Glossary (Global & Regional)



Prelature Safeguarding Policy


Regional Safeguarding Policy


Local Safeguarding Policy for each of four functional areas of the NWE Region, combining the PSP and RSP with local civil and ecclesiastical safeguarding legislation and guidance


North-West Europe (refers to the Region of the Prelature of Opus Dei established on 10th April 2022 from the former regions of Great Britain, Ireland, The Netherlands and Scandinavia)


Dicastery [formerly, Congregation] for the Doctrine of the Faith


Motu Proprio Vos estis lux mundi


Codex Iuris Canonici [Code of Canon Law] 1983, as amended by the Apostolic Constitution Pascite gregem Dei, May 23, 2021


Motu Proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, April 30, 2001, amended May 21, 2010, and again on 7 December 2021 with the Norms regarding the Delicts Reserved to the Congregation (now, Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith



Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (cf. Apostolic constitution "Ut sit")


Ordinary of the Prelature (cf. Can. 295 §1 CIC)


Region of North-West Europe of the Prelature


Regional Vicar of the Prelature for North-West Europe


Statutes of the Prelature (i.e. the Code of the Particular Law approved by the Apostolic See for the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, cf. Can. 295 §1 CIC)

Faithful (of the Prelature) 

The clergy incardinated in the Prelature and the lay people incorporated in it (cf. Can. 296 CIC, Can. 296 CIC; Statuta, No. 1 §1, §2; No. 6; No. 125 §3)

Safeguarding Coordinator & Deputy

Regional Safeguarding Coordinator for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons in the Region, or a Deputy Coordinator acting in his/her place in a particular area of the Region or in a particular case

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee prescribed by the global (PSP Art. 9) and regional (RSP Art. 12-13) safeguarding policies of the Prelature to advise the Vicar when consulted on a case and to review safeguarding policies.


Person appointed by the Vicar to conduct a canonical preliminary investigation of a case.


DDF, Vademecum on certain points of procedure in treating cases of sexual abuse of minors committed by clerics, ver. 2.0, 5th June 2022

Notitia (de delicto)

Can. 1717 §1 CIC – “information, which has at least the semblance of truth, about an offence” received by the Ordinary

Preliminary Investigation

When the Ordinary receives notitia of a possible delict, he is to make a preliminary investigation about the facts, circumstances, and imputability of the complaint, unless such an inquiry seems entirely superfluous (see also Can. 1717 CIC et seq. and Vademecum n. 34 et seq.).


Prelature Safeguarding Policy (PSP)

Minor (PSP Art. 3)

“Minor” means any person under the age of eighteen years. 

A person with an habitually imperfect use of reason is equivalent to a minor (cf. Motu Proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, – as revised – Art. 6, 1°). In this Policy, unless the context excludes it, vulnerable persons are to be taken as equivalent to minors, even if they are not expressly mentioned.

Vulnerable person (PSP Art. 3)

“Vulnerable person” means, for the purposes of these directives, any adult in a state of infirmity, physical or psychological deficiency or deprivation of personal liberty, which in fact limits his or her ability, albeit occasionally, to understand or want or otherwise resist an offence (cf. VELM Art.1 §2 a-b).

Regional Safeguarding Policy (RSP)

Delictum cum minore (RSP Appendix IA)

SST Article 6 

§1 The more grave delicts against morals which are reserved to the judgement of the [Dicastery] for the Doctrine of the Faith are: 

i. the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years or with a person who habitually has the imperfect use of reason; ignorance or error on the part of the cleric regarding the age of the minor does not constitute an extenuating or exonerating circumstance;

ii. the acquisition, possession, exhibition, or distribution, for purposes of sexual gratification or profit, of pornographic images of minors under the age of eighteen years, in any manner and by any means whatsoever, by a cleric.