithful are called Associates, who surrender their full life to the Lord in apostolic celebacy in keeping with the spirit of Opus Dei; nevertheless, they must devote themselves to concrete and permanent personal, family or professional obligations which ordinarily lead them to live with their own families. They resolve all these things, at the same time as they fulfill some duty of apostolate or formation in Opus Dei. 10S2 Aggregati, nisi aliud pro eis specialiter caveatur, omnia officia seu obligationes suscipiunt ac Numerarii, et ipsorum identicis mediis asceticis ad assequendam sanctitatem et apostolatum exercendum uti debent. Associates, unless something else is especially provided for them, undertake the same duties and responsibilities as Numeraries; they ought to use the same ascetical means as the former to pursue holiness and exercise apostolate. 11S1 Vocantur Supernumerarii ii omnes fideles laici, coelibes et etiam conjugati, qui, eadem vocatione divina ac Numerarii et Aggregati, peculiarem apostolatum Operis Dei plene participant, ea quidem disponibilitate quoad incepta apostolica, quae sit compatibilis cum adimpletione suarum oblicationum familiarium, professionalium ac socialium; quique non solum suam vitam suamque professionem convertunt, sicut et ceteri alii Praelaturae christifideles, in medium santificationis et apostolatus, verum etiam, non aliter ac Aggregati, propriam domum propriasque familares occupationes. Supernumeraries are all those lay faithful, married and single, who participate in the same divine vocation and particular apostolate of Opus Dei, as the Numeraries and Associates; but for them their availability to devote themselves to apostolate undertakings must be compatible with the fulfillment of their family, professional and social responsibilities; each one transforms not only his professional life, as all the other Christian faithful of the Prelature do, into a means of sanctification and apostolate, but also, in a manner similar to Associates, fulfill their own home and family occupations. 11S2 Supernumerarii de eodem spiritu vivunt, et pro viribus easdem consuetudines ac Numerari et Aggregati.