Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions

Personal Prelature

What is a Personal Prelature?

Personal Prelatures are ecclesiastical jurisdictions equivalent to that of a diocese; however, rather than being defined geographically by city or territory, they are meant to fulfill unique and significant pastoral and evangelizing needs that require more flexibility.

Its origins at the Second Vatican Council

The idea of Personal Prelatures was promulgated at the Second Vatican Council and subsequently regulated by the Code of Canon Law (1983), cann. 294 – 297. Recognizing that there could be regions or social groups in need of special pastoral assistance, the Council Fathers called for the erection of Personal Prelatures. As later expressed in the Apostolic Letter Ecclesiae Sanctae, these Prelatures are be “composed of priests from the secular clergy equipped with special training” to be established by Apostolic See and to be under the government of their own prelate and possess their own statutes” (cf. Apostolic Letter Ecclesiae Sanctae, Part I, n. 4).

The first Personal Prelature

In 1983 by virtue of the Apostolic Constitution Ut sit by Pope John Paul II, the ecclesial movement Opus Dei, founded in 1928 by Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer y Albás, became the first, and thus far the only, Personal Prelature in the Church. The current Prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei is The Rev. Monsignor Fernando Ocàriz Braña (pictured), whose appointment was confirmed by Pope Francis on 23 January 2016.

Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei

Prelatic Curia:

Viale Bruno Buozzi, 73
00197 Rome, Italy

Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz BRAÑA
Prelate of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei

Web Site:

Msgr. Frederick M. Dolan, P.H.
Vicar for Canada