Rome, Italy, Jan 23, 2017 / 16:43 pm
Pope Francis on Monday confirmed the election of Monsignor Fernando Ocariz Braña as Prelate of Opus Dei. The priest becomes the third successor of St. Josemaria Escriva as head of the personal prelature.
The Jan. 23 election of Msgr. Ocariz was not unexpected, as he had been auxiliary to the previous prelate, Bishop Javier Echevarría, and was his natural replacement. Bishop Echevarría died Dec. 12 at the age of 84.
Msgr. Ocariz was born in Paris in 1944 to a Spanish family who had been exiled because of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.
He studied physical sciences at the University of Barcelona, and received a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1969. In 1971 he was ordained a priest, and earned a doctorate in theology from the University of Navarre.