Comunicato Tempo Forte

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of November 2018

The Tempo Forte of the General Definitory began on Monday 5thNovember 2018. The Minister General, Vicar General, and each of the General Definitors spoke about the activities in which they had been engaged since the conclusion of the previous Tempo Forte (September 10thto 21st, 2018).

Subsequently, the General Definitory elected Br. Francisco Javier VERGARA GAINZA as Visitator General for the Custody of the Franciscan Martyrs, in Morocco.

In the afternoon session, several dossiers were studied and discussed, including the approval of amendments to the particular Statutes presented by the Provinces of Saint James of the Marches, in Italy, of the Twelve Apostles, in Peru, of Saint Francis Solanus, in Argentina, and of Saint Michael the Archangel, in Ukraine, as well as from the Custody of the Annunciation of the BVM, in Albania, dependent on the Minister General.

Extra-Capitular elections in a few Entities of the Order were ratified and some scholarships were granted.

On Tuesday, November 6th, the General Definitory decided the dates for the next meeting with the Conference Presidents, which will be held in the General Curia from May 21stto 24th, 2019 (the official communication of the agenda will be sent to those concerned). They also addressed some issues related to missionary projects directly dependent on the Minister General and the necessary personnel.

On Wednesday November 7th, the General Definitory dedicated the entire working session to listening to updates provided by the General Bursar, Br. John PUODZIUNAS, by the Secretary and the Vice Secretary General for Formation and Studies, Br. Cesare VAIANI and Br. Siniša BALJIC, and the General Animator of the Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, Br. Jaime Andrés CAMPOS FONSECA.

On Thursday November 8th, in the morning, the Minister and some General Definitors took part in the Blessed John Duns Scotus Conference at the Pontifical Antonianum University. The Definitory met in the afternoon and dealt with the following requests: financial support, the return of some friars under the obedience of their provincial minister, transfer to our Order, as well as some cases under the jurisdiction of the General Procurator to be discussed with the Vatican Congregations. After some updates about upcoming events that will involve the Minister and the Definitory General, the Definitory addressed the complex question of the possibility of improving the General Curia Database.

On Friday November 9th, a draft programme was presented for the Chapter of Mats of the friars living in the Houses of Rome dependent on the Minister General, to be held on November 15thto 16th, 2019 (the Guardians, members of the Preparatory Commission, will duly inform their own Fraternities). At 10.00 am, Br. Witosƚaw Styk, Rector of the Blessed Gabriele M. Allegra Fraternity at the CISA in Rome, and Coordinator of the Commission organizing the Chapter of Mats for the Friars Under 10 to be held in Taizé from July 7thto 14th, 2019 was welcomed. Br. Witosƚaw presented the progress of the work already carried out by the Preparatory Commission and plans for what still remains to be done in anticipation of the event.

In the session of Saturday, November 10th, the General Definitory dealt with some questions concerning the Entities of the Order and the personnel of some of the offices of the General Curia. In addition, it defined and approved legislation for the management of sensitive personal data, in conformity with the relevant provisions issued at European level.

From Monday 13th to Friday 17th November, the Minister and General Definitory met 21 General Visitators, sharing with them a time of formation for the service they generously accepted to carry out in the name of the Minister General. It also included times of fraternity, of prayer, and of sharing the fruits of the Plenary Council of the Order 2018, as well as the perspectives and challenges that all of us Friars Minor are called to face.

The Definitory elected as General Animator for the Missions Br. Alonso MORALES DUQUE, of the Province of St. Paul the Apostle, in Colombia in place of Br. Luis Arcesio GALLARDO LOJA, who presented his resignation from his service at the General Secretariat for Missions and Evangelization. Sincere gratitude was expressed to Br. Luis for the dedication he showed during his time of service and warmest good wishes to Br. Alonso for the important task that awaits him.

On Thursday 16th November, the General Definitory met again to discuss some cases concerning both individual friars and some of the Entities of the Order.

With the sense of sadness that always characterizes such cases, the following were examined during the Tempo Forte:

  • information about delicta graviora(3);
  • dismissal from the Order (2);
  • dispensation from celibacy and from the obligations of the clerical state (5);
  • secularisation pure et simpliciter(2);
  • secularisation ad experimentum(1);
  • dispensation from solemn vows (2);
  • exclaustration for a year (2);
  • dispensation from temporary vows (2).


The General Definitory also ratified the Capitular elections of the Definitory of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, in Brazil, and of the Council of the Custody of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Brazil.

The General Definitory decided that the next Tempo Forte, to be held in December, will be dedicated primarily to a review of the activities carried out during 2018, which is drawing to a close. In addition, a one-day meeting will be held with the Definitors of the Friars Minor Conventuals and the Friars Minor Capuchin. In the same week, there will be an opportunity for sharing good wishes for Christmas with confreres, Poor Clares and collaborators in the General Curia.

We therefore inform you that the next Tempo Forte for submitting requests and documentation from the Entities of the Order to the General Definitory will take place from 7thto 18thJanuary 2019.

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

Rome, 20thNovember 2018


Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General