Past Opus Dei Prelate Closer to Beatification

Diocesan Phase Concludes for Bishop del Portillo

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ROME, JUNE 24, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The diocesan phase of the beatification cause of former Opus Dei prelate Bishop Álvaro del Portillo will officially close Thursday.



Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar for Rome, will preside over the closing session of the diocesan phase of the cause of Bishop del Portillo (1914-1994). The bishop was prelate of Opus Dei from 1975 to 1994. His beatification process was opened in 2004.

Thursday is also the liturgical feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of the personal prelature.

The current prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, was named by the Congregation for Saints' Causes as the competent bishop to investigate his predecessor's cause of canonization.

However, Bishop Echevarría asked Cardinal Ruini to appoint a tribunal in the vicariate of the Diocese of Rome to receive his testimony and that of some of the other witnesses, a statement from Opus Dei reported.

The remaining witnesses gave testimony to the tribunal of the prelature in Rome or to tribunals of their dioceses of residence.

Monsignor Flavio Capucci, postulator of the cause, thanked the vicariate's tribunal for the work, the prelature reported.

He also recalled that in 1978, when the process of St. Josemaría began, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo had insisted that, in asking the Pope to open the cause of its founder, Opus Dei was not seeking its own glory, but that of the Church. "Today," Monsignor Capucci said, "we echo these words with our whole heart."

The next stage of Bishop del Portillo's process will take place when the tribunal of the prelature concludes the process of investigation. With the material that both tribunals have collected, the postulator will put together the "positio," which is a biography of the bishop and a study of how he lived the Christian virtues in a heroic manner.