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Meeting of the General Definitory with the Ministers of COMPI and CONFRES

General Curia, 9 - 12 October

13 October 2023

The Minister General and his Definitory met with the Ministers Provincial of the Conferences of Italy and Albania (COMPI) and of Spain and Portugal (CONFRES) at the General Curia from 9 to 12 October.

The main purpose of this meeting was to continue the process of union initiated by the two Conferences some years ago. During these days it was possible to deepen mutual knowledge, the desire for collaboration and some concrete practical issues. The atmosphere was close and fraternal, always seeking the common good and mutual help in the essential Franciscan vocation which unites and defines us.

Albert Schmucki, Definitor General, spoke about the protection of minors and the protocols that the Provinces and Conferences must have in place. Fabio Catenacci (Province of St. Bonaventure - Lazio-Abruzzo-) and Graziano Malgeri (Seraphic Province - Umbria Sardegna-) were also present at the Assembly on the theme of Europe and vocations. They spoke about Youth and Vocations Ministry and shared some of the experiences that COMPI is carrying out in this fundamental area of our Order.

On the subject of the Union of Conferences, the Minister General, Br. Massimo Fusarelli, gave a historical review of the role that the Conferences have had and still have in the structure of the Order. He emphasised in particular that the Conferences, over and above their juridical power, must be a space of life that supports the Ministers and Government of the Order in their task of animating the Friars. He also stressed that, although the origin of this process of unification is the minority imposed by the reduction of Friars and Provinces, we Friars must live this moment as a "kairos", a significant moment, an opportunity, a space of grace through which we can collaborate in the vocation and mission to which the Lord has called us within the Order.

Claudio Durighetto, responsible for the Procure in the General Curia, also took part. In his speech, based on the legislation of the Church, the General Statutes and the Statutes of the two Conferences, he presented the juridical keys on which the process of union and formation of the new Conference must be based.

A commission has been set up, composed of Br. Cesare Vaiani, Definitor General, and the Presidents of CONFRES and COMPI. This Commission, with the help of the necessary juridical advisers, will be responsible for preparing the draft Statutes of the new Conference, which will be studied by the Assembly of Ministers of CONFRES-COMPI and then sent to the General Definitory for study and, if necessary, final approval.

Finally, they thanked the Friars of the General Curia for their welcome and hospitality, for opening their doors and accompanying the Friars during these days of work and fellowship.

Br. Jesús Hernández Martín, CONFRES Secretary

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