Comunicato Tempo Forte

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of November 2020

Ten meetings of the General Definitory took place from 26 October to 17 November 2020.

The preparation for the 2021 General Chapter is moving ahead swiftly, thanks to the work of the Preparatory Commission which prepared the draft Agenda and the Rules of Procedure. Br Sergio GALDI D’ARAGONA met several times with the Minister and the General Definitory.

During this Tempo Forte, the Definitory met:

  • the General Secretary for Missions and Evangelization, Br Alonso MORALES DUQUE, to review various missionary projects and activities of the Order;
  • Br Cesare VAIANI and Br Siniša BALAJIĆ, of the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies, who shared their work and future plans in the field of formation;
  • the General Treasurer, Br John PUODZIUNAS, presented the 2021 Budget of the General Curia, which is now being examined by the General Definitory. He also submitted other economic-financial questions to the attention of the General Government;
  • the new Director of the Development Office, Br Siniša BALAJIĆ, for an update on the new procedure for project development. The Development Office will no longer deal directly with fundraising activities, which has been entrusted to the “OFM Fraternitas Foundation”.


The acts of the elections that took place during the Provincial Chapter of the Provinces of the Holy Martyrs of Korea and of Saints Francis and James, in Mexico, and those that took place during the Capitular Congress of eight Provinces, were ratified. The Councils of the Custody in Albania and of the Foundation in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), both dependent on the Minister General, were elected. The Candidates for the Service of Minister Provincial for the Province of the Holy Faith in Colombia were approved.

Two European Provinces were granted a derogation from the provisions of Art. 166 §1 of the General Statutes, so that they may postpone the date of their respective Provincial Chapters by more than three months.

The acts of the extra-capitular elections of 22 Guardians and 1 Custodial Councillor were ratified, and eleven religious houses in various entities of the Order were declared suppressed.

Amendments to the particular Statutes of the Saint Francis Foundation, in Russia, dependent on the Minister General, were also ratified as well as of the Provinces of:

  • Queen of Peace, in South Africa;
  • Holy Cross, in Brazil;
  • Saint Paul the Apostle, in Malta;
  • Saint Casimir, in Lithuania.


The special Statutes of the General Treasurer’s Office were carefully examined.

The following cases of departure from the Order were dealt with:

  • Indult of exclaustration for one year: 1
  • Indult of exclaustration for three years: 6
  • Dispensation from temporary vows: 1
  • Dispensation from solemn vows: 6
  • Secularisation pure et simpliciter: 1
  • Secularisation ad experimentum: 5
  • Dispensation from the obligations of priestly ordination: 15
  • Dismissal from the Order: 8, of which four were for graviora delicta.


Information concerning seven cases of friars accused of crimes contra sextum has been forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

General Visitators were elected:

  • Br Manuel VIERA, for Saint Barbara Province, in the USA;
  • Br Wanderley GOMES DE FIGUEIREDO, for the Custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Brazil;
  • Br Andreas BRANDS, for the Province of Blessed John Duns Scotus in France and Belgium;
  • Br Hugh McKENNA, for the Province of St Casimir in Lithuania;
  • Br Juri LEONI, for the Scotist Commission, in Rome.


The Definitory examined the Reports at the conclusion of the Canonical Visitation for the Italian Provinces of:

  • Saint Francis of Assisi (Assisi)
  • Saint James of the Marches (Jesi)
  • Saint Bonaventure (Lazio-Abruzzo)
  • Saint Francis Stigmatized (Florence)


The draft document that the Minister intends to offer to the Order as a handbook of guidelines for Franciscan missionary evangelization was also discussed.

The next ordinary session of Tempo Forte will be held from 18 to 29 January 2021.

To the praise of Christ and the Poor Man of Assisi. Amen!


Rome, 21 November 2020


Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General