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Saint Josemaria
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Priestly society of the Holy Cross

Tags: February 14 , Opus Dei, Priesthood, Priestly Society of the Holy Cross
The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei

The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, which currently has around 4,000 members, is an association of clergy intrinsically united to Opus Dei. It is made up of the clergy of the prelature, and other diocesan priests and deacons. The prelate of Opus Dei is the president of the society.

Diocesan priests in Opus Dei

The diocesan clergy who belong to the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross seek spiritual help to strive for holiness in the exercise of their ministry, according to the spirit of Opus Dei. Their membership of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross does not mean they belong to the presbyterate of the prelature. Each one continues to be incardinated in his own diocese and depends solely on his own diocesan bishop. He gives an account of his pastoral work only to his bishop.

As in the case of lay people who join the Opus Dei prelature, for a priest to be admitted into the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross he needs the inner conviction of having received a call from God to seek sanctity according to the spirit of Opus Dei. This involves a number of conditions: love for his diocese and unity with all the members of the diocesan clergy; obedience to and veneration for his own bishop; piety, the study of the sacred sciences, zeal for souls and a spirit of sacrifice; the effort to promote vocations; and the desire to fulfil the tasks of his priestly ministry with the greatest possible perfection.

Spiritual help given to diocesan priests by Opus Dei

The spiritual help offered by the Priestly Society is directed towards promoting holiness in its members through the fulfilment of their priestly duties. It encourages priests to be united with their bishop and to promote priestly fraternity. This type of priestly association is recommended by the Church in a number of different documents, including several texts of the Second Vatican Council, and the Code of Canon Law.

The specific means of formation the diocesan priests of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross receive are the same as those offered to the lay faithful of the prelature. In addition, each priest makes his own arrangements for the means of priestly formation established by canon law, and those his own bishop may require or recommend.

The spiritual and formative activities of the members of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross do not interfere with the ministry entrusted to them by their bishop. The coordination of these activities is the responsibility of the spiritual director of the Opus Dei prelature, who has no role in the government of the prelature.

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