LIMA, Peru, APR. 26, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The papal nuncio in Peru has defended Opus Dei in the face of recent press attacks closely linking the personal prelature to political power within the country.
Some press reports have also insinuated that Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, a member of Opus Dei and the primate of Peru, collaborated in the deadly military operation that ended the Japanese Embassy siege in 1997.
In an official statement, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Rino Passigato, rejected “some affirmations published in certain written media,” in which the work of the Opus Dei in the country is attacked and distorted.
“In deploring the unjust attacks, opposed to truth, toward an ecclesial institution, the apostolic nunciature manifests its recognition of the apostolic work, which, since 1953, the Opus Dei Prelature carries out throughout the length and breadth of Peru, and requests all Catholics to respect brothers, who are members of the Opus Dei Prelature, and their apostolate,” the statement stresses.
Archbishop Passigato said, specifically, that the Opus Dei Personal Prelature “is an institution of the Catholic Church, erected by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, through the apostolic constitution ´Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei,´ on the 28th day of November of the year 1982.”
A personal prelature is a special-purpose jurisdiction headed by a bishop and consisting of secular priests and deacons and open to lay people willing to dedicate themselves to its apostolic works.
The nuncio quotes the 1982 apostolic constitution, pointing out that “from its beginnings, in fact, this institution has made efforts, not only to illuminate with new lights the mission of the laity in the Church and human society, but also to put it into action; likewise, it has made an effort to put into practice the doctrine of the universal call to holiness and to promote, among all social classes, the sanctification of professional work.”
Archbishop Passigato added, “The Opus Dei Prelature enjoys all civil recognition granted by the Peruvian state, in the framework of the agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Peru.”