Escrivá's Canonization to Have an Ecumenical Flair

Non-Catholics Expected at Sunday's Event

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 4, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Lutherans, Anglicans and Orthodox will be among the 200,000-plus people expected to participate Sunday in the canonization of Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, giving an ecumenical touch to the event.



Among the 2,000 young volunteers who will welcome the pilgrims, there are Jews and Palestinians from Jerusalem, as well as youths from other Christian denominations who cooperate with Opus Dei, which Escrivá founded, the organizers explained during a press conference Thursday.

In fact, since 1950 and at the request of Escrivá himself and with the approval of the Pope, non-Catholics may become cooperators of the Work -- the name by which the Opus Dei personal prelature is generally known.

The soon-to-be canonized Spanish saint is no longer the patrimony of Opus Dei but of the whole Church, the postulator of the cause of canonization, Monsignor Flavio Capucci, said.

"This is not an Opus Dei celebration," Monsignor Capucci observed on more than one occasion. "In proclaiming the holiness of his life, he becomes a model for all Catholics."

The canonization ceremony will also be attended by prelates from areas where Opus Dei is not established, such as Angola, Togo, Sào Tomé and Moscow.

Pilgrims attending the canonization will contribute 5 euro each to the Harambee 2002 Project, which will allocate funds for development in Africa, especially in the field of education.