COMMUNIQUE FROM THE GENERAL DEFINITORY – MARCH 2022 TEMPO FORTE

The Tempo Forte sessions were held from 7 to 17 March 2022. Br Vjekoslav MILIĆEVIĆ was entrusted with introducing the work with a meditation in the context of a special Eucharistic celebration of prayer for peace, which is unfortunately trampled by several conflicts in many countries of the world, including Ukraine.
During this Tempo Forte, the General Definitory met with all the officials of the Curia for what has now become a fixed appointment for exchange and discussion to increase collaboration. One working session was devoted to a meeting with Br Francisco GÒMEZ VARGAS, Secretary General for Missions and Evangelisation, Br Darko TEPERT, Secretary General for Formation and Studies, and Br Jaime Andrés CAMPOS FONSECA, Animator of the JPIC Office, who recently went to Colombia to visit the Friars and to meet the Ministers and those responsible for the various sectors of the Bolivarian Conference.
On Wednesday, 9 March, the Procurator General, Br Claudio DURIGHETTO, presented the changes introduced in the Code of Canon Law to the General Definitory. On Monday, 14 March, the General Bursar, Br John E. PUODZIUNAS, presented the final balance for the year 2021 to the General Definitory for approval. Other economic and operational issues of the General Bursar’s Office, including the role of the Council for Economic Affairs (CAE) and the International Commission for Economic Affairs (CIRE), were also discussed at this meeting and will be addressed in the next meeting with the Conference Presidents.
The General Minister reported on his recent fraternal visits to the different Entities of the Order, particularly to the Province of the Holy Family, in Egypt. He also informed the General Definitory about the Canonical Visitation conducted with the Friars of the Custody of the Protomartyrs in Morocco, dependent on the Minister himself.
Many other issues were discussed, including the urgency of accompanying the growing number of Entities facing more or less drastic downsizing processes and the need to find more personnel for the Houses and missionary projects dependent on the Minister General.
Br Isauro and Br Albert reported on the first meeting of the International Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors and Vulnerable Adults held on 22-24 February. At this meeting, it was also decided to contact all the Order’s Entities with a questionnaire to collect information on what is being done in the Order in this challenging area.
On 11 March, the General Definitory elected Br Antonio IACONA, of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, in Italy (Sicily), as Secretary General, who will replace Br Giovanni RINALDI on 1 September.
During the present Tempo Forte, the lists of candidates for the service of Minister Provincial and Custos of the following Entities were approved: Province of Blessed John Duns Scotus in France and Belgium; Salerno-Lucana Province of the Immaculate Conception, Sannito-Irpina Province of Santa Maria delle Grazie and Province of St Michael the Archangel, in Italy; Province of the Holy Martyrs of Morocco, in Portugal; Custody of St Clare, in Mozambique; Province of the Holy Spirit, in Canada; Province of the Immaculate Conception, in the USA; Province of St Peter Baptist, in the Philippines; Province of the Most Holy Saviour, in Slovakia; Dalmatian Province of St Jerome, in Croatia; Custody of the Protomartyrs, in Morocco, dependent on the Minister General.
Election acts were ratified:
• of the Minister, Vicar and Definitors of the Holy Cross Province, in Brazil;
• of the Definitors of the Queen of China Province, in Taiwan;
• of the Capitular Congressus of the Custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Brazil;
• elections outside of Chapter of Definitor of St Francis Province, Italy; of the Secretary of the Province of St Bonaventure, Italy; of some Guardians in the Provinces of St Bonaventure and St Francis, Italy, of St Anthony, Brazil and Holy Faith, Colombia.
The General Definitory, having examined the Report presented by Br Paul SMITH, President and General Delegate for the St Francis Foundation in Papua New Guinea, dependent on the General Minister, has decided to confirm Br Paul in his office.
Following the Canonical Visitation conducted by Br Jason WELLE to the Brothers present in Turkey, Br Eleuthere BAHARANY MAKUTA was elected Guardian of the House in Istanbul, dependent on the Minister General. Other posts were also assigned for the Guardianate in Istanbul and the filial Houses in Izmir.
The Concluding Report of the Canonical Visitation of the Custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Brazil was also analysed.
The following cases of separation from the Order were dealt with:
 Dispensation from temporary vows: 1
 Extension of the indult of exclaustration: 1
 Dispensation from solemn vows: 7
 Transfer to another Institute: 1
 Secularisation ad experimentum: 1
 Secularisation pure et simpliciter: 2
 Dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state and leaving the Order: 8
 Dismissal from the Order: 2
Penalties were imposed for two cases of graviora delicta.
Visitators General were elected:
o Br Mario Wilson RAMOS NOVOA, of the Province of the Holy Faith, in Colombia, for the Province of St Francis Solano in Peru;
o Br Alan T. BRZYSKI, of the Province of St Hedwig, in Poland, for the Province of the Immaculate Conception BVM, in Poland (Kalwaria);
o Br Sergiusz (Marek Adam) BAŁDYGA, of the Province of the Assumption BVM, in Poland, for the Fraternity of St Mary Mediatrix – General Curia;
On 15 March, the Definitory met with the Visitator General for the Custody of the Holy Land, Br Julio César BUNADER, former Vicar General of the Order, who presented a report on the visitation carried out so far.
The next Tempo Forte is scheduled from 9 to 21 May 2022, during which the meeting with the Conference Presidents will also take place (17-20 May).
To the praise of Christ and the Poverello of Assisi. Amen!
Rome, 1 April 2022
Br Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General