Comunicato Tempo Forte

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of May 2019

The Tempo Forte of the General Definitory began on Monday 13 May 2019. The members of the Definitory spoke about the activities in which they had been engaged in recent weeks.

The session of Tuesday 14 was entirely devoted to examining questions submitted by the different Entities of the Order for the attention of the Minister General. Scholarships were granted and renewed, and decisions were made regarding the young friars at various stages of initial formation in Entities dependent on the Minister General – in particular in the Notre Dame d’Afrique Foundation in Congo Brazzaville, and in that in South Sudan.

Requests for the appointment of General Visitators were examined, and various dossiers relating to the General Procurator’s Office were discussed, including the following applications for:

  • permission for the donation of friaries (4);
  • information on allegations concerning graviora delicta(6);
  • dispensation from the obligations deriving from the clerical state and solemn vows (5);
  • dispensation from solemn vows (4);
  • secularisation ad experimentum(2);
  • secularisation pure et simpliciter(1);
  • dispensation (1) and sanation (1) regarding bi-ritualism;
  • ipso facto dismissal (1).


The Minister General also granted four applicants readmission to the Order without the obligation of having to repeat the Novitiate, an indult of exclaustration for three years and another for one year, a transfer to another religious institute and a dispensation from temporary vows.

Candidates to serve as Minister Provincial were approved for four Entities that will shortly celebrate their Provincial Chapter.

During the present Tempo Forte, the following General Visitators were elected:

  • Br. Anthony SELVARAJ, for the Custody of St. John the Baptist, in Pakistan;
  • Br. Michael JOHNSON, for the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in the U.S.A.;
  • Br. Paul HASEGAWA JUN, for the Province of the Holy Martyrs of Korea;
  • Br. Franz Leo BARDEN, for the Province of San Leopold, in Austria and Italy;
  • Br. Léo PÁLL, for the Magna Domina Hungarorum Province, in Hungary;
  • Br. Luca POZZI for the Province of Saint Bonaventure, in Italy (Lazio-Abruzzo);
  • Br. Francesco PILONI for the Province of St. Francis Stigmatised, in Italy (Florence);
  • Br. Jeffrey SCHEELER for the Province of St. Paul the Apostle, in Malta;
  • Br. Ernesto CHAMBI CRUZ for the Province of Santa Fe, in Colombia;
  • Br. John WONG for the Province of St. Francis, in Vietnam;
  • Br. Frédéric MANNS for the Studium Biblicum in Hong Kong.


With the help of Br. Witosław SZTYK, president of the Preparatory Commission, the Definitory reviewed the preparations and decided on the final details for the forthcoming Chapter of Mats for Under 10, which will take place in Taizé (France) from 7 to 14 July 2019.

The Manual for Guardians was prepared by the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies and was approved.

Acts of Elections were ratified:

  • in Chapter for the following Custodies:
    • of the Protomartyrs of Morocco, dependent on the Minister General;
    • of St. Anthony of Padua, in the Philippines;


  • in the so-called Intermediate Chapters (election of Definitors), celebrated in the Provinces of:
    • St. Peter Baptist, in the Philippines;
    • Holy Cross, in Slovenia;
    • Sannito-Irpina of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Italy (Benevento);
    • Salernitano Lucana of the Immaculate Conception, in Italy (Baronissi);
    • St. Michael Archangel, in Ukraine;
    • Holy Martyrs of Morocco, in Portugal.


  • In the Chapters in which the entire Government of the Provinces was elected in:
    • Holy VII Martyrs of Calabria, in Italy (Catanzaro);
    • St. Anthony of the Friars Minor, in Italy (Milan);
    • Assumption of BVM, in Italy (Lecce);
    • St. Hedwig, in Poland (Wrocław);
    • Most Holy Redeemer, in Croatia (Split);
    • St. Jerome, in Croatia (Zara);
    • Assumption of BVM, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Mostar);
    • Holy Cross, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo);
    • St. Stephen of Hungary, King, in Romania-Transylvania.


The General Definitory accepted the resignation of Br. Russel MURRAY from his service as General Animator for Evangelisation and in his place appointed Br. Valmir RAMOS, Definitor General, who shared his recent experience of a fraternal visit to the Friars of Venezuela. The Definitory also met with the General Treasurer, Br. John PUODZIUNAS, who presented a financial update and submitted some questions on which the Definitory then took decisions.

From Tuesday 21 to Friday 24 May the General Definitory met with the Presidents of the Conferences and the Custos of the Holy Land. The following took part:

  • Br. Claudio DURIGHETTO (COMPI);
  • Br. Cielito ALMAZAN (EAC);
  • Br. Michel LALOUX (COTAF);
  • Br. Yusuf BAGH (SAAOC);
  • Br. Amaral Bernardo AMARAL (Africana);
  • Br. Bernard MARCINIAK and (in his stead) Br. Teofil CZARNIAK (North-Slavic);
  • Br. Milijenko ŠTEKO (South-Slavic);
  • Br. Inácio DELLAZARI (Brazilian);
  • Br. Daniel FLEITAS ZENI (Cono Sur);
  • Br. Nelson TOVAR ALARCÓN (Bolivarian);
  • Br. Kevin J. MULLEN (ESC);
  • Br. Juan MEDINA PALMA (Our Lady of Guadalupe);
  • Br. Francesco PATTON, Custody of the Holy Land (Conference ad instar).


The conference began with the Eucharistic Concelebration of Tuesday, May 21, at which the Vicar General, Br. Julio César BUNADER presided and was marked by times of intense work as well as by an excellent atmosphere of fraternity and sharing. During the first morning, each President presented three challenges and three main opportunities that his Conference experiences. Secondly, the participants reported the different ways in which the Conferences and Entities accepted and assimilated the 2018 CPO Final Document. For the most part, this document has been widely circulated among the friars and has been studied in depth in different Entities as part of Ongoing Formation and in preparation for Provincial and Custodial Chapters. Interesting ideas emerged from the reflection on this publication for the deepening of several aspects of the process of preparing for the General Chapter of 2021. The discussion and exchange of ideas on possible themes, the methodologies to be adopted and the place where the General Chapter of 2021 could be celebrated took up some of the working sessions both in plenary assembly, and in language groups, and buzz sessions. The General Definitory will certainly treasure the results of this fruitful and productive discussion.

The Presidents were presented with both the new Guardians’ Manual and the aid developed by the Fidelity and Perseverance Commission: Our Vocation – Leaving or Remaining Faithful. They also received reports of the activity of the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies, the General Secretariat for Missions and Evangelisation and of the General Office of Animation for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation.

Ample space was dedicated to an in-depth presentation of the subject of abuse, guided with wisdom and competence by Br. Kevin J. MULLEN. The Order will have to devote more and more attention to this, to deal with this multi-faceted scourge. Everyone agreed on the need to offer training opportunities on how to deal with each case of abuse, and to review the legislative and procedural tools involved in this complex issue.

In the afternoon of Thursday 23 May Br. John PUODZIUNAS presented a very clear Reporton the economic and fiscal management of the structures and bodies belonging to the General Curia over the last four years. Among the numerous aspects highlighted, the presidents particularly appreciated the transparency adopted and the motivational structure that must guide both the administration of the assets that Providence gives us as well as the related reporting. The contribution that the Commissio Internationalis de Re Œconomica(CIRE) has provided over the years together with the suggestions proposed by the Presidents will lead to further improvements and some proposals for the 2021 General Chapter.

On Friday, 24 May, after a final opportunity to review the meeting, the Minister General, Br. Michael A. Perry presided over the concluding Eucharist.

In the afternoon, the General Definitory met for a final working session where they dealt with various dossiers and examined the many ideas that emerged from the meeting with the Conference Presidents and the Custos of the Holy Land.

The next Tempo Forte will take place from 16 to 26 July, immediately after the conclusion of the Chapter of Mats for Under 10 – Taizé 2019.

To the praise of Christ and the Poverello of Assisi. Amen!


Rome, 30 May 2019


Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General