Commissio Constitutionum OFMCap.
DRAFT OUTLINE OF OUR CONSTITUTIONS FOR THE LXXXIV GENERAL CHAPTER
Chapter VIII: The governance of our Order
Second Proposed Revision (PdR 2)
Rome — General Curia — 2012
Table of Contents
- I. The Structure of the Order
- II. The Vicar General and the General council
- III. Composition of the General Chapter
- IV. The Provincial Chapter by Universal Suffrage or by Delegates
- V. Length of the term of office
- VI. Plenary Councils and Conferences of Major Superiors
- VII. Terminology
- Article i: The structure of the Order
- Article II: Superiors and offices in general
- ARTICLE III: The general governance of the Order
- Article IV:Collaboration in the Order; The Plenary Council and the Conferences of Major Superiors
- Article V: The governance of the provinces
- Article VI: The governance of the custodies
- Article VII: Governance of the local fraternity
1. The revision of chapter VIII of the Constitutions has been longer and more complex than that of the other chapters. The Commission understood that greater attention was needed, given the more technical character of chapter VIII and that reflection on this chapter has been going on for two decades. Therefore it was asked that the sub-commission charged with producing the first draft should also have legal experts. The Minister General and his Definitory were asked to indicate, if they believed it opportune, themes about structure and government which, in their judgement, needed more attention in the current development of the Order. In his letter of 1 October 2009 (Prot.N. 685/09) the Minister General offered the following indications:
- The General Definitory believed it appropriate that the already designated Sub-commission (Br. Paolo Martinelli, coordinator; Br. Mathew Paikada; Br. Leonard Lehmann; Br. Miguel Anxo Pena) work on Chapter VIII;
- In its work on Chapter VIII the same Sub-commission is to be assisted by two other members of the Commission, both expert in Canon Law: Br. Roberto Genuin and Br. Piotr Stasinski;
- This extended Sub-commission is to be assisted also be the General Procurator, Br. Vincenzo Mancusi, as a special consultant;
- The mandate of Br. Vincenzo Mancusi is limited to Chapter VIII;
- Bearing in mind that Chapter VIII of the Constitutions was the object of study in preparation for the General Chapter in 2000; and that the General Definitory, during the same General Chapter and after appropriate consultation, asked the Commission to take into consideration the study material prepared for the 2000 General Chapter, as well as the minutes of the same Chapter, and so carefully consider and evaluate the suggestions and proposals upon which the 2000 Chapter did not believe it opportune to deliberate.
The extended Sub-commission met for some days between May and June 2010 and prepared a first draft. The Commission examined this with much discussion, changes and improved proposals during its July session. However it was decided to wait until the November session for a final draft of Chapter VIII. This would allow time to consider the text further and to reflect on some points which had not yet been given sufficient consideration. In the meantime, after studying the prepared text, the General Procurator, in a letter of 15 October, presented the need in our legislation for a more realistic adaptation to the changed conditions of the Order, at least for some clearly identifiable circumstances, with particular reference to the sub-division of the Order.
Addressing the Commission on the morning of 22 November 2010, the General Minister himself proposed that the actual situation of the Order be analysed so as to identify incongruities and overlaps in the legislation, and possibility then to simplify the structure. The Commission judged it opportune to study the question in depth. The Commission therefore arrived at the formulation of the Proposed Revision (PdR1) of Chapter VIII which was presented for the attention of the all the Friars. Finally, following the feedback received from the Order at large, during its plenary session in November 2011 the Commission once again examined the whole of chapter VIII, revising it in several places and fine-tuning it, which resulted in the second Draft Revision (PdR2), which forms the Schema that will be submitted for evaluation by the General Chapter.
2. As we already said when presenting PdR1, some topics drew the particular attention of the Commission and deserve careful attention on the part of the whole Order. These may be summarised as follows:
– The Structure of the Order
– The Vicar General and the General Council
– The make up of the General Chapter
– The Provincial Chapter – universal suffrage or elected delegates
– The length of the term of office
– Plenary Councils and Conferences
In n. 110,1 the current Constitutions thus describe the structure of our Order:
Our Order or Fraternity, as far as its government is concerned, is divided into provinces, vice-provinces, custodies, delegations and houses or local fraternities; these structures, taken individually, are true fraternities.
1. The question immediately arises about identifying better criteria for the arrangement of the various circumscriptions. The theme was given full treatment by the Commission tasked with the study of Chapter VIII for the General Chapter 2000, especially in regard to criteria concerning the erection, unification, division, modification and suppression of circumscriptions. In this matter it should be remembered that within the Franciscan Order the Province is the fundamental, typical circumscription. For three centuries, from 1637 to 1968, the Constitutions of the Capuchin Order have always maintained some objective criteria for the erection and suppression of Provinces, with particular reference to numbers of friars. The proposals formulated for the General Chapter 2000 in the main also highlight the criterion of numbers but this did not have a follow-up in our legislation.
The matter should be treated much prudence, avoiding reference to numbers only. It is wiser to look at the reality of the Order and carefully observe the direction of history. In fact the Order is growing in the Southern hemisphere while in strong decline in western countries (especially Europe), countries that make up the ‘traditional’ part of the Order. If we should rely solely on numerical criteria some realities could only become Provinces with some difficulty, while their specific situation, especially because of geographical distances, requires a structural and autonomous stability. Nor does economic autonomy seem to be a correct criterion. From this aspect some realities would never be in a position to be erected as Provinces. Possibly the further development of economic solidarity makes up for this. On the other hand, the situations in decline are represented by Provinces of long tradition and history. Based on the criteria of numbers alone not a few Provinces would have to be suppressed immediately. This would lead to much drama and harm the life of the Order. Furthermore the erection of new Provinces based on numbers alone could result in solutions that do not correspond with our charism and the witness we are called to give. As things stand we believe that this deep and significant problem should, above all, involve the area of animation, which is among the duties of the central government of the Order and is the purpose behind the structures of communion (PCOs, Conferences …). When it is a question of the unification, division, modification and suppression of Provinces the matter should be handled with great care and prudence. For this reason the Commission confines itself to proposing, in the Complementary Code, a more detailed description of the basic criteria for proceeding to the establishment, suppression and unification of a Province, naturally a body that is vital in all the expressions of its life. PdR2 says:
“For the establishment, suppression and unification of provinces, account should be taken of local situations and at least the following aspects should be assessed: the presence of a group of brothers and fraternities able to sustain effectively, either directly or through the solidarity of the Order, the life and activities of the brothers in the various entities, both internally and as regards their openness to the needs of the Order and the Church; their capacity to assume, also in co-operation with other circumscriptions, commitments to vocations promotion, formation and the apostolate; material and economic needs. In particular the following aspects should be verified: the brothers’ sense of belonging to the fraternity, at its various levels; the possibility of assuming governance responsibilities and an effective turnover of office-holders; a capacity to assume a missionary commitment; geographic and linguistic unity, as far as possible”(PdR – Complementary Code 8/1 = current text [Const 111,3] with changes and additions).
As in the current Constitutions, it remains within the competence of the Minister General and his Council to evaluate how far all these described criteria are present, bearing in mind different local situations.
2. At present the Constitutions focus on the Province. However the existence of other entities – (the Friars Minor use the term entity) – cannot be ignored while trying to find a terminology that includes all these realities. It seems more opportune and exact to speak of circumscriptions unless reference is being made to one of these entities.
In the Order, not only provinces but also other minor circumscriptions have always existed, e.g. Commissariats. There were in the Order, until 1968, Provinces, Commissariats, Custodies and Missions. The Chapter of 1968 abolished Commissariats and these were actually suppressed after the General Chapter of 1974. Subsequently the present structural division was adopted: Provinces, General and Provincial Vice-Provinces, Custodies, houses or local fraternities.
The Commission immediately pointed out the need to come up with a more appropriate terminology to indicate General Vice-Provinces. In n.110,3 the Constitutions describe a Vice-Province as a “part of the Order established in a particular territory entrusted to a Province or directly subject to the General Minister and is governed by a vice-provincial as vicar of the Provincial or General Minister.” It is immediately apparent that the expression General Vice-Province is a contradiction in terms. By its nature, a Vice-Province relates to a Province and the Vice-Provincial relates to a Provincial. The General Minister is not a Provincial, nor is the Order a Province as such. Circumscriptions currently defined as General Vice-Provinces are not Vice-Provinces.
The search for an adequate term to describe a General Vice-Province involved extensive reflection: “On deeper analysis it is apparent that the problem is not only one of language, but it also has important juridical implications” concerning the entire structure of the Order. As has been said, the government of the Order is at present divided into provinces, vice-provinces, custodies, delegations and houses (cf. Const. 110,1), and the ‘normal’ growth of the Order in a territory is thought of in this way:
* a first settlement (a house of presence dependent upon a province with a local superior subject to the provincial);
* a grouping of houses or fraternities (a delegation dependent on a province with a local superior whose authority is delegated by the provincial);
* at least three houses or fraternities to help the local Church and promote evangelisation (a custody dependent upon a province, with a major superior having ordinary authority as vicar of the provincial);
* at least three houses or fraternities that have begun the implantatio ordinis (a vice-province dependent on a province with a major superior having ordinary authority as vicar of the provincial; a general vice-province dependent on the General with a major superior having ordinary authority as vicar of the General);
* at least three houses or fraternities that have achieved sufficient autonomy in their activities and ordinary management (a province governed by a provincial superior who has his own ordinary authority).
The characteristic features of a province are: a group of friars, local fraternities, its own territory, a provincial minister (cf. Const. 110,2). The Code describes a province as a grouping of several houses which constitutes an immediate part of the same institute under the same superior and has been canonically erected by legitimate authority is called a province (Can. 621).
The characteristic features of a vice-province (whether provincial or general) are: a particular territory, dependence on the province or on the General, a vice-provincial (cf. Const. 110.3).
The characteristic features of a custody (or mission) are: a group of friars, dependence on a province, missionary activity within a specific territory, a custos (cf. Const. 110,4).
The characteristic features of a delegation are: transience, a group of friars, dependence on a province, a delegated superior (cf. Ordinances of General Chapters 8/17.1.2b).
The characteristic features of a local fraternity (or house) are: a group of at least three professed friars, a legitimately established house, a guardian (cf. Const. 110,5).
Evident in this comparison is how the differences that exist in the current Constitutions between the various circumscriptions are insufficient to fully define the identity of each specific subdivision. For example, structural transience is only mentioned in regard to delegations. In reality this could also be said for vice-provinces, both general and provincial, as well for custodies. In fact they too tend towards becoming established as provinces, and serve to prepare the way for this to happen. Furthermore, a strictly missionary circumscription today does not conform to the postulates of ecclesiology and the mind of PCO III in Mattli. Therefore the province is the only “stable” structure. Therefore it is appropriate to go into the hypothesis of subdividing the Order into:
- Custodies: Vice Provinces should be called Custodies and they in turn will be distinguished as Provincial Custodies if the Custody is entrusted to a Province (as is the normal situation), and General Custodies, if the Custody is immediately dependent on the General Minister (as an exceptional arrangement in particular cases or circumstances);
- Delegations (which, unlike the first two categories, are not considered to be circumscriptions but simply structures);
- local fraternities
It is at once apparent, according to this hypothesis, that all the Custodies are to become the same as Vice-Provinces and therefore are to be abolished. The hypothesis does not provide for the abolition of the Vice-Provinces but of the Custodies (which would be ‘raised’, so to speak, to Vice-Provinces). The Vice-Provinces however will take on the traditional name of Custodies. In this way, as will be apparent, they will fully correspond to the commitment expressed by PCO III. In light of this it seems appropriate to outline the historical course of Custodies and Missions in our Order.
– The name Custody is traditional in the Order and we come across it the first time in the Writings of Saint Francis. The approved Rule, the Testament, his Letter to the whole Order all speak of ‘Custos’ (cf. FF 87; 96-97; 127; 215; 231) to whom the Seraphic Father addressed two letters (cf. FF 240-248). Generally the ‘Custos’ refers to an intermediate superior between the guardian and the Minister Provincial. The rapid development of the Order and the spread of the provinces suggested the division of the provinces themselves into various districts or Custodies whose superior or ‘custos,’ although subject to the Minister Provincial, had the task of watching over and governing the friaries and friars entrusted to him. Saint Francis entrusted to the ‘Custodes’ the task of watching over the faith of the friars and, together with the ministers, of taking care of the friars. Furthermore, the ‘custodes’ took part in the Pentecost Chapter for the election of the General Minister and to deal with matters concerning the Order.
– The Capuchin Order kept the old custom of the first Franciscan Order, and in the General Chapter of 1549 decided that the Custodes should take part in the General Chapter, the number of custodes corresponding to the number of Custodies in each province, though there could not be more than five or fewer than three. The custodes were elected by the provincial Chapter. In 1642 Urban VIII determined that only two custodes for each province could take part in the General Chapter. These custodes therefore came to be called general Custodes, while the others kept the name of provincial Custodes. Nevertheless a provincial Custos could be elected to be a general Custos at the same time. Finally, on 15 May 1903, Pius X determined that only one General Custos (the first of the two elected by the Provincial Chapter) would take part in the General Chapter. This was the practice in the Order until 1968.
According to this arrangement in our Order
– a Custody was an entity within the Province (a part of the Province);
– the role of the general Custos, a later innovation, corresponded to that of a Provincial Delegate to the General Chapter today.
In more recent times (the twentieth century) our Order found it necessary to make provision for those groups of religious who, though belonging to a province, found themselves in a different territory some distance from the Province itself. In reference to this situation the Order began to speak of Custodies and then specific legislation was provided for them. In 1937, the General Minister, Br. Vigilio da Vlastagna published some Normae pro Custodiis provincialibus. Later the Statutum ad regendas Custodias was promulgated ad experimentum on 2 May 1956. Examined by the General Chapter of 1958, the Statute was definitvely promulgated on 14 November the same year. According to this Statute, a Custody was to be considered as a “Coetus domorum religiosarum, qui, iudicio Ministri Generalis cum suo Definitorio, iure ordinario Provinciarum vel Commissariatuum regi neqeunt, ab eodem Defintorio Generali in Custodias constitui possunt” (art. 1,1). Thus Custodies could already be either a Provincial Custody, if alicui Provinciae concredita est, or a General Custody, if Ministro generali directe subiecta est (art. 1,2). As for the nature and purpose of Custodies, the 1958 Statute said: Custodia, natura sua, formam prae se fert precariam, et ad hoc praecipue ordinata est, ut Ordo noster, fovendis potissimum incolarum vocationibus, propagetur et sacrum ministerium ad norma iuris exerceat (art. 1,5).
These structures were precisely the ones that came to be called Vice-Provinces after the General Chapter of 1970. The 1970 regulation, as evident from the context, clearly referred to provincial custodies. Therefore the Extraordinary General Chapter of 1974 went on to recognise already existing general custodies as vice-provinces immediately subject to the General Minister, with all the rights and obligations of vice-provinces. Because of this, the 1975 edition of the Constitutions says: Viceprovincia est pars Ordinis, in determinato territorio constituta, alcui provinciae concredita vel immediate ministro generali subiecta, quam viceprovincialis ut vicarius ministri provincialis vel generalis regit (n. 98,3). As can be seen, apart from the new name of Vice-province, this entity is precisely the one that had been provided for by the Statutum ad regendas Custodias.
4. The Missions
In that same Statute, custodies differed from missions. Missions were seen as circumscriptions located in territories entrusted to the juridical competence of Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith or to the Congregation for Eastern Churches. From these two Dicasteries the Order received its missionary undertakings in terms of ius commissionis. According to this practice particular territories were entrusted to specific institutes who were expected to accept full responsibility for those territories. According to the General Chapter of 1884, “All the missions entrusted to the Order, and all the missionaries who work in them, are subject to the General Minister, in direct dependence upon the sacred Congregation in charge of missions” (Const. 1925, n.241). However Br. Bernard Christen of Andermatt, elected General Minister in the Chapter of 1884, was deeply committed to the renewal of the missionary spirit of the Order. Among other things, he adopted the slogan: “One Province – one Mission.” From then on, in fact, although they were subject to the General Minister as supreme moderator of our Fraternity, all the missions of the Order were entrusted to individual provinces as circumscriptions dependent on them. Each mission was governed by a Superior Regular assisted by two discreets (councillors). After a consultative vote by the missionaries and by the Minister and Definitory of the Province, the General Minister, with the consent of the Definitory, appointed the Superior Regular for three years. The mission was entrusted to the Superior Regular. The various editions of the Statutum pro missionibus Ordini FF. Minorum Capuccinorm concreditis followed the same line. The Statutum was first published ad experimentum in 1887 and definitively approved in 1893. It was later amended in 1929, 1938 and 1971.
The renewed Constitutions of 1968 provided for three circumscriptions:
– A Province is understood as a group of friars and local fraternities which has its own territory and is governed by a Minister Provincial;
– A Custody is understood as a part of a Province in a territory separated from it, governed by a Custos as the Vicar of the Minister Provincial;
– A Mission is understood to be a group of friars who are dependent upon a Province and engage in missionary work in territories acknowledged as Missions by the Holy See and Who are ruled over by a Superior Regular as Vicar of the Minister Provincial (n. 97).
– The General Chapters of 1970 and 1974 kept this triple division of circumscriptions but, as already noted, in 1970 it was decided that the term ‘Custody’ be changed to ‘Vice-Province.’
– In 1978, PCO III (held in Mattli, Switzerland), was devoted to the topic of the Missionary Life and Activity of the Order. Among other things it recognised new contexts for the Church after the Second Vatican Council. While completing the teaching of the previous Vatican Council, it underlined teaching on the episcopate as well as particular or local churches: “It is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists” (Lumen Gentium, 23). Therefore wherever the Church is established, it is the agent of apostolate and mission. Practical consequences come from this at the organisational level of the Church’s missionary activity. These consequences are regulated by the Instruction De cooperatione missionali of 24 February 1969. Hence the Mattli document noted, “Formerly, the ‘ius commissionis’ was in force, according to which defined territories had been entrusted to specific missionary Institutes, which had complete responsibility for them. Now not missionary Institutes but particular Churches, (dioceses), are responsible for themselves, even if they can obviously take the Institutes into their service on the basis of some form of contract, envisaged in the same Instruction” (Mattli, n.17). Therefore PCO III hoped that “Our present missions should be changed into vice-provinces or provinces, if necessary by merging them with neighbouring vice-provinces and missions” (n.45) and “that those missions which cannot be erected into vice-provinces or provinces be called custodies … Their juridical status will be that of the present missions according to the Constitutions” (n.46). The General Chapter of 1982 welcomed the proposals of PCO III. Therefore the passage in the Constitutions which was approved at that Chapter is still in force: “A Custody or mission is a group of brothers which is dependent on a province and engaged in missionary work in a defined territory, and which is governed by a religious superior as the vicar of the provincial minister”(110,4).
5. Successive changes
Other considerations should be added to this historical overview to stress, above all, the change of perspective in the idea of missionary activity. For the Church and Order that perspective has changed significantly. With the Mattli PCO and the Constitutions of 1982, the perspective has changed from that of our missions (entrusted to the Order), to missionary activity as:
1) service to young churches
2) commitment to evangelisation of all those in any continent or region who do not believe in Christ.
– It is particularly important to note that the mind of the Plenary Council at Mattli was to redress having strictly mission circumscriptions: “Our present missions should be changed into vice-provinces or provinces, if necessary by merging them with neighbouring vice-provinces and missions…” (PCO III, n.45). Along the same lines the idea of Custody comes up again as a structure within the Order. So n.46 of the Mattli document proposes that the title Mission be changed to Custody “for those missions which cannot be erected into vice-provinces or provinces.” Then the Constitutions of 1982 spoke of Custody or mission. However it must remain clear that the Mattli PCO proposed that only the term ‘Custody’ be used.
– In fact this change has already occurred within the reality of the Order. Today we can no longer speak about circumscriptions that are missions only and others that are not. This is not only because of what has just been said, but also because in territories that were once considered missions, the Order is present not just as Custodies or Missions, but also as Vice-Provinces and Provinces. More precisely, at the present time (December 2011):
– in Africa we have:
3 Provinces (Eritrea, Madagascar, Tanzania);
5 General Vice-Provinces (Ethiopia, Chad-Central Africa, Congo, Kenya, Mozambique);
4 Vice-Provinces (South Africa, Angola, Cabo Verde, Zambia);
6 Custodies (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Benin, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe);
1 Delegation (Gabon);
10 Domus praesentiae (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Seychelles, Malawi, Namibia, Sudan, Congo, Dawro Konta).
– in Asia (including Turkey, the Near East, Israel) we have:
15 Provinces (11 in India, 3 in Indonesia, 1 in the Philippines);
2 General Vice-Provinces (Arabia and the Near East);
2 Vice-Provinces (Pakistan and Papua New Guinea);
6 Custodies (2 in India, 1 in Korea, I in Japan, 1 in Malaysia, 1 in Turkey);
4 Provincial Delegations (2 in India, 1 in Sri Lanka, 1 in Thailand);
4 Domus praesentiae (2 in India, 1 in Israel, 1 in East Timor).
– In Latin America we have:
14 Provinces (10 in Brazil, 1 Argentina, 1 Chile, 1 Colombia, 1 Peru);
2 General Vice-Provinces (Central America, Nicaragua-Costa Rica-Panama; Guatemala-Honduras-Salvador);
7 Vice-Provinces (Ecuador, Western Brazil, Amazonia, Santo Domingo + Haiti, Mexico-Texas, Puerto Rico, Venezuela);
2 Custodies (Paraguay, Northern Mexico);
1 Provincial Delegation (Cuba);
2 Domus Praesentiae (Bolivia, Brazil).
– Custodies have gradually changed and today there seems to be little difference between a Custody and a Vice-province. On the other hand, the role of the Custodies as mission circumscriptions only in the traditional sense, today seems to be superseded. This is because the Catholic Church has been established in nearly every corner of the earth, and our task for all our circumscriptions (Provinces, Vice-Provinces, Custodies, Delegations and Domus Praesentiae) is to be of service to the young Churches. It is also because today, in areas of ancient Christian tradition, the task of a new evangelisation is pressing;
– With regard to Vice-Provinces it seems that the implantatio Ordinis today cannot be understood as the principal purpose of these circumscriptions alone. In fact some Vice-Provinces are in territories where the Order has been established or has been present for centuries (e.g. the Vice-Province of the Near East), while in the light of PCO III (cf. n.39) and the current Constitutions (cf. n.177). Custodies also have the task of promoting the implantatio Ordinis. At the same time, in many areas of ancient Christian tradition and an otherwise ancient presence of the Order (e.g. Europe), there is a need today for a re-implantatio Ordinis. The implantatio Ordinis is a task that belongs to all the circumscriptions, just as a commitment to mission and evangelisation belongs to all the circumscriptions. Therefore distinction among the structures of the Order cannot depend upon their apostolic commitment, differentiated according to the circumscriptions.
– From another angle, a careful assessment of the present situation of the Order shows that there are no substantial differences between Vice-Provinces and Custodies. At the legislative level the norms in the Constitutions regarding the government of a Vice-Province are almost identical to those for the government of a Custody, and almost overlap. Also from the statistical point of view, there are Custodies that have more friars than some Vice-Provinces (and even more than some Provinces). And conversely, there are some Vice-Provinces with fewer friars than some Custodies. A statistical guideline for the structural division of the Order cannot be absolute, as if the number of friars were the decisive criterion. Nor can the number of friars be emphasised as if it were the main criterion. On the basis of the number of friars alone, some Vice-Provinces and Custodies could have already been erected as Provinces, and some Provinces would have had to become Vice-Provinces or Custodies. It also happens sometimes, when the number of friars becomes the main consideration and results in the erection of a Province, that weaknesses and shortcomings quickly become apparent. Criteria that are valid for the establishment of a circumscription are quite different from the simply numerical one.
– It seems fitting to consider the distinctions between the circumscriptions of the Order, starting with the reality of Provinces. The Code of Canon Law (CIC) sees a Province as a primary and immediate part of an Institute. In a certain sense the Province can be defined as a natural part of an Institute. It is a body that makes up the ordinary structure of an Institute, while other structures are characteristically an exception. From this point of view those structures that are not Provinces may be considered to be transitory, seeing that the conditions for their establishment as Provinces do not yet exist. But neither should this aspect be over-emphasised or generalised. A careful look at the actual situation of the Order would lead to the conclusion that among Vice-Provinces and Custodies there are circumscriptions that are just as vigorous as some Provinces. Nor may the structural divisions of the Order be seen as obligatory steps along the way for individual circumscriptions. In recent times some Delegations have become Vice-Provinces without passing through the phase of being a Custody. It follows then that, above all, pastoral sensitivity by the government of the Order and attention to each individual circumscription are more useful than rigid criteria and specific conditions used for the classification of various circumscriptions.
In actual fact there are in the Order nine General Vice-Provinces, sixteen Provincial Vice-Provinces and eighteen Custodies. Each of these circumscriptions, for the above mentioned reasons, can fit within the traditional category of Custody, the distinction being made then between a Provincial Custody (when it is entrusted to a Province) and a General Custody (when it is immediately dependent upon the General Minister.)
In reality, Vice-Provinces and Custodies, as in Provinces, have their own characteristics and prerogatives. All circumscriptions, including Provinces, are considered individually on the basis of their history, their vigour, and their future prospects. From time to time the central government of the Order and all the interested parties, after a balanced discernment, have to evaluate whether a Custody should or should not be erected as a Province; or whether before taking such a step one Custody should wait a little more, or another a little less; or if in a particular context it might be necessary and adequate to have a Delegation rather than a Custody, or vice versa, whether a Delegation can be erected as a Custody, etc. In the recent history of the Order such processes have occurred. Furthermore, not only have some Provinces been merged, but it has also happened that a Province has become a Vice-Province or Delegation.
In reality, therefore, the situation of various circumscriptions of the Order no longer corresponds to the descriptions found in the Constitutions. Above all it already seems difficult in the Order to clearly distinguish the character of a Vice-Province from that of a Custody. So then, if the identity established by the Constitutions does not present any essential differences, and if in fact the actual arrangement of various structures does not correspond with the juridical identity established by a normative text, it is permissible to think about the need to adapt the text to the reality, given that the reality cannot be adjusted to fit the text, even if such an adjustment might mean a partly moving away from the instructions given by the General Chapter to remain as faithful as possible to the current constitutional text.
6. The Commission’s proposals
Bearing all these things in mind, the Commission arrived at the following conclusions:
– The circumscriptions [of the Order] are ordinarily provinces and custodies, united together in a life-giving relationship under the authority of the General Minister (PdR2, n.119.2).
– A province is a primary and immediate part of the Order, and is governed by the provincial minister. It has its own consistency, enabling it to express and develop the vitality of our charism, give efficacious apostolic witness and benefit the life of the Order (PdR2, n. 119,6).
– The present Vice-provinces and Custodies are combined in the single circumscription called a Custody, which is a part of the Order in which the brothers, placed at the service of the churches and of their pastors in the work of evangelisation, gradually develop the presence of the consecrated life through their efforts to implant the Order. It is governed by the custos (15), who has ordinary vicarious power (PdR2, n. 119,7).
– A custody, among whose principal purposes is the implantation of the Order in a particular Church, is a circumscription of the Order entrusted to a province or, because of special circumstances, directly to the General Minister. Custodies that depend on the General Minister have their own statute approved by the same Minister with the consent of his council. The same norms governing custodies dependent on a province are applied to them by analogy (PdR2, n. 138, 1).
6.1 Given this simplification in the basic structure of the Order, and keeping in mind the very different situations that continuously emerge as the Order develops, the obligations and faculties of the General Minister regarding other possible types of circumscription are clarified: “In particular circumstances the General Minister, with the consent of his council and after consultation with the interested parties, may make different arrangements regarding the exclusivity of the territory, or establish other forms of circumscription or groupings of houses, in accordance with these Constitutions and with the Complementary code” (PdR2, n. 119,4).
6.2 Delegations stay in the Complementary Code (cf. PdR2 8/25) and the possibility of federations is mentioned (cf. PdR2, 8/3).
7. Ordinary vicarious power
The remainder of the legislation is in line with this proposal. Apart from simplifying the structure and remaining open the possibility of adaptation according to times and circumstances, a particular effort is made to overcome inconsistencies regarding ordinary vicarious authority. This is in reference to the Vice-Provincial or Custos, who ordinarily acts “as if he were a provincial” within the circumscription. In matters of government, ordinary power is properly so when it is used in the exercise of an office and in one’s own name, without any dependence on others. Vicarious power is also ordinary because it is joined to the office. However it is different from one’s own power, because it is exercised in the name of someone else who is the holder of the office and whose vicar the brother is. Consequently the vicar has the same power as the office-holder whose vicar he is. However he can only exercise that power in case of sede impedita (tr: when the office-holder is clearly prevented from fulfilling his pastoral function) or when the office is vacant, or in the absence of the office-holder. His vicarious power can be limited by law, which allows the office-holder to reserve some matters to himself. For reserved cases the vicar needs the specific delegation of the superior.
This is what our Constitutions determine when they require a superior to delegate his own vicar expressly in the circumstances mentioned in nos. 19 and 36, namely for admission to postulancy, to the novitiate and to profession (n. 19 = PdR2, 20) and for the dismissal of a postulant or novice (n. 36 = PdR2, 37). In all other situations the vicar has the same power as the titular superior. From this it follows that the provincial vicar (in a province), the vice-provincial (in a vice-province) and the custos (in a custody) have the same faculties in so far as they are vicar superiors of those structures. Furthermore, it is clear that the faculties of the vice-provincial in a vice-province and those of the custos cannot be broader than those of the provincial, since they have vicarious power and refer to the provincial. In the case of a general vice-provincial, since his vicarious power is that of the general, he would have the same faculties as the General Minister. Therefore in some cases his faculties would be broader than those of a Provincial. Since our Constitutions establish no precise limits, the anomaly can exist where the superior of an entity that is inferior to a province may have broader authority than a provincial (even if limited only to the particular territory of the General Vice-Province).
These inconsistencies are overcome by making provision for Custodies that are dependent upon the General Minister. Given their particular nature, they should have their own particular statute, in which it is possible to stipulate better which powers are entrusted the General Custos (cf. PdR, n.140.1). For Provincial Custodies, which can have very different dimensions, character and needs, it will be up to the Provincial Minister to confer on the Custos the delegated faculties that he believes to be appropriate: From the moment his election is confirmed, the custos enjoys Ordinary vicarious power to exercise his office. The provincial minister must grant to the custos, in writing, the faculties that are delegated to him, and indicate those which he reserves to himself (cf. PdR2, n.138.7). Thus the vicar superior of each dependent structure will be able to have the power to govern that is suited to the structure itself.
In number 118, 3.5-6, the current Constitutions prescribe:
“Then, according to the norm of “Order for the Celebration of a General Chapter”, the general definitors are elected according to the number fixed by the General Chapter Ordinance. No more that half of those elected at the previous Chapter may be elected. – The Vicar General is elected from among these definitors. In virtue of this election he becomes the first definitor. – According to the norm of the Constitutions and according to the Statute of the General Curia approved by the General Chapter, the task of the definitors is to help the General Minister in the government of the whole Order.”
The Ordinances (n.8/9) specify:
“The number of general definitors is eight.”
The Document on Chapter VIII prepared by the relevant Commission for the General Chapter of 2000 discussed the role and number of general definitors, whose task is to help the General Minister in the government of the whole Order. This norm of the Constitutions (118, 6) is somewhat vague. However, perhaps it is better that it should be, so that the “unique” role of the General Minister in our Fraternity is completely clear and undiminished. In this way a rather widespread, even if not completely explicit, idea may be dispelled. This mentality sees the Definitors as responsible for specific areas, as if they were General Ministers. However it is obvious that the General Definitors, in assisting the General Minister, are at the service of the whole Order. Nonetheless we cannot ignore the practice in the Order according to which the General Minister normally entrusts the task of visiting the circumscriptions of the Order to the General Definitors (cf. Const 161,2). Many other activities are added to this. Therefore the work of the General Definitors is truly onerous and needs to be evaluated wisely. In the General Chapter of 2000 it was decided to transfer the prescription about the number of General Definitors to the Ordinances. Today the Ordinances lay down: The number of General Definitors is eight (Ordinance 8/9). In this matter our Commission does not intend to propose a different number.
Instead, we did take some time to consider the role of the General Vicar, and we propose that:
– the General Vicar be elected immediately after the General Minister,
– in the same manner as the General Minister (i.e. leaving out the coetus groups and the Conferences),
– and before the other eight councillors or general definitors (or however many the General Chapter decides upon);
– the General Vicar should not be bound to service in a specific area.
If the General Chapter accepts this proposal, it will complete the choice made by the Order in 1968. Until that year – according to the Constitutions of the time – the General Procurator, chosen from among the definitors elected at the General Chapter, acted as Vicar General. In 1968 the Order decided that the General Procurator should be appointed by the General Minister and his definitory, but at the same time it introduced into our legislation the role of the General Vicar as strictly understood in canon law and in the practice of many religious Institutes. Therefore, unlike the General Definitors, the General Vicar, while being part of the definitory, is a major superior with ordinary vicarious power, whose task is to deputise for the General Minister in all matters whenever the Minister is absent or impeded, in accordance with the law of the Church and of the Order. He is the first collaborator of the General Minister. At present he is also an area definitor, and the task of visiting in that area is normally entrusted to him.
Taking properly into account the complexity of our Order and its spread all over the planet; the duty of the General Minister to visit the friars and, consequently, his frequent absences from Rome; the need to have in Rome a major superior to refer to at all times; and the differences between the roles of the General Vicar and the General Definitors (the latter are not superiors) – it seems appropriate that the General Vicar be distinct from the Definitors.
Therefore, in the light of the proposal we are making, the central government of the Order would have the following structure: General Minister, General Vicar, General Definitors (cf. PdR2, n. 126 . Naturally, the General Vicar would not cease to be a member of the General Minister’s council (PdR2, n. 126).
To avoid all misunderstandings, it must be quite clearly said that this proposal of the Commission is not intended to establish a new or additional authority in the Order. We do not want two General Ministers (one who travels around the world and one who stays in Rome). Nor is the intention to increase or strengthen the authority of the General Vicar: that comes to him from canon law and from the current Constitutions, and no addition is needed. If the office of General Vicar is distinguished from that of the general definitors, he does not acquire any greater authority than the one he has already. Nor is it a question of adding to or extending the remit of the General Vicar beyond what is already granted to him by law and/or by the current Constitutions. The purpose of the proposal is simply to improve the service given to our Order: to promote the service given by the area definitors, and to provide more and better assistance to the General Minister in carrying out his ministry. There is and remains only one General Minister of the whole Order. What the Commission proposes and asks for, as already expressed in PdR1, did provoke any discordant voices (not a single one) from the grass roots of the Order; in general those commenting on the matter, including some conferences of provincial ministers, spoke in favour.
We also point out that seniority among councillors is no longer a matter of chance, but is determined by profession (cf. PdR2, n. 126,4); until now, precedence among the definitors was determined by the order in which they were elected, and this rather depended on chance (determined by ballot).
There are two aspects to underline in this regard: the participation of the Custodes at the General Chapter and the delegates at the General Chapter. Both aspects must be connected to the new proposal to structure of the Order into Provinces and Custodies. In turn, the second aspect– based on the eventual choice of general chapter delegates – can have an impact on the role of the Conferences.
1. The participation of Custodes at the General Chapter
The current Constitutions lay down:
“The following have active voice at both ordinary and extraordinary General Chapters: the General Minister, the General Definitors, the former Minister General from the previous six-year term, Provincial Ministers, Vice-Provincials, the General Secretary, the General Procurator, and the delegates of the Provinces and Custodies, and other perpetually professed friars according to the norms of the Ordinances for General Chapters” (n.116,4).
If the structure of the Order proposed by the PdR (the simple division of the Order into Provinces and Custodies) is accepted, it follows that the present regular superiors of the Custodies will participate by right in the General Chapter. Therefore the new proposed draft text of the Constitutions (PdR2, n.124,4) no longer speaks of vice-provincials or delegates of the custodies, but only of custodes, meaning thereby the present vice-provincials and regular superiors of the custodies.
Consequently the paragraph on Custodies in Ordinance (8/7.4) would lapse: “Perpetually professed brothers of a Custody with at least thirty professed brothers shall elect one delegate to the General Chapter. However, if a Custody has fewer than thirty professed brothers, these must be included in the number of brothers of the province on which it depends, and the brothers in perpetual vows participate in the election of the delegate of the province”.
2. Delegates to the General Chapter
In relation to this question, it is first of all necessary to report on developments in the thinking of the Commission during the first and second stages of its work. Our reflections led us to propose a first alternative to the current text. This arose from the Commission itself and had already been suggested in PdR1. Subsequently the Conference of Italian Provincial Ministers (CIMPCap) made its own proposal, as an alternative both to the current text and to that of PdR1. Our Commission, in its plenary session of November 2011, worked on the CIMPCap proposal and clarified some aspects.
Here we reproduce first the current text and the two alternative proposals, while pointing out that the Commission for the Constitutions, while owning these alternatives as proposals, makes no choice in favour of either. . The two alternative proposals are – both – put forward for evaluation by the General Chapter and for its fee choice.
Ordinance 8/7 §1 says:
“Once the General Chapter has been convoked, all the brothers in perpetual vows, in each province with at least one hundred professed brothers, shall elect a delegate and his substitute for the General Chapter.”
However, §2 adds:
“Each province shall elect another delegate and his substitute for every two hundred brothers over and above two hundred.”
A) The first alternative to the current text
In the Introduction to PdR1 we said:
It is difficult to understand the reason for the second prescription in the current text (§2), which today – given the numerical composition of all the provinces of the Order – hardly serves any purpose.
Conscious that every proposal has its limitations and weaknesses, the Commission believed it appropriate to reconsider the hypothesis presented to the General Chapter of 2000, referring to the number 100 by which to calculate the number of delegates. Therefore we propose:
“Once the General Chapter has been called, in each province for every hundred friars, all the friars in perpetual vows shall elect a delegate and his substitute for the General Chapter” (PdR, Complementary Code 8/10.1= the current text in force [Ord. 8/7.1-2] with modifications).
B) The second alternative to the current text
The Conference of Italian Provincial Ministers (CIMPCap) proposes to abolish the Delegates of the Provinces to a General Chapter and to institute Delegates of the Conferences. We think it appropriate to report the considerations of CIMPCap underlying their proposal. The Italian provincials say:
I. The “Proposed draft revision of chapter VIII” by the Commissio Constitutionum has the intention of going beyond the prescription of Ordinance 8/7, § 2: “The province shall then elect another delegate and substitute for every two hundred professed brothers beyond two hundred”. This prescription is absurd, because it is completely unreal. But at this point the question arises: what difference is there between a province with 99 brothers (or fewer) and one with 101 brothers? A criterion obviously needs to be laid down, and the numerical one, established in 1968, is the simplest. But it is not necessarily the most fraternal.
II. Our history bears witness to the difficulties that have arisen in this regard. These are hardly mentioned in the Introduction to the “Proposed draft revision of chapter VIII”, but this highly problematic subject was outlined in detail in the document presented to the General Chapter in the year 2000 by the Commission studying chapter VIII of the Constitutions. The last Constitutions (year 1925) before 1968 only envisaged the difference between Commissariats (= circumscriptions that had fewer than 50 priest-brothers) and Provinces, but for all provinces they prescribed that in the provincial chapters, after the election of the provincial definitors and the provincial Minister, the two general Custodes were to be elected, of whom the first to be elected would attend the General Chapter. Given, then, that a province could not have fewer than 50 priest-brothers, no account was taken thereafter of its numerical size; therefore, a province with just 50 priest-brothers elected the general Custodes, and one of them attended the General Chapter.
III. Beyond all of this, the system of delegates of the provinces to a General Chapter is a legacy of the rigid provincialist structure of the Order and, in the manner in which it is disciplined today, could have the effect of some provinces wielding more power than others. This was underlined at some length in the feedback and evaluations presented by the relevant Commission prior to the 2000 General Chapter. 2000. On that occasion it was observed:
– The possibility granted by the Constitutions to large provinces smacks of ‘privilege’, in fact of ‘injustice’;
– establish the election of a delegate without any relation to a ‘fixed’ number of brothers.
– establish the election of a delegate even by provinces that do not have a hundred professed brothers: joining together with other provinces of the same Conference in a similar situation, they shall elect a delegate and his substitute for every hundred professed brothers.
– Reduce to 70/80 the number of professed brothers required in order to have the right to elect a delegate to the General Chapter.
– Delete 117, 2. The vote of the provincial Ministers is sufficiently authoritative and representative. Besides, the number of capitulars needs to be reduced, even for obvious practical reasons of methodology and dynamics in the working of the Chapter.
– Reduce the parameters indicated in n. 117 of the Constitutions: e.g.75 instead of 100 and 150 instead of 200.
– Elect a delegate in every Vice-province with at least 100 brothers.
– It seems appropriate to revise the norm for choosing delegates in provinces that have the right to do so.
In addition to these negative remarks about the current practice, some supported it, maintaining that:
– The solution given in the present Constitutions is the most just; therefore no adjustments are required.
– The extra vote given to large Provinces reflects the criterion of due proportionality (a democratic principle consonant with the number of brothers); however, the principle needs to be rectified by increasing even more the possibilities of the larger provinces, for greater fairness. Some concrete proposals are made in this regard, for example: “In addition, the province shall elect an extra delegate and his substitute for every one hundred professed brothers over the first hundred”; “The province shall then elect another delegate and his substitute for every two hundred brothers above the hundred”. Thus, a Province with 300 brothers elects one more, and one with 500 elects another two.
In the document on chapter VIII of the Constitutions, presented to the General Chapter in 2000, the suggested solutions are worthy of note. Among other things, they suggest:
– We believe it would be worthwhile to try new approaches and/or radical alternatives to the whole problem.
– In accordance with the signs of the times (even in the Church), we should aim for the greatest balance possible, numerically, between members by right and members by election.
– In the light of the needs of the Order –Fraternity, we should try to dismantle the interests of the circumscriptions (and even certain types of “presumed acquired rights”).
– Are true ‘democracy’ and ‘representativeness’ in the Order measured by the number or by the quality of those present at the General Chapter?
– Finally, we believe it would be worthwhile, even for methodological reasons, to have the courage to re-present the problem in the future, based on other outlines and other sensitivities.
IV. Inspired by these suggestions, particularly the last one, we would point to the increased sense of brotherhood. The development of the Order and the growth in collaboration, the deeper sense of the unity and universality of our Fraternity, should lead us to devise other systems of representation that are more respectful of the reality of the Order in every country and geographical region. In fact we believe that participants in a General Chapter should represent not only their own jurisdiction, but the whole Order, spread over every continent.
V. Therefore, the text we propose as an alternative both to the current text and that put forward by the Commissio Constitutionum, looks beyond the system of electing “delegates of the Provinces” towards “delegates of the Conferences”, elected or chosen by the Conferences themselves in relation to the number of brothers that make up each conference.
VI. We have already outlined the basic inspiration behind our proposed text: the need for us to move forward in collaboration, deepening our sense of the unity and universality of our Brotherhood. But we still need to add:
1. By simplifying the Order’s structure into Provinces and Custodies (which would include the present Vice- provinces and Custodies) and introducing the system of Conference delegates we would arrive at a greater representative quality of the brothers at a General Chapter.. This would promote especially those Conferences with a smaller number of brothers, which in any case – according to our proposal – would always have their delegates to the General Chapter. In particular we have in mind:
– ASMEN (a conference at present composed of three Vice- provinces, one Custody and one domus praesentiae). In the current regulations, none of these circumscriptions has the right to a Delegfate at the General Chapter;
– CCA (composed of 4 Provinces, 2 Vice-provinces, 1 Custody, 1 domus praesentiae).Of these circumscriptions, as things stand at present, only one has the right to a Delegate at the General Chapter;
– CONCAM (composed of 5 Vice-province, 1 Custody, 1 Delegation). According to current regulations, none of these circumscriptions has the right to a Delegate at the General Chapter;
– CONCAO (composed of 4 Vice province, 4 Custodies, 1 Delegation, 4 Domus praesentiae). According to current regulations, none of these circumscriptions has the right to a Delegate at the General Chapter.
2. Should the proposal for Conference delegates be accepted, greater weight would be given to the Conferences and their role would be further affirmed.
3. In the practice of the Order there are already two similar precedents:
1) the Conferences select their delegates to a PCO according to the principle of proportionality;
2) to implement the provisions of Ordinance 8/6 (capitulars appointed by the General Minister) the General Minister must consult the Presidents of the conferences; in fact, the Conferences put forward nominations.
4. In practice the proposal is to proceed along the same lines as for the PCO: the General Minister with his Council determines the number of delegates for each Conference. If the system works for the PCO, and it has never caused any inconvenience at that level, why should it not be just as effective and trouble-free for a General Chapter? Is there any intrinsic reason, on this precise point, for making a difference between a plenary council and a general chapter? Or is it just a question of custom? If so, we would continue to provide grounds for criticism by those who see in the system of provincial delegates a ‘privilege’, and even an ‘injustice’. The principle of proportionality is easy to implement on the basis of statistical data. But the previous consultation of the Conferences, or at least of their Presidents, serves to determine on each occasion the number of delegates to a General Chapter. The meeting of the presidents with the General Minister and his Council, two years before the General Chapter, prescribed by the Ordo Capituli to begin preparations for the Chapter, is the appropriate moment for this consultation.
5. We are proposing a text which states clearly that among the delegates to the Chapter there must be some lay brothers. More specifically we propose that each Conference determines how many of its delegates to the Chapter must be non-cleric brothers. In other words: the General Minister with his Council determines the number of delegates for each Conference: (for example, 4,5, 8; 10). Among the 4 or 5 or 8 or 10…, the Conference determines how many must be lay brothers. Alternatively, it could be the General Minister himself, with his Council, who determines both the number of delegates of each Conference, and the number of non-cleric brothers among those delegates. Therefore this procedure eliminates the need for the system introduced at the 1994 Chapter, of having capitulars who are appointed (mentioned in Ordinance 8/6, and intended precisely to promote the participation of lay brothers at the General Chapter. In the Chapters of 2000 and 2006 it was used only for that purpose, whereas in truth the text of the Ordinance is of a more general nature. Ordinance 8/6 could make sense in the case of a need for more specialists in some area, but in that case, rather than increase the number of capitulars, and doing so through appointments, it would be better, when thought appropriate, for the General Minister to invite specialists to the Chapter, who would not have voting rights.
6. According to our proposal, it is for the Conferences to decide how they choose their delegates, but since the Statutes of each Conference have to be approved by the General Minister with his Council, this guarantees the quality of the process for designating the delegates to a General Chapter”
The Commission recognises the validity of the reasons supporting the proposal of CIMPCap and has also worked on it, leading to the following texts as alternatives to those reported above:
Text for the Constitutions (n. 126,4):
“In a General Chapter, whether ordinary or extraordinary, the following have active voice: the General Minister, the General Vicar, the General councillors, the last General Minister immediately following the end of his term and until the nest General Chapter inclusive, the provincial Ministers, the Custodes, the General Secretary, the General Procurator, and the delegates of the Conferences according to the norms of the Complementary Code
Norms for the Complementary Code (8/9):
1. When the General Chapter has been announced, the General Minister, with the consent of his Council, ,shall determine the number of delegates to be elected; the delegates to be elected may not be fewer than 20% nor more than 30% of capitulars by right, i.e. roughly a quarter.
2. The Conferences shall choose the delegates to the Chapter and their substitutes according to the number determined for each Conference, following the principle of proportionality, by the General Minister and his Council after consultation with the Presidents of the Conferences.
3. Following the same proportionality principle, every single Conference shall choose its delegates to the General Chapter from among cleric and non-cleric brothers.
4. The Statutes of each Conference, , which must be approved by the General Minister and his Council, shall determine the methods by which the delegates to the General Chapter are chosen from its own circumscriptions, observing everything already laid down in this Complementary Code.
5. In order to apply proportionality in the election of the Conference delegates, brothers who are members of delegations and houses of presence are counted as members of the Conferences in which they operate.
With regard to how Provincial Chapters are to be celebrated (by direct suffrage or by delegates) the PdR presents a substantial change in perspective.
According to the criterion of the present Constitutions, the norm is for Provinces to celebrate Chapters with delegates. The smaller circumscriptions are to celebrate it by direct suffrage.
The current norm corresponded to quite a different situation in the Order when the Provinces had many friars and the other circumscriptions were numerically poor. Currently, many Provinces do not even have one hundred friars. For these Provinces chapters by direct suffrage would not present great difficulties.
Therefore current developments in the Order may be the occasion to regain the fraternal sense of the Chapter, inspired by the experience of Saint Francis and his first companions. At the beginning, the purpose of the Chapter in the Order was to see how to better observer the Rule (= faithfulness to our vocation and consecration) and to promulgate holy laws (= planning in order to build up the life of the Order [and/or the Province] in the light of the Rule, the Constitutions, the signs of the times, the contexts in which we live and work, etc). It was also a privileged time for formation. (It was on the occasion of the Chapters that Francis addressed his admonitions to the Friars).
Considering this three-fold purpose, the Chapter should gather together all the friars of a circumscription and so be celebrated by direct suffrage.
Therefore the Commission has aimed to overcome the distinction between the Provinces and the other circumscriptions currently used as a criterion to determine whether a chapter should be celebrated by delegates or by direct suffrage. Therefore, to facilitate chapters by direct suffrage as much as possible, we propose the criterion of numbers.
More specifically, bearing in mind realistically that all the friars will never be present because of their age, illness or other reasons, we believe that all the circumscriptions with a number of friars below one hundred can easily hold their chapter with direct suffrage.
At the same time, on reasonable consideration of the difficulties that too great a number presents, the possibility of chapters by delegates is envisaged for those with circumscriptions with more that one hundred friars. Naturally, even if these circumscriptions have a large number of friars, they should retain the choice to hold the chapter by direct suffrage.
The process that is provided in order to move from one way of celebrating the chapter to the other (cf. Const. 125,2; Ord. 8/15-16) was simplified by the General Chapter of 2000. This should remain unchanged, to avoid doing damage through endless changes. However the process takes on a different meaning. In the final analysis, the celebration of provincial chapters by delegation was formerly encouraged. The new scheme intends to protect the participation of all the friars at the chapter, thus making the transition to chapters with delegates more difficult in circumscriptions with fewer than one hundred friars. Our journey as a fraternity will benefit from this.
The Commission often paused during its work to consider the question of the length of the term of office of the superiors at various levels. However no agreement was reached. It was decided to leave the current text as is and to present the problem to the Order so as to receive possible suggestions from the friars. The question was presented in depth to the General Chapter of 2000. However the Chapter did not accept the proposed formulations. So that each friar may reflect upon the question and give his opinion, we present here the same points presented by that Commission:
1. The Discipline of the Code of Canon Law before 1983
1.1 According to the Constitutions prior to 1968 the General Minister could be elected for one sexennium, after which he could not be immediately re-elected (Const. 1925, n.165). And for at least one year he could not hold any office as superior, not even as local superior.
1.2. At the conclusion of his triennium the Provincial Minister could not be re-elected in the same Province (Const. 1925, n.148). He too had to be free of any office of superior for at least a year. However the General Minister and his Definitory could grant him passive voice for election, iustis de causis.
1.3 The Superior Regular was to be appointed by the Minister General. If the mission was entrusted to a Province, the appointment was to be made after the consultative vote of the Provincial Minister and his Definitory. His term of office lasted three years, but he could be re-elected again, while still observing the pre-requisite consultative vote.
1.4 The local superior or Guardian was appointed for three years (Cont. 1925, n.158). At the end of that term he could not be appointed for another triennium in the same place unless there were just reasons. After six years as superior he had to be free of office for a year.
2. The current practice
NB: Our view was that the problem only related to the length of the term of office of superiors and not that of councillors, a question that would require a longer study.
2.1 The General Minister is elected for six years and can be re-elected only for one consecutive sexennium (Const. 118,2).
2.2 The Provincial Minister and Vice-Provincial are elected for a triennium and can be re-elected only for a further triennium (Const. 127,4; 133,3).
2.3 The Superior Regular is to be elected for three years by all the perpetually professed friars who work in the Custody. He can be re-elected for only one further triennium. He may, however, be elected as councillor if this has been determined by the Order of Celebrating a Chapter of the Custody (Const. 136,1-2).
2.4 The Local Superior is to be appointed by the Provincial Minister and his Definitory for three years. However he can be appointed for another three years and for “a third triennium in case of manifest necessity” and for just reasons “even in the same house” (const. 140,3).
3. Suggestions of the Conferences
3.1 Concerning the General Minister two Conferences (CCB and CIMPCap) propose that he be elected for nine years, though without the possibility of re-election.
3.2 For the Provincial Minister one Conference (CCB) proposes that the mandate last four years, but without the possibility of re-election.
3.3 Another Conference (CCMSI) proposes four years, but also with the possibility of re-confirmation. The proposal is made by only two members of the Conference, while the other four are for maintaining the status quo.
3.4 Another Conference (CECOC) is of the opinion that the term should finish after four years, but without saying whether he can be re-elected or not.
3.5 CIMPCap says that the term could extend to five or six years, but without re-election.
3.6 NAPCC (the province of New York/New England) proposes that the term of Provincials, Vice- Provincials, Custodes and Local Superiors and their respective councils last for four years.
4. Project for new legislation – Proposal by the Commission
All things considered, the Commission is of the view that the present system is still the most suitable. Nevertheless if the Chapter should decide to change the length of the term of office, we present the following alternatives to be voted on at the General Chapter:
4. 1 For the General Minister and councillors, that the mandate last eight years, without the possibility of immediate re-election for the General Minister. This would address the wish often expressed in the General Chapters to allow a longer time for the government, since three years for major and local superiors and six years for the General Minister do not seem to allow sufficient time to deal with all the problems.
The change to be voted on for Const. 118,2:
“The outgoing General Minister cannot be re-elected immediately for a further eight years.”
Concerning the term of office of the Major Superiors (Provincials, Vice-Provincials e Regular Superiors) we have accepted and present the proposal to extend the term of office of these superiors to four years, with the possibility of immediate re-election.
The changes to the Constitutions to be voted on:
4.1 Const. 124,2: “The ordinary Provincial Chapter called and convoked by the Provincial Minister every four years.”
4.2 Const. 127,4: “The outgoing Provincial Minister, is he was elected during the previous Chapter, can be re-elected immediately a further four years only.”
4.3 Const. 128,1: “… This appointment, however, cannot be repeated for two consecutive four year periods.”
4.4 Const. 133,2: “The Vice-provincial and councillors are elected for a period of four years, at the end of which they can be re-elected. However the Vice-Provincial can only be immediately re-elected for a further period of four years.
4.5 Const. 136,2: “The superior regular can be re-elected immediately only for a further period of four years.”
Concerning the term of office for local Superiors:
Const. 140, 2: Local superiors are appointed by the Provincial Minister with the consent of the Definitory for a period of four years, but they can be appointed immediately for a further period of four years…”
The Commission discussed the function of Plenary Councils (cf. Const. n.123) and Conferences of Major Superiors (cf. Const. n.131) and arrived at the proposal to unite the legislation regarding them into one article (article IV of the PdR) specially dedicated to Collaboration in the Order. This is because the Plenary Council and the Conference of Major Superiors are both means of collaboration within the Order (cf. PdR2, nn.129-130).
And so some other considerations took shape.
The PCO was established by the General Chapter of 1970. The General Chapter of 1968 had already thought of the PCO as a permanent means of collegiality, more related to governance than animation. This avowal of collegiality deserves full attention and should be affirmed and established more broadly within the Order. Today, however, we use faster and more efficient means for the exercise of collegiality. The reference is to the Conferences and, regarding the relationship with the central government, to the Presidents of the Conferences. This appears to be the most suitable coetus or group for the exercise of collegiality in particular areas or fields. On the other hand, in practical terms, it is much easier to convene and assemble Conference Presidents than a Plenary Council.
As for the Plenary Council, it can and should keep the prerogatives that the Constitutions confer upon it, especially its nature as a means for study and consultation for the animation of the Order, beginning with and subordinate to the Constitutions, in accord with the Constitutions and not contradicting them. Particular attention should be given to the documents of a PCO. Such documents are not obligatory, that is, it is not necessary that each PCO conclude with a document. However the dictum in Const. n.123.6 in no way infers that there is an intrinsic requirement that the acta of a Plenary Council become part of the Constitutions, or that they be considered as texts to be included in the Constitutions sooner or later, one way or another. To operate in that way would gradually put the Constitutions into crisis. However that would be contrary to all wisdom, formation pedagogy and animation. We can refer to the Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops as an analogy. We should point out that the results of those Assemblies never have an effect upon the Code of Canon Law. The Church never interferes with her Lex fundamentalis through Synod Propositiones or post-synodal documents. Nor does the Church require Institutes of Consecrated Life to modify their own law.
As for Conferences, the subject is very important because of the importance of the role they have taken on the life and animation of the Order. It is hoped that these will acquire greater authority.
In view of these considerations the Commission has arrived at the following conclusions:
1. that the text regarding the Plenary Council in the Order remain substantially the same, with some more precise re-wording, while proposing that the holding of at least one PCO per sexennium should not be obligatory. However the insertion of the adverb ordinarily in the current text suggests that there may be reasons why a PCO should not be held during a sexennium;
2. to propose some modifications and enhancements for the Conferences of Major Superiors. This leaves unchanged the prudential approach by which the Conferences themselves are considered as means of collaboration and communion, but it highlights their “intermediate” place between the authority of the General Minister and that of the individual major superiors (Pdr2, n. 130,1). At the same time the requirement that they act according to the special statutes approved by the General Minister and his council does not preclude the possibility that they be granted specific delegated powers by the same statute for some acts of government. Thus a possible way is opened up for the Conferences to have some greater influence on the life of the Order. Conscious of the reality in each Conference, they can be more effective since they can read more closely the different situations and needs of their respective areas. It would then be codified that the presidents of the conferences meet with the General Minister at least every two years. The purpose of the Conferences would be clarified, namely to encourage openness and co-responsibility between the Provincial Ministers and the whole Order.
The Commission continues to propose to replace the terms definitor and definitory with the more understandable terms councillor and council. Out of love for the truth it should be remembered that the “The question was already raised in the special General Chapter of 1968 by Fedelis a Pamplona: Definotores, definitorium. Deleantur haec verba et ponantur: consiliarii vel aliud verbum. Ratio: verbum definitor hodie nihil dicit, sapit saecula praeterita. The terms were kept out of respect for tradition. In the General Chapter of 1988 the proposal to swap the term definitor with consiliarius received only 80 votes of 144 voters. Consequently it was not accepted.” The same happened in the General Chapter of 2000.
Now the Order is once again asked to express its mind on this question.
It must be said that many of the opinions received by the Commission after PdR1 [cf. e.g. Prot. N.: VIII-00021; Prot. N.: VIII-00014; Prot. N.: VIII-00013; Prot. N.: VIII-00039; Prot. N.: VIII-00040; Prot. N.: VIII-00041], proposed with some insistence that – even in chapter VIII – the term superior should be replaced by minister, because minister reflects the mind of St. Francis and is preferred by our tradition. In reviewing chapter VIII, the Commission made the substitution only in a few cases; in others – more numerous – it did not find it appropriate, because to replace the term indiscriminately would not be without consequences in terms of the clarity of our legislative texts; it could at times cause confusion and ambiguity. The problem does not concern chapter VIII alone, but the entire body of our laws (Constitutions and Complementary Code) and it must be tackled ex professo in the General Chapter, deciding case which is the better and more exact term to use.
The subjects outlined here, as well as the other changes and/or additions to the current text that are explained and justified in the Explanatory Notes, must now be carefully considered by the Order, in particular by the Capitulars, so that at the next General Chapter the most appropriate choices can be arrived at regarding the continuing journey of our Fraternity.
VIII. The complementary Code
Finally, it must be pointed out that there are 29 texts of chapter VIII earmarked for the complementary Code: of these, 13 (viz. 8/2; 8/3; 8/5; 8/6; 8/9 [alternative B]; 8/10; 8/11; 8/14; 8/16; 8/21; 8/22; 8/25; 8/28) are arranged in several paragraphs.
Some texts are completely new; these relate to norms proposed to make something explicit or to complete some point in an existing norm (cf. 8/2; 8/5,1; 8/6,1; 8/7; 8/9 [alternative B]; 8/11,1; 8/16,2; 8/17; 8/18; 8/21,1-2; 8/28; 8/29).
Other texts are new as far as their formulation goes, but refer to material contained until now in the Constitutions and now transferred to the complementary Code (cf. 8/1 [= Const 111,3-4)]; 8/16,1 [= Const 122,1]); 8/23 [= Const 124,2+127,4]; 8/24 [= Const 123,2; 136,]; 8/26 [= Const 140,3]). Then there are 7 texts transferred from the Constitutions to the complementary Code (cf. 8/8 [= Const 116,2]; 8/11,2 [= Const 119,3]; 8/12 [= Const 118,2]; 8/14,1 [= Const 118,4]; 8/19 [= Const 124,2]; 8/20 [= Const 127,2]; 8/27 [= Const 142,4]): the wording of some of these remains identical to the current text, while in others it is modified.
Finally the current Ordinances are preserved in the complementary Code, either with identical wording (cf. 8/3 [= Ord 8/2,1-2]; 8/4 [= Ord 8/3]; 8/5,2 [= Ord 8/4]; 8/20,3 [= Ord 8/14]) or slightly changed (cf. 8/6,2 [= Ord 8/19]; 8/9 alternative A [= Ord 8/6]; 8/10 alternative A [= Ord 8/7,1-3]; 8/13 [= Ord 8/9]; 8/14,2-3 [= Ord 8/8; 8/10]; 8/15 [= Ord 8/11]; 8/21 [= Ord 8/13]; 8/25 [= Ord 8/17]).
Ordinance 8/18 on the other hand has been inserted into the constitutional text (cf. PdR2, n. 141,5).
Chapter VIII: THE GOVERNANCE OF OUR ORDER (1)
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|109,1. Fraternitas nostra, Spiritus Sancti ductu, in mystico Christi Corpore velut compago exstat, qua fratres, ad sequelam Christi coniuncti, per varia officia et ministeria conferunt ad Ecclesiam caritate aedificandam.||109,1. Our Fraternity, led by the Holy Spirit, is an integral part of the Mystical Body of Christ through which the brothers, united in following Christ, contribute to the building up of the Church in love by various offices and ministries.||Current text (109,1) with changes and additions
1. Our Fraternity, led by the Holy Spirit, is an integral part of the Mystical Body of Christ. It is a communion of consecrated persons who, following the Master, seek to accomplish together the Father’s will (2), and contribute to building up the Church in love through various offices and ministries.
|109,2. Unde fratres, secundum propriam gratiam et vocationem, se obligatos sentiant ad bonum Ecclesiae et Fraternitatis fovendum, ut mysterio Christi plane incorporentur.||109,2. Let the brothers, therefore, feel obligated to favor the good of the Church and the Fraternity according to their own grace and vocation, so that they may be fully incorporated into the mystery of Christ.||Current text (109,2) with changes
2. Let us therefore see it as our specific duty to foster the good of the Church and the Fraternity according to the grace we have received and our Capuchin vocation (3).
|109,3. Ad unitatem Ordinis nostri cum spiritualem tum visibilem augendam, Capitula et superiores munere membrorum colligantium funguntur, et in spiritu servitii officia et munia a Deo per ministerium Ecclesiae recepta exercent.||109,3. In Order to strengthen the spiritual and visible unity of our Order, chapters and ministers bind the members together and, in a spirit of service, exercise offices and responsibilities received from God through the ministry of the Church.||Current text (109,3) with changes and additions
3. Chapters and superiors, as expressions of the spiritual and visible unity of the Order, nourish the bond of communion among the brothers. In a spirit of service and with pastoral solicitude they exercise authority received from God through the ministry of the Church in accordance with universal law and these Constitutions (4).
(1) In line with the principle adopted in all the other chapters, we also propose to change the title of chapter VIII (The governance of our Order). The Commission agrees that the addition or fraternity can be deleted as unnecessary, since in the very first paragraph the text says that the Order is a fraternity and the number, which immediately follows, begins: Our Order or Fraternity…
(2) Text revised in a Trinitarian perspective and with reference to God’s will: Cf. CICLSAL, The service of authority and obedience, Instruction (11 May, 2008), n. 1.
(3) Text changed to personal form. The insertion so that they may be fully incorporated into the mystery of Christ is omitted because it seems superfluous after the changes made to the previous paragraph.
(4) To limit the role of chapters and superiors to merely binding the members together is reductive. Therefore the text has been modified with reference to PC 14; CICLSAL, The service of authority and obedience, n. 9; 11; CIC, can. 618. The text drafted at the 1982 Chapter said: and in a spirit of service they exercise the office (munus) they have received from God through the ministry of the Church. The post-capitular Commission saw fit to say: and in a spirit of service they exercise the offices and tasks (officia et munia) received from God through the ministry of the Church. This expression is slightly puzzling. In fact, if it is legitimate to state that the office of ruling and the power of governance or authority come from God, this is not true of every officium or munus (office and task).
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|110,1. Ordo seu Fraternitas nostra [… ] quae structurae, singillatim, verae fraternitates sunt.||110,1. Our Order or Fraternity […] these structures, taken individually, are true fraternities.||New text with elements of the current text (110,1)
1. Our Order or Fraternity is made up of brothers (2), each of whom is incorporated into a circumscription (3) and assigned to a local fraternity (4). Every circumscription and every local fraternity, taken individually, is a true fraternity (5)
|110,1. Ordo seu Fraternitas nostra quoad regimen in provincias, viceprovincias, custodias, delegationes et domos seu fraternitates locales dividitur […].||110,1. Or fraternity, as far as its governance is concerned, is divided into provinces,vice-provinces, custodies,delegations and houses or local fraternities […]||New text (cf. current text 110,1)
2. The circumscriptions are ordinarily provinces and custodies, (6), united together in a life-giving relationship under the authority of the General Minister (7).
3. All the circumscriptions are made up of a group of brothers gathered in local fraternities or houses (8) and having their own exclusive territory (9), which must be determined in the decree of establishment.
|New text (cf. 122,2)
4. In particular circumstances the General Minister, with the consent of his council and after consultation with the interested parties, may make different arrangements regarding the exclusivity of the territory, and make provision for other forms of circumscription or groupings of houses, in accordance with these Constitutions and with the Complementary code (10).
5. Every circumscription that is canonically established by a formal decree of the General Minister acquires juridical personality (11).
|110,2. Provincia est fratrum et fraternitatum localium coetus, cui suum proprium territorium habenti minister provincialis praeest.||110,2. A province is a group of brothers and local fraternities having its own territory presided over by a provincial minister.||New text with elements of current text (110,2)
6. A province is the primary and immediate unit of the Order (12), governed by the provincial minister. It has its own consistency, enabling it to express and develop the vitality of our charisma, so that it can give effective apostolic witness and benefit the life of the Order effectively and with sufficient autonomy the life and activities of the brothers, in particular with regard to vocations promotion and formation, governance, openness to the needs of the Order and the Church and economic resources (13).
|110,3. Viceprovincia est pars Ordinis, in determinato territorio constituta, alicui provinciae concredita vel immediate ministro generali subiecta, cui viceprovincialis ut vicarius ministri provincialis vel generalis praeest.||110,3. A vice-province is a part of the Order established in a particular territory entrusted to some province or directly subject to the general minister and presided over by a vice-provincial as vicar of the provincial or general minister.||New text with elements of the current text (110,3-4; 132,1) (14)
7. A custody is a part of the Order in which the brothers, placed at the service of the churches and of their pastors in the work of evangelisation (15), gradually develop the presence of the consecrated life through their efforts to implant the Order. It is governed by the custos (16), who has ordinary vicarious power.
|110,4. Custodia seu missio est coetus fratrum, qui e provincia pendent et in aliquo territorio determinato operi missionali incumbunt, quosque superior regularis ut vicarius ministri provincialis moderatur.||110,4. A custody or mission is a group of brothers who are dependent on a province and engaged in missionary work in some determined territory and governed by a superior regular as vicar of the provincial minister.||Integrated with the previous §|
|110,5. Fraternitas localis est coetus ex tribus minimum fratribus professis constans, qui habitant in domo legitime constituta et quibus praeest superior localis seu guardianus.||110,5. A local fraternity is a group made up of at least three professed brothers who dwell in a legitimately established house presided over by a local superior or guardian.||Current text (110,5)
8. A local fraternity is a group made up of at least three professed brothers who dwell in a legitimately established house governed by a local superior or guardian.
|110,6. Minister generalis de consensu definitorii decernere potest ut aliqua fraternitas localis seu domus immediate ab ipso pendeat, quae, si casus ferat, proprium statutum habeat.||110,6. The general minister with the consent of the definitory can decide that a particular local fraternity or house is immediately dependent on himself. If the situation warrants it, it may have its own statutes.||Current text (110,6) with changes and additions
9. The General Minister, with the consent of the Council (17), can decide that a particular local fraternity (18) is immediately dependent on himself. If the situation warrants it, it may have its own statutes.
Similarly, he may decide that a local fraternity will depend directly on a Conference of Major Superiors and will have its own statutes (19).
|110,7. Quae in his Constitutionibus de provinciis dicuntur, etiam viceprovinciis et custodiis applicantur, nisi ex natura rei vel in textu et contextu aliud appareat.||110,7. Whatever in these Constitutions is said of a province also applies to a vice-province and custody unless the contrary is evident from the nature of the case or from the text or context.||Current text (110,7) with changes
10. Whatever in these Constitutions is said of a province also applies to custodies (20), unless the contrary is evident from the nature of the case or from the text or context.
(1) For the title of this article I we prefer to replace the term division by structure, and the beginning of the first paragraph is also changed (current text 110,1; PdR2 n. 119,1): the Order is not divided, not even as regards governance; the governance structures are (must be) organs of cohesion and unity in themselves and for the whole Fraternity of the Order.
(2) The Order is made up of people (brothers), not structures, and it seems necessary to highlight this fact. This was clear in the text from 1968 to 1982: The Order is made up of brothers, who, as far as governance is concerned, are grouped together into …
(3) The term “circumscription” includes all groupings: both those provided for in the Constitutions, and others that might be instituted in accordance with what is said in § 4.
(4) The specification is necessary to avoid legitimising the situation of isolated brothers. There is no such person as a brother incorporated into the Order who is not at the same time incorporated into a circumscription and assigned to a local fraternity.
(5) The second part of the current text (110,1), which in PdR1 had been transferred to § 3, has been readapted replced at the beginning.
(6) After the initial statement (§ 1), the circumscriptions of the Order are listed. It is proposed to eliminate the circumscription hitherto known as a vice-province, absorbing it into the single entity of the custody. Ordinarily the Order is divided into Provinces and Custodies. Later on (cf. 119,4) it will be established that the General Minister has the faculty to establish other forms of circumscription, according to particular needs that may arise. The Complementary Code already makes explicit provision for delegations (8/25) and the possibility of federations (cf. 8/2).
(7) Together with the recognised authority of governance enjoyed by the General Minister, the addition in the final sentence brings out the life-giving communion that ought to exist among all the circumscriptions of the Order. This addition was made to prevent an excessive growth of autonomy and, conversely, to educate the brothers towards a sense of inter-dependence, in conformity with the spirit of St. Francis. The proposed text aims to bring out the description of the Order as a “network of fraternities” (John Corriveau: “The Capuchin Order is structured as a network of provincial fraternities”), underlining the need for strong bonds of close reciprocity and inter-dependence, knitting and binding the brothers together in such a way that they converge into a single living body (Our Fraternity… is an integral part of the Mystical Body of Christ: Const. 109,1 = PdR2 118.1)), in a reality that is completed by the presence of all, and excludes no-one. This is the foundational charism of the Order, as Benedict XVI reminded us in the General Audience of 13th January, 2010:“Lesser Brothers and Preachers travelled with missionary zeal from one place to another. Consequently they organized themselves differently in comparison with the majority of monastic Orders. Instead of the traditional autonomy that every monastery enjoyed, they gave greater importance to the Order as such and to the Superior General, as well as to the structure of the Provinces. Thus the Mendicants were more available to the needs of the universal Church. Their flexibility enabled them to send out the most suitable friars on specific missions and the Mendicant Orders reached North Africa, the Middle East and Northern Europe. With this adaptability, their missionary dynamism was renewed”.
(8) For the reason given above (note n. 2), we have modified the current text, which speaks of brothers and local fraternities, (cf. gathered in local fraternities), which is more correct and precise. The personal aspect must always be protected, because it has priority over structures, and this applies to all circumscriptions. Some of the feedback [Prot. N.: VIII-00037; Prot. N.: VIII-00022; Prot. N.: VIII-00040; Prot. N.: VIII-00027; Prot. N.: VIII-00042] proposed replacing the word house with fraternity. In this case, it would not be a matter of replacement, but of suppression. In actual fact the text is talking about local fraternities, calling them also houses (fraternitates locales seu domus). Therefore, in this text casa is another name for the local fraternity: both expression are used to bring out not only the fraternal and personal aspect, but also the structural aspect, bearing in mind that here, house means not so much the bricks and mortar but the presence. In the light of the Code of canon law, the circumscriptions are made up of houses “The grouping of several houses …. is called a province”(can 621). In addition, every religious house must be canonically established to acquire juridical personality. The canonical establishment refers to the house, not to the fraternity.
(9) The general principle of territoriality is expressed here, avoiding the need to repeat it when the different circumscriptions are described.
(10) Because of complex situations that can be constantly evolving in different parts of the world, it seemed wise and reasonable to foresee the possibility of other groupings in the Order, which could be further described in the Complementary Code. Thus, the General Minister is given the faculty (already allowed for in the specific case of art.111,2 of the current Constitutions) to make other arrangements, in a case of particular need. Some [cf. Prot. N.: VIII-00034] proposed to consult the provincial chapter when important matters were involved, such as the circumscription and the territory. The Commission thinks it appropriate to maintain the previous formulation, which speaks of concerned parties (after consultuing the parties concerned), though these are not specified: they might be also the provincial chpter, when the General Minister recognises that this is appropriate.
(11) This is a declaration that a circumscription, once canonically established, receives from the law itself the recognition of its juridical personality.
12) The purpose here is to indicate the pre-eminence of the Province, as the principal structure in the Order, to which all others tend. The adjective principal attributed to the province is already in the Constitutions (cf. n. 23, 5); now the word immediate (the principal and immediate part) is added, and this derives from CJC (cf. can. 621): the Province is the entity that arises immediately from the division of a religious Institute (see Introduction on this point).
(13) We propose a brief description of a Province: as the principal structure in the Order, and considering the functions entrusted to it by the Constitutions, for the purposes of its effective apostolic witness and its usefulness for the life of the Order (cf. Const 111, 3. The text that had been proposed in PdR1 is now simplified, but in the complementary Code (8/1) the criteria are listed for the establishment of a Province, and the qualities it should have are further outlined.
(14) Foreseeing the suppression of the vice-provinces, we propose a simplification of the Constitutions at this point by putting together paragraphs 3 and 4 of the current n. 110, highlighting both the aspect of evangelisation and that of the implantatio Ordinis, which in the current Constitutions are respectively highlighted as the purpose and principal characteristic of the Custody and the Vice-province.
(15) As things stand today, a number of provincial custodies are no longer “missions” in the traditional sense (custodia seu missio), meaning areas of first evangelisation. Most are at the service of the newer Churches, or of Churches with an ancient tradition but which are in need of new evangelisation. The proposed formulation, while not excluding the missionary dimension in the strict sense, enables one to apply the term “missionary” to any work of evangelisation, while stressing availability for service to the Churches.
(16) Because of the proposed division of the Order into Provinces and Custodies, it is preferable to call the superior of a custody by the single title of Custos. We therefore propose that the title regular superior, traditionally applied to the superior of a missionary circumscription (Mission), be no longer used. At the same time we believe it is appropriate to make it clear, starting from this number, that the Custos has ordinary vicarious power.
17) We propose to replace the term definitor with councillor; definitory with council, because they are more easily understandable. If the proposal is accepted, it will be applied to all texts in the Constitutions.
(18) Unlike in § 3, and precisely because the specification was made there, in this § we see no need to repeat or house.
(19) The provision for a fraternity or house to be directly dependent on a Conference is already a fact in some cases, but it is not regulated. The question of the nature and competence of Conferences of Major Superiors will be further studied in the rest of chapter VIII (cf. Article IV, n. 130).
(20) Reference to a vice-province deleted, in line with what was said previously. The same observation applies in similar cases throughout the rest of the chapter.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|111,1. Ministri generalis de consensu definitorii est, auditis Conferentiis superiorum maiorum illius regionis necnon ministris et definitoriis provincialibus quorum interest, decernere de provinciarum erectione, unione, divisione, innovatione et suppressione, servatis de iure servandis.||111,1. It is the responsibility of the general minister with the consent of the definitory, after consulting the Conference of Major Superiors of the region, as well as the provincial ministers and councils concerned, to decide on the establishment, union, division, alteration, or suppression of provinces, observing the requirements of law.||Current text (111,1) with changes
1. It is the responsibility of the General Minister with the consent of the Council, after consulting the Conference of Major Superiors and the major superiors and respective Councils concerned, to decide on the establishment, union, division, alteration, or suppression of circumscriptions, observing the requirements of law (1).
|111,2. Eodem modo, propter circumstantias particulares, minister generalis de consensu definitorii, provincias ex pluribus regionibus compositas erigere potest; quae provinciae habeant statutum speciale a ministro generali de consensu definitorii approbatum, in quo si difficilis sit aliquando applicatio Constitutionum, minister generalis cum definitorio consulere potest opportuniori modo agendi.||111,2. In the same way, because of particular circumstances, the general minister with the consent of the definitory can establish provinces consisting of a number of regions. Such provinces may have special statutes approved by the general minister with the consent of the definitory. Should there ever be a difficulty in applying the Constitutions in these [statutes], the general minister with the definitory can advise concerning the more appropriate way of proceeding.||Deleted (2)
|111,3. Ut fratres in novam provinciam coalescant, necesse est ut iuxta diversas locorum condiciones habeatur sufficiens fratrum numerus et nova provincia conferat tam testimonio apostolico quam vitae Ordinis, atque sit aliqua unitas geographica.||111,3. For the brothers to constitute a new province, there must be a sufficient number of them according to local conditions. The new province must be able to contribute to both an apostolic witness and the life of the Order, and have a certain geographical unity.||8/1
New text (cf. Const 111,3)
1. For the establishment, suppression and unification of provinces, account should be taken of local situations and at least the following aspects should be assessed: the presence of a group of brothers and fraternities able to sustain effectively, either directly or through the solidarity of the Order, the life and activities of the brothers in the various entities, both internally and as regards their openness to the needs of the Order and the Church; their capacity to assume, also in co-operation with other circumscriptions, commitments to vocations promotion, formation and the apostolate; material and economic needs. In particular the following aspects should be verified: the brothers’ sense of belonging to the fraternity, at its various levels; the possibility of assuming governance responsibilities and an effective turnover of office-holders; a capacity to assume a missionary commitment; geographic and linguistic unity, as far as possible (3).
|111,4. Minister generalis, de consensu definitorii nominat superiores maiores et definitores novarum circumscriptionum, praehabita consultatione fratrum votorum perpetuorum et determinat quo modo componatur primum Capitulum.||111,4. The general minister with the consent of the definitory, after consulting the brothers in perpetual vows, appoints the major superiors and definitors of new jurisdictions and determines the composition of the first chapter.||Current text (Const 111,4) with changes and additions
2. Once it has been decided to establish a new circumscription the General Minister, with the consent of the Council, after consulting the perpetually-professed brothers concerned, appoints its major superior and councillors and determines the composition of the first chapter.
This chapter, which is not elective, must be held within one year of the stablishment of the new circumscription. (4).
New text (5)
1. In particular circumstances the General Minister, observing the conditions for altering the circumscriptions (6), may establish a federation of several provinces, with its own statute.
2. A federation entails unity of governance: a single provincial minister, with his council, who has jurisdiction over all the federated provinces.
|112,1. Ministri provincialis est, de consensu definitorii et praehabito voto favorabili Capituli, domos canonice erigere, servatis de iure servandis. Si vero casus urgeat et deficiat votum Capituli, requiritur quoque consensus ministri generalis eiusque definitorii.||112,1. It is the responsibility of the provincial minister, with the consent of the definitory, after obtaining the consent of the chapter, to establish houses canonically, observing the prescriptions of law.||Current text (112,1) with changes
3. It is the responsibility of the provincial minister, with the consent of the Council, after obtaining the consent of the chapter, to establish houses canonically, observing the prescriptions of law. However, if the case is urgent and the vote of the chapter is lacking, the consent of the General Minister and his Council is also required.
|112,2. Ministri vero generalis est, de consensu sui definitorii, domos supprimere, sive ad instantiam partis cuius interest, sive ex alia causa, servatis normis iuris.||112,2. It pertains to the general minister, however, with the consent of the definitory, to suppress houses, either at the request of the interested party, observing strictly the prescriptions of the first paragraph concerning the required consent, or for some other cause, observing the norms of law.||Current text (112,2) with change
4. It pertains to the General Minister, however, with the consent of the Council, to suppress houses, either at the request of the interested party, or for some other cause, observing the norms of law.
(1) In this case the change of the term the major superiors and the respective Councils to the ministers and Councils involved, which one respondent had asked for, [Prot. N.: VIII-00023], was not only possible, but was even an improvement on the text of PdR1. Actually, even the current text speaks of ministers and definitories concerned.
(2) The norms contained in this number are included in the foregoing number. 119.4.
(3) The fundamental principles for the establishment of a new province are presented. The text of PdR1 has been recise to refer not only to trhe establishment of provinces but also to the merger of already existing provinces. The proposed new text should be considered in the light of some of the principles that inspited it. Its intention is to state that the nature of a provincde is defied by the charism (see above the text at § 6 for the Constitutions), just as the charism determines the nature of our Order. A province must express Capuchin-Franciscan identity, embodied in a group of brothers living in a paerticular territory; it must be a specific, organic emboidiment of Capuchin-Franciscan life and mission. In this light, the current text (cf. Const 111,3), in all its simplicity, has lost none of its value.
In second place, it should be made clear that the criteria for discernment, listed in PdR1, have been watered down. In particular, the text no longer speaks of sufficient autonomy. Some considerations on this point are given in the Introduction to this chapter and in explanatory note 7 on n.119,2. To these we should add that the current description of a province and of the other circumscriptions (cf. Const 110), compiled at the General Chapter of 1982, already caused some puzzlement at the time. This is evident in the first commentaries on the Constitutions, which were afraid that a restrictive idea would gradually grow stronger, leading to provincialism. Subsequently, the statements in n. 113,3-4 of the Constitutions came to be seen as a corrective. In fact the idea of a rigdly autonomous province is not in conformity with our spirit, and would go against the whole movement of the Oerder towards collaboration and integration between circumscriptions, which has been clearly and repeatedly affirmed at all levels in the Order in recent decades, although experienced in different ways in the various areas. The principle has been appropriately sanctioned in n. 119,2 of PdR, which speaks of provinces and custodies, united together in a life-giving relationship under the authority of the General Minister. If our Order wishes to remain faithful to its charism and to the insights of St.Francis, rather than affar the autromomy of the circumscriptions, i twill have to develop in concrete ways a sense of inter-dependence among the circumscriptions themselves, and this presupposes that self-sufficiency is overcome at all levels: the provinces need one another! , as someone said back in 1984, commenting on the Constitutions, which emphasised the Province. On the other hand, the Code of Canon Law expresses itself in general terms when describing a religious province, (the Code prescribes nothing). The CIC “does not delineate the area of autonomy a province should enjoy. The division into provinces, and therefore their area of autonomy, while respecting canon law, can be more or less broad; it depends on the nature of the Institute itself, and how centralised the Institute is, and whether it is apostolic or of some other kind”. “Generally in apostolic Institutes provinces are eminently functional in terms of the good of the Institute as a whole: in such a case the autonomy of a provinxce is rather limited; the authority of the general superior is great, and any assets it might have are subordinated to the good of the whole Institute…. Where the division has an eminently functional significance, there is no need for a province to have within itself all the elements necessary for its life and growth, whether in personal or material assets – novitiates, seminaries, formation requirements, or assets in general to guarantee its own support and growth. It is sufficient that all these “goods” are guaranteed by the Institute itself, through transfer of personnel and supplying what is necessary for its life. Even the numbers of personnel need not be considerable, if they are useful only in terms of the entire set of elements which the superiors consider necessary to constitute a province. Among such elements, distance from the centre and the difficulty of governing a province from afar need to be considered”.
The text of the PdR no longer speaks of sufficient autonomy … even concerning the economic aspect. That aspect cannot be taken as an absolute criterion, or as a sine qua non to be able to proceed to the establishment of a province in any part of the world. Such an idea would hardly correspond to the nature of an Order which has always intended to profess and to live the most absolute poverty. The development of our Order throughouit its long history has never been linked to the quantity of its assets or of its money, but to the strength of the charism which it lives and embodies. The vitality of the Order has always been ensured by the poverty and precarious conditions in which the brothers lived. This has ensured their liberty and availability for proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth. To establish a new province, the elements that are fundamental, essential and indispensabile are those mentioned at the beginning of this note, not econopmic self-sufficiency;what is required is spiritual walth, not an abundance of financial means. Consequently the revised text of PdR2 twice refers to the solidarity of the Order and to collaboration with other circumscriptions. As far as solidarity is concerned, it can be considered as a positive goal achieved in the Order: it already had a place in the current Constitutions (cf. n. 67,6), and in the light of PCO VI and VII it is streessed even more in PdR (cf n. 73; cf. PdR1, n. 74), but it still needs to be developed further in practice, by making it universal in scope and making its purpose to achieve a fairer distribution of financial resources amoing the various circumscriptions, in whatever area of the world they may be, and whther they are young presences or circumscriptions with a long tradition. It is neither correct nor fraternal to make distinctions in the Order between rich circumscriptions and poor ones. To do so is to forget that among the poor ones, there can be those with a sufficiency of resources available, while among the rich ones there are in fact some that are less well off. The Order ought to move beyond a solidaritry system that sometimes takes on the characteristics of welfare state hand-outs, committing itself instead to identifying principles that truly respond to the ideals of brotherhood and communion. This would bring us so much closer to the prototype image of the early Church, where “no-one climed for his own use anything that he had, as everything they owned was held in common” (Ac 4,32). To achieve this objective, we should put in place more adequate instruments, act with absolute transparency at all levels and implement in practice the sharing of everything we have available. Being an Order-of-brothers, we more than others ought to put into practice the teaching emerging from Caritas in veritate, because a society that is only one of solidarity, but is not yet fraternal, would be a society no-one would wish to remain in. The fact is that, while a fraternal society is also in solidarity, the converse is not necessarily true.
(4) The text conforms to the current one, but explains it in the light of the Order’s practice.
(5) We propose the new possibility of a federation. The new structure is justified by the present situation in the Order, especially in its traditional regions, where it is not always possible to suppress ancient circumscriptions that are historic foundations. There may be historical, cultural, traditional or heritage reasons in favour of establishing a federation.
(6) Juridical conditions for altering a circumscription are given in n. 120,1 (consent of the Council, observance of legal requirements, consultation with the Conference of major superiors, the ministers and the respective Councils involved).
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|113.1. Quilibet frater, per professionem Ordini incorporatus, provinciae aut viceprovinciae aut custodiae aggregatur pro qua superior maior eum ad professionem admiserit.||113,1. Each brother, incorporated into the Order by profession, is a member of the province, vice-province or custody for which the major superior has accepted his profession.||Current text (113,1) with changes
1. Each brother, incorporated into the Order by profession, becomes a member of the circumscription for which the major superior admitted him to profession.
|113,2. A professione temporanea computatur etiam antianitas in fraternitate.||113,2. Seniority in the fraternity is determined by temporary profession.||Current text (113,1)
2. Seniority in the fraternity is determined by temporary profession.
|113,3. Ad ministrum generalem, audito definitorio, pertinent, attentis bono totius Ordinis atque provinciarum aut singulorum fratrum necessitatibus, necnon auditis respectivis ministris provincialibus eorumque definitoriis, fratres ex una ad aliam provinciam sive ad tempus mittere, sive de consensu definitorii, eidem definitive aggregare.||113,3. It pertains to the general minister, after consulting his definitory, considering the good of the whole Order and the needs of the provinces or individual brothers, and listening to the respective provincial ministers and their councils, to send brothers from one province to another either temporarily or, with the consent of the definitory, permanently.||Current text (113,3) with changes and additions
3. It pertains to the General Minister, with the consent of the Council, considering the good of the whole Order and the needs of the circumscriptions or individual brothers, and having consulted the respective major superiors and their Councils, to assign brothers to another circumscription. In this case the regulations given in the Complementary Code must also be observed. (1)
|113,4. Superiores provinciales in spiritu fraternae cooperationis prompti sint ad subveniendum huiusmodi necessitatibus mittendo fratres suos ad tempus in aliam provinciam.||113,4. Let the provincial superiors, in a spirit of fraternal collaboration, be willing to meet such needs by sending brothers temporarily into another province.||Current text, (113,4) with changes
4. Let the provincial ministers, in a spirit of fraternal collaboration, be willing to meet such needs by sending brothers temporarily to another province.
Current text (Ord. 8/2.1)
1. When it is necessary to meet the needs of a circumscription temporarily, i.e. not beyond three years, the major superiors have the faculty to send their own brothers without needing to have recourse to the General Minister. This time-limit does not apply to service rendered to a circumscription that depends on one’s own. For other services which are expected to last beyond three years, or which one wishes to extend after the three years have elapsed, letters of obedience must be requested from the General Minister.
|113,5. Unusquisque frater iura suffragii exercet in una tantum circumscriptione Ordinis, nisi ratione officii ei etiam alibi competant. Qui in aliam circumscriptionem mittuntur ratione servitii, in illa circumscriptione, non in propria, iura exercent. Fratres autem qui ex alia ratione in aliena circumscriptione morantur, iura exercent solum in propria circumscriptione.||113,5. Each brother exercises his right to vote only in one circumscription of the Order, unless he has it in another territory as well by reason of office. Those who have been sent into another circumscription by reason of service exercise rights only in that circumscription and not in their own. But brothers who for another reason dwell in a different circumscription exercise rights only in their own circumscription.||Current text (113,5) with changes and additions
5. Each brother exercises his right to vote in only one circumscription of the Order, unless he has it in another territory as well for other (2) reasons. Those who have been sent to another circumscription by reason of service exercise voting rights in that circumscription in accordance with the Complementary Code, and not in their own. But brothers who for another reason dwell in a different circumscription exercise rights only in their own circumscription.
|Current text (Ord. 8/2.2) with additions
2. The right to vote mentioned in n.121,5 of the Constitutions is no longer exercised in one’s own circumscription, but in the circumscription in which the service is rendered, except for what is prescribed for delegations. However, voting rights are exercised after the end of the first year of service.
(1) The current text, already modified and expanded in PdR1, is now simpler and clearer Cf. the text of 8/3 of the Complementary Code, corresponding to the current Ordinance 8/2.1.
(2) Voting rights do not derive simply from an office; for example, being a delegate is not an office.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|114,1. In Ordine, sub suprema Summi Pontificis auctoritate, sunt superiores cum potestate ordinaria propria: minister generalis in universo Ordine, minister provincialis in sua provincia, et superior localis seu guardianus in sua fraternitate.||114,1. Under the supreme authority of the Supreme Pontiff, these are the superiors of the Order with Ordinary power in their own right: the general minister in the whole Order, the provincial minister in his province, and the local superior or guardian in his fraternity.||Current text (114,1)
1. Under the supreme authority of the Supreme Pontiff, these are the superiors of the Order with Ordinary power in their own right: the General Minister in the whole Order, the provincial minister in his province, and the local superior or guardian in his fraternity.
|114,2. Sunt autem superiores cum potestate ordinaria vicaria: vicarius generalis, vicarius provincialis, superior regularis et vicarius localis.||114,2. There are also superiors with Ordinary but vicarious power: the general vicar, the provincial vicar, the vice provincial, the superiors regular, and the local vicar.||Current text (114,2) with change
2. Superiors with Ordinary vicarious power are: the General Vicar, the provincial vicar, the custos and the local vicar
|114,3. Omnes recensiti, excepto superiore locali eiusque vicario, sunt superiores maiores.||114,3. All the above, with the exception of the guardian and his vicar, are major superiors.||Current text (114,3)
3. All the above, with the exception of the guardian and his vicar, are major superiors.
|114,4. Quae in his Constitutionibus de ministris provincialibus dicuntur, etiam viceprovincialibus et superioribus regularibus applicantur, nisi ex natura rei vel in textu et contextu aliud appareat.||114,4. Whatever is said in these Constitutions concerning the provincial ministers applies equally to the vice provincials and superiors regulars, unless the contrary is evident by nature of the case or from the text and context.||Current text (114,4) with changes and additions
4. Whatever is said in these Constitutions and in the Complementary Code (1) concerning the provincial ministers applies equally to the custodes, unless the contrary is evident from the delegations received (2), from the nature of the case or from the text and context.
5. Ordinary vicarious power does not extend to those matters which proper law recognises as being exclusive to the superior who is the office-holder, unless an explicit delegation has been given for those matters. If the provincial minister is prevented from exercising his office, or if it is vacant, the custos should refer to the provincial vicar (3).
Current text (Ord. 8/3) with one change
In exceptional cases the major superiors are not bound to convoke their Council when it is only a case of consulting them. Outside of a meeting, they may consult the council in a suitable way. The consultation and the decision taken by the superior must be noted in the Council minutes. The same may be done in the case of consulting a group of people.
(1) The addition and in the Complementary Code, is made to avoid having to repeat the same text in the Complementary Code itself.
(2) The power of a vicar is also determined by the specific delegations.
(3) The introduction of this new text in § 5 is more detailed about how vicarious power is exercised: the custos, if the provincial’s office is vacant, assumes the faculties of the provincial minister, except those which the law reserves to the provincial. In such a case, the custos will refer to the provincial vicar for any specific delegations.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|115,1. Ordinis officia conferuntur aut per electionem aut per nominationem.||115,1. Offices in the Order are conferred by either election or appointment.||Current text (115,1)
1. Offices in the Order are conferred by either election or appointment.
|115,2. In providendis officiis fratres procedant recta intentione, simpliciter et canonice.||115,2. In conferring offices let the brothers proceed with a proper intention, simply and canonically.||Current text (115,2)
2. In conferring offices the brothers are to proceed with a right intention, simply and canonically.
|115,3. Ut bono Ordinis prospiciatur, apta consultatio praevia de eligendis fieri potest, de nominandis vero fieri debet.||115,3. For the good of the Order an appropriate preliminary consultation concerning those to be elected may be made, but it must be made in case of those to be appointed.||Current text (115,3)
3. For the good of the Order an appropriate preliminary consultation concerning those to be elected may be made, but it is obligatory in case of those to be appointed.
|115,4. Si electio confirmatione indigeat, intra octiduum utile petenda est.||115,4. If an election requires confirmation, it must be requested within eight days of available time.||Current text (115,4)
4. If an election requires confirmation, it must be requested within eight days of available time.
|115,5. Fratres tamquam veri minores, officia ne ambiant; si vero fiducia sodalium ad ea vocantur, servitium superioris vel officii ne pertinaciter recusent.||115,5. Let the brothers, as true minors, not be ambitious for office; but if they are called to it by the confidence of the brothers, they should not obstinately refuse to serve as a superior or in some other office.||Current text (115,5)
5. Let the brothers, as true minors, not be ambitious for office; but if they are called to it by the confidence of the brothers, they should not obstinately refuse to serve as a superior or in some other office.
|115,6. Cum simus Ordo fratrum, secundum voluntatem sancti Francisci et genuinam traditionem capuccinam, ad omnia officia seu munera omnes fratres votorum perpetuorum accedere possunt, salvis iis quae ex sacro ordine proveniunt; quod si de superioribus agatur, tres minimum anni ab emissa professione perpetua ad validitatem requiritur.||115,6. Since we are an Order of brothers, according to the will of Saint Francis and the genuine Capuchin tradition, any brother in perpetual vows may assume any office or position excepting those that flow from Sacred Orders; if there is a question of superiors, a minimum of three years after perpetual profession is required for validity.||Current text (115,6)
6. Since we are an Order of brothers, according to the will of Saint Francis and the genuine Capuchin tradition, any brother in perpetual vows may assume any office or position excepting those that flow from Sacred Orders. In the case of superiors, a minimum of three years after perpetual profession is required for validity.
|115,7. Cum agitur de collazione officiorum per electionem, in Ordine nostro admittitur postulatio. Admissio postulationis et dispensatio ab impedimento competunt auctoritati quae iure gaudet eas confirmandi, nempe ministro generali vel ministro provinciali; admissio autem postulationis ministri generalis auctoritati Sanctae Sedis competit.||115,7. When offices are conferred by election, postulation is admissible in our Order. Acceptance of the postulation, and dispensation from the impediment, are within the competence of the authority having the faculty to confirm the election, namely, of the General Minister or the provincial minister. Authority to accept the postulation of the General Minister rests with the Holy See.||Current text (115,7)
7. When offices are conferred by election, postulation is admissible in our Order. Acceptance of the postulation, and dispensation from the impediment, are within the competence of the authority having the faculty to confirm the election, namely, of the General Minister or the provincial minister. Authority to accept the postulation of the General Minister rests with the Holy See.
Current text (Ord. 8,4) with addition
1. To be able to proceed to a vote by postulation, at least one third of those having the right to vote must request it in writing from the president of the Chapter. In all other cases a vote to postulate must be considered null (1).
|Current Text (Ord 8,4)
2. The postulation is valid only if the candidate, in the first scrutiny, obtains two thirds of the votes of the vocals present. Otherwise, further postulations are excluded, and the voting resumes in the normal way, starting with the first scrutiny.
|New text (2)
8. It pertains to the General Minister to accept the act of resignation from the offices of provincial, provincial vicar, provincial councillor, general custos and their respective councillors. It is for the provincial minister to accept the resignation of the custos and the respective councillors.
9. For removal from offices which brothers exercise within or outside the Order, the law of the Church and the Complementary Code are to be observed. Removal from office, even when it has no penal character, does not entail the granting of a new office.
1. A major superior may be removed by the General Minister, with the consent of his council, for a serious reason, including repeated neglect or violation of his duties even after an admonition, or for maladministration.
|Current Text (Ord 8/19) with changes and addition
2. The local superior, as also the delegate, can be removed by the provincial minister, with the consent of his council, for a just cause, that is, if the good of the fraternity, whether local or provincial, or of the particular Church, requires it.
(1) The text of Ordinance 8/4, currently in force, is still general in tone. This means that if there is one single vote for postulation, the voting has to start again from the first ballot. This is a real difficulty that has often occurred in chapters, both provincial and those of other circumscriptions. One evaluation from the Order (cf. Prot. N.: VIII-00017) addressed the question. The Commission therefore thought it right to expand the text and proposes that a vote for postulation cannot be considered to be automatic: it must be requested in writing, in advance, from the Chapter president by at least one third of those with the right to vote.
(2) The new texts in n. 125, §§ 8-9 and in the Complementary Code 8/7, 1-2 are suggested because it is appropriate, in the context of the conferral of offices, to mention at least a summary of laws relating to resignation and removal from office. In this way a gap in the current text is filled.
This number contains some alternative texts: § 4 of the constitutional text and nn. 8/9 and 8/10 of the Complementary Code. These texts refer to Delegates to a Chapter. The problem concerning them has been sufficiently outlined in the Introduction to this Chapter VIII
The General Chapter has the following possible options:
- Retain the norms currently in force (Const 116,4; Ordinance 8/7.1-2)
- Or choose one of the two alternatives proposed:
- alternative A: in every province, one delegate is elected for every hundred professed brothers (Complementary Code 8/10.1);
- alternative B: the delegates to the General Chapter are chosen by the Conferences (PdR2, n. 124,4: alternative B), in the manner indicated below in the Complementary Code (CC 8/9.1-5);
- or again: devise other ways of electing the delegates to a General Chapter.
As already previously pointed out, the Commission takes no position on any of the proposed alternatives, but limits itself to explaining and justifying the reasons on which they are based.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|116,1. Capitulum generale, quod est eminens signum unionis et solidarietatis totius Fraternitatis per suos repraesentantes in unum congregatae, suprema auctoritate in Ordine pollet.||116,1. The general chapter, the eminent sign of the union and solidarity of the entire Fraternity gathered together as one by means of its representatives, enjoys supreme authority in the Order.||Current text (116,1) with addition
The General Chapter, an eminent sign and instrument (1) of the union and solidarity of the entire Fraternity gathered together as one by means of its representatives, enjoys supreme authority in the Order.
|8/7 New text
1. The chapter, at all levels, is a temporary collegial body which exercises its own authority in accordance with the competence accorded to it by the Constitutions (2).
|116,2. Capitulum ordinarium, quod minister generalis indicit et convocat, quolibet sexennio circa sollemnitatem Pentecostes celebretur, nisi ei de consensu definitorii aliud tempus opportunum visum fuerit.||116,2. The Ordinary chapter, announced and convoked by the general minister, is celebrated every six years near to the solemnity of Pentecost, unless the general minister, with the consent of the definitory, judges another time of the year more appropriate.||Current text (116,2) with changes
2. The Ordinary chapter is announced and convoked by the General Minister, and is to be held with the frequency indicated in the Complementary Code (3).
Current text (Const. 116,2)
The Ordinary General Chapter is held every six years (4).
|116,3. Praeter Capitulum ordinarium, secundum exigentias speciales, minister generalis de consensu definitorii convocare potest Capitulum extraordinarium, in quo magni momenti negotia ad vitam et actuositatem Ordinis spectantia tractentur.||116,3. For special reasons, in addition to the Ordinary chapter, the general minister with the consent of the definitory may convoke an extraordinary chapter in which matters of great importance to the life and activity of the Order are discussed.||Current text (116,3) with one change
3. For special reasons, in addition to the Ordinary chapter, the General Minister, with the consent of the Council, may convoke an extraordinary chapter .(5).
|116,4. In Capitulo generali, tum ordinario tum extraordinario, vocem activam habent: minister generalis, definitores generales, ex-minister generalis in sexennio immediate sequenti, ministri provinciales, viceprovinciales, secretarius generalis, procurator generalis, delegati tum provinciarum, tum custodiarum et alii fratres perpetuo professi ad normam Ordinationum Capitolorum generalium.||116,4. The following have active voice in a general chapter, whether Ordinary or extraordinary: the general minister, the general definitors, the former general minister from the immediately preceding six-year term, provincial ministers, the general secretary, the general procurator, vice provincials, and the delegates of the provinces and custodies.||ALTERNATIVE A
Current text (116,4) with changes and additions
4. The following have active voice in a general chapter, whether Ordinary or extraordinary: the General Minister, the General Vicar, the general councillors, the last General Minister immediately following the expiry of his term of office, until the next ordinary General Chapter inclusive (6), provincial ministers, the custodes, the general secretary, the general procurator, the delegates of the provinces (7) and other brothers in accordance with the norms of the Complementary Code.
Current text (Ord. 8/6) with changes
The General Minister, bearing in mind the need for certain specializations and representation, having consulted the presidents of the Conferences and with the consent of his Council, may appoint other brothers as members of the general chapter, but not more than ten.
[this norm can be deleted if alternative B is chosen]
|(*) Capitulum Generale 2000 statuit n. 117 in Ordinationes Capitolorum Generalium transferendum, quasdam adiungens mutationes (cfr. Ordinationes, n. 8/7).||(*)The General Chapter of 2000 decided to transfer n. 117 to the General Chapter Ordinances, and making some changes to this number.
(cf. Ordinances, n. 8/7).
[deleted if alternative B is chosen]
Current text (Ord. 8/7.1-2) with changes
1. Once the general chapter has been announced, in every province all the brothers shall elect one delegate to the general chapter and his substitute for every hundred (8) brothers.
Current text (Ord. 8/7.3) with changes
2. This election is conducted in the manner determined by the provincial chapter, and the results are published at least three months before the general chapter.
Current text (116,4) with changes and additions
4. The following have active voice in a general chapter, whether Ordinary or extraordinary: the General Minister, the General Vicar, the general councillors, the last General Minister immediately following the expiry of his term of office until the next ordinary General Chapter inclusive, provincial ministers, the custodes, the general secretary, the general procurator, and the delegates of the Conferences in accordance with the norms of the Complementary Code.(9)
(replacing 8/9 and 8/10)
1. When the General Chapter has been announced, the General Minister, with the consent of his Council, ,shall determine the number of delegates to be elected; the delegates to be elected may not be fewer than 20% nor more than 30% of capitulars by right, i.e. roughly a quarter. (10).
2. The Conferences shall choose the delegates to the Chapter and their substitutes according to the number determined for each Conference by the General Minister and his Council, following the principle of proportionality, after consultation with the Presidents of the Conferences.
3. Following the same proportionality principle, every single Conference shall choose its delegates to the General Chapter from among cleric and non-cleric brothers. (11).
4. The Statutes of each Conference, , which must be approved by the General Minister and his Council, shall determine the methods by which the delegates to the General Chapter are chosen from its own circumscriptions, observing everything already laid down in this Complementary Code. (12).
5. In order to apply proportionality in the election of the Conference delegates, brothers who are members of delegations and houses of presence are counted as members of the Conferences in which they operate (13).
|116,5. Ministro provinciali impedito gravi de causa, ministro generali nota, vel eius officio vacante, vicarius provincialis ad Capitulum accedat.||116,5. The provincial vicar goes to the chapter when the provincial minister is prevented by a grave cause known to the general minister or if the office of the provincial minister is vacant.||5. The provincial vicar goes to the chapter when the provincial minister is prevented by a grave cause known to the general minister, or if the office of the provincial minister is vacant.
But if the custos is prevented, or his office is vacant, the first councillor attends the chapter (9).
(1) The general Chapter cannot be considered only as a sign of unity, but is certainly also an instrument of it.
(2) We thought it appropriate to add a general note about the authority of chapters, whether general or in other circumscriptions: chapters have their own authority, which is exercised within precise time limits. The scope of its competence is determined by the Constitutions. In this way, it is easier to understand the exact meaning of the expression supreme authority with reference to the General Chapter (n. 124,1) or primary authority with reference to the provincial chapter (n. 131,1).
(3) For some time now the General Chapter is no longer held around the solemnity of Pentecost and we do not know whether and when this custom will be resumed. It goes back to a long tradition dating from the first days of the Franciscan Order. There seems to be little sense in maintaining an obsolete precept.
(4) We propose to transfer to the Complementary Code the number relating to how frequently the chapter should be held. It may be subject to change, and in those cases there is no need to modify the Constitutions.
(5) We delete the last phrase in this number of the current Constitutions in which matters of great importance to the life and activity of the Order are discussed, because this happens not only in an extraordinary chapter; every chapter, whether ordinary or extraordinary, deals with matters of great importance to the Order. With regard to the matters dealt with at a chapter, cf. n. 125, 1.
(6) The text has been reformulated to make it clearer and more logical: it is talking about the last general Minister, and about the sexennium immediately following the expiry of his term of office. But in the new draft of the constitutional text the word “sexennium” is not used, because the length of the term of office ios specified in the Complementary Code.
(7) The words the delegates of the Custodies are deleted, since we propose that the Custodes (those who are actually such, plus those who currently are called Vice-provincials) participate in the General Chapter by right. Consequently the current text of Ordinance 8/7.4 is also deleted: Brothers ion perpetual vows belonging to a provincial Custody having at least thirty professed brothers shall elect a delegate to the General Chapter. However, if a Custody has fewer than thirty professed brothers, these must be included in the number of brothers of the province on which it depends, and the perpetually professed brothers participate in the election of the delegate in the province. . This provision is superseded by the new structure of the Custodies.
(8) There is a change in the number of the professed, to make the representation more proportional. The regulation found in the current text, compared with the actual reality of the Order and the Provinces, is absurd because it is totally unlikely to happen.
(9) There are two elements to underline in Alternative B:
1°) the delegates of the Conferences replacing delegates of the Provinces. For this aspect please refer to the reasons explained at length in the Introduction to chapter VIII.
2°) the deletion of the last part of the paragraph: and other perpetually-professed brothers according to the norms of the Complementary Code. As a consequence, the text envisaged for Complementary Code 8/9 (= Ordinance 8/6) is also deleted. The reason for these deletions can be clearly deduced from what Alternative B itself proposes for the Complementary Code: Following the same proportionality principle, every single Conference shall choose its delegates to the General Chapter from among cleric and non-cleric brothers. (8/9.3). In fact, as already highlighted in the Introduction to chapter VIII, the current text, which provides for some capitulars to be appointed (cf. Const 116,4; Ordinance 8/6, was introduced by the General Chapter of 1994 precisely in order to promote the participation of lay brothers at General Chapters. In the Chapters of 2000 and 2006 it was used only for that purpose, whereas in truth the text is of a more general nature, and could make sense in the case of a need for more specialists in some area. But in that case, rather than increase the number of capitulars, and doing so through appointments, it would be better, when thought appropriate, for the General Minister to invite specialists to the Chapter, who would not have voting rights, as the Ordo Capituli generalis celebrandi allows. The proposal made by CIMPCap, in the form of Alternative B safeguards the intention of the measures introduced in 1994, and is cleareer and more direct. If the intention is to promote th; it is a right given to province4s with at least one hundred brothers. e particpation of lay brothers at General Chapters, the nit is better to bind the Conferences expressly to choose also non-cleric brothetrs as delegates, and not only clerics.
(10) At present the system for electing delegates to the General Chapter is linked to the numerical size of each province; it is a right given to provinces with at least one hundred professed brothers. If Alternative A is adopted, the provinces would have the right to one delegate for every hundred brothers. If instead, following Alternative B, delegates of the Conferences are insstituted, replacing those of the provinces, then the automatic reference to one hundred brothers would cease and all Conferences would have delegates at the General Chapter, regardless of the number of brothers they have. According to the norms of Alternative B (Complementary Code 8/9, 1.2.3.), it is necessary, on each occasion, using the principle of proportionality, to establish:
1°) the total number of delegates that will participate in the General Chapter (their number oscillating between a minimum of 20% to a maximum of 30% of delegates by right) numero totale dei delegati
2°) the number of delegates from each Conference;
3°) and again, for each Conference, the number of non-cleric and cleric delegates.
Such a system conforms to the equity principle and is respectful of Conferences with a small number of brothers (who in any case would always have delegates), and also of those areas of the Order which are experiencing a gradual decline in numbers at the present time. The procedure just outlined is not mechanical, as it might appear to be. If the system currently used in the Order for delegates to a plenary council (PCO) has never caused difficulties, it is hard to see why it should in the case of a General Chapter.
(11) As we have alraedy said, this norm of § 3 obliging delegates to be chosen from among non-cleric brothers also, renders superfluous and pointless the current rule about appointed capitulars. According to Alternative B, the number of non-cleric capitulars could rise and actually exceed the ten currently envisaged for capitulars who are appointed.
(12) In choosing the delegates to the General Chapter, the Conferences are oblie to observe two conditions:
1a ) keep to the number which the General Minister with the consent of his Council, after consultino the Conference Presidents, has determined for each Conference on the principle of proportionality;
2a) choose the delegates from among cleric and non-cleric brothers alike.
The Conferences, however, have the faculty to determine the other practicalities regarding the manner of choosing the delegates and their substitutes, on condition that these pracitcalities are determined in each Conference’s own statute, which must be approved by the General Minister with his Council. This guarantees the seriousness of the procedure for designating delegates to the General Chapter.
(13) The norm in § 5 completes the regulations in the Complementary Code concerning delegates to a General Chapter according to Alternative B; these are given for reasons of clarity in an area that could easily give rise to confusion, since juridically the brothers of the delegations and “domus praesentiae” belong to their circumscriptions of origin, but for the purpose of applying the proportionality principle to the election of Conference delegates, they are to be counted as members of the Conferences in which they operate. In this wsay, too, the principle of equity is respected, which for purposes of representation at a General Chapter tends to favour Conferences with a smaller number of brothers.
(14) This proposal fills a lacuna, by providing for the case of a Custos who is impeded.
For reasons of clarity it seems appropriate to show here what is said about the central government of the Order, both in Constitutions and in the Complementary Code, in particular in relation to the General Vicar.
The Introduction to VIII explained the reasoning behind the Commission’s suggestions regarding the person and role of the General Vicar, both in PdR1 and in this PdR2.
Now we underline the particular features of n. 125 of the Constitutions and of the norms contained in the Complementary Code which depend on it or refer to it. In reviewing PdR1 in the light of the feedback received from the Order, the Commission further refined its proposals. We want to stress the following elements:
- the central Government of the Order is composed of: the General Minister, the General Vicar and the General Definitors;
- the General Vicar is a member of the General Minister’s Council, but he is not an area Councillor (Definitor) charged with serving a specific area. It is clear, in fact, that the General Minister’s Council is formed of the General Vicar and of the other General Councillors (cf below § 4). This is why the phrase “and the other General Councllors frequently recvurs in the text § 3; § 4-5; Complementary Code 8/14.1-2; 8/16); in addition to the General Vicar… (Complementary Code 8/13);
- the election of the General Vicar takes place immediately after that of the General Minister (§ 3) and in the same way, i.e. without involving the coetus groups or the Conferences;
- the outgoing General Minister may be re-elected immediately only once, without prejudice to what is said in n. 123,7, in other words, he can be postulated to serve a third term (Complementary Code 8/12.1);
- but for the General Vicar, PdR does not envisage postulation; the outgoing General Vicar can be immediately re-elected only once (Complementary Code 8/12.1);
- in every General Chapter, one half at most of the General Councillors elected at the previous Chapter can be elected again. But the General Vicar is not included in that calculation (§ 3);
- the outgoing General Vicar may be elected as General Councillor (§ 3).
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|119,1. In Capitulo tractentur negotia quae ad vitae nostrae rationem servandam aut renovandam, necnon apostolicam actuositatem augendam pertinent.||119,1. Matters pertaining to the preserving and renewing of our life as well as the development of apostolic activity are to be treated in the chapter.||Current text (119,1-2 + 116,3) with changes
1. The Chapter, both Ordinary and extraordinary, should deal with everything relating to fidelity to our sound traditions, to the renewal of our form of life, the development of apostolic activity, and other matters of great importance for the Order (1),about which the brothers are to be consulted in advance.
1. Preparation for the general chapter and the consultation of the brothers about the agenda shall take place in accordance with the norms for conducting a general chapter.
|119,2. De argumentis Capitulo proponendis omnes fratres apto modo consulantur eorumque propositiones ad ministrum generalem mittantur.||119,2. Let all the brothers be consulted in an appropriate manner concerning the questions put before a chapter and their suggestions sent to the general minister.||cf. §1|
|119,3. De agendorum indice a ministro generali de consensu definitorii confecto, omnes capitulares tempestive certiores fiant. Argumenta vero tractanda ipsum Capitulum decidat.||119,3. All the capitulars should be informed in good time about the agenda drawn up for consideration by the general minister with the consent of his definitory. But the chapter itself decides the questions to be treated.||Current text (119,3) with changes
2. The General Minister, with the consent of his Council, prepares a list of items to be dealt with, and informs all the capitulars in good time. But the chapter itself decides the questions to be treated.
|118,1. In Capitulo generali ordinario eligatur primo, uti praescribit “Ordo Capituli generalis celebrandi”, minister generalis, qui potestatem in totum Ordinem universosque fratres consequitur.||118,1. In an Ordinary general chapter the general minister, who acquires full authority over the entire Order and all the brothers, is to be elected first, as prescribed by the ‘Rite of Celebrating the General Chapter’.||Current text (118,1)
2. In an Ordinary general chapter the General Minister, who acquires full authority over the entire Order and all the brothers, is to be elected first, as prescribed by the ‘Procedures for Conducting the General Chapter’.
|118,2. Minister generalis cessans ad aliud dumtaxat sexennium immediate eligi potest.||118,2. The outgoing general minister may be immediately elected but only for another six years.||8/12
Current text (118,2) with changes
1. At the general chapter the outgoing General Minister may be re-elected immediately once only, without prejudice to the provisions of n. 123,7. The outgoing General Vicar on the other hand may be re-elected immediately once only.
|118,3. Postea eligantur, ut statuit “Ordo Capituli generalis celebrandi”, definitores generales secundum numerum determinatum in Ordinationibus Capitulorum generalium, quorum dimidia pars summum possunt esse ex electis in praecedenti Capitulo.||118,3. Eight general definitors are then elected, as decreed in the ‘Rite of Celebrating the General Chapter’, of whom four at the most can be from those elected in the previous chapter.||Current text (118,3) with changes and additions
3. Next, as decreed in the ‘Procedures for Conducting the General Chapter’, the General Vicar is elected; then the other general councillors according to the number determined in the Complementary Code. Of these, one half at the most can be from those elected in the previous chapter, but the outgoing General Vicar can be elected as a General Councllor.
Current text (Ord. 8/9) with changes
At the General Chpter, in addition to the General Vicar, eight councillors are elected.
|118,4. In electione definitorum generalium minister generalis cessans vocem tantum activam habet.||118,4. The outgoing general minister has only active voice in the election of the general definitors.||8/14
Current text (Const n. 118.4) with additions
1. In the election of the General Vicar and of the other general councillors the outgoing General Minister has only active voice.
|118,5. Ex his definitoribus eligatur vicarius generalis, qui vi electionis fit primus definitor.||118,5. The general vicar is elected from the eight definitors and, thereby, becomes first definitor.||Deleted.|
|Current Text (Ord 8/8)
2. If the Minister General is elected from outside the Chapter, the Chapter is suspended until the new Minister General has arrived at the Chapter.
|Current text (Ord. 8/10) with changes and additions
3. A general Vicar and the other general councillors elected from outside the chapter are ipso facto members of the chapter.
|118,6. Definitorum munus est, ad normas Constitutionum et secundum ordinem statuti curiae generalis a Capitulo generali approbati, ministro generali in regimine totius Ordinis opem ferre.||118,6. The duty of the general definitors is to assist the general minister in the government of the entire Order according to the norms of the Constitutions and the statutes of the general curia as approved by the general chapter.||Current text (118,6) with changes and additions
4. The Council of the General Minister is made up of the General Vicar and the other general councillors.They assist the General Minister in the government of the entire Order according to universal and proper law.
|120,1. Minister generalis eiusque definitores Romae resideant.||120,1. The general minister and his definitors should reside in Rome.||Current text (120,1) with changes and additions
5. The General Minister, the General Vicar and the other Councillors must reside in Rome. (2)
Current text (Ord 8/11) with additions and changes
During their term of office, the General Vicar and the other general councillors, do not have passive voice in the election of the major superiors of the circumscriptions.
(1) The current text has been slightly modified to adapt it to the description of the aims of a General Chapter, and restoring what was omitted from the present n. 116, 3. Accepting one suggestion [Prot. N.: VIII-00024], PdR2 translates the Latin term negotia as matters. But it is only a question of translation. It did not seem appropriate to expand the text to include the challenges of contemporary culture (cf. Caritas in veritate 7, 68-77), or the cry of the poor (cf. Puebla 87-90. CPO II-III)”, as was suggested by one proposal [Prot. N.: VIII-00029]. These aspects, which are mentioned already elsewhere in the Constitutions, can be understood as being included in other topics which are expounded in the text: the renewal of our form of life, the development of the apostolate, and other topics of great importance for the life of the Order.
(2) Considering the new formulation of the current n. 120,2 (cf. below n. 126,1), it seems more pertinent to anticipate the prescription that the central government of the Order should reside in Rome.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|120,2. Ministri generalis ab Urbe absentis vices gerat vicarius generalis.||120,2. When the general minister is absent from Rome, the general vicar takes his place.||Current text (120,2)
1. When the General Minister is absent from Rome, the General Vicar, as first collabroartor of the General Minister, takes his place. (1)
|120,3. Tamen ministro generali reservantur confirmatio ministrorum provincialium, nominatio visitatorum generalium aliaque negotia quae ipse sibi reservaverit.||120,3. However the confirmation of provincial ministers, appointment of general visitators and other matters that he has reserved to himself are reserved to the general minister.||Current text (120,3)
2. However, the confirmation of provincial ministers, the appointment of general visitators and other matters that he has reserved to himself are reserved to the General Minister (2).
|120,4. Ministro generali ab officio exercendo impedito, regimen Ordinis in omnibus teneat vicarius generalis, qui tempore opportuno praecipua acta ad ministrum generalem referat.||120,4. Should the general minister be impeded from exercising his office, the general vicar is to administer the Order in all things. He should report important matters to the general minister at an appropriate time.||Current text (120,4), with changes and additions
3. Should the General Minister be impeded from exercising his office, the General Vicar is to administer the Order in all things. At an appropriate time he should report important matters to the General Minister, and refrain from acting against the intention and will of the General Minister (3).
|120,5. Si autem vicarius quoque generalis sit impeditus, definitor sequens iuxta ordinem electionis ministri generalis vices gerat.||120,5. If the general vicar is also impeded, the next definitor accOrding to the Order of election takes the place of the general minister.||Current text (120,5) with changes and additions
4. If the General Vicar is also impeded, the councillor who is senior by profession (4) takes the place of the General Minister. By that very fact, the councillor is delegated for all acts of governance, and for the faculties proper to the General Minister. However, within a maximum time limit of two months, he is bound to have recourse to the Holy See. (5).
(1) PdR1 had already inserted into the Complementary Code (8/15) a statement taken from the Statute of the General Curia (art. 9, § 2) about the role of the General Vicar as the first collaborator of the General Minister. PdR2 prefers to insert the text into the Constitutions. It completes and slightly modifies the formulation of n. 120, 2 of the current text.
(2) A proposal was made to expand the current text with this addition: “The General Minister, if he judges it appropriate, may delegate the General Vicar to deal with certain particular matters” [Prot. N. VIII-00004]. The Commission did not accept the proposal, believing that the suggestion is obvious since the General Vicar is the first collaborator of the General Minister. While the General always retains freedom in the matter, it is obvious that to serve the Order more efficiently he has to involve all his collaborators in that service, but observing an “institutional hierarchy”, i.e. starting with the General Vicar. Moreover the current text explicitly mentions those matters that are reserved to the General by law. He may also reserve other matters to himself, and, in order for the act of governance to be functional and correct, these matters should be made explicit either for one occasion only, or on each separate occasion.
(3) The current text is maintained (n. 120, 4), but with an addition proposed by comment we received [Prot. N.: VIII-00004], which the Commission accepted. The addition: and [the General Vicar] should not act against the intention [mentem] and will of the General Minister, highlights once again the underlying reason behind the Commission’s entire proposal regarding the function and role of the General Vicar. But we have said enough about this, and clearly enough, in the Introduction to this chapter.
(4) The seniority of a councillor is no longer determined by chance, but by seniority of profession.
(5) Since a councillor is not a major superior, he does not have the power to perform acts of governance, but needs delegation to perform them. So, in this specific case, the law itself (in this paragraph) provides the necessary delegations, but for the limited time indicated.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|121,1. Vacante officio ministri generalis, vicarius generalis eidem succedit, qui de vacatione Sedem Apostolicam quantocius certiorem faciat.||121,1. If the office of the general minister becomes vacant, the general vicar succeeds him and notifies the Apostolic See of the vacancy as soon as possible.||Current text (121,1)
1. If the office of the General Minister becomes vacant, the General Vicar succeeds him and notifies the Apostolic See of the vacancy as soon as possible.
|121,2. Vacante officio vicarii generalis ultra annum ante Capitulum, a ministro generali eiusque definitorio, post electionem alii definitoris, qui locum ultimi definitoris tenet, per schedas secretas de gremio definitorii alius eligatur vicarius generalis.||121,2. Should the office of the general vicar become vacant more than a year before the chapter, after the election of an eighth definitor, a general vicar is to be elected by the general minister and his definitory by secret ballot from among the definitors.||Current text (121,2) with changes and additions
2. Should the office of the General Vicar become vacant more than a year before the chapter, the General Minister and his council, collegially, are to elect a new General Vicar by secret ballot. They then elect another councillor.
But if the office becomes vacant less than one year before the general chapter, the new General Vicar is elected in the prescribed manner, but without the election of a new councillor (1).
|121,3. Vacante officio definitoris generalis ultra annum ante Capitulum, minister generalis et definitorium, auditis Conferentiis superiorum maiorum coetus capitularis ad quem ille definitor pertinebat, alium eligant, qui locum tenebit ultimi definitoris.||121,3. Should the office of a general definitor become vacant more than a year before the chapter, the general minister and the definitory, after hearing the Conference of Major Superiors of the capitular group to which the definitor being replaced belonged, elect another who takes his place as the last definitor.||Current text (121,3) with changes and additions.
3. Should the office of a general councillor become vacant more than a year before the chapter, the General Minister and his Council, after consulting the Conferences of Major Superiors of the capitular group to which the councillor belonged, elect another collegially (2).
(1) Given the distinction between the General Vicar and the Councillors, the manner of electing a new General Vicar and a new Councillor in the case of vacancy also varies. The addition of collegially is intended to express unequivocally that in this case, and in others where the same expression recurs, the General Minister is also part of the electing college. Conversely, in actions for which the General Minister needs the consent of his Council, only the Councillors and the general Vicar (who together form the General Minister’s council; cf. above n. 125, 4) may vote (Cf. PCCICAI, Response II [14 May 1985], in AAS(1985) 771).
(2) The final clause who takes his place as the last definitor is deleted because, even in the case of a definitor appointed as a replacement, seniority will be calculated on the basis of religious profession. Therefore, apart from the introduction of the word collegially and the change of terminology (councillor – Council), the vernacular text is more in line with the current Latin original.
In PdR1 the Commission had proposed some changes to n. 122 of the current Constitutions, dealing with the General Curia. Now (PdR2) the current text has been reworked even more: all its elements are retained, but reorganised from the essential perspective of fraternity life. The new text states:
- the General Curia is a fraternity of the Order;
- it is a fraternity immediately subject to the General Minister (§ 1);
- it is a fraternity made up of brothers from various circumscriptions (§ 1), and is therefore international;
- the purpose of this fraternity is first of all to express (be a sign) and to promote the unity of the Order (§ 1). The General Curia fraternity is called above all to live and grow precisely as a Capuchin fraternity in an international setting; attention to office work or to any other function or office entrusted to individuals, however important it may be, cannot prevail over this primary aspect;
- the fundamental purpose of the Curia fraternity constitutes, at the same time, the principal criterion for the selection of its members: For this purpose, suitable brothers are selected… (§ 2);
- the brothers who make up the General Curia fraternity must also be competent in the area of the specific service they are called to provide (§ 2);
- the members of the General Curia fraternity are appointed by the General Minister with the consent of his Council and carry out their office in accordance with the Statute of the General Curia and any instructions given by the General Minister (§ 2);
- the Statute of the General Curia should outline first of all the specific nature of that fraternity, and then the areas of responsibility of each of its offices and structures (§ 3). Therefore, the Statute of the General Curia is to be understood as the Statute of the fraternity of the General Curia. It is wrong to think in terms of two separate statutes (one for the Curia, the other for the fraternity of the Curia). This would involve the risk of introducing unhelpful dichotomies, and even harmful discriminations;
- by placing everything in the context of a fraternity, the whole of which is called to serve the Order by assisting the General Minister and his Council, it is not necessary to mention any particular office in the Constitutions. But the Complementary Code does list all the offices currently existing in the General Curia (8/16.1), and it specifies that the General Minister with his Council may constitute other offices and structures in the General Curia as necessary and advisable. and suppress or modify existing ones, while observing the prescriptions of the Constitutions and the decisions of General Chapters (8/16.2).
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|122,1. Ministro generali eiusque definitorio in muneribus exsequendis opem ferunt: secretarius generalis, procurator generalis, ad quem pertinet negotia Ordinis apud Sanctam Sedem pertractare, postulator generalis, cuius munus est causas canonizationis Servorum Dei apud Sanctam Sedem agere, assistens generalis Ordinis Franciscani Saecularis, secretarius generalis animationis missionariae, aliique officiales numero sufficientes ad negotia expedienda.||122,1. The following assist the general minister and his definitory in carrying out their responsibilities: the general secretary, the general procurator concerned with matters dealing with the Holy See, the general postulator responsible for dealing with the Holy See concerning the causes of the canonization of the Servants of God, the general assistant of the Secular Franciscan Order, the general secretary for the promotion of the missions, and other officials sufficient in number for expediting matters.||New text (cf. current text n. 122)
1. To enable them to give effective and efficient service to the Order, the General Minister and his Council receive particular assistance from the General Curia. All the brothers who are part of it, coming from the various circumscriptions, form a fraternity whch is immediately dependent on the General Minister and is of fundamental importance to express and promote the unity of the Order.
Cf current text (Const 122,1)
1. A number of offices and structures are established at the General Curia for the service of the Order, such as the following:
– the General Sercretariat of the Order,
– the office of the General Procurator, to handle the Order’s business with the Holy See,
– the office of the General Postulator, for transactions with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,
– the Genearl Formation Secretariat ,
– the General Secretariat for Mission Animation,
– the office of the General Assistant to the Secular Franciscan Order,
– the Office for Assitance to Nuns and Institutes affililiated to the Capuchin Order,
– the Justice, Peace and Ecology Office,
– the General Archives,
– the Central Library,
– the General Bursary,
– the Offices for Communication, Statistics,and the central Registry (Protocol).
|2. Without prejudice to the prescriptions of theConstitutions and observing the decisions of the General Chapters, the General Minister with his Council, when it is necessary and appropriate, may establish other offices and organs of the General Curia, and may also suppress or modify existing ones.|
|122,2. Qui omnes a ministro generali de consensu definitorii ex diversis regionibus seliguntur et nominantur.
3. Munera et officia curiae generalis assignentur et exerceantur ad normam statuti peculiaris a Capitulo generali approbati.
|122,2. All of these are chosen and appointed by the general minister from different regions with the consent of the definitory.
3. The responsibilities and duties of the general curia are assigned and carried out according to the norms of the special statute approved by the general chapter.
|2. For this purpose suitable brothers are to be selected, who should also be duly competent in the service they are to render. They are appointed by the General Minister with the consent of his Council, and fulfil their office in accordante with the Statute of the General Curia and any instructions given by the Genmeral Minister (1).|
|3. The Statute of the General Curia, apperoved by the General Chapter (2), otlines the specific nature of this local fraternity and stipulates the competences attached to the different offices and units.|
(1) The text refers explicitly to the Statute of the General Curia and any instructions given by the General Minister because it is reasonable to assume that practical needs and developments in the Order may well call for the Curia to adapt in ways that are not always, or not entirely, provided for in the Statute. For the same reason, the Complementary Code gives the General Minister the faculty to establish other offices or bodies, and to suppress or modify existing ones, on condition that the prescriptions of the Constitutions and the decisions of the General Chapters are safeguarded.
(2) At present, Ordinance 8/12 says: “The Statute of the General Curia, regarding articles 1-18, was drafted and approved by the General Chapter. As far as the drafting of the remaining articles is concerned, the General Chapter gave the necessary authority to the general council”.
Article IV:Collaboration in the Order; The Plenary Council and the Conferences of Major Superiors (1)
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|123,1. Consilium plenarium Ordinis pro fine habet vitale commercium inter fraternitatem universam eiusque regimen centrale exprimere, conscientiam mutuae responsabilitatis cooperationisque omnium fratrum promovere atque Ordinis unitatem et communionem in pluriformitate fovere.||123,1. A Plenary Council of the Order is intended to express the vital exchange between the whole Fraternity and its central government, to promote an awareness of the co-responsibility and cooperation of all the brothers, and to foster unity and harmony in the pluriformity of the Order.||Current text (123.1)
1. A Plenary Council of the Order is intended to express the vital exchange between the whole Fraternity and its central government, to promote an awareness of the co-responsibility and cooperation of all the brothers, and to foster the Order’s unity and communion in pluriformity.
|Current text (123,5-6) with changes
2. The Plenary Council is a forum for reflection and consultation, which studies questions of particular importance and offers its own collaboration in the governance of the Order, in the formation of the brothers and in their apostolic mission for the growth of the Order and its renewal in accordance with the times (2).
|123,2. Eiusdem Consilii sodales sunt minister generalis, definitores generales et delegati Conferentiarum superiorum maiorum, secundum quandam proportionalitatem a ministro generali de consensu definitorii statuendam.||123,2. The members of the Council are the general minister, the general definitors and delegates of the Conference of Major Superiors according to a certain proportion established by the general minister with the consent of the definitory.||Current text (123,2) with additions and changes
3. The members of the Council are the General Minister, the General Vicar, the general councillors and the delegates of the Conference of Major Superiors according to a certain proportion established by the General Minister with the consent of his Council.
|123,3. Delegati non necessario ex membris Conferentiarum superiorum maiorum seligi debent.
4. Modus autem selectionis ab unaquaque Conferentia determinatur.
|123,3. The delegates need not be selected from among the members of the Conferences of Major Superiors.
4. The manner of their selection is determined by each Conference.
|New text (cf. Current text (123,3-4) with changes
4. Each Conference determines the manner of choosing the delegates from among its own circumscriptions. Delegates need not necessarily be major superiors of the Conference itself (3).
|123,5. Consilii plenarii est: communicationem inter definitorium generale et Conferentias necnon inter eas fovere; centrum reflexionis constituere et quaestiones maioris momenti examinare atque eis solutionem Ordini proponere; ministro generali et definitoribus cooperatione constructiva adiumentum praebere ad renovationem accommodatam Ordinis in actum perducendam; de incremento Ordinis necnon de institutione fratrum curam gerere.||123,5. The responsibility of the Plenary Council is: to foster communication between the general definitory and the Conferences and among the Conferences themselves; to establish a center for reflection; to examine the problems of greater importance and propose solutions to the Order; to offer to the general minister and definitors through constructive collaboration assistance in bringing about an updated renewal of the Order; and to care for the growth of the Order and the formation of the brothers.||Cf. n. 129,2|
|123,6. Consilium plenarium habet votum consultivum. Ne autem reflexionum valor qua norma directiva pro toto Ordine pereat, convenit ut minister generalis pro suo iudicio et de consensu definitorii, acta Consilii plenarii sua auctoritate muniat et Ordini proponat.||123,6. The Plenary Council has a consultative vote. In Order that the value of its reflections as a directive norm may not be lost, it is appropriate that the general minister, by his judgement and with consent of the definitory, confirm with his authority the acts of the Council and propose them to the Order.||New text (cf. current text n. 123,6)
5. The conclusions of the Plenary Council are to be communicated to all the brothers. The General Minister, according to his judgement and with the consent of the Council, may confirm them by his authority and draw from them practical consequences for the Order. (4).
|123,7. Consilium plenarium Ordinis, generatim, semel aut bis in sexennio a ministro generali de consensu definitorii convocetur.
8. Consilium plenarium Ordinis proprio statuto regitur, quod ab ipso conficitur et a ministro generali eiusque definitorio approbatur.
|123,7. As a general rule, a Plenary Council of the Order may be convoked by the general minister, with the consent of the definitory, once or twice in a six-year term.
8. The Plenary Council is governed by its own statute that is drawn up by itself and approved by the general minister and his definitory.
|Current text (123,7-8) with changes
6. The General Minister with the consent of his Council may convoke a Plenary Council, which is conducted in accordance with regulations approved by the General Minister with the consent of his Council (5).
(1) We propose to introduce into chapter VIII a new article on Collaboration in the Order, and to transfer to it all the references to the Plenary Council (at present placed in article III on the general governance of the Order; cf. current text n. 123) and to the Conferences (currently in article IV on governance of the provinces; cf. current text n. 131). In fact, both the Plenary Council and the Conferences of major superiors have collaborative structures in the Order.
(2) We anticipate here a text of the Constitutions which is currently placed in §5. It seems more logical to describe the Plenary Council’s competence after having described its purpose in §1. The text has been partially reformulated and expanded, and also simplified to avoid repetitions from other paragraphs.
(3) Text reformulated for greater clarity.
(4) The current text of the Constitutions is rather confused; we therefore propose a new formulation to provide for: a) the conclusions of the PCO to be communicated to all the brothers; b) the General Minister to confirm them with his authority and use them as a source of possible operational guidelines for the whole Order.
(5) §§ 7 and 8 of the current text have been merged and made more flexible, to avoid obliging the General Minister to convoke a Plenary Council during his six-year term. Besides, in the current text the adverb ordinarily already shows an understanding that there may be reasons for not holding a plenary council during the sexennium.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|131,2. Quae Conferentiae habeant suum proprium statutum a ministro generali de consensu definitorii approbatum, atque semel minimum in anno congregentur.||131,2. These Conferences have their own statutes approved by the general minister with the consent of the definitory and meet at least once a year.||New text with parts of the current text (131,2).
1. The Conferences (1) of major superiors are an intermediary level of governance between the authority of the General Minister and that of the individual major superiors. They operate in accordance with the General Statute for Conferences and the statutes proper to each of them, which are approved by the General Minister with the consent of the Council. They meet at least once a year.
|131.1. Conferentiae, quae e ministris provincialibus, viceprovincialibus et superioribus regularibus alicuius regionis vel territorii constant, a ministro generali de consensu definitorii constituuntur […]||131,1. Conferences consisting of provincial ministers, vice provincials and superiors regular of a particular region or territory, are established by the general minister, with the consent of the definitory, […]
to promote collaboration among provinces, vice-provinces and custodies, with Episcopal Conferences, with Unions of Major Superiors of Men and Women, to deal with current questions, and to preserve uniformity of administration, as far as this is possible.
|Current text (131,1) with changes and additions
2. Conferences, consisting of the provincial ministers and custodes of a particular territory, are established by the General Minister, with the consent of the Council.
Meetings of the Conferences are attended by the representatives of delegations and of the houses of presence in the territory.
General councillors delegated by the General Minister also attend the meetings by right. All of the afore-mentioned do not have the right to vote (2).
|131,1. Conferentiae, […] ad promovendam cooperationem tum provinciarum et viceprovinciarum et custodiarum inter se, tum cum Conferentiis episcopalibus aut Unionibus superiorum vel superiorissarum maiorum, ad impendentes quaestiones pertractandas, et ad regiminis uniformitatem, quantum fieri potest, servandam.||131,1. Conferences […] are established to promote collaboration among provinces, vice-provinces and custodies, with Episcopal Conferences, with Unions of Major Superiors of Men and Women, to deal with current questions, and to preserve uniformity of administration, as far as this is possible.||Current text (131,1) with changes and additions
3. The purpose of the Conferences is to foster the responsibility of each major superior for the Order; to promote collaboration by the circumscriptions among themselves and with other ecclesiastical entities, especially those analogous to religious; and to ensure, as far as possible, unity of action and in the apostolate in their territory (3).
4. Each Conference, according to the general statutes and its own, elects a president, his Council and a secretary. The president has delegated power from the General Minister, which he exercises in accordance with particular law or, in special cases, with the specific delegations he has received (4).
|131,3. Eis competit munera implere quae Constitutionibus et proprio statuto aut a ministro generali ipsis committuntur, atque providere bono communi Ordinis in suo territorio, necnon edere, pro illo territorio, peculiares normas quae, ut vim obtineant, approbandae sunt a respectivis Consiliis et a ministro generali de consensu sui definitorii.||131,3. It is within their competence to carry out the duties entrusted to them by the Constitutions, by their own statutes and by the general minister, and to provide for the common good of the Order in their territory, as well as to promulgate, for their territories, special norms. In Order to take effect, these norms must be approved by the respective councils and by the general minister with the consent of his definitory.||Current text (131,3) with changes and additions
5. In Order to carry out the duties entrusted to them by the Constitutions, by the statutes and by the General Minister, and to provide for the common good of the Order […], the Conferences may propose special norms for the brothers and circumscriptions in their territory. In Order to take effect, these norms must be approved by the president of the Conference with the consent of his Council if it concerns something for which the General Minister has given delegation. Otherwise they must be approved by the General Minister with the consent of his Council (6).
|131,4. Ut in singulis continentibus foveatur solidarietas inter Ordinis nostri fratres ibi degentes, curent superiores maiores ut fratres viribus unitis prosequantur accommodatas testimonii franciscani formas, quae propriae nationis vel areae politicae transcendunt limites, ad renovandam vitam christianam et ad pacis, iustitiae et concordiae causam promovendam.||131,4. In Order to foster solidarity between the brothers of our Order living in a particular continent, let major superiors take care that the brothers, by united efforts, pursue updated forms of Franciscan witness that transcend the boundaries of their own nations or political areas to renew Christian life and promote peace, justice and tranquillity.||Current text (131,4) with changes
6. The major superiors and their Councils should gladly work together actively with the Conference for greater co-ordination in the introduction of forms of Franciscan witness and formation, to renew the life of faith, and to promote peace, justice and respect for creation (7).
(1) Because of the importance the Conferences of Major Superiors have assumed in recent years in the Church and in the Order, we propose a new structuring of the current text of the Constitutions, to show: a) what are Conferences of Major Superiors; b) how they are set up; c) what is their purpose; d) how they function. The current text, in n. 132,3, is not totally accurate when it says that the Conferences can promulgate special norms. This could give rise to a certain ambiguity and confusion. In realty, since at present the Conferences do not enjoy the power of governance, they cannot establish any norms, whether special or not (they can, if necessary, suggest or propose…. But not establish). This is why PdR does not define Conferences as structures of governance, but as intermediate organs of collaboration and animation, between the authority of the General Minister and that of each major superior.
They must act in accordance with the General Statute for Conferences of OFM.Cap Major Superiors and with each Conference’s own statute, as provided for in the General Statute (cf. n. 2). All the Statutes of individual Conferences have to be approved by the general Minister with the consent of his Council; the individual Statutes may contain specific delegations relating to governance. Only in the area of the delegations envisaged in the Statute or, in particular cases, for specific delegations by the General Minister (cf. § 5), will the Conferences, and on their behalf the president and his council, enjoy the power of governance (cf § 4: new text). In this way, on the one hand the prudential attitude remains unaltered, by which the conferences are considered as structures for collaboration and communion. On the other hand, the possibility remains that the conferences may take on a more incisive role in some aspects of the Order’s life, especially those related to the Conference, and be more effective because they are closer to the areas concerned and can interpret more accurately the different situations and needs. The resulting norms ought to be sufficient to ensure that the specific needs of each conference are covered. In PdR2 the Commission has simplified the formulation, using clearer expressions, and in order to avoid misunderstandings in the various translations.
(2) The new text in the Complementary Code corresponds to what is already current practice. We point out that the representatives of the delegations and of the houses of presence, as well as delegates of the General Minister, do not have the right to vote, since none are members of the Conference.
(3) The aims of the conference are explicitly stated: to foster collaboration among the circumscriptions, and to encourage openness and shared responsibility among the provincial ministers in relation to the whole Order. The explicit reference to episcopal conferences and Unions of major superiors is deleted, because these do not coincide with the areas of the world comprised by our conferences. However, the need to be attentive to the local Church and to various ecclesial and religious bodies remains unaltered. Lastly, we have not repeated uniformity of governance as one of the purposes of a conference, because its meaning is ambiguous. Instead we introduce the aspect of giving attention to unity of action and in the apostolate.
(4) Cf. what is said in note 1.
(5) Our General Statute for Conferences already encourages meetings of the conference presidents with members of different conferences (cf. n. 6,1), but at the same time it says: “The General Minister with the consent of his council shall summon the conference presidents to meet together, when there are questions of major importance to the Order to be tackled and to organise and plan the General Chapter” (n. 4.6). In fact, according to the General Chapter Procedures, the General Minister calls a meeting of the conference presidents two years before the General Chapter in order to begin preparations. Furthermore, in the last two sexennia the conference presidents have been summoned more than once, and that meetings proved extremely beneficial both to the general government and to the circumscriptions of the Order. Therefore, the new addition now placed in the Complementary Code does no more than codify a practice that is proving more and more useful in the life of the Order.
(6) Cf. note 1.
(7) The changes introduced in the current text are intended to simplify it, and at the same time to express more strongly the need for greater effort in co-operation and solidarity among the circumscriptions of the Order. One of the purposes of the Conferences is to promote these aspects of reciprocity and interdependence in out Fraternity.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|124.1. Capitulo provinciali, […] prima auctoritas provincialis competit.||124,1. The provincial chapter in which the members gather in fraternal communion in the name of the whole province is the primary provincial authority.||Current text (124,1)
1. The provincial chapter is the primary authority in the province. (1).
|124,2. Capitulum provinciale ordinarium quovis triennio a ministro provinciali indicatur et convocetur de licentia ministri generalis cum consensu definitorii, cui reservatur facultas permittendi ut Capitulum, iusta de causa, sex mensibus ante vel post triennium celebretur.||124,2. The Ordinary provincial chapter is announced and convoked every three years by the provincial minister with permission of the general minister and his definitory. The faculty of permitting the celebration of a chapter, for a just cause, six months before or after a three year term belongs to the general minister with the consent of the definitory.||Current text (124,2) with changes
2. The ordinary provincial chapter is announced and convoked by the provincial minister, after obtaining the consent of the General Minister and his Council, and is held with the frequency indicated in the Complementary Code (2).
Current text (Const 124,2) with one change
The Ordinary provincial chapter is announced and convoked every three years. The General Minister has the faculty to permit the chapter, for a just cause, to be held six months before or after a three year term has elapsed.
|124,3. Capitulum extraordinarium haberi potest, a ministro provinciali de consensu definitorii convocatum, in quo praecipua negotia ad vitam et actuositatem provinciae eiusque viceprovinciae et custodiae spectantia tractentur.||124,3. An extraordinary chapter, convoked by a provincial minister with the consent of the definitory, may be held in which the principal matters concerning the life and activity of a province and its vice-province and custody are discussed.||Current text (124,3) with changes
3. For particular needs, as well as the Ordinary chapter, the provincial minister, with the consent of his Council, may convoke an extraordinary chapter, which may not conduct elections (3).
|Current text (124,3; 127,1) with changes
4. In a provincial chapter, whether ordinary or extraordinary, matters relating to the life and activity of the province and of the custody are discussed, concerning which all the brothers are to be consulted beforehand (4).
Current text (127,2) with one change
All the capitulars are to be informed in due time about the list of proposed questions drawn up by the provincial minister and his Council. The chapter itself, however, decides which business is to be treated.
(1) The phrase whose [i.e. the Chapter’s] members gather in fraternal communion in the name of the whole province has not been deleted but transferred to n. 134,2, which deals with a chapter with delegates. As regards the meaning of “primary authority in the Province”, cf. above, Complementary Code 8/7 with the relevant explanatory note 2.
(2) The frequency of the provincial chapter is determined by the Complementary Code, as is the case with the General Chapter (cf. n. 124, 2; Complementary Code 8/8 and explanatory note 4).
(3) The text has been reformulated to improve it, with the addition that elections do not take place at an extraordinary chapter.
(4) § 4 brings together two prescriptions in the current text (n. 124,3 and n. 127,1) which refer to the matters dealt with at a Chapter, without making any distinction between an Ordinary and an extraordinary Chapter. This avoids a number of repetitions and stresses the fact that we are dealing with a single Institution, namely the provincial Chapter, which has the same competences except for elections. § 2 of n. 127 (current text) is transferred to the Complementary Code.
In this number the most important element concerns the conduct of a Chapter with universal suffrage or with delegates, according to the considerations we present in the Introduction and in the Explanatory Notes. On the basis of the proposal made in § 2, the entire text is given a new structure.
(1) The insertion of perpetually professed brothers, not found in the current text, is necessary in the light of what is said later in §§ 2-3.
(2) The opening lines of this number already suggest the proposed new order: a) by direct suffrage; b) with delegates. While giving both possibilities, our preference is for direct suffrage wherever it is reasonably possible, because it fosters the participation and shared responsibility of all the brothers in the life of the circumscription. Universal, or direct, suffrage as a form of chapter is closer to the sensitivities of St. Francis, who called all the brothers to chapter to discern and discuss the life of the brotherhood.
(3) This detail in the Complementary Code may seem obvious, but it is necessary: if the number of participants by right exceeded the number of delegates, this would damage effective participation by all the brothers, even in a chapter with delegates, because it would make true delegation impossible.
(4) The general line indicated in the current Constitutions is as follows: a) the province holds a Chapter with delegates; if it wants to change to universal suffrage it must decide this by applying the entire procedure provided; b) smaller circumscriptions (a vice-province, custody) hold their Chapter by universal suffrage; if they want to change to a delegate chapter they must decide this by applying the entire procedure provided.
The PdR, because of the actual situation of the circumscriptions of the Order, takes as the point of reference the number of brothers, and the general line becomes: a) all circumscriptions having fewer than a hundred (100) brothers will normally hold their Chapter by universal suffrage, but if they wish to do so with delegates, they must decide this by applying the entire procedure provided; b)circumscriptions with over a hundred (100) brothers hold their Chapter with delegates; if they wish to do so with universal suffrage they must decide this by applying the entire procedure provided.
The Commission felt that one hundred was an appropriate “bench mark” for deciding between the two forms of provincial chapter. For Provinces with 100 brothers or fewer, it is likely that some of them (either because they are still in temporary vows, or because of age or sickness or some other impediment) will be unable to attend the chapter and that the actual participation will be around the 70/80 mark. A body of that size can work effectively and well, while a higher number would make things more difficult, even if not impossible. The Proposed Revision confirms the procedure to be followed in order to change from a delegate chapter to direct suffrage and vice versa. The legislation on this point, while it was somewhat streamlined by the General Chapter in 2000, is still demanding and tends to preclude frequent changes which, in an organisation such as ours, would be harmful. Furthermore, with the new proposal, the complexity of the norm protects the principle of participation by all the brothers. A suggestion was made [Prot. N.: VIII-00019] to change the text as follows: “All provinces normally hold their chapter by direct suffrage. If, for just reasons, a province wishes to hold the chapter with delegates … The decision to have this exception must apply to every chapter”. In support of this suggestion was the observation: “If the intention behind direct suffrage is to encourage fraternal life in small provinces, why shouldn’t the same encouragement be given to larger provinces as well? These days it is hard to imagine a province that would not normally be able to have a direct-suffrage chapter. This is why we propose that all provinces normally have a direct-suffrage chapter”. The Commission acknowledges the validity of the proposal and of the supporting reasons, but at the same time it recognises that both the smaller and numerically larger provinces may have good reasons for preferring the alternative method, as long as it is approved by a majority after a general consultation. Reasons of concreteness suggest that today the distinction between provinces with one hundred brothers or fewer, and provinces with more than a hundred, should be maintained. But the text has been partially reformulated so as to underline the positive principle of direct suffrage.
(5) The text is drafted on the basis of the proposals in § 2. So, it speaks of brothers who have the right to participate in a Chapter: these can be all the perpetually professed in a direct suffrage Chapter; or those who are capitulars by right, plus the delegates, if it is a Chapter with delegates.
(6) It is obviously prudent and appropriate that the judgement about a brother’s reasons for being absent should be reserved to the provincial minister alone. Should he think it appropriate or necessary, he may consult his Council, but he is not bound to do so.
(7) The current practice in several circumscriptions is merely codified in the Complementary code.
(8) Only the formulation of the text has been changed. The new order of the parts (first: a direct suffrage chapter; the a chapter with delegates) results from the changes made to § 3 of the Constitutional text for the same reasons.
(9) Cf. the reasons given in note (6).
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|126.1. Indicto Capitulo provinciali, omnes fratres qui tunc sunt perpetuo professi, exceptis iis qui ad proprias viceprovincias et custodias pertinent, delegatos et substitutos eligant, nisi omnes ad Capitulum convenire debeant.||126,1. After the announcement of a provincial chapter, all of the currently perpetually professed brothers, excepting those belonging to other vice-provinces and custodies, may elect delegates and alternates, unless all the brothers are obliged to attend the chapter.||Current text (126,1) with changes and additions
1. After the announcement of a provincial chapter with delegates, (1) all the brothers who are perpetually professed at that date, (2) except those belonging to the custodies, and those deprived of active and passive voice (3), shall elect delegates and alternates.
Current text (Ord. 8/13) with changes
1. Brothers who have been declared unlawfully absent, and those who have submitted a request for exclaustration or for dispensation from religious vows and from the duties connected to sacred Ordination, are deprived of active and passive voice. If the request is submitted after the Chapter has been convoked, they are excluded from the Chapter without being substituted.
2. In the judgement of the provincial minister, with the consent of the council, brothers who have submitted a request to be absent from the religious house may be deprived of active and passive voice (4).
|126,2. Viceprovinciarum quoque et custodiarum fratres suos delegatos eorumque substitutos eligant.||126,2. Brothers of the vice-provinces and custodies shall elect their delegates and their alternates.||Current text (126,1)
2.The brothers of the custodies
shall elect their own delegates and their alternates.
|126,3. Numerus delegatorum tum provinciae tum viceprovinciarum et custodiarum, necnon modus eos eligendi a Capitulo provinciali statuantur.||126,3. The number of delegates whether of a province or of vice-provinces and custodies as well as the manner of electing them are determined by the provincial chapter.||Current text (126,1) with additions from n. 125,1
3. The provincial chapter determines which brothers participate by right, the number of delegates of the province and of the custody and the manner of electing them.
(1) The addition is necessary because – according to the Proposed Renewal – a chapter with delegates is not the general rule, nor can the alternative form (a direct suffrage chapter) be considered as an exception to the rule.
(2) Reference to the date is added to avoid any doubts when counting the brothers having the right to elect delegates.
(3) The addition and (excepting) those deprived of active and passive voice fills a lacuna in the existing constitutional text.
(4) The additions proposed in the Complementary Code reflect the following considerations: 1) brothers who have been declared unlawfully absent, or who have requested exclaustration or dispensation from vows or from the obligations of ordination, have already manifested verbally or by some corresponding choice that they no longer wish to live our form of life. In such situations, it does not seem reasonable that the provincial minister with his Council should be able to grant active or passive voice, not even in particular cases. 2) It does on the other hand seem reasonable that the provincial minister with his Council should be able to deprive brothers of their active and passive voice if he has granted them a period of absence from the religious house. In practice, the reasons for granting such an indult can be of various kinds: not all have to do with difficulties with the religious or fraternal life, and therefore do not affect the rights and duties connected with active and passive voice. If on the other hand the reasons for granting the absence have to do with grave difficulties with our form of life, and may be the prelude to a variety of choices, it is reasonable to limit the right to active and passive voice, at least temporarily. The judgement is left to the provincial minister and his Council because they are the people who have the best knowledge of the situation and can be more cautious in their intervention.
N. 134 (127)
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|127,1. In Capitulo provinciali tractentur negotia ad vitam et actuositatem provinciae attinentia, de quibus omnes fratres praevie consulantur.||127,1. Matters relating to the life and activity of the province are discussed in a provincial chapter concerning which all the brothers may be consulted beforehand.||Transferred (cf. n. 131,4)|
|127,2. De propositionum indice, a ministro provinciali eiusque definitorio confecto, omnes capitulares tempestive certiores fiant. Negotia vero tractanda ipsum Capitulum decidat.||127,2. All the capitulars are to be informed in due time about the list of proposed questions drawn up by the provincial minister and his definitory. The chapter itself, however, decides which business is to be treated.||Transferred (cf. Complementary Code 8/20|
|127,3. In Capitulo ordinario minister provincialis eligitur iuxta ordinem celebrandi Capitulum, approbatum a Capitulo provinciali.||127,3. In an Ordinary chapter, the provincial minister is elected according to the directory for celebrating a chapter as approved by the provincial chapter itself.||Current text (127,3)
1. In an ordinary chapter, the provincial minister is elected according to the directory for conducting a chapter as approved by the provincial chapter itself.
|127,4. Minister provincialis cessans, si electus est in Capitulo praecedenti, ad alterum dumtaxat triennium immediate eligi potest.||127,4. The outgoing provincial minister, if he had been elected in the previous chapter, may be elected immediately but only for another three-year term.||Current text (127,4) with changes
2. The Provincial Minister may be re-elected only for two consecutive terms, save for the prescription of n. 123, 7.
In the case of an appointment, the two consecutive terms received by election may be extended, when the appointment immediately precedes or follows them. However, no briother may hold the office of provincial Minister for more than three consecutive terms (2).
The Provincial Minister and councillors are elected for three years (1).
|127,5. Secundum praedictum ordinem dein eligantur quattuor definitores provinciales, nisi minister generalis de consensu definitorii maiorem numerum convenire duxerit; quorum dimidia pars ex electis in praecedenti Capitulo esse potest.||127,5. According to the directory mentioned above, four provincial definitors are then elected, unless the general minister with the consent of the definitory decides that a larger number is more suitable; of these, only half may be from those elected in the previous chapter.||Current text (127,5) with changes
3. According to the Procedures mentioned previously, four provincial councillors are elected, unless the General Minister with the consent of his Council decides that a larger number is more suitable; of these, only half may be from those elected in the previous chapter.
|127,6. Postea ex eiusdem definitorii gremio, eligatur vicarius provincialis, qui vi electionis fit primus definitor.||127,6. Then the provincial vicar is elected from among the definitors and becomes the first definitor by virtue of his election.||Current text (127,6) with changes
4. Then the provincial vicar is elected from among the councillors and becomes the first councillor by virtue of his election.
|127,7. In electione definitorum minister provincialis cessans vocem tantum activam habet.||127,7. The outgoing provincial minister has only active voice in the election of the definitors.||Current text (127,7) with changes
5. In the election of the councillors the outgoing provincial minister has only active voice.
|127,8. Electus minister provincialis exercet officium tanquam delegatus ministri generalis donec eius electio confirmetur.||127,8. The elected provincial minister exercises his office as a delegate of the general minister until his election is confirmed.||Current text (127,8)
6. The elected provincial minister exercises his office as a delegate of the General Minister until his election is confirmed.
|127,9. Electione vel nominatione ministri provincialis et definitorum peracta, fratres suo quisque munere fungere pergunt, donec aliter provisum erit; quae norma, mutatis mutandis, valet etiam pro viceprovinciis et custodiis.||127,9. After the election or appointment of the provincial minister and definitors, the brothers continue to exercise their respective offices until other provisions are made. These norms, with the necessary modifications, also apply to vice-provinces and custodies.||Current text (127,9) with changes
7. After the election or appointment of the provincial minister and councillors the brothers continue to exercise their respective offices until other provisions are made. This norm, with the necessary modifications, also applies to [….] custodies.
(1) We received a number of proposals concerning the length of office [Prot. N.: VIII-00019; Prot. N.: VIII-00028]. The Commission did not think it appropriate to express any opinion on the matter. It will be up to the General Chapter to determine the length of a provincial minster’s term of office. It is indicated, however, in the Complementary Code, thus leaving the General Chapter free to decide, should it wish to do.
(2) PdR1 had changed the text, from for one further triennium only to only for another term, and adding: without prejudice to what is prescribed in n. 126.7, i.e. the possibility of postulation. Now (PdR2) the text has been expanded further in response to a proposal [Prot. N. VIII-0004] made to the Commission, which is based on can. 624, §2: “Proper law is to provide suitable norms whereby superiors constituted for a definite time do not remain too long in offices of governance without an interruption”. It is in fact the case that, on the basis of our legislation (cf. Const 127, 4 = PdR1 136, 2 = PdR2 134, 2; Const 128, 1 = PdR1 137, 1; = PdR2 135, 1; Const 111, 4 = PdR1 Complementary Code 8/2.2; = PdR2 120, 2), in our Order it can happen that someone could remain in an office of governance for too long without a break. For example: a brother who has been elected provincial minister twice in succession, or even three times if he was postulated, can be appointed again by the General Minister (for example, in the case of a merger between provinces), and then can be immediately re-elected. In this case, too, the brother could remain in office In such a case, a brother might remain in office as provincial for 5 or 6 consecutive terms, or, according to current practice, for 15 or 18 years. Or, another example: a brother who is appointed provincial Minister when a new province has been established can subsequently be elected twice consecutively, and then could also be “postulated”. These examples, and other similar ones, are not merely hypothetical: there have been actual cases in our Fraternity in recent times. When they occur, we distance ourselves not only from the intention of universal law, but also from the spirit and charism of our Order. Hence the text drafted by the Commission tries to remedy such an unfortunate state of affairs, by laying down unequivocally that no brother may ever hold the office of provincial minister for more than three consecutive terms. In our current practice of three-year terms, the text must be understood to mean that: no brother may ever hold the office of provincial minister for more than nine years consecutively.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|128,1. Minister generalis de consensu definitorii, gravibus de causis, nominare potest ministrum provincialem et definitores, praehabito in scripto voto consultivo omnium fratrum votorum perpetuorum provinciae; id autem fieri non poterit per duo triennia subsequentia.||128,1. The general minister with the consent of the definitors may appoint a provincial minister and definitors for serious reasons, after obtaining in writing the consultative vote of all the brothers in perpetual vows in the province; but this cannot be done for two consecutive three-year terms.||Current text (128,1) with changes
1. The General Minister, with the consent of the Council, may, for serious reasons, appoint a provincial minister and councillors after obtaining in writing the consultative vote of all the brothers in perpetual vows in the province; but this cannot be done for two consecutive […] terms. (1)
|128,2. Qua nominatione peracta, Capitulum ad negotia tractanda tempore opportuno celebretur.||128,2. After this appointment, a chapter should be celebrated at an appropriate time to deal with provincial affairs.||Current text (128,2)
2. After this appointment, a chapter is to be held at an appropriate time to deal with provincial affairs.
(1) The generic word “term” is used because – according to this Proposed Revision – the Constitutions do not specify the precise length of the term of office; that is fixed by the Complementary Code (cf. above (8/23). But the General Chapter is free to make a different choice.
(1) Current law provides for a three-year term of office, but the chapter can be anticipated or postponed by up to six months. In proposing this formulation we wish to indicate a sure date by which to calculate the number of months, independently of whether the chapter were either anticipated or postponed subsequently.
(2) Since, as we have already observed, councillors do not have the power of governance, it is opportune that in the specific case of the provincial vicar being impeded, the law itself should temporarily grant the necessary powers to the councillor as the delegate of the provincial minister.
(3) The new formulation makes the current text more explicit, and underlines the fact that the Council must first be reconstituted, after which the new provincial vicar is elected.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|130,1. A ministro provinciali, de definitorii consensu, inter fratres votorum perpetuorum nominentur secretarius provincialis, necnon officiales necessarii ad negotia in curia provinciali expedienda et, si opus fuerit, ad alia officia specialia dirigenda.||130,1. The provincial secretary, as well as officials needed for business transacted in the provincialate and, if necessary, for directing other special offices, may be appointed by the provincial minister, with the consent of the definitory, from among the brothers in perpetual vows.||Current text (130,1) with one change
1. The provincial minister, with the consent of the Council, shall appoint from among the brothers in perpetual vows a provincial secretary, as well as other officials needed to transact the business of the provincialate and, if necessary, to take charge of other special offices.
|130,2. Secretarius provincialis subditus est soli ministro provinciali; Capituli autem provincialis est decidere utrum alii officiales soli ministro provinciali subdantur.||130,2. The provincial secretary is subject only to the provincial minister. It is the responsibility of the provincial chapter, however, to decide whether other officials may be accountable to the provincial minister alone.||Current text (130,2)
2. The provincial secretary is subject only to the provincial minister. It is the responsibility of the provincial chapter, however, to decide whether other officials shall be accountable to the provincial minister alone.
|130,3. Commendatur ut in singulis provinciis a ministro provinciali de consensu definitorii constituantur commissiones ad negotia specialia pertractanda.||130,3. It is recommended that commissions be established in individual provinces by the provincial minister, with the consent of the definitory, to deal with special matters.||Current text (130,3) with changes
3. It is recommended that commissions be established in individual provinces by the provincial minister, with the consent of the Council, to deal with special matters.
This number has been restructured as far as the order of the material is concerned, while respecting the substance of its content. The proposed changes, as explained in the explanatory notes, are partly a consequence of the change of vice-provinces into custodies and partly due to the harmonisation of legislation that applied to the two different circumscriptions. (Const. art. V and VI, n. 132-136), with a few further details or enrichments of the text.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|132,1. Inter praecipuos fines viceprovinciarum est implantatio Ordinis in Ecclesia particulari, ad testimonium evangelicum de charismate franciscano praebendum.||132,1. Among the principal goals of vice-provinces is the implantation of the Order in a particular Church to give Gospel witness to the Franciscan charism.||Current text (110,3-4 e 7; 132,1) with changes
1. A custody, among whose principal purposes is the implantation of the Order in a particular Church, is a circumscription of the Order entrusted to a province or, because of special circumstances, directly to the General Minister. Custodies that depend on the General Minister have their own statute approved by the same Minister with the consent of his Council. The same norms governing custodies dependent on a province are applied to them by analogy. (1).
|133,1. Cuilibet viceprovinciae praeficitur viceprovincialis cum duobus consiliariis.
133,2. Numerum vero maiorem consiliariorum determinare, audito ministro provinciali, ministro generali de consensu definitorii competit.
|133,1. A vice provincial with two councilors governs each vice-province.
133,2. It belongs to the general minister, with the consent of the definitory, and after consulting the provincial minister, to determine a larger number of councilors.
|Current text (110,4; 133,1-2; 135,1-2) with changes
2. Each custody is governed by a custos with his Council. It is for the provincial minister with the consent of his Council to determine the number of councillors, which can vary according to need, but cannot be less than two.(2) The General Minister must be informed of any change in the number of councillors.
|Current text (133,6; 136,1 and 4) with changes
3. It pertains to the custos, having first obtained the consent of the provincial minister, to announce and convoke the Chapter of the custody, in which all the perpetually professed brothers have active voice, as well as the provincial minister, if he presides. As regards the brothers who are unable to attend the Chapter, the same arrangements apply as for the provincial Chapter.
|133,3. Viceprovincialis et consiliarii ad triennium eliguntur, quo transacto, possunt denuo eligi, viceprovincialis tamen immediate ad alterum dumtaxat triennium.||133,3. The vice provincial and councilors are elected for a three-year term, after which they can be re-elected. The vice provincial may be immediately re-elected for only another three-year term.||Current text (133,3 and 5; 136,1-2; 137,1)
4. The custos and the councillors are elected by the Chapter with universal suffrage, in accordance with the procedure determined by the Chapter of the custody, and they may be re-elected, but the Custos may be immediately re-elected only for another term, save for what is laid down in art. 123,7. The length of the term of office is determined in the Complementary Code.
The Chapter is held every three years. The custos and his councillors are elected for the same length of time.
|133,4. Capitulum viceprovinciale determinet utrum viceprovincialis cessans a munere habeat vocem passivam in electione consiliariorum.||133,4. The vice-provincial chapter determines whether the outgoing vice provincial has passive voice in the election of councilors.||Current text (133,4; 136,3) with changes
5. The outgoing custos does not have passive voice in the election of the councillors (3).
|133,5. Viceprovincialis et consiliarii ab omnibus fratribus perpetuae professionis eligantur, modo a Capitulo viceprovinciali determinato, et praehabito consensu ministri provincialis vel generalis. In casibus particularibus, si iusta adsit ratio, minister generalis, de consensu definitorii, permittere potest electionem superiorum et consiliariorum per Capitulum cum delegatis.||133,5. The vice provincial and councilors may be elected by all the brothers in perpetual profession, in the manner established by the vice-provincial chapter and after they have obtained consent of the provincial or general minister. If there is a just cause, the general minister with the consent of the definitory can permit in particular cases the election of superiors and councilors by a chapter with delegates.||Cf. above § 4.|
|Current text (133,8 and 10; 137,2) with changes
6. The elected custos must be confirmed by the provincial minister. Until this confirmation, he exercises his office as the delegate of the provincial minister, who is responsible for informing the General Minister of the election.
|133,6. Si vero electio per Capitulum fit suffragio directo, viceprovincialis, praehabito consensu ministri provincialis vel generalis, ipse Capitulum convocat in quo vocem activam habent fratres praesentes et etiam minister provincialis vel generalis, si praesunt. De fratribus impeditis ad Capitulum participandum eadem valent quae dicta sunt pro Capitulo provinciali.||133,6. If the election by the chapter is done by direct suffrage, the vice provincial, with the consent of the provincial or general minister, himself convokes the chapter in which the brothers present have an active voice as well as the provincial or general minister, if they preside. Whatever is said for the provincial chapter concerning brothers prevented from participating in a chapter is valid in this instance.||Cf. above § 3.|
|133,7. Votatione peracta extra Capitulum, scrutinium fiat in ipsa viceprovincia a viceprovinciali eiusque consiliariis et duobus fratribus electis a Capitulo locali ubi fit scrutinium, praesente ministro provinciali vel generali vel respectivo delegato. Deinde promulgentur electiones.||133,7. When the voting takes place outside a chapter, let the votes be tallied in the vice-province itself by the vice provincial, his councilors and two brothers elected by the local chapter of the place where the tally is taken in the presence of the provincial or general minister or the respective delegate. The elections are then promulgated.||Cf. above § 12 (4)|
|133,8. Viceprovincialis electus exercet officium tamquam delegatus ministri provincialis vel generalis, donec electio confirmetur.||133,8. The elected vice provincial exercises his office as the delegate of the provincial or general minister until the election is confirmed.||Cf. below § 6|
|133,9. A momento confirmationis suae electionis, viceprovincialis pollet potestate iuridica ad munus implendum qua potestate ordinaria vicaria, et eodem tempore oportet ut a ministro provinciali vel generali ei tribuantur expresse facultates de quibus in numeris 19 et 36 Constitutionum.||133,9. From the moment his election is confirmed, the vice provincial enjoys juridical power to exercise his office with Ordinary vicarious power. At the same time, the faculties spoken of in numbers 19 and 36 of the Constitutions should be expressly conferred on him by the provincial or general minister.||Current text (133,9; 137,3) with changes
7. From the moment his election is confirmed, the custos enjoys Ordinary vicarious power to exercise his office. The provincial minister must grant to the custos, in writing, the faculties that are delegated to him, and indicate those which he reserves to himself (5).
|133,10. Deinde minister provincialis de ipsa electione certiorem reddat ministrum generalem.||133,10. The provincial minister then informs the general minister of that election.||Cf. below § 6|
|133,11. Ministri provincialis vel generalis permissu, viceprovincialis convocare valet Capitulum ad diversa negotia tractanda, cui ministrum provincialem vel generalem praeesse convenit, qui vocem habent.||133,11. With the permission of the provincial or general minister, the vice provincial may convoke an [extraordinary] chapter to treat various matters. It is appropriate that the provincial or general minister preside and have active voice.||Current text (133,11) with changes
8. With the previous consent of the provincial minister, the custos may convoke an extraordinary chapter. It is appropriate that the provincial minister should also preside, and he has active voice.
|Current text (133,14; 139,3) with changes
9. The Chapter of the custody shall prepare its own procedures and the statute of the custody, both of which must be approved by the provincial minister with the consent of his Council. The subjects that are to be dealt with in the Chapter of the custody should be agreed between the provincial minister and the custos, after consultation with the respective Councils (6).
|133,12. Viceprovinciali absente vel impedito, eius vices gerit primus consiliarius vel consiliarius sequens in ordine electionis, si primus sit impeditus.||133,12. Should the vice provincial be absent or impeded, the first councilor or, if he is impeded, the next councilor in Order of election takes his place.||Current text(133,12; 138,1) with changes and additions
10. Should the custos be absent or impeded, the first councillor, or after him the next councillor in order of election, takes his place. The provincial minister must confer the appropriate delegations on the councillor who temporarily assumes the office of custos, or, if he can, the custos does so if he has the faculty to sub-delegate (7).
|133,13. Vacante autem quacumque de causa officio viceprovincalis vel consiliarii res deferatur ad ministrum provincialem vel generalem, qui per analogiam cum numero 129 procedant.||133,13. Should the office of viceprovincial or councilor be vacant for whatever reason, the matter is be referred to the provincial or general minister who shall proceed as prescribed in number 129.||Current text (133,13; 138,2) with changes
11. If the office of councillor is vacant for whatever reason, the matter is be referred to the provincial minister, who shall proceed as prescribed in number 136,5.
|133,14. In statuto a Capitulo viceprovinciali elaborato et a ministro provinciali vel generali approbato, alia regiminis negotia describantur. Quod statutum, inter alia, determinet vocales Capituli ad negotia varia tractanda, necnon negotia ipsa solum permissu ministri provincialis vel generalis agenda.||133,14. In the statutes drawn up by the vice-provincial chapter and approved by the general or provincial minister, other matters concerning government shall be treated. These statutes may determine, among other things, the vocals of a chapter to take charge of various matters as well as those matters that can be dealt with only with the permission of the provincial or general minister|
|Current text (137,4; cf. Const. 133,5-7) with changes
12. With permission from the General Minister, the provincial minister with the consent of his council may, for grave reasons, appoint a custos and his councillors, after having obtained a written consultative vote of the brothers of the custody. However, this cannot be done on two consecutive occasions.
(1) The general custody replaces the general vice-province. The reference to particular circumstances, which may vary greatly in kind, suggests it is advisable to provide general custodies with their own statute. By analogy, all the regulations that apply to a custody dependent on a province are also applied to a general custody.
(2) Competence is reserved to the provincial minister with his Council. The number of councillors should be proportional to the number of brothers and to actual needs, but it can never be less than two.
(3) The option that the outgoing custos should not have passive voice in the election of councillors is proposed in the light of some unfortunate experiences: to elect an outgoing custos as councillor brings more difficulties than advantages.
(4) Some of the norms in nos. 133, 5-7 of the current Constitutions are no longer needed, in view of the new proposals regarding universal suffrage and with delegates; the case of elections outside a chapter is included among the grave reasons mentioned in PdR2, n. 138,12, and follows the proposed rules.
(5) There can be more delegations to be conferred than are mentioned in the current Constitutions (nos. 19 and 36), and with all the more reason now, since – according to the Proposed Revision– a custody comprises circumscriptions which even today are vary diverse, and for them it is reasonable to envisage a diverse range of delegations. It also seems appropriate not to specify the exact moment for conferring these delegations.
(6) It is difficult for a statute to foresee which problems can be dealt with only with the permission of the provincial or general minister (Const. 113,14). It is more practical and reasonable that the provincial minister and the custos should agree among themselves about the matters to be dealt with in the chapter of the custody, having consulted their respective Councils.
(7) In this case the law does not grant the necessary delegations automatically, but the councillor receives them from the provincial or from the custos.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|134,1. Viceprovincialis minimum quater in anno consiliarios suos convocet eorumque consilio vel consensu toties indiget quoties, ad normam Constitutionum, minister provincialis consilio vel consensu indiget sui definitorii.||134,1. The vice provincial is to meet with his councillors at least four times a year. He needs their counsel or consent in the same cases that, according to the Constitutions, the provincial minister needs the counsel or consent of his definitory.||Current text (134,1; 139,1-2) with changes
1. The custos is to meet with his councillors at least four times a year. He needs their counsel or consent in the same cases where, according to the Constitutions, the provincial minister needs the counsel or consent of his Council.
|134,2. Innovationes tamen, quae onera gravioris momenti sive provinciae sive viceprovinciae afferunt, ministro provinciali vel generali proponat.||134,2. Let him propose to the provincial or general minister innovations that involve burdens of greater moment for the province or vice-province.||Current text (134,2) with changes and additions
2. He should propose to the provincial minister any initiatives that involve considerable burdens for the custody. In all cases involving the opening of new houses, changes in the use of existing houses or the transfer of formation houses, he must request the consent of the provincial minister and his Council.
(1) The proposed addition makes the current text more specific, by mentioning some areas where the nature of the case requires that the lower authority should not act autonomously.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|136, 5. Custodiae autem censentur adscripti omnes qui litteras oboedientiales ad opus missionale a ministro generali receperunt, etiamsi ad tempus, et, praeterea, omnes fratres aggregati custodiae per professionem, quamvis alibi morentur ratione formationis vel alia causa.||136,5. All those are considered members of a custody who have received letters of obedience for missionary work from the general minister, even if temporarily, as well as, all brothers affiliated to a custody by profession, even if they live elsewhere for formation or some other reason.||Current text (136,5) with changes and additions
1. All those brothers belong to the custody who were incorporated into it, or who have been sent there for a specified time by the competent authority, and the brothers who made profession in it, even if they live elsewhere for the purpose of formation or some other reason (1).
|132,2. Eo ipso in viceprovinciis sedulo curandum est de vocationibus incolarum, ad quem finem vita et actuositas pastoralis fovendae sunt variis regionis condicionibus recte accommodatae.||132,2. For this reason care must be taken in the vice-provinces for the vocations of inhabitants of the place. To this end that life and pastoral activity must be properly fostered which are adapted to the conditions of the region.||Current text (132,2) reworked
2. In the exercise of the apostolate let the custody pay constant attention to the care of vocations. For this, together with the testimony of a coherent lifestyle, it should develop pastoral activities that are attentive to the real requirements of the people and the varying needs of the region.
|132,3. Provincia, pro sua possibilitate, in viceprovinciam sibi commissam tot mittat religiosos quot necessitates viceprovinciae requirunt.||132,3. Let a province send, as far as possible, as many religious to a vice-province committed to it as the needs of the vice-province require.||Current text (132, 3) with additions
3. The province should send to a custody committed to it as many religious as the needs of the custody require, according to its possibilities. It should also foster expressions of effective mutual collaboration and service among the brothers of different circumscriptions. (2).
|132,4. In seligendis religiosis mittendis vel revocandis, superiores, audito viceprovinciali eiusque Consilio, rationem habeant de peculiaribus qualitatibus fratrum relate ad conditionem locorum, institutionem iuvenum et apostolatum in viceprovincia exercendum.||132,4. In selecting religious to be sent or recalled, the superiors, after listening to the vice provincial and his council, should consider the specific qualifications of the brothers in relation to local conditions, the formation of the young and the apostolate exercised in the viceprovince.||Current text (132,4) with changes and additions
4. In selecting religious to be sent or recalled, the provincial minister, after consulting the custos and his council, should take into account the specific qualifications of the brothers in relation to local conditions, the formation of the young and the apostolate exercised in the custody. Similarly, the custos should also act in harmony with the superiors (3).
|132,5. Viceprovincialis, consentiente Consilio, ratione habita necessitatum et cum consensu ministri provincialis vel generalis, opportunas conventiones cum aliis provinciis vel Conferentiis superiorum maiorum inire potest, quae conventiones confirmationi ministri generalis et provincialis subicientur.||132,5. The vice provincial, with the consent of the council, considering the needs of the vice province and with the consent of the provincial and general ministers, may enter into appropriate agreements with other provinces or Conferences of Major Superiors. These agreements are to be submitted to the provincial and general minister for ratification.||Current text (132,5) with changes and additions
5. The custos, after consulting his council, taking the needs into account, and with the consent of the provincial minister, may enter into appropriate agreements with other provinces or Conferences of Major Superiors. These agreements are to be submitted to the provincial minister and, if the case requires, to the General Minister for ratification
(1) The proposed text refers to what is at present in force in n. 136, 5, but no longer mentioning – for obvious reasons – brothers who have received a missionary obedience from the General Minister. As for the brothers who were incorporated into it [the Custody] definitively or temporarily, by the competent authority, the regulations prescribed in 8/3 of the Complementary Code should be followed (cf. Current text [Ord. 8/2.1]).
(2) The current text is enriched by a reference to collaboration and solidarity of personnel.
(3) The new formulation makes the current text a little more precise and completes it by reminding the custos that when inviting brothers from the province, or sending them home, or when sending brothers from the custody, he should work in harmony with the provincial minister.
In order to give a complete overview of the material contained in the Complementary Code, we insert here the provisions of the Ordinances regarding delegations, with some additions and specifications.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
Delegatio est quaedam Ordinis structura ad tempus, quae quodam coetu fratrum et fraternitatibus localibus constat, et alicui provinciae committitur. Illius est vitam fraternam tutari in area geographica ubi adhuc desunt elementa necessaria ad constituendam custodiam et/vel viceprovinciam, aut ubi aliae circumscriptiones Ordinis erigi nequeunt.
|(cf Ord. 8/17,1)
1. A delegation is a temporary structure of the Order, consisting of a group of brothers and some local fraternities, dependent upon a province. Its purpose is to preserve fraternal life in a geographical area which does not yet have the necessar elements to become a custody or vice-province, in a place where no other circumscriptions of the Order are established.
Current text (Ord. 8/17.1) with changes
1. A delegation is a structure of the Order that is transitory in nature. It is made up of a group of friars gathered in local fraternities, and entrusted to a province. Its purpose is to ensure fraternal life in geographical areas that lack the prerequisites for establishing a circumscription.
Ad delegationes quod attinet, sequentia serventur criteria:
2. With regard to delegations, the following criteria should be observed:
Ministri generalis est, de consensu definitorii, servatis praescriptis numeri 111,1 Constitutionum, delegationes erigere, earum naturam iuridicam mutare vel cessationem decidere.
The authority to establish a delegation, change its juridical character or suppress it rests with the General Minister with the consent of the definitory, observing the norms of n. 111, 1 of the Constitutions.
|Current text (Ord 8/17.2a)
2. The General Minister, with the consent of his Council, having consulted the Conferences of Major Superiors concerned, may establish, modify and suppress a delegation.
Quidquid in hac Ordinatione non praevidetur, temperatur statutis a competenti ministro provinciali de definitorii consensu approbatis.
Anything not covered by these Ordinances is to be regulated by a statute approved by the Provincial Minister with the consent of the definitory.
|Current text (Ord. 8/17.2f)
3. A delegation has its own Statute, approved by the provincial minister with the consent of his council.
Cuilibet delegationi praeficitur frater responsabilis, a ministro provinciali delegatus, cui duo adsint consiliarii.
A brother delegated by the provincial minister shall be placed in charge of each delegation, and he shall be assisted by two councillors.
|Current text (Ord. 8/17.2b) with additions
4. A brother delegated by the provincial minister shall be placed in charge of each delegation, and he shall be assisted by two councillors. It is his duty to represent the delegation, in the name of the provincial minister, in dealings with the local ecclesiastical and civil authorities, as far as this is possible.
Delegatus una cum suis consiliariis ad triennium nominatur a ministro provinciali, de consensu definitorii, audita sententia fratrum perpetuo professorum delegationis.
The Provincial Minister, with the consent of the definitory, after having consulted the perpetually professed friars of the delegation, appoints the delegate together with his councilors for a three-year term.
|Current text (Ord. 8/17.2c) with changes and additions
5. The delegate and the two councillors are appointed by the Provincial Minister in accordance with the statute with the consent of his council, after previous consultation with the perpetually professed friars of the delegation. However, the delegate may not be reappointed for a longer time than in the case of a local superior.
Delegato, quamvis Superior maior non sit, quaedam tribuantur facultates seu capacitates iuridicae ut regimen practicum, pastorale et administrativum expeditius reddatur et quaedam promoveatur autonomia internae functionis coetus, praesertim intuitu implantationis Ordinis.
Even though he is not a major superior, various faculties or powers should be given to the delegate in order to facilitate practical, pastoral and administrative governance, and in order to encourage a certain amount of autonomy of action in the group, especially with a view to the implantation of the Order.
|Current text (Ord. 8/17.2d) with changes and additions
6. The delegate, who is not a major superior, is to receive from the provincial minister, in writing, the necessary delegations to facilitate practical, pastoral and administrative governance, and in order to encourage a certain amount of autonomy of action in the group, especially with a view to service to the local Church and the implantation of the Order.
Fratres delegationis iisdem fruuntur iuribus et officiis relativae provinciae.
The brothers of the delegation retain all the rights and duties of their respective province.
|Current text (Ord. 8/17.2e)
7. The brothers of the delegation retain all the rights and duties of their respective province.
|Current text (Decision by the General Definitory, 21-6-2004)
8. Brothers of another circumscription who are serving in the delegation exercise their voting rights in their own circumscription.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|140,1. In Capitulo provinciali, aut postea tempore opportuno, a ministro provinciali de consensu definitorii, auditis in quantum fieri potest fratribus, fraternitates locales constituantur et superiores locales, iuxta numerum
115,3 nominentur, attento animo cum ad formam vitae nostrae servandam, tum ad consortium fraternum fovendum necnon ad peculiaria servitia in singulis domibus praestanda.
|140,1. At the provincial chapter, or afterwards at an appropriate time, the provincial minister with the consent of his definitory shall form the local fraternities and appoint local superiors according to number
115,3, after consulting the brothers as much as possible and paying attention to preserving the form of our life, to fostering fraternal relationships, as well as to the special services to be done in individual houses.
|Current text (140,1) with changes
1. After the provincial chapter (1), at an appropriate time, the provincial minister with the consent of the Council, having consulted the brothers as far as possible, shall form the local fraternities and appoint a guardian and vicar in each. The brothers whom it is intended to appoint to these offices should be consulted in advance (2)
|140,2. Eodem modo, circumstantiis specialibus consideratis, constituantur fraternitates earumque superiores in viceprovinciis et custodiis.||140,2. The fraternities and their superiors in vice-provinces and custodies are to be established in the same way, keeping in mind their special circumstances.||Current text (140,2) with changes
2. The fraternities and the corresponding guardians and vicars in the custodies are to be established in the same way, keeping in mind their special circumstances.
|140,3. Superiores locales a ministro provinciali de consensu definitorii constituuntur ad triennium; sed nominari poterunt ad secundum vel, in casu manifestae necessitatis, ad tertium triennium, et quidem, si adsint iustae causae, etiam in eadem domo.||140,3. Local superiors are appointed by the provincial minister with the consent of the definitory for a three-year term. They may be appointed for a second or, in case of manifest necessity, a third three-year term, even in the same house if there are just reasons.||Current text (140.3) with changes
3. The guardian is appointed for one term. He may be appointed for a second or, in case of manifest necessity, a third consecutive term even in the same house if there are just reasons.
Current text (140.3) with changes
The term of office of a guardian and a vicar lasts for three years.
|140,4. Et qui superioris localis munere sex vel in casu necessitatis novem annos continuos sunt functi, ab eo minimum uno anno vacent.||140,4. Those who have exercised the office of local superior for six or, in case of necessity, for nine consecutive years shall remain free from such a responsibility for at least one year.||Current text (140,4) with changes
4. A brother who has been guardian for the maximum time allowed shall remain free of that office for at least one year.
|Current text (Ord. 8/18) with changes
5. In order that they might be true animators of their fraternities, guardians should not accept work that entails long or frequent absences from the house (3).
(1) The opening words of the § have been changed, because it is anachronistic to imagine that the new fraternities can be formed during the Chapter; this now always happens after the chapter is concluded.
(2) The obligation to consult before conferring an office is made explicit. Cf. CIC, can 625,3; Const 115,3; PdR 123,3. We propose to delete the second part of n. 140, 1, because it is very similar to n. 88, 2 of the Constitutions: “When forming fraternities in our own or in rented dwellings, ministers should consider the personalities of the brothers and the requirements of the fraternal life and the apostolate, and so help the brothers to work together”. (Cf. PdR n. 95,1: “In establishing fraternities, the different personalities of the brothers and the necessities of life and the apostolate should be taken into account”.
(3) The value of this recommendation is anything but negligible, because it is connected to the role of the guardian as animator and guide of the fraternity. For this reason the Commission thinks it appropriate to transfer it from the Ordinances to the Constitutions.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|141,1. In quavis fraternitate a ministro provinciali de consensu definitorii nominatur vicarius, cuius est superiori in communitate regenda adsistere qua consiliarius et, eo absente aut impedito vel officio vacante, fraternitatem moderari.||141,1. In each fraternity a vicar is to be appointed by the provincial minister with the consent of the definitory. He has the responsibility of assisting the superior as a councillor in governing the community and of governing the fraternity himself when [the superior] is absent or prevented or his office becomes vacant.||Current text (141,1) with changes and suppressions (cf. 143.1)
1. The vicar has the responsibility of assisting the guardian as a councillor in governing the community, and of governing the fraternity himself when the guardian is absent or prevented, or if his office becomes vacant.
|141,2. In omni domo cum sex minimum fratribus, praeter vicarium, qui ex iure primus consiliarius est, ab omnibus fratribus perpetuae professionis unus vel duo consiliarii eligantur, quorum munus est superiorem localem in rebus spiritualibus et materialibus consilio adiuvare.||141,2. In every house with at least six brothers, in addition to the vicar, who is the first councillor by law, let one or two councillors be elected by all the perpetually professed brothers. Their responsibility is to advise the local superior in spiritual and material matters.||Current text (141,2) with changes and additions
2. In every house with at least six brothers, in addition to the vicar, who is the first councillor by law, the local chapter is to elect a councillor from among the perpetually professed brothers. In houses with more than ten brothers, the chapter itself decides how many councillors to elect (1). The councillor’s task is to advise the guardian in spiritual and material matters.
|141,3. In casibus autem maioris momenti, secundum Constitutiones et statuta regionalia vel provincialia, consiliarii vocem deliberativam habent.||141,3. In matters of greater importance, the councilors have a deliberative vote according to the Constitutions and regional and provincial statutes.||Current text (141,3) with changes
3. In matters of greater importance, according to the Constitutions and the proper statutes of each circumscription, the consent of the Council is required (2).
|141,4. Absentibus vel impeditis guardiano et vicario, fraternitati praeest ille frater qui in normis a Capitulo provinciali statutis determinatur.||141,4. When the guardian and vicar are absent or impeded, the brother designated by the norms of the provincial chapter presides over the fraternity.||Current text (141,4)
4. When the guardian and vicar are absent or impeded, the brother designated by the norms of the provincial chapter presides over the fraternity.
|141,5. Vacante officio superioris localis ultra sex menses ante Capitulum provinciale, a ministro provinciali de consensu definitorii alius nominetur superior; si vero officium vacaverit citra sex menses ante Capitulum provinciale, fraternitatem moderetur vicarius.||141,5. If the office of the local superior becomes vacant more than six months before a provincial chapter, another shall be appointed by the provincial minister with the consent of the definitory. Should the office be vacated within six months of the provincial chapter, the vicar governs the fraternity.||Current text (141,5) with changes
5. If the office of the local superior becomes vacant more than six months before the natural end of the term of office, the provincial minister, with the consent of the council, shall appoint another superior. Should the office be vacated within six months of the natural end of the term of office, the vicar governs the fraternity. (3)
(1) The text determines when other councillors can be elected.
(2) This expresses the situation more precisely: the superior is the one who decides; the councillors do not deliberate but, depending on the case, they give their opinion or their consent.
(3) Current text modified to avoid confusion about the date on which the term expires.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions||Complementary Code|
|142,1. Capitulum locale ex omnibus fratribus professis constat.||142,1. The local chapter consists of all the professed brothers.||Current text (142,1)
1. The local chapter consists of all the professed brothers.
|142,2. Capituli localis est, sub directione guardiani, spiritum fraternum confirmare, conscientiam omnium fratrum pro bono communi promovere, dialogum circa omnia quae vitam fraternam respiciunt instituere, praesertim cum agatur de oratione fovenda, paupertate servanda et formatione fraterne promovenda, ut voluntas Dei insimul quaeratur.||142,2. It is the responsibility of the local chapter, under the guidance of the guardian, to strengthen the fraternal spirit, promote an awareness of the common good among all the brothers, establish a dialogue concerning everything that regards fraternal life, especially when it touches on fostering prayer, preserving poverty, and promoting fraternal formation so that the will of God may be sought together.||Current text (142,2) with changes
2. It is the responsibility of the local chapter, under the guidance of the guardian, to strengthen the fraternal spirit, promote an awareness of the common good among all the brothers, establish a dialogue about every aspect of fraternal life, especially with regard to fostering prayer, preserving poverty, promoting ongoing formation and supporting apostolic activity, in a common search for the will of God (1).
|142,3. Capitulum locale saepe celebretur in anno, ipsumque superiores maiores efficaciter promoveant et etiam aliquando propria praesentia animent.||142,3. The local chapter is to be celebrated frequently in the course of the year and the major superiors should effectively promote and animate it at times by their own presence.||Current text (142,3)
3. The local chapter is to be held frequently in the course of the year and the major superiors should effectively promote it, occasionally animating it by their own presence.
|142,4. Superiores aptis mediis fratres de negotiis in Capitulo tractandis non solum edoceant, sed etiam consulant.||142,4. Let the superiors not only inform but also consult the brothers by suitable means about matters that should be treated in a chapter.||8/27
Current text (Const 142,4) with changes
1. Let the guardians not only inform but also consult the brothers by suitable means about matters that should be treated in a chapter.
|142,5. Suffragia lata in Capitulo locali sunt consultiva, nisi iure universali aut proprio aliter statuatur.||142,5. The votations of a local chapter are consultative unless universal or particular law determines otherwise.||Current text (Const 142,5) with changes
4. Voting in a local chapter is consultative unless universal or particular law determines otherwise.
|142,6. Electiones perficere et suffragium ferre de fratribus ad professionem admittendis ad normam Constitutionum pertinet ad solos fratres perpetuae professionis.||142,6. Only perpetually professed brothers have the right to carry out elections and to vote regarding the admittance of brothers to profession according to the norms of the Constitution.||Current text (Const 142,6) with additions and changes
5. Only perpetually professed brothers have the right to participate in elections and to vote on the admittance of brothers to profession, in accordance with the norms of the Constitutions. However, in the election of local councillors the brothers in temporary vows also have active voice (2)
(1) A new formulation of the tasks of the local chapter.
(2) In PdR1 this text had been moved to the Complementary Code. The Commission reconsidered this move and now (PdR2) the text is reinserted into the Constitutions, where all the prescriptions regarding the local fraternity’s decision-makking role are to be found. Note that the text coincides with the current one, with the addition of another sentence giving active voice also to temporarily professed brothers in the election of local councillors.
- This whole number was summarised and reformulated in PdR1, on the basis that it was sufficient to retain a mention of archives in the Constitutions, while the regulations would be better placed in the Complementary Code. Now PdR2 presents a different formulation, both of constitutional texts and those that could go in the Complementary Code. In particular, the latter has been redrafted to make it clearer and more precise; there are ecclesiastical laws and other Church regulations that apply to archives. Then, the mention of the requirements of archival sciences refers to all that pertains to the structures, preservation and administration of archives. Finally, particular attention is drawn to a requirement that is already present in the current text (cf. Const n. 143,2), namely an inventory of documents contained in the archive. The requirement for confidentiality and secrecy of the archives must also be underlined: not only does the new text state, as the current text does, that the documents in the archive are to be kept “under secrecy”, but also that the archive is accessible only with the permission of the competent superior. The norm is a general one, and applies both to friars and to those who are not members of the Order. In addition, the Complementary Code mentions a private archive (secret archive) in the residences of the major superiors.
(2) This part of the current text (n. 143, 1), which in itself does not refer to archives, but to the logbook or chronicle, had been deleted in PdR1. Now, following an explicit request [Prot. N.: VIII-00007] it has been restored, and in the Complementary Code there is an additional recommendation that the custom of keeping the chronicle should be preserved in all our fraternities.
|Current text||Proposed revised Text|
|Constitutiones (2002)||Constitutions (1990)||Constitutions|
|New text (1)
1. Brothers, let us recognise that the Order’s structures of governance ad its institutions are also expressions of our life and vocation, and accompany our Fraternity on its journey through history.
2. Although subject to the limitations of every human institution, they help us to develop a sense of belonging to our Family, and enhance its life and mission.
3. Let us welcome them, therefore, in a spirit of faith and with simplicity as a concrete possibility of personal growth and mutual help, in all things seeking the common good, to serve the Church and the kingdom of God.
1) As it did for chapter III, so also for this chapter VIII the Commission came up with the idea of adding a special number, its purpose being to round off the entire treatment of the governance of the Order. The need for this is in part justified by the specific nature of chapter VIII, which because of its subject-matter is somewhat untypical of the other chapters, where juridical norms and their underlying theological and spiritual sources are blended together. In the Commission’s view, the text that is being proposed should be associated with the prologue of chapter VIII: the intention behind this is to establish a link bwetween the intial number of the chapter (118) and the last (145), to assist in interpreting correctly and in giving due weight to the norms on governance which the Order provides for itself in order to respond to its proper vocation in the Church in the service of God’s kingdom. The closing number is in three paragraphs, which recall that the governance structures of the Order, while subject to the limuitations of any temporal institution, are not only necessary but are also an expression of our life and vocation, promote the development of a sense of belonging to our Family, have pedagogical value for the brothers’ growth in personal maturity and offer us actual possibilities for mutual help.
- Cf. General Chapter 2000, Documento della Commissione per lo studio del capitolo VIII delle Constitutions: “The starting point is the decision of the last General Chapter (1994), which translated says: ‘At the opportune time, and with the consent of the Definitory, let the Minister General set up a juridical commission or working group to study Chapter VIII of the Constitutions on the Government of the Order’ (cf. AOFMCap.110  380)” in Atti del 82° Capitolo Generale dell’Ordine dei Frati Minori Cappuccini. Edizione ufficiale, Roma, 2001, p.191. Herein this document will be cited as Document 2000. ↑
- Cf. Commission Minutes, IX Plenary Session (5-17 July 2010), p. 2. ↑
- Document 2000, p.3+; Const. 102,2; 111,1-4. ↑
- The text of PdR1 read: “In order to establish a new province, it is necessary that, taking the local situation into account, the group of brothers and fraternities be such as to express the vitality of our charism, both internally and in its openness to the needs of the Order and the Church. It should give solid grounds for hope that it can responsibly assume the obligations of vocations promotion, formation and the apostolate. It should show a certain possibility of sustaining effectively and with sufficient autonomy the needs of the brothers in their life and activities, including the economic aspect. Particular care should be taken to verify: the brothers’ sense of belonging to the fraternity at its different levels; the possibility of providing leadership in governance and an effective turnover of office-holders; the capacity to take on missionary commitments, and geographical and linguistic unity, as far as possible (PdR – Complementary Code 8/2 = Current text [Const 111,3] with changes and additions). ↑
- Lettera del Procuratore generale (15 ottobre 2010). ↑
- Cf. Lexicon capuccinum 483-484. ↑
- Cf. Lexicon capuccinum 484. ↑
- Cf. Analecta OFMCap 52 (1937) 110-111. ↑
- Cf. Analecta OFMCap 72 (1956) 98-107. ↑
- Cf. Analecta OFMCap 74 (1958) 250-256. ↑
- Cf. Analecta OFMCap 86 (1970) 200-201. ↑
- Cf. Analecta OFMCap 86 (1970) 201. ↑
- Cf. Analecta OFMCap 90 (1974) 349,5. ↑
- Cf. Statutum… (a. 1938), nn. 37-38. ↑
- Cf. Enchiridion Vaticanum 3, 462-473, nn. 801-819. ↑
- The Situation is as follows for the other continents:In North America we have 8 provinces (2 in Canada, 6 in the USA); 1 Vice-Province (Guam); 1 Domus praesentiae (USA).In Oceania we have: 1 Province (Australia); 1 Custody (New Zealand);
In Europe we have: 43 Provinces (22 in Italy, 5 in Spain, 2 in Poland, 1 in Slovakia, 1 in Slovenia, 1 in Holland, 1 in Austria, 1 in Belgium, 1 in Great Britain, 1 in the Czech Republic, 1 in Croatia, 1 in France, 1 in Germany, 1 in Switzerland, 1 in Ireland, 1 in Portugal, 1 in Malta); 2 Vice-Provinces (Belarus, Ukraine); 3 Custodies (Bulgaria, Romania, Sweden); 2 Provincial Delegations (Hungary, Greece); 4 Domus praesentiae (Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia). ↑
- V. De Paolis, La vita consacrata nella Chiesa. Bologna 1991; 202 ↑
- PdR1 said: “A province is the primary unit of the Order, governed by the provincial minister. It has its own consistency, enabling it to sustain effectively and with sufficient autonomy the life and activities of the brothers, in particular with regard to vocations promotion and formation, governance, openness to the needs of the Order and the Church and economic resources” (PdR1, n. 121.6). ↑
- PdR1 said: A custody is a part of the Order in which the brothers, placed at the service of the churches and of their pastors in the work of evangelisation, gradually develop the presence of the consecrated life through their efforts to implant the Order. It is governed by the custos (15), who has vicarious power. (PdR1, n. 121.7) ↑
- PdR1 said: A custody, among whose principal purposes is the implantation of the Order in a particular Church, is a circumscription of the Order entrusted to a province or, because of special circumstances, directly to the General Minister. Custodies that depend on the General Minister have their own statute approved by the same Minister with the consent of his council. The same norms governing custodies dependent on a province are applied to them by analogy (PdR1, n. 140.1). ↑
- PdR1 said: “In particular circumstances the General Minister, with the consent of his council and after consultation with the interested parties, may make different arrangements regarding the exclusivity of the territory, and make provision for other forms of circumscription or groupings of houses, in accordance with these Constitutions and with the Complementary code” PdR1, n. 121.4). ↑
- Cf. Document 2000, Tema IV, 5.5, b. ↑
- Cf. 1Cel 29; FF366; Julian of Speyer, Life of Saint Francis, 19. ↑
- In PdR1 the Conferences of Major Superiors were defined as an intermediary level of governance between the authority of the General Minister and that of the individual major superiors. (PdR1, n. 132, 1). ↑
- Cf. Analecta OFMCap. 104  p. 229. ↑
- Cf. Fr. Iglesias (a cura di), Constitutiones Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum post Concilium Vaticanum II retractatae (a.1968-1988). I. Textus. Romae, Curia generalis OFMCap., 1988; I, 99, notes 5 and 6. ↑
- Cfr. M.-A. Painchaud, Les Constitutions des Freres Mineurs Capucins de 1982. Sources et Notes explicatives. Montreal 1983; 221-223; A. Laita, Ministri provinciali per il XXI secolo ( La figura e il ruolo del Ministro provinciale), n. 6. ↑
- R. M. Grández, Cartas sobre las Constituciones. Burlada 1984; 208. ↑
- Comentario exegético al Código de Derecho Canónico… II/2. Pamplona 1997; 1552. ↑
- V. De Paolis, La vita consacrata nella Chiesa… 200. ↑
- V. De Paolis, La vita consacrata nella Chiesa… 201. ↑
- Cfr. Analecta OFMCap 110 (1994) 383. ↑
- No numbers have been skipped, but from this point onwards the numbering is calculated according to the first alternative proposal, mentioned above in nn. 8/9 and 8/10. The second alternative proposal, as already said, involves the deletion of a norm. ↑
- Analecta OFMCap 86 (1970) 188. The Statute of the General Curia, after the General Chapter had drafted the part that was entrusted to it, was published on January 20. 1971 [cf. Analecta OFMCap 87 (1971) 8-20) and then subsequently revised and republished on October 23, 1993 (cf. Analecta OFMCap 109 (1993) 342-354]. The latest edition of the General Curia Statute goes back to 2003, and its preface states: “In response to the changed circumstances and the experience acquired since then, the General Minister, with the consent of his Council, undertook a revision of the Statute of the General Curia approved on October 23, 1993. The text, carefully drafted in every detail, is now published. Articles 1-18, which concern the constitutional norms of the Order and its governance, approved by the General Chapter of 1970, substantially reproduce the text of the 1971 Statute; in 1993, they were updated with a number of references to the universal law of the Church and to the Order’s own law (cf. Ordinances of the General Chapters, 2002 edition, 8/12 and note 29)”. ↑
- This Statute was approved by the 81st General Chapter in 1994. Cf. Analecta OFMCap 110 (1994) 425.427. ↑