Personal Prelatures in Nine Words

[Español] [Italiano] [Français] [Português]

1) Prelature: a portion of the People of God governed and guided by a Prelate with the help of his presbyterium.

2) Personal: the jurisdiction and mission of the prelature are delimited by personal criteria, rather than territorial. They determine the type of faithful that are the recipients of the peculiar pastoral care for which the Prelature has been erected.

3) Prelate: Pastor or Ordinary that is at the head of the Prelature and governs the clergy and laity that compose the ambit of the pastoral mission.

4) Presbyterium: made up of the priests that collaborate with the Prelate through their ministry in the pastoral mission for the good of the lay faithful. Clerics can be incardinated in the Prelature. The Prelate has the power to establish a national or international seminary.

5) Lay Faithful: are under the jurisdiction of the Prelate in all matters that deal with the pastoral end for which the Prelature to which they belong has been erected. Just as the rest of the baptized, they continue to be faithful in the diocese in which they reside.

6) Relationship with the diocese: the jurisdiction of the Prelate is cumulative with that of the Diocesan Bishop, and is delimited to his pastoral mission. To carry out the pastoral work of the Prelature, which is exercised in harmony with the ordinary pastoral activities of the diocese, prior approval of the Diocesan Bishop is needed.

7) Juridical Norms: in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Second Vatican Council (Presbyterorum Ordinis 10) and in continuity with the motu proprio Ecclesiae Sanctae 4, they are regulated by canons 294-297 of the Code of Canon Law and by the Statutes of each Prelature.

8) Statutes: norms that define the mission, jurisdictional space, and other constitutive elements of the Prelature within the frame of the norms of Canon Law. They are given by the Holy See. They also shape relations with local Ordinaries.

9) Possible Personal Prelatures: the Prelature of Opus Dei is the first. The Apostolic See can erect others so as to carry out peculiar pastoral or missionary ends for the good of various regions o diverse social groups (emigrants, persons of a particular profession, etc.).