Past Opus Dei Prelate Nearer to Beatification

ROME, AUG. 19, 2008 ( Another step has concluded in the beatification cause of the bishop who was prelate of Opus Dei from 1975 to 1994.

An Opus Dei tribunal concluded its investigation into the life and virtue of Bishop Álvaro del Portillo (1914-1994). With the conclusion of this work, the initial, or diocesan, phase of the process has ended.

Two tribunals were simultaneously studying the bishop’s sanctity: one pertaining to the vicariate of Rome and the other pertaining to the Opus Dei prelature.

The vicariate’s tribunal officially closed its investigation June 26, the liturgical feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of the personal prelature.

At the closing of the investigation by the prelature’s tribunal, the current prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, spoke of his predecessor as a “faithful man,” that is, “a man of faith.”

“Don Alvaro’s faith embraced faith in God, faith in the Church, faith in the supernatural origin of Opus Dei, and therefore in the divine character of the undertaking God had asked him to take part in,” he said.

The current prelate added that this faith is what underlay Bishop Portillo’s deep fidelity to the founder, “whom he worked alongside closely for 40 years, and later was his first successor as head of Opus Dei.”