Commissio Constitutionum OFMCap.
DRAFT OUTLINE OF OUR CONSTITUTIONS FOR THE LXXXIV GENERAL CHAPTER
Chapter IX: Our apostolic life
Second Proposed Revision (PdR 2)
Rome — General Curia — 2012
Table of Contents
- N. 146 (144)
- N. 147 (145)
- N. 148 (146)
- N. 149 (147)
- N. 150 (148)
- N. 151 (149,1)
- N. 152 (149,2-4)
- N. 153 (150)
- N. 154 (151)
- N. 155 (152)
- N. 156 (cfr. 153)
- N. 157 (154)
A personal contribution prepared by one of the members of the Commission was used as the starting point for the work of the Sub-commission for the Proposed Revision of Chapter IX. The whole Commission carefully examined the initial Schema during its full meeting on 15-27 February 2010. The first Proposed Revision (PdR1) was sent out to the Order in June 2010.
The Commission once again examined the text during its XII Plenary Session from 4 -14 July 2011in the light of the overwhelmingly positive feedback received from the Order. Most of the reservations were matters of style, and in some cases indicated a change of perspective. The Commission accepted many suggestions asking for improvements in the wording or a more sharply defined concept. As usual the Explanatory Notesgive a detailed explanation and reasons for every change, and also report each of the evaluations received.. 19 of the 56 paragraphs of chapter IX in PdR1 were changed. The structure of the chapter is identical to that of the current text. Only the current n. 149 has been divided into two; several other numbers, however, have been merged, and sometimes new paragraphs introduced. The Commission did not identify any matters in chapter IX that would be better transferred to the Complementary Code.
As we had already done in the presentation of PdR1, it seems appropriate to list here the aspects which the Commission wished to highlight particularly in revising chapter VII of the Constitutions. These relate to:
- The ecclesiological foundation of apostolic life (cf. PdR2, n. 146,2);
- The distinctive inspiration (ispirazione originaria) of Saint Francis and of our Fraternity (cf. PdR2, n. 146,3);
- The relationship between fraternal life and apostolic life (cf. PdR2, n. 147,3);
- Minority as fundamental criterion for our apostolic choices (cf. PdR2, n. 147,7);
- Collaboration within the Order and outside the Order regarding apostolic initiatives and the need for planning (cf. PdR2, n. 148,5);
- New mission contexts (cf. PdR2, n. 149,3-4);
- The importance of witness for effective apostolic action (cf. PdR2, n. 149,7, but also n. 151,3);
- The Christological foundation of preaching (cf. PdR2, n. 150,1);
- The Word of God as the soul of the apostolate (or the Biblical animation of each form of apostolate) (cf. PdR2, n. 150,6);
- Our sacramental life and the apostolate (cf. PdR2, n. 151,3);
- Catechesis in the Faith (cf. PdR2, n. 150,6);
- l’evangelizzazione della cultura (cf. PdR2, n. 150,6);
- The via pulchritudinis of the apostolate (cf. PdR2, n. 156,1).
From this list of elements it seems important to highlight the new mission contexts. The criterion of dynamic fidelity to our charism as Capuchin Friars Minor is fundamental in the work of the Commission and was underlined in the presentation of the Proposed Revision of Chapter One. In reference to Chapter Nine, the present Constitutions state: “This same Spirit raised up Saint Francis and his apostolic Fraternity so that, according to the more urgent needs of its time, it might offer all its energies to the Church in its mission to all peoples, especially to those who are most in need of hearing the gospel message” (n. 144.3).
For the reasons given later, the Commission proposes a change to this text, pointing out in particular that “the clause according to the more pressing needs of its time is exclusively limited to one historical moment, whereas our apostolic vocation is to face the more pressing needs of every age.” Moreover the history of the Order shows how our Fraternity, down the centuries, in interpreting the signs of the times has tried to meet the needs of the Church and the various pressing needs of society by adopting or even modifying its own attitude regarding some forms of ministry and pastoral service. A good example of this is the ministry of hearing confessions. During the early centuries of our Reform this was exercised in a limited way within precise restrictions defined by the Constitutions. Gradually the confessional ministry became one of the most characteristic expressions of Capuchin apostolate. It is even presented as a special charism of Capuchin apostolate. In renewing its fundamental Legislation, and urged on by the need for dynamic fidelity, the Order is not limited to re-affirm the value of traditional forms of apostolate and social development. The Order has also urged the friars to “read the signs of the times” (Const. 147.1) and “to undertake new forms of apostolate” (Const. 147.3). Among these new forms our Constitutions since 1968 have envisaged parish apostolate (Const. 151) and the Media apostolate (Const. 153). Number 93 of the Constitutions, about friars in particular circumstances who must live outside a religious house, should be considered from this perspective too. This passage was composed and introduced into the Constitutions following a specific request on the part of the central government of the Order because of new and pressing needs in the missions and of the apostolate.
The decision of the 2006 General Chapter to enhance the doctrinal and spiritual content of the Constitutions by drawing on recent Church and Order documents was also inspired by the criterion of dynamic fidelity. Therefore in fulfilment of the mandate received from the Chapter the Commission had carefully considered the teaching of Vita Consecrata which indicates some mission contexts (cf. n.96-99).
The areopagus is a symbol of the meaning of mission, constantly reaching out to man and the human community in the more significant places where culture is created and people seek out truth – environments that can also be the most difficult and not without risk. If in the light of our tradition, which is re-affirmed in our current Constitutions, we take up ministries considered to be very difficult or go where no one else wants to go – according to an expression attributed to Pope Pius XII – it seems opportune that the Constitutions themselves give an indication to some areas of apostolate that constitute real and pressing needs: the promotion and defence of life against a culture of death, youth apostolate, ministry to couples and families, the evangelisation of culture and the world of education. Consequently on these aspects the Commission has prepared some texts to present for evaluation by the Order, and they are now submitted for examination by the General Chapter.At the same time it highlights these contexts already exist within the varied apostolic and social activity of our Fraternity.
The main Magisterium Documents to which the Commission referred in the preparation of the Proposed Revision of Chapter IX are: the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (25 March 1995), and the Apostolic Exhortations Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 December 1975), Catechesi Tradendae (16 October 1979), Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981) and Vita Consecrata (25 March 1996). The Documents of the Plenary Councils of the Order, the 2006 Project, and the Constitutions of 1968 were also taken into due consideration.
Chapter IX: OUR APOSTOLIC LIFE
The current title (The Apostolic Life of the Brothers), in line with proposals made in previous chapters, has been changed to a personal form. Wherever possible, the text itself is also in the first person plural.
The numbering will be adjusted after the revision of chapter 8. For the time being, the current numbering has been retained.
|Current text||Proposed revision|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|144,1. Filius Dei a Patre in mundum missus est ut, condicionem humanam assumens, pauperibus evangelizaret, contritos corde sanaret, captivis remissionem nuntiaret et caecis visum restitueret.||144,1. The Son of God was sent into the world by the Father so that, assuming our human condition, he might bring the good news to the poor, heal the contrite of heart, proclaim liberty to prisoners, and restore sight to the blind.||Current text (144,1) with additions
1. The Son of God was sent into the world by the Father so that, assuming our human condition and consecrated by the anointing of the Holy Spirit (1), he might bring the good news to the poor, heal the contrite of heart, proclaim liberty to captives, restore sight to the blind and proclaim the Lord’s favour (2).
|144,2. Quam missionem Christus in Ecclesia virtute Spiritus Sancti continuare statuit.||144,2. Christ established the continuation of this mission within the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit.||Current text (144,2) with additions
2. Christ established that this mission, by the power of the Holy Spirit, should continue in the Church, which welcomes it as a grace, as its own vocation and as the profound expression of its identity (3).
|144,3. Idem autem Spiritus suscitavit sanctum Franciscum eiusque Fraternitatem apostolicam ut, iuxta urgentiores necessitates sui temporis, in missione Ecclesiae operam adiutricem totis viribus praestaret, erga illos praesertim qui maiore indigentia nuntii evangelici laborarent.||144,3. This same Spirit raised up Saint Francis and his apostolic Fraternity so that, according to the more urgent needs of its time, it might offer all its energies to the Church in its mission to all peoples, especially to those who are most in need of hearing the gospel message.||Current text (144,3) with additions and changes
3. This same Spirit raised up Saint Francis and his apostolic Fraternity so that following the example of Jesus and His first disciples they might go about the world preaching penance and peace, thus participating in the Church’s mission to proclaim the gospel (4).
|144,4. Unde Fraternitas nostra, Spiritui Domini et sanctae eius operationi obsecundans, in Ecclesia debitum servitii erga omnes homines adimplet opere et verbo eis evangelizando.||144,4. Our Fraternity, therefore, obeying the Spirit of the Lord and Its holy activity, fulfills a debt of service to all peoples by bringing them the gospel in deed and word in the Church.||Current text (144,4)
4. Our Fraternity, therefore, in obedience to the Spirit of the Lord and His holy activity, pays a debt of service to all peoples by bringing them the gospel in deeds and words in the Church (5).
(1) The inserted phrase is inspired by a proposal in Project 2006. It seems more logical to restructure the sentence to bring out the consecutive relationship between the Incarnation and the anointing with the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan. In Luke’s gospel the discourse in the synagogue at Nazareth, already recalled in the text of the Constitutions, comes after the episodes of the baptism and the temptations; the three episodes are linked by the theme of the Spirit and are arranged in sequence: election, temptation and mission. . One evaluation thought that consecrated by the Holy Spirit should come earlier because this consecration occurred at the Annunciation and not only at the Baptism in the River Jordan [Prot. N.: IX- 00008; IX-00083]. No one denies this, however the point here was to relate consecration in the Holy Spirit to the River Jordan and the start of the mission of Jesus.
(2) The addition of this last element, following a proposal in Project 2006, completes the reference to Lk 4,18-19. It did not seem appropriate to follow the suggestion of Project 2006 and add to the text this quotation from PCO V: “His whole life, from the first moment of his existence to his death and resurrection, is an integral part of his evangelising activity” (n. 41). Although this text does contain a reference to Evangelii nuntiandi (n. 6), in fact the text of the Apostolic Exhortation is formulated differently and with greater precision. In PdR1 we read: and proclaim the Lord’s Day of favour; out of greater respect for the Biblical text one evaluation [Prot. N.: IX-00033] proposes to say proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. The Commission thought that in this passage of the Constitutions such textual fidelity was not necessary, and following Project 2006 (to announce God’s favour to all) proposed to say more simply: proclaim the Lord’s favour.
(3) The addition of § 2 again refers to Evangelii nuntiandi (n. 14): “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity”. This addition was not challenged by the Order; only one evaluation proposed to eliminate it, on the grounds that it weakens the text. [Prot. N.: IX-00084]. In fact the current text is anything but strong, indeed, while its content is valid, its formulation might appear rather feeble. The proposed addition, which expresses an additional aspect of mission, as well as its Christological, pneumatic and ecclesial basis, enriches the current text.
(4) The current text has been modified by eliminating some less important parts: the clause according to the more urgent needs of its time is exclusively limited to one historical moment, whereas our apostolic vocation is to face the more urgent needs of every age. Even the last phrase especially to those who were most in need of hearing the gospel message seems unnecessary: a similar idea recurs frequently in the Constitutions. The new formulation we propose, composed from expressions found in the Opuscula, is closer to the experience of Saint Francis himself and to the origins of our Fraternity. For the sake of completeness, it might be good to include the aspect of pilgrimage explicitly in the text (pilgrims and strangers) and that of poverty (having nothing of our own). Cf. in this connection Project 2006, n. 106, 4. The last part coincides with the current text in its insistence on assisting the Church to carry out its mission of evangelisation. It was precisely the last aspect (helping the Church) that caused concern to some, and one evaluation we received stated: “We are part of the people of God. The apostolate of the fraternity is not a service or help to the Church but part of the mission of the Church. One should avoid saying “aiutando” (“assisting”) or “adiutricem operam” (“work of assistance”) [Prot. N.: IX- 00010]. This was the origin of the proposal to replace the last sentence of the text with thus fulfilling the Gospel mission of the Church. The Commission observes: we are part of God’s people, but not “the” people of God; neither we nor our fraternity constitute the mystery of the Church in its entirety. It is the Church, as such, which fulfils the task of evangelisation. In so far as we are part of the Church, we share in the evangelising mission of the Church. Therefore the final expression in the text was corrected in this sense. On the other hand, the meaning of the next paragraph is different. Here it is stated that our fraternity has a duty towards all people and it carries out that duty by evangelising in deed and word.
(5) Project 2006 suggests adding by our lives; one can observe that the expression in deeds and words means precisely by one’s whole life.
|Current text||Proposed revision|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|145,1. In actuositate apostolica notas nostri charismatis proprias servemus, variis temporibus et condicionibus eas aptantes.||145,1. In our apostolic activity, let us preserve the proper characteristics of our charism, adapting them to different times and circumstances.||Current text (145,1) with changes
1. In our apostolic activity we should express the characteristics of our charism in forms best suited to the conditions of time and place (1).
|145,2. Praecipuus apostolatus fratris minoris est: vivere in mundo vitam evangelicam in veritate, simplicitate et laetitia.||145,2. The principal apostolate of a lesser brother is: to live a gospel life in the world in truth, simplicity and joy.||Current text (145,2)
2. The principal apostolate of a lesser brother is to live the gospel life in the world in truth, simplicity and joy.
3. And since the life of brotherhood is a particular sharing in Christ’s mission, we should always keep in mind that it will be apostolically effective if we strive to improve it by making our fraternal relationships ever more authentic, pursuing a close and fervent dedication to the Lord Jesus, and being generously involved in the mission of the Order (2).
|145,3. Omnibus hominibus aestimationem atque animum promptum ad dialogum praestemus.||145,3. Let us show respect for all people and [manifest] a spirit ready for dialogue with them.||Current text (145,3) with changes
4. We should treat everyone with esteem and respect (3) and always show our readiness for dialogue with them(4).
|145,4. Etsi evangelizationem pauperum praeferimus ad exemplum Christi et sancti Francisci etiam hominibus in potestate positis vel in populos dominantibus nuntium de conversione ad iustitiam et ad munus pacis servandae proclamare ne timeamus.||145,4. Although we prefer the evangelization of the poor according to the example of Christ and Saint Francis, we should not hesitate to proclaim the message of the conversion to justice and the responsibility of proclaiming peace to those in positions of power and those ruling others.||Current text (145,4) with changes
5. Following the example of Christ and Saint Francis, while we prefer to evangelize the poor, we should not be afraid to proclaim to those who hold power or direct the fate of nations the duty to promote justice and peace (5).
|145,5. Cuicumque operi ministerii et actuositati apostolicae, dummodo formae vitae nostrae conveniant et necessitatibus Ecclesiae respondeant, libenter incumbamus;||145,5. We should willingly assume any ministry or apostolic activity as long as it is in harmony with our form of life and responds to the needs of the Church.||Current text (145,5)
6. We should willingly take on any ministry or apostolic activity as long as it is in keeping with our form of life and meets the needs of the Church.
|et minoritatis conscii, illa ministeria generose aggrediamur quae admodum difficilia habentur.||Aware of our minority, let us generously undertake those ministries that are regarded as especially difficult.||Current text (145,5) with additions
7. By consciously choosing(6) a life of minority(7), we generously undertake humbler tasks and services that are regarded as lowly or difficult, and, mindful that the Father sees in secret(9), we should take no pride in the fact.
|145,6. Fraternitas, sive provincialis sive localis, varia incepta apostolica ut expressionem totius fraternitatis promoveat et coordinet.||145,6. Let the Fraternity, whether provincial or local, promote and coordinate various apostolic initiatives as expressions of the entire fraternity.||Transferred and inserted into 146, 1(10)|
|145,7. Fratres, qua discipuli Christi et filii sancti Francisci reminiscantur in vita apostolica requiri animum promptum ad crucem et persecutionem subeundam, usque ad martyrium, pro fide et proximorum salute.||145,7. As disciples of Christ and sons of Saint Francis, the brothers should keep in mind that a spirit ready to suffer the cross and persecution, even martyrdom, is required by the faith and the salvation of our neighbor.||Current text (145,7) with changes
8. Indeed (11), as disciples of Christ and sons of Saint Francis, let us keep in mind that the apostolic life calls for a spirit of readiness to suffer the cross and persecution, even to the point of martyrdom, for the faith and the salvation of our neighbour.
(1) In PdR1 the content of the text was not changed: the formulation was changed slightly taking into account that the characteristic features of the charism should not be changed, but simply the way they are expressed. When presenting PdR1 it was noted that this paragraph was added to the text of the Constitutions by the General Chapter of 1982. The Constitutions of 1986 (n. 132) began with the present paragraph 2, which described the main apostolate of the Friar Minor, consisting in truly, simply and joyfully living the Gospel life in the world. These are “the characteristic features of our charism” that are to be integrated with the other characteristics mentioned in the Constitutions, especially those in chapter one. Thus with the structure that the text acquired in 1982, paragraph 2 becomes an explanatory example of the previous text concerning the characteristic traits of our charism. Consequently the point raised in one evaluation, wondering what “the characteristic traits of our charism” might be, has been answered already. However, the request to develop those characteristic traits of our charism in the Statutes [Prot. N.: IXC-00086] cannot be accepted because what is at issue here are the basic constitutive elements of our life. As such these have to be treated in the Constitutions, of which they constitute the core, and not in the Statutes. In PdR2 the Commission has simplified the formulation of this paragraph; reducing the two verbs to one (esprimiamo) (cf. PdR1). In fact, we can profess the characteristics of our Charism in so far as we preserve them.
(2) Following Project 2006, PdR1 proposed to insert a new text aiming to show the apostolic value of fraternal life. This would link up with the general purpose of paragraph 1 regarding the characteristic traits of our charism (as far as we are concerned what could be more characteristic than fraternal life?). For this reason when read carefully in context, the text could not have appeared to be out of context [cf. Prot. N.: IX- 00002]. With regard to content and formulation, the text proposed by PdR1 is based on VC72 where is says precisely, “Religious life, moreover, continues the mission of Christ with another feature specifically its own: fraternal life in community for the sake of mission. Thus men and women religious will be more committed to the apostolate the more personal their dedication to the Lord Jesus is, the more fraternal their fraternal life, and the more ardent their involvement in the Institute’s specific mission.” In general the evaluations which came in from the Order accepted the text positively, but the Commission accepted calls to improve its formulation [Cf. Prot. N. IX-00046; IX-00003].
(3) By simplifying the proposal a little the proposal of PdR1 to ad stima (esteem) to rispetto (respect) is confirmed; both facilitate dialogue.
(4) The content of the text is unchanged, but we have tried to improve its formulation.
(5) This § was added to the text of the Constitutions at the General Chapter of 1982, and derives from the Conclusions of PCO III (Mattli 1978), n. 13. While leaving the content unaltered, we propose a lighter formulation. It should also be noted that the sentence has only one punctuation mark, and one wonders which part corresponds to the example of Christ and Saint Francis: preference for evangelising the poor, or boldness in proclaiming the message of conversion to world leaders? If we consider the source (PCO III) from which the text is derived, the example of Christ and Saint Francis must refer to the second aspect. In fact the Mattli document says: “Notwithstanding our preference always to preach the gospel to “the poor”, we should not forget the example of Saint Francis, who also proclaimed the gospel of conversion, truth, peace and good will to the powerful and to the leaders of nations” (n. 13). We find the same structure in the text approved by the General Chapter of 1982: “While preference must be given to evangelising the poor, after the example Christ and Francis we should not be afraid to proclaim also to those in positions power and to rulers the message of conversion to justice and the duty to project peace”. In the light of the above, we propose a small change in the text, to make the it more supple and more faithful to Mattli and to the General Chapter. In fact the current version is the work of the post-capitular commission. Some proposed to use stronger language: we should denounce those who are others[Prot. N.:IX-00048]. The Commission preferred to stick to the mind of Francis who addressed “the Rulers of the People” as a man of peace. PdR2 is more inspired by the present Italian translation
(6) In PdR1 the text began “Mossi dall’amore del Padre che vede nel secgreto e … (Moved by the love of the Father who sees in secret and…) (See below, note 9).
(7) Consalevoli della minorità (minoritatis conscii) (Keeping minority in mind) seems a rather vague expression. It would be better to say: scegliendo consapevolmente la vita di minorità (consciously choosing a life of minority). Some critical observations that came in may be explained by a faulty translation [Prot. N. IX-00037]. Note that “a life of minority” should not be confused with “the condition of minority” (an error in translation).
(8) The text in PdR1 said: “let us generously undertake the more humble tasks or those that are regarded as most difficult”. Various observations were received regarding this expression; some of them came from [cf. Prot. N. IXC-00036] an incorrect translation of the more humble tasks (magis humilia in Latin), which is not the same as compiti umilissimi or “the” most humble tasks (placing the article “the” after tasks gives great emphasis to the expression). Others observed that humility indicates an attitude and one cannot speak of “humble work”. [cf. Prot. N. IX-00089]. For these reasons the Commission proposed to substitute umili with vili (lowly, menial) and to avoid the comparative adjectives più (more) and molto (very) which were used in PdR1 (più umili =more humble and Molto difficili = very difficult). Furthermore rather than speaking about compiti (tasks) we prefer to say compiti e servizi (tasks and services).
(9) As has already been suggested (cf. note 6 above) the text in PdR1 began with Moved by love of the Father who sees in secret and by consciously choosing a life of minority. The formulation of the proposed text bears closer resemblance to the text of the Constitutions of 19698: “Moved by the love of the Father who sees in secret, and conscious of our minority, let us generously embrace those ministries that are more difficult for others to adopt, but without seeking any glory from doing this”. This text – as stated in the explanatory notes in PdR1 – casts a particular light on the entire text of the Constitutions, highlighting once and for all that minority is to be lived evangelically (cf. Mt 6,4.6.18), without making a label or a distinctive coat of arms out of it or a flag to be waved. Perhaps for this reason, or to avoid this very risk, our legislative tradition has always been rather sparing in its use of the term minority, while affirming its substance. The reference to the Father who sees in secret reminds us that the disciple’s justice must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, and calls us back to the practice of a genuine religious devotion. The Christian life – even in its more heroic aspects – must be lived with simplicity; witness is not to be confused with ostentation or theatricality. Minority is the art of remaining unobserved. From this point of view – it was concluded – the formulation which was proposed for the Constitutions was very important. The evaluations which were received [cf. Prot. N.: IX-00036; Prot. N.: IX-00037; Prot. N.:IX-00089] were not opposed to the option taken in PdR1. However, the Commission thought it opportune to make further adjustments to the text: the opening expression Moved by the love of the Father who sees in secret, which was immediately linked to the choice of minority as the basis for the choice itself, has been transferred to the end of the passage and changed to mindful of the Father who sees in secret, which is connected with the idea of not gaining any advantage from the choice of menial or difficult tasks or services. It seems appropriate to suggest that there needs to be further reflection about the choice made in PdR2 and about where best to place the reference to “the Father who sees in secret” and to His actions which reveal the humility of God, from which Saint Francis derived his option for a life of minority. The following alternative proposal was also placed before the Commission: “Moved by the love of the Father who sees in secret, let us consciously choose the way of minority, and generously take on those ministries which are regarded as very difficult, without in any way priding ourselves on doing so.
(10) § 6 of the current text was added to the Constitutions by the General Chapter of 1982. It seems to refer to structures and organisation; as such, it would be better placed in the following number.
(11) If we transfer the text of the current § 6 as we have just said, it becomes logical to place § 8 in the previous one, reinforced by the adverb indeed. This happened in the Constitutions of 1968. Although the present text (n. 145, 7) differs from that of 1968, its character, and to some extent its content, coincide. In fact:
|1968 text (n. 132)||Current text (n. 145,7)|
|Moved by the love of the Father who sees in secret, and conscious of our minority, we should generously undertake those ministries that are difficult for others to take on, but without seeking any glory from this; indeed, in everything, as true witnesses of Christ, we should not fear to suffer persecutions, calumnies or penury, remembering that no disciple is greater than his Master.||As disciples of Christ and sons of Saint Francis, the brothers should keep in mind that a spirit ready to suffer the cross and persecution, even martyrdom, is required by the faith and the salvation of our neighbor.|
|Current text||Proposed revision|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|146,1. Quodvis genus apostolatus, etiam si sit privatae inspirationis, fratres sub oboedientia auctoritatis competentis prompto animo exerceant.||146,1. The brothers should willingly engage in any kind of apostolate, even if it is of private inspiration, under obedience to the competent authority.||Current text (146,1 + 145,6) with additions and changes
1. We should willingly engage in any kind of apostolate, even if it is a personal initiative, as the Lord inspires us (1). The various apostolic activities should be promoted and co-ordinated as an expression of the entire fraternity, and conducted under obedience to the competent authority (2).
|146,2. Salvo iure Summi Pontificis disponendi de Ordinis servitio in bonum Ecclesiae universalis, exercitium cuiusvis apostolatus subest auctoritati Episcopi dioecesani, a quo fratres, postquam a suis ministris probati sunt, facultates necessarias accipiunt. Ministri vero libenter, quantum possunt, iuxta nostrum charisma assentiant, cum ab Episcopis ad servitium populi Dei et salutem hominum invitantur.||146,2. Saving the right of the Supreme Pontiff to use the service of the Order for the good of the universal Church, the exercise of each apostolate is subject to the authority of the diocesan Bishop, from whom the brothers, after they have been approved by their ministers, receive the necessary faculties. When they are invited by a bishop to serve the people of God and their salvation, the ministers may freely accept [these invitations], in as much as they are able, according to our charism.||Current text (146,2) with changes
2. Saving the right of the Supreme Pontiff to use the services of the Order for the good of the universal Church, the exercise of any apostolate is subject to the authority of the diocesan Bishop, from whom the brothers receive the necessary faculties once they have been approved by their ministers. Let the ministers, as far as they are able and in accordance with our charism, gladly accept the bishops’ invitation when they invite us (3) to serve the people of God and to work together for (4) the salvation of all people.
|146,3. Capituli provincialis est labores apostolatus, firma indole nostra franciscano-capuccina, exigentiis temporis accommodare, ad ministrum vero provincialem cum consensu definitorii spectat vires apostolicas in provincia coordinare.||146,3. While preserving our Capuchin-Franciscan characteristics, it is the responsibility of the provincial chapter to adapt our apostolic labors to the needs of the times. But it pertains to the provincial minister with the consent of the definitory to coordinate the apostolic resources of the province.||Current text (146,3)
3. It is the responsibility of the provincial chapter to adapt our apostolic work to the needs of the times, while preserving our Capuchin Franciscan character. But it is for the provincial minister, with the consent of the council, to co-ordinate the apostolic resources of the province.
|146,4. Superior fraternitatis, audito in rebus maioris momenti Capitulo locali, labores distribuat ratione habita necessitatum Ecclesiae atque condicionis singulorum fratrum, servata intima unione cum organizatione pastorali ab hierarchia ecclesiastica statuta.||146,4. After consulting the local chapter in matters of greater importance, the superior of a fraternity should allocate work, while keeping in mind the needs of the Church and the conditions of the individual brothers, [and] in close collaboration with any pastoral organization established by the ecclesiastical hierarchy.||Current text (146,4)
4. After consulting the local chapter in matters of greater importance, the guardian shall allocate work, while keeping in mind the needs of the Church and the conditions of the individual brothers, and in harmony with the pastoral activity of the local church(5).
|146,5. Fratres cum operibus et inceptis aliorum institutorum religiosorum Ecclesiae libenter collaborent.||146,5. Let the brothers willingly collaborate in the works and initiatives of the other religious institutes of the Church.||New text
5. For the good of the Church and according to need, the circumscriptions should willingly co-operate among themselves in apostolic works and initiatives, to be developed with sensible planning. Sustained by a sense of ecclesial communion, we should fraternally co-operate also with other Institutes of consecrated life, especially Franciscan ones (6).
(1) The intention behind the proposed text is to avoid speaking of private initiatives. It is better to speak of initiatives taken by a person who perceives the movements of the Spirit. This is why we have added the phrase as the Lord inspires us, with a clear reference to the divine inspiration mentioned many times by Saint Francis.
(2) The text of the § has been divided into two parts, in an attempt to distinguish in part one the promptness of the response, even in a personal initiative inspired by the Spirit, and in part two the necessary reference to the fraternity and to obedience, because even ventures undertaken by individual brothers, on their own initiative and by divine inspiration, must be exercised in obedience. The text of § 145, 6 has also been incorporated here.
(3) The formulation of the text has been slightly modified, stressing the fact that the invitation made by bishops to the Ministers is not addressed to them personally, but to the entire circumscription or to a local fraternity. Hence it seems appropriate to say when they invite us. The changes made to the text of PdR1 are not substantial. They concern only the translation of the original Latin text.
(4) The expression to work together for the salvation of all, coined by the C.C.L. and consistently maintained in all editions of the Constitutions from 1968 until today, does not seem to be the most appropriate: we are not invited or called to save people, but to collaborate (“work together”) for the salvation of people. We are not saviours! In this connection we should keep in mind the text of Project 2006: “In every apostolate we are always aware that we are only collaborators, even when we are called to take charge, since Jesus Christ is always Lord and the Holy Spirit is the true guide” (n. 107,4).
(5) The current text, while expressing an extremely important concept and a very valid and necessary insistence, seems very rigid in its formulation (in close collaboration with any pastoral organization established by the ecclesiastical hierarchy) and perhaps also restrictive. PdR1 spoke of full respect for the pastoral planning of the local Church. The intent of this expression was to respect the pastoral plans which involve the hierarchy, the organisation, as well as the entire ecclesial community. Some evaluations requested that less heavy language be used in such a way as to leave the brothers with legitimate autonomy in the pastoral field while still respecting the “pastoral activity” of the local church [Prot. N. IX-00017].
(6) The current text speaks of our collaboration with other religious Institutes. It seems appropriate to insert into this chapter the need for collaboration between and among provinces. Hence the current text has been restructured with a view to apostolic collaboration between and among the various circumscriptions of the Order, also inserting the suggestion of sensible planning. The second part of the § inserts the need for collaboration with other Institutes of consecrated life, in a text formulated in the light of VC 52. One evaluation we received [cf. Prot. N.: IX-00018] observed that the expression developed with sensible planning gives the impression that up to now intelligent planning has not been applied, and proposed instead developed in a structured manner. The Commission noted that the proposed text makes no reference to the past but expresses a future hope. Planning is a requirement for the Order’s journey and should be developed everywhere for the good of our fraternity and for our service to the Church and to people. Moreover, success and failure are both found in all areas within the Order. The same evaluation [Prot. N.: IX-00018] expressed concern about the use of correct terminology in the last sentence: not “institutes of Consecrated life” [which thus excludes Apostolic Societies], but “Religious Institutes”. In fact it was not the intention of the Commission to exclude Societies of Apostolic life. But to say “Religious Institutes” does not solve the problem. In Canon Law Institutes of Consecrated Life corresponds exactly to religious institutes and strictly speaking even this phrase does not include Societies of Apostolic Life.
|Current text||Proposed revision|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|147,1. Fratres assuescant signa temporum legere, quibus consilium divinum oculis fidei perspicitur, ut incepta apostolica exigentiis evangelizationis et necessitatibus hominum respondeant.||147,1. In order that our apostolic initiatives may respond to the demands of evangelization and to peoples’ needs, let the brothers accustom themselves to read the signs of the times through which the divine plan is perceived by the eyes of faith.||Current text (147,1) with one change
1. To ensure that our apostolic initiatives respond to the demands of evangelization and to peoples’ needs, we should accustom ourselves to reading the signs of the times, through which we discover the divine plan with the eyes of faith.
|147,2. Consueta apostolatus opera promoveant, ut sunt missiones populares, exercitia spiritualia, confessio sacramentalis fidelium, cura spiritualis religiosarum praesertim franciscalium, infirmorum et captivorum, opera educationis et promotionis socialis.||147,2. They should foster the customary works of the apostolate such as popular missions, retreats, the sacramental confession of the faithful, the spiritual care of religious women, especially Franciscans, care of the sick and of those in prison, works of education and of social development.||Current text (147,2) with one change
2. We should foster the customary works of the apostolate such as popular missions, retreats, the sacramental confession of the faithful, the spiritual care of religious women, especially Franciscans, care of the sick and of prisoners, works of education and of social development
|147,3. Novas quoque apostolatus formas suscipientes, peculiari solicitudine iis se dedant hominibus qui ob vitae condiciones ordinaria cura pastorali carent, ut sunt iuvenes in discrimine vitae christianae versantes, emigrantes, opifices et homines curis oeconomicis pressi aut animo hostili vel odio stirpis vexati.||147,3. When taking on new forms of the apostolate, let the brothers show special care to those peoples who are deprived of ordinary pastoral care because of the conditions of their life: the young during decisive moments of their Christian life, emigrants, laborers, those burdened with financial pressures, or those harassed by hostility or racial prejudice.||Current text, amended and expanded
3. When taking on new forms of the apostolate we should show special concern for people who are far from the faith and from religious practice, and for those who (1) are deprived of ordinary pastoral care because of the conditions of their life: the young during moments of crisis in their Christian life, emigrants, labourers, those burdened with financial pressures, or those harassed by hostility or racial prejudice.
|New text (2)
4. We should bear witness to the culture of life, and work hard to ensure that human life, from its conception until death, is always defended and promoted (3). We should work in favour of children and commit ourselves to the education and training of young people, even by our presence in schools and other centres of education (4). We should carefully support the family founded upon marriage, as the household Church and the living cell of society, showing our closeness and solidarity especially to the neediest families (5).
|147,4. Specialem etiam operam navent dialogo oecumenico caritatis, veritatis et orationis cum fratribus christianis non catholicis, ut curam Ecclesiae in unitate redintegranda participent.||147,4. Let them undertake with special zeal an ecumenical dialogue of charity, truth and prayer with non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters that they may share the Church’s concern for restoring unity.||Current text (147,4) with changes
5. Sharing the Church’s concern to achieve the unity willed by Christ (6), we should be particularly committed to ecumenical dialogue in charity, truth and prayer with all Christians.
|147,5. Pariter colloquium salutis instituere conentur cum hominibus aliam religionem profitentibus et cum non credentibus, inter quos versantur vel ad quos mittuntur.||147,5. Likewise let them attempt to establish a salutary discussion with those among whom they live or to whom they are sent who profess another religion and who do not believe.||Current text (147,5) with one change
6. Similarly, we should try to engage in profitable discussions with people of other faiths and with unbelievers, among whom we live or to whom we are sent.
|147,6. Omnia servitia hominibus praestita niti debent vita ab Evangelio informata. Facilius mente perspicitur et libentius recipitur testimonium fratrum qui prope populos corde simplices, et cum vitae condicione tum dicendi genere minores degunt.||147,6. All ministries undertaken for the people must be founded upon a life shaped by the Gospel. The witness of brothers who live close to the people and [who] are simple of heart and minors by the condition of their life and speech is more easily understood and more willingly received.||Current text (147,6) with changes and additions
7. All ministries undertaken for the people must be founded upon a life shaped by the Gospel. Remembering that the world listens more readily to witnesses than to teachers, let us live close to the people, conducting ourselves as true lesser brothers in our lifestyle and manner of speaking(7).
(1) We have accepted a proposal to insert here a reference to the care of those who are far from the faith or religious practice. (cf. Project 2006 n. 114,3), which links up with the guidelines of PCO V nn. 85-87. R. Cantalamessa’s suggestion is valid and noteworthy: we should be “fishers” more than “pastors”, concerned above all to bring new people into the Church and to “fish back” those estranged from it. “The itinerant preaching which Francis chose for himself meets precisely this need. It would be a shame if the existence of our own churches and large structures made us Franciscans only shepherds and not fishers of men”. In the context of the new evangelisation this should be a matter of urgency for us.
(2) As already indicated in the introduction, the new text proposed for § 4 flows from the teaching of Vita consecrata which gives examples of new mission contexts (cf. n. 96-99).
(3) Cf. Evangelium Vitae 77.
(4) Cf. Vita consecrata 96-97; PCO VII, n. 54. The text takes account of the experience of our Order which in many regions of the world has been, and still is, present in the field of education through schools, colleges and similar ventures.
(5) The underlying reason for proposing this new text is, once again, that of the new mission contexts, mentioned in Vita consecrata. In that context the Apostolic Exhortation does not mention the family, but, in the light of the teaching of the Magisterium, this should be considered one of the most urgent priorities of the present time. In particular, Famliaris consortio has a direct challenge for religious, for whom the apostolate of the family “finds its primary, fundamental and original expression precisely in their consecration to God. By reason of this consecration, “all Christ’s faithful religious recall that wonderful marriage made by God, which will be fully manifested in the future age, and in which the Church has Christ for her only spouse, (Perfectae Caritatis, 12) and they are witnesses to that universal charity which, through chastity embraced for the Kingdom of heaven, makes them ever more available to dedicate themselves generously to the service of God and to the works of the apostolate.
Hence the possibility for men and women religious, and members of Secular Institutes and other institutes of perfection, either individually or in groups, to develop their service to families, with particular solicitude for children, especially if they are abandoned, unwanted, orphaned, poor or handicapped. They can also visit families and look after the sick; they can foster relationships of respect and charity towards one-parent families or families that are in difficulties or are separated; they can offer their own work of teaching and counselling in the preparation of young people for marriage, and in helping couples towards truly responsible parenthood; they can open their own houses for simple and cordial hospitality, so that families can find there the sense of God’s presence and gain a taste for prayer and recollection, and see the practical examples of lives lived in charity and fraternal joy as members of the larger family of God.
I would like to add a most pressing exhortation to the heads of institutes of consecrated life to consider-always with substantial respect for the proper and original charism of each one-the apostolate of the family as one of the priority tasks, rendered even more urgent by the present state of the world.” (Famliaris consortio 74). One proposal requested that the reference to the family founded upon marriage be deleted, stating: “the aim of this text is to highlight support for families, especially “those who are in greatest need”, because they are the most obviously in need of the ministerial attention of the Capuchins. So the attention is focused on families, not on marriage. Since many of these families in “greatest need” are not based on marriage, the inclusion of this expression actually goes against the reason why the subject is mentioned in our Constitutions. Many of the neediest families have only one parent, usually the mother, sometimes as a result of divorce, frequently because a child has been born outside marriage, or because of poverty, substance abuse or sexual abuse etc. These are the families that should be included in the ministerial attention of the Capuchins. Using the phrase “founded upon marriage” implies an intention to indicate that there are moral implications with respect to the family and marriage, and this obscures the primary reason why this new text was introduced.” [Prot. N.: IX-00001]. On this point the Commission observes: 1) to say that the family is based on marriage is not a moral statement but rather an ontological reason, and, at a Christian level, it is a reason based on theology and faith. From this point of view it would be more exact to say in the proposed text, “based on the sacrament of marriage” (cf. Lumen gentium 11). If this emphasis were absent, would it make sense to retain the description of the family as the domestic Church?; 2) support of families in great need, which is clear in the text of PdR, does not rule out support for families whose need is not so great. Pastoral attention, even for Capuchins, cannot and must not be restricted only to difficult situations, but must also include normal situations where the reality of family life is lived out precisely in fidelity and in the light of its sacramental basis. Such families should also be cared for, supported and encouraged to grow and mature in their commitment to give witness; 3) therefore, the expression was not inserted in PdR with reference to families in difficult or disastrous situations, but to all families, especially those in the greatest need; 4) consequently the mention of the basis of marriage does not run counter to any of the other elements in the proposed statement. – Another proposal added the following statement to the text of the Commission: Migration as a global phenomenon and how the Church and society incorporate migrants into their new environment, for the following reason: “It is good to insert the new missionary contexts; life, education, the family, but it would be good to add migration as a global phenomenon, and the challenge it poses for Church and society because of the need to integrate millions of migrants. It is also a challenge for the unity of the Catholic Church, given the presence of different Catholic Churches within the same territory. Moreover a multiplicity of religions exists and our people know little or nothing about others, a fact which leads to suspicion and witch-hunts rather than mature acceptance. This problem is high on the agenda of the Pontifical Council of Migrants and of the Pope himself. Even the JPE office in our Order should contribute to formulating policy on this point. The more detailed aspects of this subject could be placed in the Statutes” [Prot no.: IX- 00020]. The Commission did not think it appropriate to lengthen the text any further; emigrants, and therefore the phenomenon of migration, is already mentioned in the previous paragraph.
(6) We propose a small variation at the end of the § to avoid wrong interpretations. In the Commission, however, it was observed that the redintegratio (restoration) of which the text speaks, inspired by the Decree of Vatican II Unitatis redintegratio and by CIC (can 755), is never understood, either in the conciliar texts or in the documents of the Magisterium, as a return (to the Catholic Church), but rather as a restoration of integral unity (redire in integrum, a “return to wholeness”). This is why we speak of “restoring the unity” of the one, undivided Church, in conformity with the will of Christ the Lord. In PdR2 with our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters has been changed to with all Christians, because the context is very clear and does not need more detail. The expression used in the current text might be offensive to some. [Prot. N.: IX-00096].
(7) The first statement of the current text remains unaltered. The second has been partly replaced and partly modified. The witness of brothers… is more easily understood and more willingly received has been replaced by an expression derived from a famous phrase of Paul VI, also introduced into Evangelii nuntiandi (“As we said recently to a group of lay people, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” [n. 41]), because it is extremely relevant and effective. Moreover, the theme of witness is well developed in the same Apostolic Exhortation. The last line of the text has been slightly reformulated, in the light of the French translation: “Le témoignage des frères sera plus facilement compris et mieux accueilli s’ils vivent proches des gens au cœur simple et se comportent en vrais mineurs dans leur style de vie comme dans leur langage” (“The witness given by the brothers will be more easily understood and accepted if they live close to simple-hearted people and behave as true lesser brothers, both in their lifestyle and in their speech”). No objections to the text in PdR1 came from the Order. Only one evaluation [Prot. N.: IX-00051] thought that the quotation from Paul VI was unnecessary. The Commission thought that the quotation should be retained, but shortened.
The Constitutions of 1968 devoted three whole numbers to the apostolate of the Word. The General Chapter of 1982 wished to simplify the text, but in the reduction process a few very important aspects were lost, which had been particularly underlined by the Magisterium after the Council. We therefore propose a number of additions to the current text, with the aim of restoring some of the concerns of the 1968 text and enriching it in the light of the teachings of the Church.
|Current text||Proposed revision|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
1. Jesus devoted His life to proclaiming the Kingdom of God and sent His apostles to preach the gospel to all nations (1).
|148,1. Christi praeco sanctus Franciscus, Ecclesiae auctoritate confirmatus, civitates circuiens ubique Evangelii semina spargebat, populo Dei sermone brevi et simplici mysterium Christi annuntians.||148,1. As he went throughout cities announcing the mystery of Christ in few and simple words, Saint Francis, the herald of Christ, confirmed by the authority of the Church, scattered the seeds of the Gospel everywhere.||Current text (148,1)
2. Saint Francis, Christ’s herald, confirmed by the authority of the Church, scattered (2) the seeds of the Gospel everywhere as he went from place to place announcing the mystery of Christ in few and simple words.
|148,2. Eius exemplum et traditionem Ordinis nostri sectantes, fratres verbum Domini perspicuo sermone praedicent, Sacris Scripturis fideliter inhaerentes.||148,2. Following his example and the tradition of our Order, the brothers should preach the word of God clearly, and adhere to the Sacred Scriptures faithfully.||Current text (148,2) expanded, with changes
3. Therefore, docile to the command of the Divine Master (3) and following St Francis’ example and the tradition of our Order, let us preach the word of God in clear language, adhering faithfully to the Sacred Scriptures.
|148,3. Verbum Dei, quod Christus est, fratres summa ope in cordibus suis imprimere seque totis viribus in eius possessionem dare contendant, ut ipse eos ad loquendum ex amoris redundantia impellat. Ita ipsum Christum vita, opere et sermone praedicabunt.||148,3. Let the brothers make every effort to imprint the word of God, Christ, upon their own hearts and give themselves totally to Him, so that He may impel them to speak out of an abundance of love. In this way they shall preach Christ Himself by their life, work and speech.||Current text (148,3) with changes
4. Let us do all we can to imprint on our hearts the word of God, who is Christ, and give ourselves totally to Him, so that He may move us to speak out of an abundance of love. In this way we will preach Christ Himself by our life, our actions and our speech.
|148,4. Quod ut fieri possit, ipsimet in sapientia Christi, quae in primis per vitam acquiritur, continuo progredi contendant, idque praesertim assidua lectione, meditatione atque exquisito studio Sacrarum Scripturarum.||148,4. That this may occur, let them strive to make continual progress in the wisdom of Christ that is acquired above all in the course of life, and especially through persistent reading, meditation and careful study of the Sacred Scriptures.||Current text (148,4) with one change
5. In order that this may happen, let us strive to grow in the wisdom of Christ, which is chiefly acquired by living it, notably through persistent reading, meditation and careful study of the Sacred Scriptures.
6. Let us ensure that all our pastoral service is imbued with a biblical spirit (5). We should provide instruction in the faith (6) using methods appropriate to the needs of different groups of people and different professional circles. We should work so that the light of Christ penetrates every sector of human life, and the leaven of salvation transforms society from within, so that a culture permeated by gospel values may be promoted and strengthened (7).
(1) The text of 1968 introduced its treatment of the ministry of preaching with an inspiring doctrinal premise and, following the tradition of our Constitutions, referring above all to the example of Christ (cf. Const 1925, n. 181). It seems opportune to restore this Christological foundation.
(2) Tense changed in both verbs (from imperfect to perfect) for stylistic reasons, since the previous paragraph has the verb in the perfect tense.
(3) Our commitment to preaching the word derives not only from the example of Francis, but primarily from the example of Christ and from the mission He entrusted to the apostles. We devote ourselves to preaching in obedience to Christ.
(4) The proposal [Prot. N.: IX-00005] to change the beginning of this paragraph to Let us make every effort to imprint was suggested because: “It is an example of how to remove, where possible, expressions such as “let us endeavour, let us commit ourselves, etc.” In this regard one should note: 1) the Commission has been respectful of this text, which is drawn from our traditional legislation. It appears in the first Constitutions of 1536 and in all subsequent editions. The only alteration we made to the text, with some caution, was a change from the third person to the first person; 2) by saying – according to the proposal we received – Let us make every effort to imprint might have led to misunderstandings, since in Italian imprimiamo can be either indicative or exhortative, and the text is by nature exhortative. Consequently the Commission limited itself to saying “Let us do all we can to imprint…”
(5) The addition is inspired by Project 2006: let us give due importance to the biblical apostolate. However the sole objective of this apostolate appears to be the distribution of the Bible. The proposed text is formulated in the light of Dei Verbum (cf. n. 24) and on the basis of Proposition 30 of the 2008 Synod of Bishops: “The Synod recommends that the “biblical apostolate” be strengthened, not simply alongside other forms of pastoral activity, but as the biblical heart and soul of all pastoral care”. Cf. also Verbum Domini, n. 73.
(6) In the current Constitutions the term catechesis is used only once (cf. 28, 2: “The formation of postulants is aimed chiefly at completing their catechesis in the faith”). The text of 1968, speaking about the apostolate of the Word, mentioned it twice (cf. nos. 135 and 137). This proposal for § 5, as well as referring to the text of 1968, intends to take up the appeal made in Catechesi tradendae: “Many religious institutes for men and women came into being for the purpose of giving Christian education to children and young people, especially the most abandoned. Throughout history, men and women religious have been deeply committed to the Church’s catechetical activity, doing particularly apposite and effective work. At a time when it is desired that the links between religious and pastors should be accentuated and consequently the active presence of religious communities and their members in the pastoral projects of the local Churches, I wholeheartedly exhort you, whose religious consecration should make you even more readily available for the Church’s service, to prepare as well as possible for the task of catechesis according to the differing vocations of your institutes and the missions entrusted to you, and to carry this concern everywhere. Let the communities dedicate as much as possible of what ability and means they have to the specific work of catechesis” (n. 65).
(7) The text is derived almost literally from VC 98: the evangelisation of cultures is still one of the mission contexts for religious. In this respect we should remember that the Constitutions of 1968, in n. 135, spoke about “conversations and dialogue… conferences and congresses of every kind, the press and other instruments of social communication”. N. 136 said: “The friars shall preach the word of God clearly and simply, adapting the gospel suitably to the understanding of ordinary people and to modern requirements… They shall deal with the problems of the contemporary world in the light of Christ”. In no. 137 they said: “In addition, the friars should be carefully trained in the techniques of preaching and catechesis, so that they are effective instruments to ensure that the word of God is spread and held in honour. In their work to build up the Church, let them maintain sincere relationships of warm friendship with all people”.
|Current text||Proposed revision|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|149,1. Per sacramentorum celebrationem Christus virtute sua fidelibus adest, eos sanctificat, Corpus sum aedificat.||149,1. Through the celebration of the sacraments Christ is present to the faithfu1 with His power, sanctifies them, and builds up His body.||Current text (149,1) with additions
1. Through the celebration of the sacraments Christ is present to the faithfu1 with His power, sanctifies them and builds up His body, while the people of God render worthy worship to the Lord their God (1).
|Ideo fratres prompti sint ad auxilium ferendum fidelibus, vel quando ex officio vel a clero invitati sacramenta administrant, ut hac occasione fides nutriatur, firmetur et exprimatur.||Therefore, let the brothers be ready to assist the faithfu1 when administering the sacraments either by virtue of their office or when invited to do so by the clergy. Thus, on these occasions, the faith may be nourished, strengthened and expressed.||Current text (149,1) with changes
2. Therefore let the brothers be ready to assist the faithfu1 by administering the sacraments either in virtue of their office or when invited to do so by the clergy, so that, through the celebration of the mysteries (2), the faithful may be helped to nourish, strengthen and express their faith.
3. Let us prepare ourselves diligently to dispense the mysteries of God, desiring to imitate what we celebrate and to conform our lives to the mystery of the Lord’s cross (3). We should nourish among the faithful a Christian life cantered on the Eucharist, drawing from this same source of pastoral charity the energy to give ourselves for the good of our neighbour (4).
(1) The current text is incomplete in its treatment of the significance and purpose of the sacraments. We therefore propose to return, in part, to the 1968 text (n. 138), derived from SC 7 and 59. Cf. also SC 33. In one evaluation [Prot. N.: IX-00006] the desire was expressed that the Constitutions also mention sacramentals (blessings etc.).
(2) § 2 is identical to the current text, but we have tried to improve its formulation. In particular, we believe it is better to say through the celebration of the mysteries instead of using the generic phrase hac occasione (on that occasion) of the Latin text.
One proposal [Prot. N. X-00099] suggested: with the celebration of the mysteries in catechesis and pastoral counselling, because the Sacraments are also special moments of catechesis and counselling. The Commission does not deny the catechetical aspect of liturgical celebrations (before, during and after the liturgical action in the strict sense), but precisely because this aspect is intrinsic to the liturgy it does not need to be set out in detail in this part of the Constitutions. Catechesis was already treated in the preceding paragraph.
(3) The text of 1968 (n. 138) exhorted the brothers to prepare themselves diligently, but with reference to preparation for the “instruction [of the faithful] during the liturgical actions, especially in the homily during the Eucharistic sacrifice”. The concept of 1968 is therefore restored, but with a broader perspective, bringing out also the need for examplarity: we are not only called to celebrate the sacraments for others, but to live out, to give witness to, what we celebrate. The wording of the proposed text is inspired by a formula found in the Roman Pontifical.
(4) The second part of the § draws its inspiration from a concern of Project 2006: “In the ecclesial communities and in our fraternities let us increasingly cultivate the Eucharist, the source of communion and the soul and nourishment of apostolic energy. We must be conscious that, as well as being committed to celebrate the Eucharist, we are called to live eucharistically” (n. 112, 2). The formulation is different, but the content expressed by Project 2006 has been safeguarded.
One suggestion [Prot. N.: X-00025] was to say: Let us nourish in our fraternities and in the faithful a Christian life centred on the Eucharist.. The proposal was not accepted because the fact that the Eucharist is the source of ecclesial life and the root, hinge and heart of our fraternal life, the spiritual centre of the fraternity, has already been mentioned in chapter 3 (cf. n. 49). Here it is necessary to keep the discussion focused on the area of apostolic action in the strict sense. In any case, the text already contains sufficient elements about our spiritual life as conformed to the Cross of the Lord and our personal and communal relationship to the Eucharist. There is no need to say any more on this subject, either in this chapter of the Constitutions or in the corresponding place in the complementary code. Specific recommendations regarding communal celebrations in our fraternities and individual and communal adoration [Prot. N.: X-00025] belong in another part of our legislation and can be set out there if necessary.
(1) This paragraph was appreciated by the majority of the Order and did not receive any special attention [Prot. N. X-00060]. On the other hand it was fully discussed in the Commission, especially with regard to the ministry of priests. Do they proclaim or grant pardon for sins? In the Sacrament of Penance there is more than a proclamation of pardon: there is the gift of the remission of sins, a gift God, which reaches the sinner “through the ministry of the Church”. Then there are the expressions “highly appropriate to lesser brothers” and “men who are the spiritually very poor” which could have been better formulated. The text offered by PdR2 seems to us to be a good response these difficulties. The last part especially: [the ministry of Confessions] brings us close to those who most experience the misery of sin and the need for mercy appears to be more suitable than the formulation in the current text (“as it is often exercised on behalf of people who are spiritually very poor”.) and stimulates our commitment not only to those who are poor in the sociological sense, but also to the spiritually poor. At this level also, for us what is at stake is our option for the poor. However, as far as the redaction is concerned, the text could be simplified even further, avoiding the repetition of the pardon that God offers and God’s pardon in close proximity.
|Current text||Proposed revision|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|150,1. Ad exemplum sancti Francisci et secundum constantem traditionem Ordinis, fratres aegrotantium et infirmorum curam spiritualem, quin etiam corporalem, libenter assumant.||150,1. After the example of Saint Francis and the enduring tradition of the Order, the brothers should willingly undertake the spiritual, and even the bodily, care of the sick and infirm.||Current text
1. After the example of Saint Francis and the enduring tradition (11) of the Order, the brothers should willingly undertake the spiritual, and even bodily, care of the sick and infirm.
|150,2. Ita Christum sequentes, qui circuibat civitates et castella curans omnem languorem et omnem infirmitatem, in signum adventus Regni Dei, adimpleant missionem Ecclesiae quae per filios suos iungitur hominibus cuiuscumque condicionis, maxime pauperibus et afflictis, atque libenter pro eis impenditur.||150,2. Thus by following Christ Who went about the cities and villages healing every sickness and infirmity as a sign of the coming of the Kingdom of God, they will fulfill the mission of the Church which, through its children, unites itself with people of every condition, especially the poor and afflicted, and willingly spends itself for them.||Current text
2. Thus, by following Christ Who went through towns and villages healing every kind of sickness and infirmity as a sign that the Kingdom of God had come, they will fulfil the mission of the Church which, through its children, unites itself with people of every condition, especially the poor and afflicted, and willingly spends itself for them.
|150,3. Huic ministerio superiores faveant, cum sit praeclarum et validum opus caritatis et apostolatus.||150,3. Let the ministers encourage this ministry since it is an excellent and efficacious work of charity and of the apostolate.||Current text (150,3) with one change
3. The ministers and guardians should encourage this ministry since it is an excellent and effective work of charity and of the apostolate.
(1) One evaluation [Prot. N.: IX-00055] proposes deleting the adjective enduring. The Commission did not think that it was opportune to accept the proposal, since precisely in this section an enduring tradition of the Capuchin Order is being treated.
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|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|151,1. Iuxta indolem et traditionem Ordinis nostri, fratres prompti sint Ecclesiae particularis clero auxilium pastorale in paroeciis ferre.||151,1. In keeping with the character and tradition of our Order, let the brothers be ready to offer pastoral assistance to the clergy in the parishes of a particular.||Current text
1. In keeping with the character (1) and tradition of our Order, let the brothers be ready to offer pastoral assistance to the diocesan clergy in parishes.
|151,2. Superiores maiores, attendentes urgentes fidelium necessitates, de consensu Consilii etiam curam paroecialem prudenter accipiant in spiritu servitii Ecclesiae particularis.||151,2. WhThee being attentive to the urgent needs of the faithful, major superiors, with the consent of the councThe, may accept with prudence the care of a parish in the spirit of service to a particular Church.||Current text modified
2.. While being attentive to the urgent needs of the faithful (2), the ministers, with the consent of the council, may prudently accept the care of a parish in a spirit of service to the particular Church.
|151,3. Ut in suscipiendo illo ministerio conformitas cum vocatione nostra servetur, ordinarie praeferantur illae paroeciae ubi facilius testimonium minoritatis dare et formam vitae laboris in fraternitate ducere possimus. Ita enim populus Dei nostrum charisma opportune participare potest.||151,3. That we might be faithful to our vocation in assuming this ministry, those parishes should ordinarily be preferred in which we can more easily give a witness of minority and lead a form of life and work in fraternity. In this way the people of God can appropriately share in our charism.||Current text
3. In order to stay faithful to our vocation when assuming this ministry, we should ordinarily (3) prefer parishes where we can more easily give a witness of minority and live and work in fraternity. In this way the people of God can appropriately share in our charism.
|151,4. Sanctuaria Ordini nostro concredita sint centra evangelizationis et sanae devotionis.||151,4. Shrines entrusted to our Order should be centers of evangelization and sound devotion.||Current text (151,4) expanded
4. Shrines entrusted to our Order should be centres of evangelization and sound devotion. Our work in them should accord with the Church’s guidelines (4) and give witness to the fundamental values of our life (5).
(1) One evaluation [Prot. N.: IX-00056] proposed changing character to way of life because this was more comprehensive and expressive. If this is really a problem in some cases or language areas, the Commission believes it could be settled in the translations. However, we are not inclined to change the noun, either in the Latin text or in the Italian, as indole (character) has a stronger meaning than modo di vita (way of life). The word indole stands for all the inclinations that make up the character of the individual (in our case, the Capuchin fraternity); in an extended sense, a personal property, a particular way of existing. We are speaking of the special and specific characteristics of our Order; indole stands for something intrinsic.
(2) It was proposed [cf. Prot. N.: IX-00068] to delete the expression attentive to the urgent needs of the faithful, stating that this “number is difficult to apply in all continents and countries. A more general and open expression would be better. Today the Parish is a normal form of apostolate, and necessary if one is to be part of the pastoral work of a Diocese”. Without denying the points raised by those who made this proposal, the Commission considered that the expression should be retained as one element along with the other conditions mentioned in the text of the Constitutions, in order to emphasise the prudence required when taking on parish pastoral ministry.
(3) One proposal [Prot. N.: IX-00076] asked for the adverb ordinarily to be deleted, but no reason was given. The Commission thought it should be retained.
(4) The addition should accord with the Church’s guidelines is obligatory in a constitutional text. Indeed, in every shrine the authority of the Church (the local Ordinary or the Episcopal Conference or the Holy See) exercises its own competence and has the responsibility of overseeing the apostolate conducted in them. (cf. CIC, can. 1230-1234). Therefore PCO I, with reference to shrines, stated: “Our apostolate should be integrated into the pastoral programme of the local Church” (III,13). At the universal level the Church itself has published special norms governing pastoral work in shrines
One evaluation received protested about an “admonitory tone in the new text (as if our brothers experienced difficulty in obeying the Church’s laws)”, which “should be toned down”. Therefore it proposed the following text: “This ministry is carried out following the instructions of the Church and should also witness to the fundamental values of our life, at the same time stating that “changing the subjunctive “operemur” to the indicative “operamur” might solve the problem”. [Prot. N.: IX-00101]. It should be pointed out that the subjunctive operemur is neither admonitory nor imperative. Using operamur (indicative) will not solve the problem in the Italian translation since operiamo can be either subjunctive or indicative. Therefore the Commission believes that the text proposed in PdR1 should remain.
(5) The final concern expressed in the text is particularly pertinent, because the fundamental purpose of our presence in shrines is to give witness. The same concern was already evident at PCO I, which was very cautious when speaking about shrines. The subject was developed by Br. John Corriveau in Circular Letter n. 7 (October 30, 1995; Prot. N. 01056/95), which provides further material on which to draw to improve the constitutional text.
Other documents of the Magisterium can be referred to for the same purpose, including: JOHN PAUL II Talk to the Rectors of Shrines in France, Belgium and Portugal (22 January 1981); PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE PASTORAL CARE OF MIGRANTS AND ITINERANTS, The Shrine – Memory, Presence and Prophecy of the Living God (8 May 1999); BENEDICT XVI, Letter on the occasion of the Second World Congress of the Pastoral Care of Pilgrimages and Shrines [Santiago de Compostela, 27-30 September 2010] (8 September 2010); CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Circular Letter to Rectors of Shrines (15 August 2011).
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|152,1. Fratres, laicorum in Ecclesiae vita et actione partem agnoscentes, eos promoveant ad varia ministeria laicorum propria, praecipue in opere evangelizationis exercendo; similiter foveant consociationes christifidelium quarum sodales Dei verbum vivere et nuntiare atque mundum ab interno mutare student.||152,1. As they recognize the role of the laity in the life and activity of the Church, let the brothers encourage the lay people to assume the different ministries proper to them, especially in the work of evangelization. Likewise [the brothers] should promote associations of the faithful whose members strive to live and proclaim the word of God and to change the world from within.||Current text (152,1) expanded, with changes
1. Let us recognise and promote the role and mission that rightly belongs to the laity in the Church’s life and activity. We should gladly collaborate with them(1), especially in the work of evangelisation. We should likewise support associations of the faithful whose members strive to live and proclaim the word of God and to change the world from within.
|152,2. Inter quas consociationes Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis nobis cordi sit. Cooperemur cum saecularibus franciscanis ut eorum fraternitates progrediantur qua communitates fidei speciali efficatitate evangelizationis praeditae, necnon ad formationem singulorum sodalium, ut Regnum Dei diffundant non tantum suae vitae exemplo sed etiam variis generibus apostolicae actuositatis.||152,2. Among these associations, the Secular Franciscan Order should be close to our heart. Let us cooperate with Secular Franciscan that their fraternities may progress as communities of faith endowed with a special effectiveness for evangelization, as well as in the formation of individual members. Thus they may spread the Kingdom of God not only by the example of their life but also by various kinds of apostolic activity.||Current text (152,2), slightly reformulated
2. Among these associations, the Secular Franciscan Order should be especially dear to us. We should work with Secular Franciscans to promote the growth of their fraternities as communities of faith endowed with a special effectiveness for evangelization. We should also co-operate in the formation of individual members, so that they may spread the Kingdom of God not only by the example of their lives but also by various kinds of apostolic activity (2).
(1) PdR1 reformulated the first part of the §, not using the word ministry, in order to avoid misunderstandings. It was preferable to speak of the mission that rightly belongs to the laity, which originates in baptism and must be recognised and promoted. Moreover it seemed appropriate to bring out the fact that it is not sufficient to recognise and promote their mission, but that we should also learn to work together with the laity.
But some did not like the latter expression and said: “let us learn to cooperate: after half a century we should have learnt to co-operate by now!.” [Prot. N.: IX-00027]. Therefore, a specific proposal for an alternative text was accepted in PdR2 [Prot. N.: IX 00077] which is confined to an exhortation: Let us collaborate willingly with them. Conversely, we did not think it was appropriate to change the text to we should work in close union with them [Prot. N.: IX-00027] nor to replace especially in the work of evangelisation with especially in the exercise of the work of evangelisation [cf. Prot. N.: IX-00027]; Prot. N.: IX-00077] or with especially in evangelisation [cf. Prot. N.: IX-00061].
(2) We read in one evaluation: “I propose finding a clearer formula to emphasise that the SFO is our family! I am missing the word “family” since the SFO is not just one association among many others …” [Prot. N.:IX- 00062]. The Commission thought that there was nothing to be changed or added to the text of the Constitutions. It is clearly stated in chapter VI that the SFO is our family.
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|153,1. Sanctus Franciscus fratres exhortabatur ut etiam canticis et laudibus vulgari sermone compositis Regnum Dei annuntiarent; et ipse, multiplicatione scriptorum, omnium hominum saluti servire intendebat.||153,1. Saint Francis used to encourage his brothers to proclaim the Kingdom of God even with songs and praises in the language of the people; he himself strove to serve the salvation of all peoples through many writings.||New text (1)
1. Saint Francis, who saw “in things of beauty Him who is most beautiful” (2), invited all creatures to praise and glorify the Lord. Let us, too, learn to recognise all the good and beautiful things the Lord has sown in the human heart and in the harmony of creation. With moderation and simplicity, let us make full use of them in our apostolates so that God’s glory, resplendent in creation and most of all in the paschal mystery, may draw the hearts of men and women to itself. Let us commit ourselves to make God’s beauty known, through the spoken and written word and also through Christian art.
|153,2. Idcirco et nos hodierna media communicationis socialis, quae ipsas multitudines totamque humanam societatem attingere ac movere valent, magni aestimemus ut apta instrumenta ad evangelizandos homines temporis nostri.||153,2. Therefore, let us also greatly esteem the modern means of social communication for their power to influence and move the masses and the entire human society and as instruments suitable for evangelizing peoples of our time.||Current text (153,2-3-4) expanded, with changes
2. We should proclaim Christ far and wide, without excluding the use of the communications media, which offer great opportunities for evangelisation. Therefore the ministers should see to it that suitable brothers receive specific training in this field. All the brothers should be suitably instructed in how to use the media carefully and responsibly (3).
|153,3. Quo autem multiformis apostolatus per ea media communicationis socialis in nostra fraternitate magis roboretur, curent superiores ut fratres, qui ad hoc idonei inveniuntur, possint congruentem praeparationem adipisci.||153,3. That the various forms of the apostolate may be strengthened in our fraternities by these means of social communication, superiors should take care that brothers who are found qualified for this receive appropriate training.||Merged with the previous number.|
|153,4. Fratres omnes in usu responsabili horum mediorum communicationis socialis convenienter instruantur ut per ea de humanae societatis condicione et Ecclesiae necessitatibus rectam et concretam cognitionem acquirant.||153,4. All the brothers should be suitably instructed in a responsible use of these means of social communication that, through them, they may acquire an accurate and realistic understanding of the condition of human society and the needs of the Church.||Merged with n. 2.|
|153,5. Preli quoque apostolatum viribus unitis libenter exerceant, praesertim cum agitur de rebus franciscalibus divulgandis; et valde commendatur ut in provinciis vel nationibus, immo etiam in universo Ordine, officia ad hoc spectantia constituantur.||153,5. With combined efforts, let them also exercise the apostolate of the printed page, especially in publishing matters of Franciscan interest. It is strongly recommended that offices for this purpose be established in provinces or nations, and even in the Order as a whole.||Current text (153,5) with one change
3 We should gladly join in the apostolate of the press, especially in publishing Franciscan works (4).
4. In our publications, when using the means of social communication and when we appear in the media, we should express full adherence to gospel values and to the teaching of the Church (5).
5. Publications and communications that represent the Order officially, both locally and at universal level, must be duly assessed and authorised by the competent superior. Particular care should be taken to ensure that they (6) express the genuine thinking of the Order.
|153,6. In iis quae instrumenta communicationis socialis respiciunt, praescripta iuris universalis serventur; et, si de scriptis quaestiones religionis morumve tractantibus agitur, prae oculis habeatur licentiam quoque superioris maioris requiri.||153,6. The prescriptions of universal law are to be observed in matters pertaining to the instruments of social communication. When it is a matter of writing about religion or morals, it should be remembered that permission is also required from the major superior.||Current text (153,6)
6. Regarding the instruments of social communication, the prescriptions of universal law (7) are to be observed. When writings about religion or morals are concerned, it should be remembered that permission is also required from the major superior.
|New text (cf. 153,5 part two)
7. It is appropriate to establish suitable offices at the various levels in the Order so that the apostolate of the communications media may be co-ordinated, supported and properly evaluated.
|153,7. Fratres instrumenta muneri sui exsequendo necessaria habeant, quin vita fraterna detrimentum capiat, et respectu habito nostrae vocationis franciscano-capuccinae.||153,7. Let the brothers have the equipment necessary for carrying out their duties without this being a detriment to fraternal life and with due consideration to our Capuchin-Franciscan vocation.||deleted (8)|
(1) We propose a text that enriches and develops the content of the present Constitutions, starting from the example of Saint Francis, who was a master of the way of beauty, educating ourselves to recognise and value in our apostolates the aesthetic dimension, and committing ourselves to this both in simple or “ordinary” speech and in writings, using typically Franciscan artistic expressions. The Commission did not think that it opportune to accept the proposal [Prot. N.:IX-00078] which asked to change cristianamente ispirate (inspired by Christian principles) to authentically inspired. Nor another suggestion to add at the end: out of respect, as a witness to a life what respects nature [Prot. N. IX-00063]. Neither proposal was accompanied by supporting arguments.
(2) Cf. Legenda Maior, IX.
(3) The current text and the two following §§ seem to express a rather dated approach to the mass media – too emphatic, insufficiently critical and perhaps rather ingenuous. Today, given the enormous developments that have taken place in the world of the media, we are better placed to have a mature awareness of the possibilities they offer, but also of the risks involved. Some of the positive and negative aspects of the media have already been highlighted in chapter 6. Here, it is appropriate to confine the references to recognising the great possibilities they offer for evangelisation, together with the need to be adequately trained in their use and the responsibility that this involves.
The text in PdR1, which had already incorporated the content of paragraphs 2, 3, 4 of the current n. 153, has now been only slightly altered. Among other things superiors is changed to ministers, but it was not thought opportune to say ministers and guardians as had been proposed. [Prot. N.: IX- 00079]. Another proposal [Prot. N.: IX-00104] suggested saying: “social means of communication including the use of internet and other media”. This addition was not judged appropriate because the internet is also among the means of social communication: it is not necessary to mention this explicitly. Finally, another two proposals suggested a different formulation of the second sentence: “Thus the superiors should take care that suitable friars be appropriately trained” [Prot N.: IX-00104] or “Thus the superiors should take care that the friars be able to acquire adequate preparation” [Prot. N.: IX-00058], omitting suitable, “because – so the evaluation says – we believe that everyone should receive the same formation in order to have the necessary knowledge of these matters”. The Commission did not feel it could grant this request: the text distinguishes between specific (technical) training in the field of social communication (which cannot be required or imposed on everyone) and formation, which is aimed at all the friars, concerning the responsible use of the media themselves. For this reason the text in PdR2 only refers to ministers, because they are deputed both to select suitable friars for specialisation in the field of the media and for the formation of all the friars. The role of the guardian in this matter in set out in chapter VI.
(4) It did not seem necessary to add in writing and online at the end, which had been proposed in order to emphasise the importance of online publications [Prot. N.:IX- 00105].
(5) Given the importance that the communications media have assumed, and knowing from experience that their use can be a sensitive area, especially in the case of official statements, the following §§ have been added to make clear our firm determination (and vocation !) always to walk with the Church. The superiors of the Order have their own special responsibility in this area, since they are called upon to watch over and to regulate the use of the media, especially when matters of faith and morals are involved.
(6) We have deleted Let them be updated, which appeared in PdR1. One proposal suggested deleting the whole of the second sentence [Prot. N.: IX-00080]; another requested the elimination of the whole of this paragraph as well as the preceding one, saying that it was enough to refer to the norms of universal law in § 6, and that the phrase the genuine thinking of the Order – authenticam Ordinis mentem – was obscure. It was observed: “If something specific needs to be said it should be placed in the Statutes”. The Commission, which in PdR1 had already explained why the texts had been introduced (cf above, note 5), thought it opportune to retain the same texts.
(7) It was proposed to say: “let the norms of universal law and our particular law be observed”, and to delete “When writings about religion or morals are concerned, it should be remembered that permission is also required from the major superior” [Prot. N.: IX-00081]. The Commission preferred to keep to what is said in the current text.
(8) The paragraph can be omitted, being more appropriately placed in the chapter on work.
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|154,1. Fratres, quacumque ratione apostolatui dediti, in exercitio caritatis erga Deum et homines, quae est anima omnis apostolatus, vitam et actionem suam ad unitatem redigant.||154,1. In whatever capacity they are dedicated to the apostolate, let the brothers integrate their life and activity in the exercise of love to God and people that is the soul of every apostolate.||Current text (154,1) with changes
1. In all our apostolates(1) we should integrate our life and activity with the exercise of love for God and people, which is the soul of every apostolate.
|154,2. Meminerint quoque se missionem suam prosequi non posse nisi in fidelitate erga vocationem propriam continuo renoventur.||154,2. They should also remember that they cannot pursue their mission unless they are continually renewed in faithfulness to their own vocation.||Current text (154,2) with changes
2. Let us also remember that we cannot pursue our mission unless we are continually renewed in fidelity to our own vocation.
|154,3. Ideo apostolatus opera exerceant in paupertate et humilitate, ministerium non sibi appropriantes, ut omnibus palam fiat se solum Iesum Christum quaerere; illam fraternitatis unitatem servent quam Christus voluit ita consummatam ut cognoscat mundus Filium missum esse a Patre.||154,3. Let them, therefore, perform works of the apostolate in poverty and humility, not making a ministry their own, that it may be clear that it is Jesus Christ alone whom they seek. Let them preserve that unity of the fraternity which Christ wished to be so perfect that the world would know the Son was sent by the Father.||Current text (154,3) with changes
3. Let us therefore be poor and humble in performing works of the apostolate, without making any ministry our own, so that all may clearly see that we seek Jesus Christ alone. Let us preserve that unity in brotherhood which Christ wished to be so perfect that the world would know the Son had been sent by the Father.
|154,4. In commercio fraterno vitam orationis et studii colant, ut intime cum Salvatore uniantur, et, vi Spiritus Sancti moti, ad laetum nuntium in mundo testificandum se magno et prompto animo praebeant.||154,4. Let them cultivate a life of prayer and study in a fraternal exchange, so that they may be intimately united with the Savior and, moved by the power of the Holy Spirit, offer themselves with a magnanimous and ready spirit to witnessing to the joyful good news in the world.||Current text (154,4) with changes
4. In our life together as brothers, let us cultivate a life of prayer and study, so that we may be closely united with the Saviour and, moved by the power of the Holy Spirit, may offer ourselves with a ready and generous heart to witness to the good news in the world.
(1) The formulation of PdR1; Whatever apostolic activity we are engaged in, we should integrate… which was proposed in order to make the text easier to understand, has again been revised. Perhaps we need to move towards an opening phrase which is more in line with the character of this number, which concludes the whole chapter on the apostolate.
- Translator: see footnote 4 below. ↑
- Cf. G. Santarelli, Il ministero delle confessioni nelle fonti e nella evoluzione nell’ [sic!] Ordine Cappuccino (I Frati Cappuccini. Sussidi per la lettura dei Documenti e Testimonianze del I secolo, 2). Roma 1989 ↑
- “The ministry of reconciliation is one of your great works, one of your glorious works! It must continue in the same glorious tradition. I think you have the charism of Confession, which you must always keep alive within your hearts and in your ministry – this great and important charism! In our times especially, in human and Christian life, while this charism is almost a little neglected on the one hand, on the other hand is is sought out! So many bishops said during the Synod that if there is a crisis in sacramental Confession this is also because of some confessors who do not know how to hear confessions well. This needs to be turned around now, to rediscover love for hearing confessions. And where can we look for those with a great love for Confession if not in the Capuchin Order, especially after the canonisation of Saint Leopold?” (John Paul II, Address (in Italian) to the Italian Capuchin Minsters Provincial in Rome, 1 March 1984). ↑
- G. Scarvaglieri, I Cappuccini e l’impegno sociale (Studi e ricerche: nuova serie. Laurentianum; 3). Roma 2008; Idem, I Cappuccini e la sociologia from Laurentianum, 48 (2007), fasc. 3. ↑
- Translator: In Italian Vita Consecrata has alcuni areopaghi della missione while the official English text reads: some new fields of mission. The introduction now outlines the symbolism of the term “areopagus.” ↑
- Const. 145.5 ↑
- “Dove non sono penetrati o dove non sono comparsi i cappuccini? Specialmente nei momenti tristi, dove bisognava il soccorso, nei luoghi più abbandonati, dove nessuno voleva andare, era il cappuccino che andava” (cf. G. Scarvaglieri, I Cappuccini e la sociologia Ex: Laurentianum, 48 (2007), fasc. 3, 469).
“Where haven’t the Capuchins reached? Where haven’t they been seen? Especially in difficult moments, when help was needed in the most abandoned of places and where no one else wanted to go – it was the Capuchin who went.” ↑
- The English text of the “Proposed Revision” of the Commission differs in several respects from available versions of the Constitutions published before 2002. The translation was revised, comparing and correcting existing English versions, to make it as faithful as possible to the original Latin. ↑
- Cfr. F. Iglesias, Constitutiones Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum post Concilium Vaticanum II retractatae (a.1968-1988). I. Textus. Romae, Curia generalis OFMCap., 1988, p. 135, note 5-6. ↑
- R. Cantalamessa, “Let us observe the Rule we have promised”. Assisi, Chapter of Mats, 15-04-2009 on the VIII Centenary of the approval of the Rule of Saint Francis. ↑
- Cf. Benedict XVI, Message to OFMConv General Chapter and to the Community of the Sacro Convento (Assisi 17 June 2007). ↑