turn from pl better use of priests, or, as in the case of Opus Dei, leaving lay men and women in a better position to carry out pastoral undertakings.
Up to now, Opus Dei has come under the Congregation for Religious, but it has always indignantly rejected suggestions that it is a religious order. Now the organisation falls under the Congregation for Bishops.
A document promulgating the change, signed by Cardinal Sebastian Baggio, head of the Congregation for Bishops, who chaired a committee of cardinals to work out Opus Dei's status, went out of its way to stress that the prelature would not curtail diocesan bishops' rights over members of Opus Dei.
The prelature is seen by Opus Dei as its definitive juridical structure. It is regarded as the outcome of a long struggle by its founder Mgr Josemaria Escriva, who died in 1975, to prevent Opus Dei members being classed as "consecrated persons" like the religious.