Commissio Constitutionum OFMCap.
To all the brothers in the Order
Mat the Lord give you peace!
During the plenary sessions of 2011 (31 September- 12 February; 4-14 July; 7-26 November), the Commission for the Constitutions examined and carefully considered the evaluations and proposals which had been sent in by the brothers on the individual chapters, and worked out a version of the present text of the Constitutions which was called The Second Proposal of Revision (PdR2) or Outline of our Constitutions for the LXXXIV General Chapter (2012). In fact this will be the text which is presented to the coming General Chapter, which, if it is accepted and in the manner in which it is accepted, could be adopted as the working paper (instrumentum laboris).
Therefore, with respect to the work of the Commission, this text is to be considered as the definitive text, and because of this the rank and file of the Order is not being asked to forward further proposals to the Commission. On the other hand, the text is presented as an Outline of our Constitutions and, as such, it should be considered as provisional, and need to be subjected to examination, evaluation and the decision of the General Chapter.
The text has been brought to the attention of all the brothers in the Order, especially the brothers who are to attend the Chapter. It offers further opportunity to strengthen the Constitutions and to prepare adequately for the General Chapter. If the brothers intent to offer more proposals, they should forward them to their own Minister or Delegate, who, if they think it is proper, can present them to the Chapter according to the norms of the “Regulations for the Celebration of the General Chapter”.
The documentation which is being sent out has the same structure as the “First Proposal of Revision” with respect to the individual chapters and to complete the Constitutions there is an Introduction, summary of the text and the explanatory notes.
The Text is presented in a schematic manner in two or three columns: the first two columns contain the text of the present Constitutions.
– in the first column the text is in Latin according to the last official edition published by the General Curia in 2002;
– in the second column the text is in one’s own language according to the most recent translation available in that language.
The text of the Proposal for revision (PdR2) or Scheme of our Constitutions appears in the third and fourth columns.
– the fourth column contains the text which is proposed for the Constitutions in one’s own language,
– when required the fourth column contains the text proposed for the Supplementary Code in one’s own language.
The Introduction and the Explanatory Notes of the Proposal for Revision (PdR1) have been redeveloped according to what was added during the Plenary Sessions of the Commission that took place in 2011 in the light of the evaluations and proposals that were sent in by the Order. Some notes in PdR1 have been omitted since they are no longer necessary or pertinent. Others have been reworked. Others have been replaced. Finally, new notes have been introduced. It is evident both from the “Introductions” as well as from the “Explanatory Notes” that the Commission took into account the individual proposals that were sent in even if not was not possible to accept them all. Therefore, as far as the Commission was concerned, even the proposals which were not accepted made a contribution to promoting the strength and maturity of the individual parts of the Constitutions (as well as the Complementary Code). In many places in the Explanatory Note reference is made to the evaluations of the brothers and to the alternative texts which they proposed through noting the number assigned to the responses each one sent in. Finally, in certain cases the Explanatory Notes contain debatable matters which indicate the need for further reflection on these matters. This is left to the brothers who will attend the General Chapter.
Frequently the Explanatory Notes indicate the textual differences between the First and Second Proposals for Revision. With regard to this, if the Brother wish to scrutinise or add to comparisons between the versions they may access the web of the General Curia where the First Proposals for revision are available.
May I draw your attention to two notations or abbreviations which are used frequently:
- PdR1 always refers to the First Proposal for Revision that was set out by the Commission between 2008 and 2010
- PdR2 always refers to the Second Proposal for Revision, that is the present document which is also appropriately entitled Scheme of our Constitutions for the LXXXIV General Chapter.
Wherever you see the abbreviation PdR it refers to the Second Porposal for Revision, unless you see that from the context it refers to PdR1.
We beg the pardon of the Brothers for the mistakes that happen in a work that is so extensive, most of all with regard to the many numerical references that can easily be overlooked.
On behalf of the Commission we wish to thank the Brothers who have assisted the work of the Commission on the Constitutions by their evaluations and proposals. We have tried to carry out this work in accord with the wishes of the General Chapter of 2006 and the instruction of the Minister General and his Definitory.
With the wish that the work of the Commission may continue to promote the renewal of the order according to the spirit of our vocation may we say most fervently pace e bene to all the Brothers.
Fr. Felice Cangelosi, OFMCap,
President of the Commission
Fr. Francesco Polliani, OFMCap,
Secretary of the Commission
Rome, 22 February 2012