The new leader of Opus Dei has said that he would like to further the prelature’s programmes for young people.

Mgr Fernando Ocáriz Braña told the website Crux that in many places youngsters felt “crushed, without ideals” and lacked hope.

He also said he wanted the prelature to build on its work with families and other Christians.

Since the 1950s the prelature has had cooperators who are not Catholics or even Christians. “We shouldn’t be people of confrontation but builders of bridges,” he said.

Mgr Ocáriz takes on the leadership of Opus Dei, a personal prelature that aims to help ordinary people seek holiness in everyday life, following the death of the previous prelate, last month.

Since 1994 he has been the vicar general of Opus Dei and in 2014 he was named auxiliary vicar of the prelature. Over the past 22 years he accompanied Mgr Echevarría in his pastoral trips to more than 70 countries. In the 1960s, as a theology student, he lived in Rome alongside St Josemaría, the founder of Opus Dei.

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