・教皇フランシスコが枢機卿14人を新任-日本から前田・大阪大司教(Crux)

(2018.5.20 Crux Vatican Correspondent Inés San Martín)

ローマ発―教皇フランシスコが20日、新たに14名の枢機卿を任命する、と発表した。この中には、イラク、ポルトガル、イタリア、ポーランド、ペルー、日本、マダガスカル、そして教皇庁の高位聖職者複数が含まれており、日本からは前田万葉・大阪大司教(写真)が選ばれることになった。親任式は聖ペトロと聖パウロの祝日、6月29日に行われる。

 日本の枢機卿ポストは、東京大司教だった白柳誠一枢機卿が2009年12月に逝去されて以来、以来、空席が続いており、現教皇の選出にもあずかれず、新枢機卿の誕生が長く待たれていた。また、日本から枢機卿が新たに親任されるのは2003年の濱尾文郎枢機卿(2007年11月逝去)以来約15年ぶり。前田大司教は、1949年 3月 3日、長崎県南松浦郡新上五島町仲知 生まれ、1975年 3月19日司祭叙階、2011年 9月23日広島教区司教に叙階、2014年 9月23日大阪教区大司教に着座している。

 14人のうち、教皇選挙権を持つ80歳未満は11人。教皇は、新任枢機卿の出自が多国・他地域にわたっていることは「この地球上に、神の慈しみ深い愛をあまねく説き続ける教会の不偏性」を示すもの、と説明している。また、前田大司教写真6月29日の親任式を終えた後の枢機卿の総数は227名、うち126名が教皇選挙権を持つ80歳未満となる予定。福者パウロ六世が教皇時代に定めた総枢機卿枠200人うち教皇選挙権を持つ枢機卿枠120人を大きく超えることになる。教皇フランシスコが2013年に就任以来、新枢機卿選任は2014年以降、毎年”定例化”している。

 新任の枢機卿のうち、教皇選挙権を持つ80歳未満の11名は英語表記で以下の通り。

 ・Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and the Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

  • Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, Spaniard, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

  • Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, Italian, Vicar General of Rome.

  • Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Italian, Substitute of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

  • Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, Polish, Almoner of the Office of Papal Charities.

  • Archbishop Joseph Coutts, of Karachi, Pakistan.

  • Bishop António Augusto dos Santos Marto, Bishop of Leiria-Fátima, Portugal.

  • Archbishop Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, Archbishop of Huancayo, Peru.

  • Archbishop Désiré Tsarahazana, Archbishop of Toamasina, Madagascar.

  • Archbishop Giuseppe Petrocchi, Archbishop of L’Aquila, Italy.

  • Archbishop Thomas Aquinas Maeda, Archbishop of Osaka, Japan

 教皇選挙権を持たない新枢機卿3名はArchbishop Sergio Obeso Rivera, the Archbishop Emeritus of Xalapa, Mexico; Bishop Toribio Ticona Porco, the emeritus of Corocoro, Bolivia; and Father Aquilino Bocos Merino, a Spanish Claretianで、これまでの功績をたたえるのが狙い。

(翻訳「カトリック・あい」南條俊二)

・・Cruxは、カトリック専門のニュース、分析、評論を網羅する米国のインターネット・メディアです。 2014年9月に米国の主要日刊紙の一つである「ボストン・グローブ」 (欧米を中心にした聖職者による幼児性的虐待事件摘発のきっかけとなった世界的なスクープで有名。映画化され、日本でも昨年、全国上映された)の報道活動の一環として創刊されました。現在は、米国に本拠を置くカトリック団体とパートナーシップを組み、多くのカトリック関係団体、機関、個人の支援を受けて、バチカンを含め,どこからも干渉を受けない、独立系カトリック・メディアとして世界的に高い評価を受けています。「カトリック・あい」は、カトリック専門の非営利メディアとして、Cruxが発信するニュース、分析、評論の日本語への翻訳、転載について了解を得て、掲載します。

2018年5月20日

・教皇パウロ6世とオスカル・ロメロ大司教、今年10月、列聖へ

教皇パウロ6世とオスカル・ロメロ大司教 – RV

(2018.5.19 バチカン放送)

  福者教皇パウロ6世が、福者オスカル・ロメロ大司教と共に、今年10月に列聖されることになった。教皇フランシスコが召集して19日、バチカンで開かれた枢機卿会議で、パウロ6世と、オスカル・ロメロ大司教を含む、福者6名の列聖が決定した。教皇は、列聖式が10月14日にバチカンで行われることを発表された。

 列聖が認められた福者は次のとおり。-パウロ6世(ジョヴァンニ・バッティスタ・モンティーニ、教皇、イタリア1897-1978) -オスカル・アルノルフォ・ロメロ・ガルダメス(サンサルバドル大司教、殉教者、エルサルバドル1917-1980) -フランチェスコ・スピネッリ(教区司祭、聖体礼拝修道女会創立者、イタリア1853-1913) -ヴィンチェンツォ・ロマーノ(教区司祭、イタリア1751-1831) -マリア・カテリナ・カスパー(イエス・キリストの貧しい侍女会創立者、ドイツ1820-1898) -ナザリア・イニャチア・ディ・サンタ・テレザ・ディ・ジェズ(教会の十字軍宣教女会創立者、スペイン1889-アルゼンチン1943)

2018年5月20日

・チリ聖職者性的虐待問題-「変化が訪れている」と教皇、だが具体策はまだ

Pope says change coming for Chile, but so far no specificsPope Francis with 34 Chilean bishops, who came to Rome to speak with the pontiff about the crisis in the Chilean Church as the result of decades-long cases of clerical sexual abuse, abuse of power and of conscience. (Credit: Courtesy of Vatican Media.)

(2018.5.17 Crux  Vatican Correspondent Inés San Martín

 協議の後、教皇は、チリの司教団に対して「正義と教会における霊的な交わりを取り戻すための、短期、中期、そして長期」の視点で変革に前向きに取り組む姿勢を示したことに謝意を示した。だが、変革の中身については触れることがなかった。

 17日午後、教皇庁が発表した司教団に対する教皇の書簡で、教皇は「重要な課題-飢え、監獄に入れられ、国を追われ、虐待されている人の中におられる主への奉仕- を中心に置くことのできる『預言者の教会』へ、努力を続けるように」と要請した。

 また、今回の協議を振り返って、「過去数年にわたり、教会の霊的な交わりを壊し、チリの教会の働きを弱体化させた重大ないくつもの出来事について、率直に識別する」ためにバチカンに招いたことを司教団が進んで受け入れたことに感謝を述べた。

 バチカンの聖職者性的虐待問題の調査責任者、Charles Jude Sciclunaマルタ大司教をチリに派遣、フェルナンド・カラディマ神父の性的虐待を隠ぺいしたとして被害者がホアン・バロス司教を訴えている問題を調査させていたが、教皇によるチリ司教団のバチカンへの召喚は、その調査結果を受けたものだ。

 カラディマ神父はすでに、バチカンの裁判所で、弱者虐待で有罪、彼の支持者たちとともに力と精神的な虐待でも有罪とされている。チリの司教たちのうち4人もカラディマ神父の仲間とされており、2015年に教皇はそのうちの一人、バロス司教をオソルノの南の教区に転出させたが、現地の多くの司祭や信徒、政治家や神父の被害者から大きな批判を巻き起こした。

 教皇は当初、このような批判を中傷、だとしてバロス司教を擁護したが、今年1月のチリ訪問からの帰国後、マルタ大司教を現地に派遣、64人の司教に面談して2300ページにわたる報告書をまとめさせた。この報告書を受けた後、教皇はチリ司教団に書簡を送り、自らの先の(バロス司教擁護の)判断が誤っていたことを認めるとともに、司教全員をバチカンに来るよう求めた。

 今回の三日間の協議の内容は公表されていないが、チリ司教協議会は、会長を務めるフェルナンド・ラモス司教が18日に記者会見をする、としている。

以下、英語原文に続く

“In the light of these painful events regarding abuses – of minors, of power and of conscience – we have deepened in the seriousness of these as well as in the tragic consequences that they have had, particularly for the victims,” Francis said in the letter.

As he notes in the 4-paragraph text, the pontiff personally asked “forgiveness from the heart” from some of the victims, including three who were in the Vatican in late April.

According to Francis, the bishops have “united in a single will” to ask forgiveness, “and with the firm intention of repairing the damages caused.”

Between Tuesday and Thursday, the pope and the Chilean bishops met four times. On the first day, the pope gave the prelates a text, asking them to pray on it. During the meeting they had on Wednesday and the two on Thursday, the bishops had the opportunity to speak as well.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Bishop Luis Fernando Ramos Perez, auxiliary of Santiago, said the summit in Rome was “part of a larger process” that began with Scicluna going to Chile, and that will have “many parts still.”

“[The process] will produce a very deep renovation of the spirit of the church in Chile and our mission,” he said. “It will allow us to put Christ, the Lord, at the center, who is the only one who has to shine in the life of the Church.”

Regarding the document Francis gave to the bishops on the first day, Ramos said that it was a “very beautiful reflection,” with a deep look into the reality of the Chilean church from a theological and spiritual perspective, “assuming the hurtful situations of abuse of conscience, power, and also sexual.”

During the following three sessions, each bishop had the opportunity to speak. Barros, at the heart of the problem, spoke on Thursday’s last encounter.

“It was an incredibly frank, profound and truthful dialogue,” Ramos said, calling it a “collegial reflection,” looking from “prayer and in the spirit of Jesus Christ at what the Church needs most.”

However, he refused to share the content of the meetings, insisting on the confidentiality requested by Francis. Ramos did say, however, that the pope had shared he was “hurt” but what’s happened in the Chilean church.

“We too are hurt by what’s happened in the Church in Chile,” he said.

Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez, who along with Ramos was chosen by the prelates as spokesman during these days, also spoke with journalists.

“[Francis] has in his hands the most important decisions, and we are available for whatever he says,” Gonzalez said.

In recent days, survivors of clerical sexual abuse have called for a renewal in the Chilean bishops’ conference, demanding not only the resignation of the four bishops mentored by Karadima, but also of the ones who’re over 75, the age at which bishops are obliged to present their resignation to the pope.

There are five bishops who are 75 or older in Chile, but still in active duty. These include Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago. It’s still unclear if the pope will accept, or demand, their resignations as a part of the process of renewal, nor when will a decision will be announced if made.

There are reports that the four Karadima bishops have already presented their resignation, but this was not confirmed either by the Vatican or the Chilean bishops.

2018年5月18日

・バチカンが現代世界の経済・金融システムの批判的考察を発表

(2018.5.17 バチカン放送)

  教皇庁の教理、人間開発両省が17日、経済と倫理をめぐる共同文書「Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones(仮訳「経済と金融の質疑録」)を発表した。

 「今日の経済・金融システムのいくつかの観点をめぐる倫理的識別のための考察」という副題を持つこの文書は、教皇フランシスコの指示と認可のもとに作成され、「序章」「基本的考察」「今日の背景におけるいくつかの指摘」「終章」の全4章、34節からなる。

 教理省長官のラダリア・フェレール大司教は、文書発表の記者会見で「経済活動は道徳秩序の領域で、経済自体の法とメソッドに従って管理される必要がある」との教会の教えを指摘し、この文書の目的は「不正で略奪的な金融的行為の拡大は、人類に対する近視眼的な見方と、それに影響されて起きた人間的危機に由来する、ということを明示することにあります」と説明した。

 そして、「現代の人々は、自分が何者であるか、世界に対し何をすべきか、どうしたらより良く行動できるかを知らず、その時々の都合の良い勢力と、市場に支配された関心事の中に留まっています」と述べ、この文書を通して「経済・金融をめぐる倫理的識別を助けるための、人間学的な基本的考察を示したい」と希望を語った。

*英語版全文以下の通り。

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Dicastery For Promoting Integral Human Development 

 Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones-Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System

 

I. Introduction

1. Economic and financial issues draw our attention today as never before because of the growing influence of financial markets on the material well-being of most of humankind. What is needed, on the one hand, is an appropriate regulation of the dynamics of the markets and, on the other hand, a clear ethical foundation that assures a well-being realized through the quality of human relationships rather than merely through economic mechanisms that by themselves cannot attain it. This ethical foundation needs to inform a range of persons but especially those working in the fields of economy and finance. In this situation a synthesis of technical knowledge and human wisdom is essential. Without such a synthesis, every human activity tends to deteriorate. But where it exists, it can foster progress towards the integral and concrete well-being of the human person.

2. The integral development of every person, of every human community, and of all people, is the ultimate horizon of the common good that the Church, as the “universal sacrament of salvation,”[1] seeks to advance. In the fullness of the good, which has its origin and consummation in God and is fully revealed in Jesus Christ, the head over all things (cf. Eph 1:10), lies the ultimate goal of every ecclesial activity. Such well-being flourishes as an anticipation of the Kingdom of God, which the Church is called to proclaim and establish in every sphere of human enterprise[2], and is the special fruit of that charity which, as the bright path of ecclesial action, is expressed even  in the social, civil and political realms. This love for society “makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world. Love for society and commitment to the common good are eminent forms of a charity that affects not only relationships between individuals but also ‘macro-relationships, social, economic and political ones’.” That is why the Church sets before the world the ideal of a ‘civilization of love’.”[3] Love for the integral good, inseparable from love for the truth, is the key to authentic development.

3. The Church pursues this aim with the certainty that in every culture, there are multiple areas of ethical agreement that express a common moral wisdom[4] and form the objective order upon which the dignity of the person is founded. From the solid and indispensable basis of such an order arise the clear and common principles that establish the fundamental rights and duties of the human person without which the control and abuse of the most powerful would come to dominate the entire human scene. This ethical order, rooted in the wisdom of God the Creator, is therefore the indispensable foundation for building a worthy community of persons, regulated by truly just laws. This is all the more evident where human beings, despite striving wholeheartedly for the good and the true, often succumb to vested interests, tyrannies, and iniquitous practices that cause grave suffering for all humanity, and especially for the weak and defenceless.

In order to liberate every realm of human activity from the moral disorder that so often afflicts it, the Church recognizes among her primary duties the responsibility to call everyone, with humble certainty, to clear ethical principles. The shared human reason, that ineffaceably characterizes every person, demands an enlightened discernment in this regard. Moreover, human rationality searches, in truth and justice, for the solid foundation that sustains its operation and maintains its sense of direction.[5]

4. Therefore, the proper orientation of reason can never be absent from any area of human activity. It follows that there can be no area of human action that legitimately claims to be either outside of  or impermeable to ethical principles based on liberty, truth, justice and solidarity.[6] This is true for those areas in which the political and economic laws apply: “Today, with a view towards the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life.”[7]

Every human activity, in fact, is called to bear fruit, to use generously and equitably the gifts that God provides to all, and to nourish with lively confidence the seeds of goodness implanted in the whole of creation as a promise of abundance. The call to bear fruit is a continual invitation to human freedom, even if sin is always ready to undermine the original divine plan.

For this reason, God encounters man in Jesus Christ. Drawing us into the marvellous event of his Resurrection, he “redeems not only the individual person, but also the social relations existing between human persons”[8] and works for a new order of social relationships founded on the truth and love, and supplying yeast for the transformation of history. In such a way, he anticipates in the course of time that Kingdom of Heaven which he has come to proclaim and inaugurate in his person.

5. Although global economic well-being appears to have increased in the second half of the twentieth century with an unprecedented magnitude and speed, at the same time inequalities proliferate between various countries and within them.[9] Moreover, the number of people who live in  conditions of extreme poverty continues to be enormous.

The recent financial crisis might have provided the occasion to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and a new regulation of financial activities that would neutralise predatory and speculative tendencies and acknowledge the value of the actual economy. Although there have been many positive efforts at various levels which should be recognized and appreciated, there does not seem to be any inclination to rethink the obsolete criteria that continue to govern the world.[10] On the contrary, the response seems at times like a return to the heights of myopic egoism, limited by an inadequate framework that, excluding the common good, also excludes from its horizons the concern to create and spread wealth, and to eliminate the inequality so pronounced today.

6. At stake is the authentic well-being of a majority  of the men and women of our planet who are at risk of being “excluded and marginalized”[11] from  development and true well-being while a minority, indifferent to the condition of the majority, exploits and reserves for itself substantial resources and wealth. Therefore, it is time to initiate the recovery of what is authentically human, to expand the horizons of minds and hearts, to recognize faithfully the exigencies of the true and the good without which no social, political and economic system could avoid bankruptcy, failure, and, in the long term, collapse. Selfishness, in the end, does not pay while it makes everyone pay a high price; hence, if we want the real well-being of humanity, “Money must serve, not rule![12]

For this reason, the competent and responsible agents have the duty to develop new forms of economy and of finance, with rules and regulations directed towards the enlargement of the common good and respect for  human dignity along the lines indicated by the social teachings of the Church. With this document, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose competence extends to moral questions, in collaboration with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, offers some fundamental considerations and clarifications in support of such development and in defence of human dignity.[13] It is especially necessary to provide an ethical reflection on certain aspects of financial transactions which, when operating without the necessary anthropological and moral foundations, have not only produced manifest abuses and injustice, but also demonstrated a capacity to create systemic and worldwide economic crisis.  This  discernment is offered to all men and women of good will.

 

II. Fundamental Considerations

7. Some basic considerations are evident to all who seek to understand the historical situation in which we are now living.  It is beyond the scope of this document to discuss the legitimate disagreements among their diverse theories and schools of thought (apart from the desire to contribute towards dialogue among them). Furthermore this document acknowledges that there do not exist universally valid economic formulas for every moment. Nevertheless, this document intends to offer an interpretation of the situation in which we find ourselves.

8. Every human reality and activity is something positive, if it is lived within the horizon of an adequate ethics  that respects human dignity and is directed to the common good. This is valid for all institutions, for it is within them that human social life is born, and thus it is also true for markets at every level, including financial markets.

It must be noted that the systems that give life to the markets—before deploying the anonymous dynamics made possible by ever more sophisticated technologies—are in fact founded on relationships that involve the freedom of individual human beings. It is evident therefore that the economy, like every other sphere of human action, “needs ethics in order to function correctly — not any ethics whatsoever, but an ethics which is people-centred.” [14]

9. It is evident that without an appropriate vision of the human person, it is not possible to create an ethics, nor a practice, worthy of the dignity of the human person and the good that is truly common. In fact, however neutral and detached from every basic concept one may claim to be, every human action, even in the economic sphere, implies some conception of the human person and of the world, which reveals its value through both the effects and the developments it produces.

In this sense, our contemporary age has shown itself to have a limited vision of the human person, as the person is understood individualistically and predominantly as a consumer, whose profit consists above all in the optimization of his or her monetary income. The human person, however, actually possesses a uniquely relational nature and has a sense for the perennial search for gains and well-being that may be more comprehensive, and not reducible either to a logic of consumption or to the economic aspects of life.[15]

The fundamentally relational nature of the human person[16] is characterized essentially by a rationality that resists a reductionist view of one’s basic needs. In this regard, it is impossible to be silent in the face of today’s tendency to reify every exchange of “goods” as if it were no more than a mere exchange of “things.”

In reality, it is evident that in the transmission of goods among persons there is always something more than mere material goods at play, given the fact that the material goods are often vehicles of immaterial goods whose concrete presence or absence decisively determines the quality of these very economic relationships (for example, trust, equity, and cooperation). It is at this level that one can well understand that the logic of giving with nothing in return is not an alternative to, but rather is inseparable from and complementary to the exchange of equivalent goods.[17]

10. It is easy to note the advantages of a vision of the human person understood as constitutively inserted in a network of relationships that are in themselves a positive resource.[18] Every person is born within a familial environment, enjoying a set of pre-existing relationships without which life would be impossible. The human person develops through the stages of life thanks to pre-existing bonds that actualize one’s being in the world as freedom continuously shared. These are the original bonds that define the human person as a relational being who lives in what Christian Revelation calls “communion”.

This original nature of communion, while revealing in every human person a trace of the affinity with God who creates and calls one into a relationship with himself, is also that which naturally orients the person to the life of communion, the fundamental place for one’s fulfillment. One’s own recognition of this character, as an original and constitutive element of our human identity, allows us to look at others not primarily as potential competitors, but rather as possible allies, in the construction of the good that is authentic only if it is concerned about each and every person simultaneously.

Such relational anthropology helps the human person to recognize the validity of economic strategies that aim above all to promote the global quality of life that, before the indiscriminate expansion of profits, leads the way toward the integral well-being of the entire person and of every person. No profit is in fact legitimate when it falls short of the objective of the integral promotion of the human person, the universal destination of goods, and the preferential option for the poor.[19] These are three principles that imply and necessarily point to one another, with a  view to the construction of a world that is more equitable and united.

For this reason, progress within an economic system cannot measured only by quantitative and profit-driven standards, but also on the basis of the well-being that extends a good that is not simply material. Every economic system is legitimate if it thrives not merely through the quantitative development of exchange but rather by its capacity to promote the development of the entire person and of every person. Well-being and development both demand and support each other,[20] calling for sustainable policies and perspectives far beyond the short term.[21]

In this regard, it is particularly desirable that institutions such as universities and business schools both foresee and provide, as a fundamental and not merely supplementary element of their curricula of studies, a formational dimension that educates the students to understand economics and finance in the light of a vision of the totality of the human person and avoids a reductionism that sees only some dimensions of the person. An ethics is needed to design such formation. The social doctrine of the Church would be a considerable help in this connection.

11. Well-being must therefore be measured by criteria far more comprehensive than the Gross Domestic Product of a nation (GDP), and must take into account instead other standards, for example, safety and security, the growth of “human capital”, the quality of human relationships and of work. Profit should to be pursued but not “at any cost”, nor as a totalizing objective for economic action.

The presence of humanistic standards and cultural expressions that value generosity turn out to be both useful and emblematic here. Thus the discovery and implementation of the true and just as good in themselves, become the norms for evaluation.[22] Profit and solidarity are no longer antagonists. In fact, where egoism and vested interests prevail, it is difficult for the human person to grasp the fruitful interchange between profit and gift, as sin tends to tarnish and rupture this relationship. In a fully human perspective, there is actualized an interchange between profit and solidarity that, thanks to the freedom of the human person, unleashes a great potential for the markets.

An enduring call to acknowledge the human quality of generosity comes from the rule formulated by Jesus in the Gospel, called the golden rule, which invites us to do to others what we would like them to do for us (cf. Mt 7, 12; Lk 6, 31).

12. Economic activity cannot be sustained in the long run where freedom of initiative cannot thrive.[23] It is also obvious today that the freedom enjoyed by the economic stakeholders, if it is understood as absolute in itself, and removed from its intrinsic reference to the true and the good, creates centers of power that incline towards forms of oligarchy and in the end undermine the very efficiency of the economic system.[24]

From this point of view, it is easy to see how, with the growing and all-pervasive control of powerful parties and vast economic-financial networks, those deputed to exercise political power are often disoriented and rendered powerless by supranational agents and by the volatility of the capital they manage. Those entrusted with political authority find it difficult to fulfil to their original vocation as servants of the common good, and are even transformed into ancillary instruments of interests extraneous to the good.[25]

These factors make all the more imperative a renewed alliance between economic and political agents in order to promote everything that serves the complete development of every human person as well as the society at large and unites demands for solidarity with those of subsidiarity.[26]

13. In principle, all the endowments and means that the markets employ in order to strengthen their distributive capacity are morally permissible, provided they do not turn against the dignity of the person and are not indifferent to the common good.[27]

At the same time, it is clear that markets, as powerful propellers of the economy, are not capable of governing themselves.[28] In fact, the markets know neither how to make the assumptions that allow their smooth running (social coexistence, honesty, trust, safety and security, laws, and so on) nor how to correct those effects and forces that are harmful to human society (inequality, asymmetries, environmental damage, social insecurity, and fraud).

14. Moreover, besides the fact that most of its operators are singularly animated by good and right intentions, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the financial industry, because of its pervasiveness and its inevitable capacity to condition and, in a certain sense, to dominate the real economy today, is a place where selfishness and the abuse of power have an enormous potential to harm the community.

For this reason, it must be noted that in the economic-financial world there are conditions in which some methods, though not directly unacceptable from an ethical point of view, still constitute instances of proximate immorality, that is, occasions that readily generate the kind of abuse and deception that can damage less advantaged counterparts. For instance, to commercialize certain financial instruments is in itself licit, but in a asymmetrical situation it would be possible to take advantage of a lack of knowledge or of the contractual weakness of either counterpart. In itself this amounts to a violation of due relational propriety, which is already a grave violation from an ethical point of view.

The complexity of numerous financial products currently renders such asymmetry an inherent element of the system itself and puts the buyers in a position inferior to those who commercialize these products—a situation that from several aspects leads to the surmounting of the traditional principle of caveat emptor. This principle, on the basis of which the responsibility to assess the quality of the good acquired should rest above all with the buyer, in fact presupposes a parity in the capacity to safeguard the proper interests of the contractors. This actually does not exist in many cases both from the evident hierarchical relationship that comes to be established in certain types of contracts (for example, between the lender and the borrower) as well as in the complex structuring of numerous financial instruments.

15. Money in itself is a good instrument, as are many other things at the disposal of the human person, and is a means to order one’s freedom and to expand one’s possibilities. Nevertheless, the means can easily turn against the person. Likewise, the financial dimension of the business world, focusing business on the access of money through the gateway of the world of stock exchange, is as such something positive. Such a phenomenon, however, today risks accentuating bad financial practices concentrated primarily on speculative transactions of virtual wealth, as well as negotiations of high frequency trading, where the parties accumulate for themselves an excessive quantity of capital and remove the capital from circulation within the real economy.[29]

What was sadly predicted a century ago has now come true today.  Capital annuity can trap and supplant the income from work, which is often confined to the margins of the principal interests of the economic system. Consequently,  work itself, together with its dignity, is increasingly at risk of losing its value as a “good” for the human person[30] and becoming merely a means of exchange within asymmetrical social relations.

Precisely in this inversion of the order between means and ends, where work as a good becomes an “instrument,” and money an “end”, the reckless and amoral “culture of waste” finds a fertile ground. It has marginalized great masses of the world’s population, deprived them of decent labor, and left them “without possibilities, without any means of escape”: “It is no longer simply the phenomenon of exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside, or those on the fringes or its disenfranchised, but rather they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.[31]

16. In this regard, we cannot but think of the irreplaceable social function of credit whose performance looms large to qualified and reliable financial intermediaries. In this sphere, it is clear that applying excessively high interest rates, really beyond the range of the borrowers of funds, represents a transaction not only ethically illegitimate, but also harmful to the health of the economic system. As always, such practices, along with usurious activities, have been recognized by human conscience as iniquitous and by the economic system as contrary to its good functioning.

Here financial activity exhibits its primary vocation of service to the real economy: it is called to create value with morally licit means, and to favour a dispersion of capital for the purpose of producing a principled circulation of wealth.[32] For instance, very positive in this regard, and to be encouraged, are arrangements of cooperative credit, microcredit, as well as the public credit, in the service of families, businesses, the local economies, as well as credit to assist developing countries.

Especially in this context—where the positive potential of money can be best actualized–is it clear that it is morally illegitimate to expose to an undue risk the credit deriving from civil society by deploying it predominantly for speculative purposes.

17. What is morally unacceptable is not simply to profit, but rather to avail oneself of an inequality for one’s own advantage, in order to create enormous profits that are damaging to others; or to exploit one’s dominant position in order to profit by unjustly disadvantaging others, or to make oneself rich through harming and disrupting the collective common good.[33]

Such a practice is particularly deplorable from the moral point of view when the intention of profit by a few through the risk of speculation even in important funds of investment,[34]  provokes artificial reduction of the prices of public debt securities, without regard to the negative impact or to the worsening of the economic situation of entire nations. This practice endangers not only the public efforts for rebalancing, but also the very economic stability of millions of families,  and at the same time compels government authorities to intervene with substantial amounts of public money, even to the extent of artificially interfering in the proper functioning of political systems.

The speculative intention, often in today’s economic-financial environment, risks supplanting all other principal intentions that ground human freedom. This factor is devouring the immense patrimony of values that renders our civil society a place of peaceful coexistence, encounter, solidarity, renewed reciprocity and of responsibility for the common good. In this context,  words such as “efficiency”, “competition”, “leadership”, and “merit” tend to occupy the entire space of our civil culture and assume a meaning that ends up in impoverishing the quality of exchanges, reducing them to mere numerical coefficients.

What is demanded is an initiative, above all, for the renewal of humanity in order to reopen the horizons towards that abundance of values which alone permits the human person to discover himself or herself, and  to construct a society that is a hospitable and inclusive dwelling place with room for the weakest, and where wealth is used for the benefit of all—places where it is beautiful for human beings to live and easy for them to have hope.

 

III. Some Clarifications in Today’s Context

18. In order to offer concrete and specific ethical bearings to all economic and financial agents, from whom there come more and more appeals in this regard, we now present some further clarifications, formulated with a view to opening the paths by which human beings can become truly human by promoting both human dignity and the common good.[35]

19. Thanks to globalization and digitalization, the markets can be compared to a giant organism through whose veins, like life giving sap, flow huge amounts of money. This analogy allows us to speak of the “health” of such an organism when its means and structures are functioning well, and the growth and diffusion of wealth go hand in hand. The health of a system depends on the health of every single action performed. In a healthy market system, it is easier to respect and promote the dignity of the human person and the common good.

Correspondingly, every time unreliable economic-financial instruments are introduced and diffused, they put the growth and the diffusion of the wealth into serious danger creating systemic problems and risks that amount to the “intoxication” of the organism.

We understand the demand, felt more and more today, that public authorities should provide a certification for every product generated by financial innovation, in order to preserve the health of the system and prevent negative collateral effects. To favor economic health and to avoid manipulation are an inescapable moral imperative for all the stakeholders engaged in the markets. Also this demand shows how urgent is a supranational co-ordination among diverse structures of local financial systems.[36]

20. Such well-being nourishes itself on a multiplicity and diversity of resources, which form a kind of economic and financial “biodiversity”. This biodiversity represents an added value to the economic system and needs to be favored and safeguarded through adequate economic-financial policies, with the aim of assuring to the markets the presence of a plurality of persons and healthy instruments with a richness and diversity of characters. When it is positive, it is sustained and, on the contrary, by way of the negative, it hinders those who degrade the functionality of the system that produces and spreads wealth.

In this regard, it must be noted that the task of producing added value within the markets in a healthy way is realized by a unique function of cooperation. A loyal and intensive synergy of agents easily achieves that surplus of value towards which every economic achievement aims.[37]

When human beings recognize the fundamental solidarity that unites them with all of humanity, they realize that they cannot keep only for themselves the goods that they possess. When one habitually lives in solidarity, the goods that he or she possesses are used not only for one’s own needs, but they multiply themselves, also producing unexpected fruits for others.[38] It is here that we clearly notice how sharing may not be “only the distribution but also the multiplication of goods, the creation of new bread, of new goods, of new Good with a capital “G”.[39]

21. Experience and evidence over the last decades has demonstrated, on the one hand, how naive is the belief in a presumed self-sufficiency of the markets, independent of any ethics, and on the other hand, the compelling necessity of an appropriate regulation that at the same time unites the freedom and protection of every person and operates to create healthy and proper interactions, especially with regards to the more vulnerable. In this sense, political and economic-financial powers must remain distant and autonomous and at the same time directed, beyond all proximate harms, towards the realization of a good that is basically common, and not reserved only for a few privileged persons.[40]

Such regulation is made even more necessary in view of the fact that among the major reasons for the most recent economic crisis was the immoral behavior of agents in the financial world, where the supranational dimension of the economic system  makes it easy to bypass the regulations established by individual countries. Moreover, the extreme volatility and mobility of capital investments in the financial world permit those who control them to operate smoothly beyond every norm that does not aim at an immediate profit, often blackmailing by a position of strength even  legitimate political authority.

Hence, it is clear that the markets are in need of solid and strong bearings,  macro-prudential rather than normative, more shared than uniform; there is also need of continuously updated regulations that can respond to market flux. Similar bearings must guarantee a serious control of the quality and  reliability of every economic-financial product, especially of those more structured. In addition, when the velocity of the innovative processes produces excessive systemic risk, the economic operators must accept the obligations and limits that the common good demands, without attempting to bypass or diminish their purpose.

The current globalization of the financial system requires a stable, clear and effective coordination among various national regulatory authorities, with the possibility, and at times, the necessity of sharing binding decisions promptly when required, in the face of the threats to the common good. Such regulatory authorities must always remain independent and bound by the exigencies of equity and the public benefit. The understandable difficulties in this regard should not discourage the search for and imposition of concordant normative systems consolidated among different nations but with supranational scope.[41]

The regulations must favor a complete transparency regarding whatever is traded in order to eliminate every form of injustice and inequality, thus assuring the greatest possible equity in the exchange. Likewise, the asymmetrical concentration of information and power tends to strengthen the more stronger economic agents and thus to create hegemonies capable of unilaterally influencing not only the markets, but also political and regulatory systems. Moreover, where massive deregulation is practiced, the evident result is a regulatory and institutional vacuum that creates space not only for moral risk and embezzlement, but also for the rise of the irrational exuberance of the markets, followed first by speculative bubbles, and then by sudden, destructive collapse, and systemic crises.[42]

22. Systemic crisis can be more effectively avoided if  there were a clear definition and separation among banking responsibilities for the management of credit, of the ordinary daily management of credit, of investment savings, and of  mere business.[43] This is intended as much as possible to avoid situations of financial instability.

A healthy financial system also requires the maximum amount of information possible, so that every agent can protect his or her interests in full, and with complete freedom. It is in fact important to know if one’s capital is used for speculative purposes, and also to know the degree of risk and the adequate price of the financial products to which one subscribes. Much more than the usual savings of the familiar type, it is a public good to protect and search for an adverse optimization of risk. The saving itself, when entrusted in the expert hands of financial advisers, needs to be administered well, and not just managed.

Among the morally questionable activities of  financial advisers in the management of savings, the following are to be taken into account: an excessive movement of the investment portfolio commonly aimed at increasing the revenues deriving from the commission for the bank or other financial intermediary; a failure from a due impartiality in offering instruments of saving, which, compared with some banks, the product of others would suit better the needs of the clients; the scarcity of an adequate diligence or even a malicious negligence on the part of financial advisers regarding the protection of related interests to the portfolio of their clients; and the concession of  financing on the part of the banking intermediator in a subordinate manner to the contextual subscription of other financial products issued by the same, but not convenient to the client.

23. Every business creates an important network of relations and in its unique way represents a true intermediate social body with a proper culture and practices. Such culture and practices, while determining the internal organization of the enterprise, influence also the social fabric in which it operates. At this level, the Church recalls the importance of the social responsibility of each venture,[44]wherein the ad extra is congruent with the ad intra.

In this sense, wherever mere profit is placed at the summit of the culture of a financial enterprise, and the actual demands of the common good are ignored, every ethical claim is really perceived as irrelevant. This is reported today as a fact and is very much widespread even in the prestigious business schools. Every ethical claim is actually perceived as irrelevant and juxtaposed to the entrepreneurial action. This is very much highlighted from the fact that, in the organizational logic, those who do not adjust to business targets of this type are penalized both at the retributive level and at the level of professional recognition. In these cases, the objective of mere profit easily creates a perverse and selective logic that often favours the advancement of business leaders who are capable, but greedy and unscrupulous, and whose relationship with others is prevalently driven by a selfish and personal gain.

In addition, such logic has often pushed managements to establish economic policies aimed not at increasing the economic health of the companies that they serve, but at the mere profits of the shareholders, damaging therefore the legitimate interests of those who are bearing all of the work and service benefiting the same company, as well as the consumers and the various local communities (stakeholders). This is often incentivized by substantial remuneration in proportion to immediate results of management, but not likewise counterbalanced by equivalent penalization, in the case of failure of the objectives, though assuring greater profits to managers and shareholders in a short period, and thus ending up with forcing excessive risk, leaving the companies weak and impoverished of those economic energies that would have assured them adequate expectations for the future.

All of these factors easily create and diffuse a profoundly amoral culture—in which one often does not hesitate to commit a crime when the foreseen benefits exceed the expected penalty. Such behaviour gravely pollutes the health of every economic-social system It endangers the functionality and seriously harms the effective realization of that common good, upon which is necessarily founded every form of social institution.

Exactly here, the natural circularity that exists between profit, a factor intrinsically necessary for every economic system, and social responsibility, an essential element for the survival of any form of civil coexistence, reveals its full fruitfulness and exposes the indissoluble connection, that sin tends to hide, between the ethics respectful of persons and the common good, and the actual functionality of every economic financial system. Such virtuous circularity is favoured, for example, by the pursuit of the reduction of the risk of conflict with the stakeholders in order to nurture greater inner motivation of the employees of a company.  The creation of added value here, the primary objective of the economic financial system, must demonstrate, with all of its implications, its practicality inside a solidified ethical system founded on a sincere search for the common good. Only from the recognition, and from the realization, of the intrinsic connection that exists between economic reasoning and ethical reasoning, can a good indeed spring forth, that may benefit all of humanity.[45] Therefore, in order to function well, the market needs anthropological and ethical prerequisites that it is neither capable of giving for itself, nor producing on its own.

24. If, on the one hand, credit-worthiness demands a prudent activity of selection for identifying the really worthy beneficiaries capable of innovation, protected from unhealthy collusions, then on the other hand, in order to withstand effectively the risks encountered, the banks must have a suitable management of assets, so that an eventual division of the losses may be limited to a greater extent and may fall above all on those actually responsible for losses.

Certainly, the delicate management of savings, besides appropriate legal regulation, calls for culturally adequate paradigms, together with the practice of careful revisiting, from an ethical perspective,  the relationship between the bank and the customer, as well as a continuous defence of the legitimacy of all relevant transactions.

Along these lines, an interesting suggestion that should be tried out, is the institution of Ethical Committees within the banks, to support the Councils of Administration. This is done in so far as the banks are helped not only to protect their balance from the consequences of sufferings and loses, and towards an effective coherence between the collective mission and the financial practices, but also to adequately sustain the actual economy.

25. The creation of titles of credit is extremely risky. They operate under the guise of creating a fictitious value without proper quality control or a reliable assessment of credit, and can enrich those who arrange them, but easily creates insolvency to the detriment of those who then have to withdraw them. This is all the more so if the critical burden of these stocks are passed from the institute that issues them on to the market on which they are spread and diffused ( for e.g. security of the subprime mortgages) This practice creates wide ranging harm, and potentially systemic difficulties. Such manipulation of the markets contradicts the necessary health of the economic-financial system, and is unacceptable from the point of view of the ethics respectful of the common good.

Every credit share must correspond to a potentially real value, and not merely to a presumed one that is difficult to verify. In this sense, a need for a public regulation, and an appraisal super partes of the work of the rating agencies of credit, becomes all the more urgent,  with legal instruments that make it possible to sanction the distorted actions and to prevent the creation of a dangerous oligopoly on the part of a few. This is even more true in the presence of the system of credit brokerage, in which the responsibility of the credit granted is passed on from the original lender to those who assume them.

26. Some financial products, among which the so called “derivatives”, are created for the purpose of guaranteeing an insurance on the inherent risks of certain operations often containing a gamble made on the basis of the presumed value attributed to those risks. At the foundation of such financial instruments lay contracts in which the parties are still able to reasonably evaluate the fundamental risk on which they want to insure.

However, in some types of derivatives (in the particular the so-called securitizations) it is noted that, starting with the original structures, and linked to identifiable financial investments, more and more complex structures were built (securitizations of securitizations) in which it is increasingly difficult, and after many of these transactions almost impossible, to stabilize in a reasonable and fair manner their fundamental value. This means that every passage in the trade of these shares, beyond the will of the parties, effects in fact a distortion of the actual value of the risk from that which the instrument must defend. All these have encouraged the rising of speculative bubbles, which have been the important contributive cause of the recent financial crisis.

It is obvious that the uncertainty surrounding these products, such as the steady decline of the transparency of that which is assured, still not appearing in the original operation, makes them continuously less acceptable from the perspective of ethics respectful of the truth and the common good, because it transforms them into a ticking time bomb ready sooner or later to explode, poisoning the health of the markets. It is noted that there is an ethical void which becomes more serious as these products are negotiated on the so-called markets with less regulation (over the counter) and are exposed more to the markets regulated by chance, if not by fraud, and thus take away vital life-lines and investments to the real economy.

A similar ethical assessment can be also applied for those uses of credit default swap (CDS: they are particular insurance contracts for the risk of bankruptcy) that permit gambling at the risk of the bankruptcy of a third party, even to those who haven’t taken any such risk of credit earlier, and really to repeat such operations on the same event, which is absolutely not consented to by the normal pact or insurance.

The market of CDS, in the wake of the economic crisis of 2007, was imposing enough to represent almost the equivalent of the GDP of the entire world.  The spread of such a kind of contract without proper limits has encouraged the growth of a finance of chance, and of gambling on the failure of others, which is unacceptable from the ethical point of view.

In fact, the process of acquiring these instruments, by those who do not have any risk of credit already in existence, creates a unique case in which persons start to nurture interests for the ruin of other economic entities, and can even resolve themselves to do so.

It is evident that such a possibility, if, on the one hand, shapes an event particularly deplorable from the moral perspective, because the one who acts does so in view of a kind of economic cannibalism, and, on the other hand, ends up undermining that necessary basic trust without which the economic system would end up blocking itself. In this case, also, we can notice how a negative event, from the ethical point of view, also harms the healthy functioning of the economic system.

Therefore, it must be noted, that when from such gambling can derive enormous damage for entire nations and millions of families, we are faced with extremely immoral actions, it seems necessary to extend deterrents, already present in some nations, for such types of operations, sanctioning the infractions with maximum severity.

27. A central point of the dynamism that rules the financial markets is the level of the taxation of interests relative to interbank loans (LIBOR), whose measurement acts as the guide for the rates of interest in the monetary market, as well as in the rate of the official exchange of the different currencies handled by the banks.

These are some of the important parameters which have significant effect on the entire economic-financial system as they influence daily the substantial transfer of money between parties that approve contracts actually based upon the measure of these rates. The manipulation of the measuring of these rates constitutes a severe ethical violation with wide ranging consequences.

The fact that this could have happened impunitively for many years shows how fragile and exposed to fraud is a financial system not sufficiently controlled by regulations, and lacking proportionate sanctions for the violations in which its stakeholders often encounter. In this environment, the establishment of real “networks” of connivance, among those persons who were instead predisposed for the correct fixing of those rates, form, by coincidence, a criminal association, particularly harmful for the common good, which inflicts a dangerous wound to the health of the economic system. It must be penalized with adequate punishments and be discouraged from repetition.

28. Today the principal agents that operate in the world of finance, especially the banks, must be endowed with internal organisms, which ensure a function of compliance, or of self-control of the legitimacy of the major steps in the decision-making process and of the major products offered by the company. However, it is necessary to point out that, at least until the very recent past, the practice of the economic-financial system is often significantly based on a  purely “negative” judgment of the function of compliance, that is to say, on a merely formal respect of the limits established by the law. Unfortunately, from this arose also the frequency of a practice, elusive of normative controls, wherein actions were directed toward bypassing the normative principles in place without contradicting explicitly the norms themselves in order to escape sanctions.

In order to avoid this, it is therefore necessary that the judgement of compliance enter on the merit of various operations from “positive” perspective that seeks verify their effective correspondence with the principles that inform the current norms. According to many, the execution of the function in this manner would be facilitated if it helped the institution of Ethical Committees, operating along with the Councils of Administration, which may constitute a natural interlocutor made up of those who should guarantee, in the concrete functioning of the bank, the conformity of behaviour to the existing norms.

In this sense, it is important that within the company there would be some guidelines which allow the facilitation of a similar corresponding judgement, so that one can discern in fact, which ones, among the operations, may technically be achievable and practical from the ethical point of view (a question that arises, for instance, in a very relevant way for the practices of tax avoidance). In such a way, one may pass from a merely formal adherence to a substantial respect of the regulations.

Moreover, it is desirable that even in the normative regulatory system, the financial world may foresee a general clause that declares illegitimate, with consequent accountability of the assets, all the persons to whom these are attributable, and whose predominant aim may be predominantly to bypass the existing norms.

29. It is no longer possible to ignore certain phenomena in the world, such as the spreading of the collateral banking systems (Shadow banking system). These, although well understood within themselves, and also the types of intermediaries whose functioning does not immediately appear disapproved, in fact have led to the loss of control over the system on the part of various authorities of national securities. Hence, they have knowingly favored the use of the so-called creative financing in which the primary aim of the investment of the financial resources is above all speculative in character, if not predatory, and not a service to the actual economy.  For instance, many agree that the existence of such “shadow” systems may be one of the contributing causes that advanced the development, and the global diffusion, of the recent economic-financial crisis started in the USA with subprime mortgages in the summer of 2007.

30. Such speculative intent, on which the world of offshore finance thrives, while offering also other legitimate services, through the widely diffused channels of tax avoidance, if not directly of evasion and the recycling of money deriving from crimes, contributes to an additional impoverishment of the normal system of production and of the distribution of goods and services. It is difficult to distinguish if many such situations give life to particular instances of proximate or immediate immorality. Certainly, it is by now evident that such realities, where they unjustly subtract vital nourishment from the real economy, can hardly find justification both from the ethical point of view and from the point of view of the global efficiency of the economic system itself.

On the contrary, there seems to be all the more evident a negligible degree of correlation between the unethical behaviors of the operators and the existing bankruptcies of the system in its complexity. It is now undeniable that ethical scarcity exacerbates the imperfections of the mechanisms of the market.[46]

In the second half of the last century, the offshore market of euro-dollars, the financial space of exchange outside every official normative framework, was born. The market expanded from an important European country to other countries of the world, paving way to a real alternative financial network to the official financial system and the jurisdictions that protect them.

It must be noted, in this regard, if the formal reason which is given to legitimize the presence of the offshore sites is that of permitting the institutional investors not to be subjected to a double taxation; firstly in the country of their residence and secondly in the countries where the funds are domiciled, in reality, these places, to a considerable extent, have become an opportunity for financial operations often border line, if not beyond the pale, both from the point of view of their lawfulness under the normative profile and from that of ethics, meaning an economic culture, healthy and free from the intentions of tax avoidance.

Today, more than the half of the commercial world is orchestrated by noteworthy persons that cut down their tax burden by moving the revenues from one site to another according to their convenience, transferring the profits into fiscal havens, and the costs into the countries of higher taxation. It appears clear that all these have removed decisive resources from the actual economy and contributed to the creation of economic systems founded on inequality. Furthermore, it is not possible to ignore the fact that those offshore sites, on more occasions, have become usual places of recycling dirty money, which is the fruit of illicit income (thefts, frauds, corruption, criminal associations, mafia, war booties etc.)

Thereby disguising the fact that the so-called offshore operations do take place in their official financial places, some States have consented to obtain profit even from crimes, thinking however of not being responsible as the crimes did not take place formally under their jurisdiction. This represents, from the moral point of view, an evident form of hypocrisy.

In a short period, such a market has become a place of major transition of capital, because its configuration represents an easy way for realizing different and essential forms of tax avoidance. Therefore, we understand that the offshore domestication of many important societies involved in the market is very much coveted and practiced.

31. Certainly, the tax system prepared by the various nations does not seem to be always equal. In this regard, it is relevant to keep in mind how such inequity often disadvantages the economically weaker persons and favors the more endowed, and is capable of influencing even the normative systems that regulate the same taxes. In fact, an imposition of the taxes, when it is equal, performs a fundamental function of equalization and redistribution of the wealth not only in favor of those who need appropriate subsidies, but it also supports the investments and the growth of the actual economy.

Tax avoidance on the part of primary stakeholders, those large financial intermediaries, who move in the market, indicate an unjust removal of resources from the actual economy, and this is damaging for the civil society as a whole.

Due to the non-transparency of those systems, it is difficult to establish with precision the amount of assets that are transacted in them. However, it was calculated that a minimum tax on the transactions accomplished offshore would be sufficient to resolve a large part of the problem of hunger in the world: why can’t we undertake courageously the way of a similar initiative?

Furthermore, it has been established that the existence of offshore sites has encouraged also an enormous outflow of capital from many countries of low income, thus creating numerous political and economic crises, impeding them from finally undertaking the path of growth and a healthy development.

For this reason, it is worth mentioning that more often different international institutions have denounced these practices and many governments have righty tried to limit the flow of the offshore financial bases. Many positive efforts have been undertaken in this regard, especially in the last decade. However, they could not successfully impose accords and norms adequately efficient until now. On the contrary, the normative frames proposed even by the international authoritative organizations in this regard have been often unapplied, or made ineffective, because of the notable influence that those bases are capable of exercising towards many political powers, thanks to the large amount of capital in their possession.

All this, while contributing grave damage to the good functionality of the actual economy, indicates a structure that, as it is formed today, seems to be totally unacceptable from the ethical point of view. Hence, it is necessary and urgent to prepare at the international level the suitable remedies to those unjust systems. Above all, practicing financial transparency at every level, (for example, the obligation of public accountability for the multinational companies of the respective activities and the taxes paid in each country in which they operate through their subsidiary groups) along with incisive sanctions, imposed on those countries that repeat the dishonest practices (tax evasion and avoidance, recycling of dirty money) mentioned above.

32. The offshore system has also ended up aggravating the public debt of the countries whose economies are less developed. It was in fact observed how the accumulated private wealth of some elites in the fiscal havens is almost equal to the public debt of the respective countries. This highlights how, in fact, at the origin of that debt there are often economic losses created by private persons and unloaded on the shoulders of the public system. Moreover, it is noted that important economic players tend to follow, often with the collusion of the politicians, a practice of division of the losses.

However, it is good to point out how often the public debt is also created by an incautious, if not fraudulent, management of the public administrative system. These debts, those financial losses that burden the various nations, pose today one of the major obstacles to good functioning and growth of the various national economies. Numerous national economies are in fact burdened by having to cope with the payment of interest, which derives from that debt, and must therefore dutifully undertake structural adjustments to suit this need.

In the face of all of this, on the one hand, the individual States are called to protect themselves with appropriate management of the public system through wise structural reforms, sensible allocation of expenses, and prudent investments. On the other hand, it is necessary at the international level to put every country in front of its unavoidable responsibility to allow and favor the reasonable exit routes from the spirals of debt, not placing it on the shoulders of the States, and therefore on that of their citizens, meaning upon millions of families carrying untenable financial burdens.

So also the effort is mediated politically, by way of a reasonable and concurred reduction of the public debt, especially of the kind held by persons of such economic solidity capable of offering it.[47] Similar solutions are required both for the health of the international economic system in view of avoiding the contagion of a potentially systematic crisis, as well as for the pursuit of the common good of all people mutually.

33. All that we have been talking about so far is not only the work of an entity that operates out of our control, but that is also in the sphere of our responsibilities. This means that we have within our reach important instruments capable of contributing towards the solutions of many problems. For instance, the markets live thanks to the supply and demand of goods. In this regard, every one of us can influence in a decisive manner by giving shape to that demand.

It becomes therefore quite evident how important a critical and responsible exercise of consumption and savings actually is. Shopping, for example, a daily engagement with which we procure the necessities of living, is also a form of a choice that we exercise among the various products that the market offers. It is a choice through which we often opt, in an unconscious way, for goods, whose production possibly takes place through supply chains in which the violation of the most elementary human rights is normal or, thanks to the work of the companies, whose ethics in fact do not know any interest other than that of profit of their shareholders at any cost.

It is necessary to train ourselves to make the choice for those goods on whose shoulders lies a journey worthy from the ethical point of view, because also through the gesture, apparently banal, of consumption, we actually express an ethics and are called to take a stand in front of what is good or bad for the actual human person. Someone spoke of the proposal to “vote with your wallet”. This is in reference to voting daily in the markets in favor of whatever helps the concrete well-being of all of us, and rejecting whatever harms it.[48]

They must also have the same considerations towards the management of their savings, for instance, directing them towards those enterprises that operate with clear criteria inspired by an ethics respectful of the entire human person, and of every particular person, within the horizon of social responsibility.[49] Furthermore, in general, each one is called to cultivate procedures of producing  wealth that may be consistent with our relational nature and tend towards an integral development of the human person.

IV. Conclusion

34. In front of the massiveness and pervasiveness of today’s economic-financial systems, we could be tempted to abandon ourselves to cynicism, and to think that with our poor forces we can do very little. In reality, every one of us can do so much, especially if one does not remain alone.

Numerous associations emerging from civil society represent in this sense a reservoir of consciousness, and social responsibility, of which we cannot do without. Today as never before we are all called, as sentinels, to watch over genuine life and to make ourselves catalysts of a new social behavior, shaping our actions to the search for the common good, and establishing it on the sound principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

Every gesture of our liberty, even if it appears fragile and insignificant, if it is really directed towards the authentic good, rests on Him who is the good Lord of history and becomes part of a buoyancy that exceeds our poor forces, uniting indissolubly all the actions of good will in a web that unites heaven and earth, which is a true instrument of the humanization of each person, and the world as a whole. This is all that we need for living well and for nourishing a hope that may be at the height of our dignity as human persons.

The Church, Mother and Teacher, aware of having received in gift an undeserved deposit, offers to the men and women of all times the resources for a dependable hope. Mary, Mother of God made man for us, may take our hearts in hand and guide them in the wise building of that good that her Son Jesus, through his humanity made new by the Holy Spirit, has come to inaugurate for the salvation of the world.

 

The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has approved these Considerations adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Dicastery and ordered its publication.

Rome, January 6, 2018, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

+ LUIS F. LADARIA, S.I. PETER CARD. TURKSON
Titular Archbishop of Thibica Prefect of the Dicastery
for Promoting Integral Human Development
Prefect of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith

 

+ GIACOMO MORANDI BRUNO MARIE DUFFÉ
Titular Archbishop of Cerveteri Secretary of the Dicastery for
Promoting Integral Human Development
Secretary of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith

 


 

[1] Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen gentium, 48.

[2] Cf. ibid., 5.

[3] Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’  (24 May 2015), 231: AAS 107 (2015), 937.

[4] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate (29 June 2009), 59: AAS 101 (2009), 694.

[5] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Fides et ratio (14 September 1998), 98: AAS 91 (1999), 81.

[6] Cf. International Theological Commission, In Search of a Universal Ethic: A New Look at the Natural Law, 87.

[7] Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 189: AAS 107 (2015), 922.

[8] Id., Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium (24 November 2013), 178: AAS 105 (2013), 1094.

[9] Cf. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority, 1: L’Osservatore Romano (24-25 October 2011), 6.

[10] Cf. Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 189: AAS 107 (2015), 922.

[11] Id., Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 53: AAS 105 (2013), 1042.

[12] Ibid., 58AAS 105 (2013), 1044.

[13] Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis humanae, 14.

[14] Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate (29 June 2009), 45: AAS 101 (2009), 681.

[15] Ibid., 74: AAS 101 (2009), 705.

[16] Cf. Francis, Address to the European Parliament (25 November 2014), Strasbourg: AAS 106 (2014), 997-998.

[17] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, 37: AAS 101 (2009), 672.

[18] Cf. ibid., 55: AAS 101 (2009), 690.

[19] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollecitudo rei socialis (30 December 1987), 42: AAS 80 (1988), 572.

[20] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1908.

[21] Cf. Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 13: AAS 107 (2015), 852; Apostolic Exhortation  Amoris laetitia (19 March 2016), 44:AAS 108 (2016), 327.

[22] Cf. For example the motto, Ora et Labora that recalls the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia, in its simplicity, indicates that prayer, especially liturgical, while opening for us a relationship with God who, in Jesus Christ and in his Spirit, reveals himself as the Good and True, also offers in this manner the appropriate form as well as the way to construct a better and truer world that is more human.

[23] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus annus (1 May 1991), 17, 24, 42: AAS 83 (1991), 814, 821, 845.

[24] Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo anno (15 May 1931), 105: AAS 23 (1931), 210; PAUL VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum progressio (26 March 1967), 9: AAS 59 (1967), 261; Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 203: AAS 107 (2015), 927.

[25] Cf. Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 175. On the necessary connection between economy and politics cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, 36: “Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through the simple application ofcommercial logic. This needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for which the political community in particular must also take responsibility. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution.”

[26] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, 58: AAS 101 (2009), 693.

[27] Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et spes, 64.

[28] Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo anno, 89: AAS 23 (1931), 206; Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, 35:AAS 101 (2009), 670; Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 204AAS 105 (2013), 1105.

[29] Cf. Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 109: AAS 107 (2015), 891.

[30] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem exercens (14 September 1981), 9: AAS 73 (1981), 598.

[31] Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 53AAS 105 (2013), 1042.

[32] Cf. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 369.

[33] Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo anno, 132: AAS 23 (1931), 219; Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum progressio, 24:AAS 59 (1967), 269.

[34] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2409.

[35] Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum progressio, 13. Some important indications were already offered in this regard (cf. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority, 4: L’Osservatore Romano, 24-25 October 2011, 7). We now intend to proceed in the line of a similar discernment in order to encourage a positive development of the economic-financial system and to contribute towards the elimination of those unjust structures that limit potential benefits of them.

[36] Cf. Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’,198: AAS 107 (2015), 925.

[37] Cf. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 343.

[38] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, 35: AAS 101 (2009), 670.

[39] Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting “Economy of Communion”, Sponsored by the Focolare Movement (4 February 2017): L’Osservatore Romano (5 February 2017), 8.

[40] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollecitudo rei socialis, 28: AAS 80 (1988), 548.

[41] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, 67: AAS 101 (2009), 700.

[42] Cf. Pontifical Council for Justice And Peace, Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority, 1: L’Osservatore Romano (24-25 October 2011), 6.

[43] Cf. ibid., 4: L’Osservatore Romano (24-25 October 2011), 7.

[44] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, 45: AAS 101 (2009), 681;Francis, Message for the Celebration of the 48thWorld Day of Peace (1 January 2015), 5: AAS 107 (2015), 66.

[45] Cf. Benedict, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate,36: AAS 101 (2009), 671.

[46] Cf. Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 189: AAS 107 (2015), 922.

[47] Cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See (8 January 2007): L’Osservatore Romano (8-9 January 2007), 6-7.

[48] Cf. Id., Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, 66: AAS 101 (2009), 699.

[49] Cf. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 358.

 

2018年5月18日

・米大使館エルサレム移転に抗議のパレスチナ人に死傷者多数-教皇が哀悼、和平訴え(Crux)


(2018.5.16 Crux  VATICAN CORRESPONDENT Inés San Martín)

ローマ発―米国の在イスラエル大使館のエルサレムへの移転強行をきっかけに、これに抗議するパレスチナ人に対してイスラエル軍が銃撃、パレスチナ自治区ガザで60人を超える死者、3000人を超える負傷者が出る大惨事となっているが、教皇フランシスコは16日の定例一般謁見の最後に、この問題を取り上げ、聖地と中東での暴力の連鎖に強い懸念を示した。

 教皇は「私は聖地と中東地域での緊張の拡大、そして、和平、対話、交渉の道から外れた暴力の連鎖に強い懸念を表明します」と述べ、犠牲者と負傷者に哀悼の意を示すとともに、被害に遭ったすべての人々に心を寄せ、「暴力によって、平和は絶対にもたらせません。戦いは戦いを、暴力は暴力を生むのです」と訴え、「神が私たちをお見捨てになりませんように」と祈った。そして、「すべての関係者と国際社会が、対話、正義、そして和平の道に戻るように求めます」と、イスラエルと世界の関係者に呼びかけた。

 また、連合軍のローマ進軍の端緒を開いたモンテカシーノ作戦の記念式典に参加するためイタリアを訪問し、一般謁見に参加した第二次大戦の元ポーランド兵たちを謁見し、「前世紀、二つの大きな集団が(悲惨な戦いを繰り広げた)、そして私たちはそこから教訓を学んでいない。神が、私たちをお助けくださいますように」と述べ、また「あなた方が経験した戦争の悲劇、聖霊の力をもって、理想への誠実さと命の証しが、世界中で続く紛争の終結と和平の道への力となるように」と祈った。

 トランプ米大統領が昨年12月、選挙公約だった米大使館のエルサレム移転の実施を表明した際、教皇は、エルサレムのために「深い懸念を表明せざるを得ない」としたうえで、「聖都の現状維持を定めた国連決議」を尊重するように、強く訴えていた。

(翻訳「カトリック・あい」南條俊二)

・・Cruxは、カトリック専門のニュース、分析、評論を網羅する米国のインターネット・メディアです。 2014年9月に米国の主要日刊紙の一つである「ボストン・グローブ」 (欧米を中心にした聖職者による幼児性的虐待事件摘発のきっかけとなった世界的なスクープで有名。映画化され、日本でも昨年、全国上映された)の報道活動の一環として創刊されました。現在は、米国に本拠を置くカトリック団体とパートナーシップを組み、多くのカトリック関係団体、機関、個人の支援を受けて、バチカンを含め,どこからも干渉を受けない、独立系カトリック・メディアとして世界的に高い評価を受けています。「カトリック・あい」は、カトリック専門の非営利メディアとして、Cruxが発信するニュース、分析、評論の日本語への翻訳、転載について了解を得て、掲載します。

2018年5月17日

・バチカン奉献・使徒的生活会省が女子観想修道会のための指導書発表

 

修道女らに挨拶する教皇フランシスコ – AP

(2015.5.15 バチカン放送)

 教皇庁奉献・使徒的生活会省(長官ジョアン・ブラス・ジ・アビス枢機卿)が15日、女子観想修道会のための指導書を公布した。「コル・オランス(祈る心)」と題されたこの文書は、2年前に発布された教皇フランシスコによる、女子観想修道会のための使徒憲章「ヴルトゥム・デイ・クエレレ」を実践するための指導書としての役割を持つ。

 同指導書は、先の使徒憲章「ヴルトゥム・デイ・クエレレ」をよりよく実施するために、観想修道会のあり方について規則を明確に提示すると共に、実際の様々なケースを考慮しながら、その実践プロセスを具体的に説明している。

 教皇この憲章を通し、第2バチカン公会議から50年を経た今、女子観想修道会がその生活の基本的価値を守りながら、現代社会と対話し、今日の精神的潮流に挑戦していく必要を説いていた。

指導書は、序文と総則的定義に続き、以下のように全4章から構成されている。

第一章 自治修道院 1.創立 2.法的創立 3.縁組 4.移動 5.廃止

第二章 修道院などの連盟 1.性格と目的 2.連盟の会長 3.連盟の評議会 4.連盟の総会 5.連盟の事務局 6.宗教的支援

第三章 世からの隔離 1.観想生活の基本原理と重要性 2.通信メディア 3.禁域 4.教皇禁域 5.教皇禁域をめぐる規則 6.会憲に定められた禁域  a.会憲的禁域  b.修道的禁域 7.会憲的禁域をめぐる規則

第四章 養成 1.一般規則 2.終身養成 3.終身養成の方法 4.初期養成   a.準志願期   b.志願期   c.修練期   d.有期誓願期

 同文書は、これによって女子観想修道会の生活を助け、観想修道会がその無償性と使徒的豊かさを守り続けると共に、神秘的で多様的な聖性の目に見える証しとなることを願っている。

 *指導書の全文英語訳以下の通り。

“Cor Orans” – Implementing Instruction of the Apostolic Constitution “Vultum Dei quaerere” on women’s contemplative life, of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, 15.05.2018

INTRODUCTION

Praying heart, guardian of gratuity, wealth of apostolic fruitfulness and of a mysterious and multiform holiness is the feminine contemplative life in the Church[1]. The contemplative life of nuns, rooted in the silence of the cloister, from its beginnings through a mysterious apostolic fruitfulness enriches the Church of Christ with fruits of grace and mercy[2].

With our gaze turned to this unique form of the sequela Cristi, Pope Pius XII, on November 21, 1950, published the Apostolic Constitution Sponsa Christi Ecclesia[3] with feminine monastic life as the object.  In this document, the Roman Pontiff recognized the monasteries of nuns as true autonomous monasteries[4] and advocated the birth of the Federations[5] as structures of communion to overcome the isolation of monasteries in order to favor the conservation of the common charism and collaboration in various forms of reciprocal help, giving indications for the accommodata renovatio[6] of what was defined as the Institute of nuns, above all on the issue of cloister[7]. In fact, Pope Pius XII anticipated for the monasteries of nuns what the Second Vatican Council would ask a few years later of all the religious institutes[8].

As Pope Pius XII himself recalled at the beginning of the Apostolic Constitution which, almost as a historical introduction, delineates the essential features of the various phases of female consecrated life in the Church[9] over the centuries, the intention and design of the founders, sanctioned by the competent authority of the Church, has enriched the Church, the Bride of Christ, with a multitude of charisms, modeling various forms of contemplative life in diverse monastic traditions and different charismatic families[10].

The originality of the document, which dealt with the discipline/norms common to the Institute of nuns, of the autonomous monastery, and the Federation among autonomous monasteries, gave long life to the Apostolic Constitution Sponsa Christi Ecclesia, which remained in force even after the celebration of Vatican Council II and the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law, up to the present.

In fact, Pope Francis, by promulgating the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere, on June 29, 2016, to help the contemplatives reach the aim of their specific vocation, invited reflection and discernment on the precise content[11] tied to consecrated life in general and to the monastic tradition in particular, but he did not intend to abrogate Sponsa Christi Ecclesia that was derogated only in some points[12].  As a consequence, the two pontifical documents are to be held as normative in force for monasteries of nuns and must be read in a unitary vision.

Pope Francis, in the wake of the teaching of Pope Pius XII and reaffirmed by Ecumenical Vatican Council II, intended to present in Vultum Dei quaerere  the intense and fruitful path taken by the Church in the last decades, in the light of the teachings of the same Council and considering the changed socio-cultural conditions[13].

As a consequence, from the moment that Institutes entirely dedicated to contemplation always occupy an eminent place in the mystical body of Christ “no matter how urgent the need of the active apostolate, the members of these Institutes cannot be called to lend the help of their work in diverse pastoral ministries” [14].

By the mandate of the Holy Father[15], the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has redacted the present Instruction application of the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere, offered “to the Church, with particular reference to monasteries of the Latin Rite” [16]an Instruction that intends to clarify the dispositions of the law, developing and determining the procedures for implementing it[17].

 

GENERAL NORMS

1.      According to the law, the term nuns, in addition to the religious of solemn vows, refers to those who profess simple vows in monasteries, both perpetual as temporary.  The Church, among the women consecrated to God through the profession of the evangelical counsels, designates only to nuns the commitment of public prayer, raising to God in its name the Divine Office as a praying community to be celebrated in chorus.

2.      The legitimate name nuns is not opposed to: 1) the simple profession emitted legitimately in monasteries; 2) the exercise of apostolic works joined to contemplative life whether by approved institution and confirmed by the Holy See for some Orders, or for legitimate prescription or concession by the Holy See in favor of some monasteries.

3.      All monasteries in which only simple vows are professed can ask the Holy See for the restoration of the solemn vows.

4.      The particular form of religious life that nuns must live faithfully according to the charism of their Institute, and to which they are destined by the Church, is canonical contemplative life. The term canonical contemplative life does not mean the internal and theological one to which all the faithful are invited in the power of baptism, but rather the external profession of religious discipline that, whether through the exercises of piety, prayer, and mortification, or through the occupations which the nuns must attend to, is so ordered to interior contemplation that their whole life and all actions can easily and must  efficaciously be imbued by the desire for it.

5.      Holy See in the present Instruction refers to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

6.      Monastery sui juris refers to the religious house of a female monastic community that, having the requisites for real autonomy of life, was legitimately erected by the Holy See and enjoys juridical autonomy under the law.

7.      Federation of monasteries means a structure of communion among some autonomous monasteries of the same Institute, erected by the Holy See that approves the Statutes, so that in sharing the same charism, the federated monasteries overcome isolation and promote regular observance and contemplative life.

8.      Association of monasteries is meant a structure of communion between several autonomous monasteries of the same Institute erected by the Holy See so that, in sharing the same charism, the associated monasteries collaborate among themselves according to the Statutes approved by the Holy See.

9.      Conference of monasteries means a structure of communion among autonomous monasteries, belonging to diverse Institutes and present in the same region, erected by the Holy See that approves the Statutes, with the aim of promoting contemplative life and of favoring collaboration among the monasteries in particular geographical or linguistic contexts.

10.   Confederation means a structure of connection among Federations of monasteries, erected by the Holy See that approves the Statutes, for the study of themes relative to contemplative life in relation to the same charism, to give unitary direction and a certain coordination to the activity of the individual Federations[18].

11.   International Commission means a centralized organ of service and of study for the benefit of nuns of the same Institute, erected or recognized by the Holy See that approves its Statutes, for the study of themes relative to contemplative life in relation to the same charism[19].

12.   Monastic Congregation means a structure of government, erected by the Holy See, among several autonomous monasteries of the same Institute, under the authority of a President, who is the Major Superior according to law[20], and of a general chapter, that in the monastic Congregation is the supreme authority, in accordance with the Constitutions approved by the Holy See.

13.   The provisions of this Instruction for the Federation of Monasteries are equally valid for the Association of Monasteries and for the Conference of Monasteries, taking into account their unique nature and their own Statutes approved by the Holy See.

14.   The provisions of this Instruction for the Federation of Monasteries apply congrua congruis referendo to the women monastic Congregations, unless otherwise provided by the universal and proper law, or does not otherwise arise from the context or nature of things.

 

CHAPTER ONE

THE AUTONOMOUS MONASTERY

15.       The monastery sui juris is a religious house which enjoys legal autonomy: its Superior is a Major Superior[21], its community is permanently established for the number and quality of the members; by law it is the place of the novitiate and of formation, is considered a public juridical person, and its assets are ecclesiastical goods.

16.       The Church recognizes for every monastery sui juris a proper juridical autonomy of life and of government, through which the community of nuns can enjoy its own discipline and be able to preserve its character and protect its identity[22].

17.       The autonomy of the monastery favors stability of life and the internal unity of each community, ensuring the best conditions for the life of the nuns, according to the spirit and the nature of the Institute to which they belong[23].

18.       In order to obtain juridical autonomy for a monastery of nuns, it must presuppose a real autonomy of life, that is, the ability to manage the life of the monastery in all its dimensions (vocational, formative, governmental, relational, liturgical, economic …). In this case, an autonomous monastery is alive and vital[24].

19.       A monastery of nuns, as every religious house, is erected while keeping in mind its usefulness for the Church and for the Institute[25].

I. Foundation

20.       The foundation of a monastery of nuns, keeping in mind what is established in no. 39 of the present Instruction, can take place either by a single monastery or through the action of the Federation, as established by the Federal Assembly.

21. The foundation on the part of a single monastery must be an expression of the maturity of the community of a living and vital autonomous monastery, which generates a new community capable of being, in turn, a witness of the primacy of God, according to the spirit and the nature of the Institute to which the community belongs.

22. The foundation established by the Federation must be an expression of the communion among the monasteries and express the will to spread the contemplative life, especially in particular churches where this is not present.

23. In discerning the foundation of a new monastery on the part of a single monastery, the Federal President and the religious Assistant intervene to help the Superior of the founding monastery. The discernment on the foundation of a new monastery by the Federation is made within the framework of the Federal Assembly.

24.       The opportunity for the foundation of a monastery of nuns must be prudently considered, especially if the foundation is carried out by a single monastery, so that the founding community is not weakened, carefully considering the choice of the place, because this choice involves a different and particular form of preparation for the foundation and the members of the future community.

25.       In choosing the country in which the foundation is to take place, consideration must be given if monastic life is already present, all necessary and useful information must be acquired, above all on the presence and vitality of the Catholic Church, on vocations to consecrated life, on the religious attitude of the population, and on the possibility of future vocations for the new foundation.

26.       In choosing the place for the foundation, the necessary conditions must be ensured to guarantee the nuns the possibility of an adequate sustenance, of regularly conducting contemplative life in the monastery[26], and of favoring relations among the monasteries.

27.       In choosing the place of the foundation, particular attention must be paid to the needs of the sacramental and spiritual life of the new monastery, because the lack of clergy in some particular churches does not always allow the appointment of a priest who has the competence and spiritual sensitivity to accompany the community of a monastery of nuns.

28.       In choosing the place of the foundation, the aspect of separation from the world must be especially foreseen and cared for given the public witness that the nuns are obliged to render to Christ and the Church in contemplative life, according to the nature and aims of the Institute of belonging[27], in the discipline of cloister, provided by law[28].

29.       The monastery of nuns is founded with a capitular decision of the community of an autonomous monastery or with a decision of the Federal Assembly, and the sending of at least five nuns, at least three of them of solemn vows, with the prior written consent of the diocesan Bishop[29] and the authorization of the Holy See.

30.       The foundation does not, however, enjoy any autonomy; until the time of the canonical erection as monastery sui juris, it is entirely dependent on the founding monastery or on the Federation.

31.       The local Superior of the foundation is a nun of solemn vows, suitable for the exercise of the service of authority, appointed by the Major Superior of the founding monastery or by the Federal President, in accordance with their proper law.

32.       The nuns of the foundation, who must freely adhere in writing to this project, retain capitular rights in their own monastery which remain suspended in their exercise until the erection of the new monastery.

33.       The Major Superior of the founding monastery or the Federal President may ask the Holy See that the foundation be established as the place of the novitiate in the presence of a community of at least five professed nuns with solemn vows, assuring the presence of a nun of solemn vows legitimately appointed by the Major Superior of the founding monastery or the Federal President, who performs the task of novice mistress.

34.       If the foundation was made by a single monastery, until the time of the erection as an autonomous monastery, candidates are admitted to the novitiate, novices to temporary profession, and temporary professed to solemn profession by the Major Superior of the founding monastery, in accordance with the universal and proper law.

35.       If the foundation was made by the Federation, until the time of its erection as an autonomous monastery, candidates are admitted to the novitiate, novices to temporary profession, and temporary professed to solemn profession by the Federal President, with the consent of the Federal Council, after consulting the local Superior and the foundation community, in accordance with the universal law and the Statutes of the Federation.

36.       The community of the foundation does not have a conventual chapter, but a local chapter and, until the time of erection as an autonomous monastery, profession will be  emitted for the founding monastery  – or for another monastery of reference established by the Federal President at the time of the foundation on the part of the Federation – although in view of the future erection of a new autonomous monastery.

37.       The foundation, if erected in the place of the novitiate, becomes the place of formation for the temporary professed as well; therefore, it must ensure the presence of a nun of solemn vows, legitimately appointed by the Major Superior of the founding monastery or by the Federal President, who carries out the task of formation.

38.       It is established that the appropriate time between the foundation and erection of a monastery of nuns will be fifteen years at most. After this period of time the Holy See, having heard the Superior of the founding monastery, the Federal President, the religious Assistant, and the competent Ordinary, must assess whether there is a well-founded hope of continuing the foundation to reach the canonical erection of the monastery or decree its end, according to the law.

II. Canonical Erection

39.       A monastery of nuns is erected as a monastery sui juris at the request of the community of the founding monastery or by the decision of the Federal Council with the approval of the Holy See[30] in the presence of the following requirements:

a) A community that has given good testimony of fraternal life in common with “the necessary vitality in living and transmitting the charism”[31], composed of at least eight nuns of solemn vows, “as long as most are not of advanced age”[32].

b) Besides the number, special skills are required of some nuns of the community who must be able to assume: as Superior, the service of authority; as formator, the initial formation of candidates; as financial administrator, the administration of the goods of the monastery.

c) Rooms adapted to the lifestyle of the community, to ensure that the nuns can regularly lead the contemplative life according to the nature and spirit of their Institute.

d) Economic conditions that guarantee the community itself can provide for the needs of daily life.

These criteria must be considered in their entirety and from an overall perspective[33].

40.       It is the responsibility of the Holy See to evaluate the presence of these requisites, after carefully considering the request transmitted by the Major Superior of the founding monastery or by the Federal President, and having acquired, on its part, other information.

41.       The erection of a monastery of nuns cannot proceed if prudence does not indicate it can adequately provide for the needs of the community[34] and there is no certainty in regard to the stability of the monastery.

42.       Bearing in mind the particular apostolate of the contemplative communities with the witness of their consecrated life, which the nuns are called to render to Christ and to the Church, and the eminent place that they occupy in the mystical Body of Christ, the nuns cannot be called on to lend the help of their work in the various pastoral ministries nor should they accept them.

43.       Autonomy of life, a constant prerequisite for maintaining juridical autonomy, must be constantly verified by the Federal President [35] who, when in her judgment a monastery lacks autonomy of life, must inform the Holy See in view of the nomination of an ad hoc commission[36].

44.       The autonomous monastery is governed by a Major Superior, designated according to the norm of the proper law.

45.       When the number of professed members of solemn vows reaches five, the community of said monastery loses the right to the election of its Superior. In this case, the Federal President is obliged to inform the Holy See in view of appointing the ad hoc commission[37] and whoever has the right to preside over the elective chapter, subject to authorization from the Holy See, will proceed to the appointment of an Administrator Superior, after having heard the members of the community individually.

46.       The autonomous monastery has the capacity to acquire, possess,  administer, and dispose of temporal goods, in accordance with the universal and proper law[38].

47.       The assets of the autonomous monastery are administered by a nun of solemn vows, with the office of Financial Administrator, constituted according to the proper law and distinct from the Major Superior of the monastery[39].

48.       The community of the monastery considers the goods in its possession as gifts received from God through benefactors and the work of the community, as a necessary and useful means to achieve the proper ends of the Institute to which they belong, always respecting the requirements of the profession of the evangelical counsel of poverty by public vow.

49. Extraordinary administrative acts are those that exceed the usual needs for the maintenance and work of the community and for the normal maintenance of the buildings of the monastery.

50. Within the ordinary administration, the Major Superior and the Financial Administrator of the monastery carry out valid administrative acts within the confines of their roles.

51. For expenses and acts of extraordinary administration, the authorization of the Council of the monastery and of the conventual Chapter is necessary according to the value of the sum, to be determined by the proper law.

52. In derogation from can. 638, §4 CJC, for the validity of the alienation and of any other transaction by which the patrimonial situation of the monastery could be damaged, the written permission of the Major Superior is required with the consent of the Council or of the conventual Chapter, depending on the value of the sale and the transaction, and the opinion of the Federal President[40].

53. If it deals with a transaction or sale whose value exceeds the sum set by the Holy See for the individual regions or of votive donations made to the Church or of precious items of historical and artistic value, the permission of the Holy See is also required.

III. Affiliation

54.       Affiliation is a particular form of help that the Holy See establishes in particular situations in favor of the community of a monastery sui juris which has only an asserted autonomy, but in reality, very precarious or, in fact, non-existent.

55.       Affiliation is configured as a juridical support that must assess whether the inability to manage the life of the autonomous monastery in all its dimensions is only temporary or is irreversible, helping the community of the affiliated monastery to overcome difficulties or to put in place what is necessary to bring about the suppression of this monastery.

56. In these cases, it is up to the Holy See to evaluate the opportunity of setting up an ad hoc commission formed by the Ordinary, the Federation President, the Federal Assistant, and the Major Superior of the monastery[41].

57.       Through affiliation, the Holy See suspends the status of autonomous monastery, rendering it donec aliter provideatur ahouse dependent on another autonomous monastery of the same Institute or of the Federation, according to what is established in the present Instruction and any other provisions on the matter given by the Holy See itself.

58.       The Major Superior of the autonomous affiliating monastery or the Federal President is constituted Major Superior of the affiliated monastery.

59.       The local Superior of the affiliated monastery is a nun of solemn vows, named ad nutum by the Major Superior of the autonomous monastery or by the Federal President[42], with the consent of the respective Council, having heard the nuns of the community of the affiliated monastery.  Said local Superior is constituted legal representative of the affiliated monastery.

60.       The affiliated monastery can accept candidates, but the novitiate and initial formation must be performed in the affiliating monastery or in another monastery established by the Federation.

61.       The candidates of the affiliated monastery are admitted to the novitiate, the novices to temporary profession, and the temporary professed to solemn profession by the Major Superior of the affiliating monastery, having heard the community of the affiliated monastery and obtained the favorable vote of the conventual Chapter of the affiliating monastery or of the Federal President with the consent of her Council.

62.       Profession will be emitted for the affiliated monastery.

63.       During the time of affiliation, the finances of the two monasteries are administered distinctly.

64.       The celebration of the conventual Chapter is suspended in the affiliated monastery, but the possibility of calling local Chapters remains unaffected.

IV. Transfer

65. By transfer we mean the translocation of a monastic community from its own location to another for a just cause, without modifying the juridical status of the monastery, the composition of the community, and the holders of the various offices.

66. To perform the transference, it is necessary to:

–          Obtain a decision of the monastery conventual Chapter by a two-thirds majority of the votes;

–          Advise in a convenient time the Bishop in whose diocese the monastery that will be left is located;

–          Obtain the prior written consent of the Bishop of the diocese where the community of nuns is transferring;

–          Submit the request for transfer to the Holy See, engaging in the conveyance of assets owned by the monastery community, in accord with the canonical and civil norms on the matter.

 

V. Suppression

 

67.       Affiliation can be an opportunity for recovery and rebirth when autonomy of life is partially compromised. If the situation of incapacity is irreversible, the solution, as painful as it is necessary, is the suppression of the monastery.

68.       A monastery of nuns that cannot express, according to the contemplative nature and finality of the Institute, the particular public witness to Christ and to the Church His Bride, must be suppressed, keeping in mind the usefulness to the Church and to the Institute to which the monastery belongs.

69. In these cases, it is up to the Holy See to evaluate the opportunity of setting up an ad hoc commission formed by the Ordinary, by the Federation President, the Federal Assistant, and by the Major Superior of the monastery[43].

70.       Among the criteria that can contribute to determine a judgment concerning the suppression of a monastery, after having examined all the circumstances, the following points should be considered as a whole: the number of nuns, the advanced age of the majority of the members, the real capacity for government and formation, lack of candidates for a number of years, lack of the necessary vitality in living and transmitting the charism in dynamic fidelity[44].

71.       A monastery of nuns is only suppressed by the Holy See after having acquired the opinion of the diocesan Bishop[45] and, if it seems opportune, having heard the opinion of the Federal President, of the religious Assistant, and of the religious Ordinary, if the monastery is associated according to the norm of can. 614 CJC.

72.      The assets of the suppressed monastery, respecting the will of the founders and donors, follow the surviving nuns and go, in proportion, to the monasteries that receive them, unless otherwise provided by the Holy See[46] which may dispose, in individual cases, of a portion of the assets to be given to charity, to the particular church within whose boundaries the monastery is located, to the Federation, and to the “Fund for the nuns”.

73.       In the event of the suppression of a totally extinct monastery, when there are no surviving nuns, unless otherwise provided by the Holy See[47], the destination of the suppressed monastery’s assets, in compliance with canon and civil law, go to the respective higher juridical person, that is, to the Federation of monasteries or to another structure of communion among the monasteries equal to it or to the female monastic Congregation.

VI. Ecclesial Vigilance of the Monastery

74. Each structure of communion or government in which female monasteries can be configured, are guaranteed the necessary and due supervision, exercised principally – but not exclusively – through the regular visit of an authority external to the monasteries themselves.

75. Under the universal and proper law, the service of supervision corresponds to:

1. The President of the female monastic Congregation in reference to the communities of the congregated monasteries;

2. The Major Superior of the male associated institute, who is called the religious Ordinary, in reference to the community of the juridically associated female monastery, according to the law[48];

3. The diocesan Bishop in reference to the communities of monasteries entrusted to his special vigilance according to the norm of law[49] present in his own particular church.

76. Each female monastery is entrusted to the vigilance of a single authority, since the regime of simultaneous and cumulative “double dependence”, that is, of the Bishop and of the regular Superior, present in various canons of the Code of Canon Law of 1917, is no longer present in the Code of Canon Law.

77. As regards the monasteries of nuns united in the monastic Congregation, the scope and concrete methods for carrying out the service of vigilance are to be drawn from the Constitutions of the female monastic Congregation, approved by the Holy See.

78. As regards the monasteries of juridically associated nuns, the scope and modalities for carrying out the service of vigilance by the religious Ordinary are established in their own Constitutions, approved by the Holy See, in which must be defined the rights and duties of the associate Superior and of the associated female monastery, according to their own spirituality and traditions.

79. As far as possible, the legal association of monasteries of nuns to the corresponding male order should be encouraged[50] in order to protect the identity of the charismatic family.

80. Congregated monasteries and juridically associated monasteries, however, remain bound to the diocesan Bishop as established by the universal law and reported in no. 83 of the present Instruction.

81. As regards the female monasteries entrusted to the particular vigilance of the diocesan Bishop, this is expressed in respect to the monastery community mainly in the cases established by the universal law; as the diocesan Bishop, he:

a) presides over the conventual Chapter that elects the Major Superior [51].

b) carries out the regular visit of the monastery, also with regard to internal discipline[52], taking into account the provisions of this Instruction;

c) examines, as the Local Ordinary, the annual report of the financial administration of the monastery[53];

d) in derogation from can. 638, §4 CJC, gives as Local Ordinary, his written consent for particular administrative acts, if established by its proper law [54].

e) confirms the indult of definitive departure from the monastery, granted to a temporary professed member by the Major Superior with the consent of her Council[55];

f) issues the decree of dismissal of a nun, even of temporary vows[56].

82. These cases, expressed to delineate the scope and modality of the particular vigilance of the diocesan Bishop, form the basis of the scope and the vigilance of the religious Ordinary of the Associating Institute over the juridically associated female monastery and must be present in the Constitutions of the associated monastery.

VII. Relations between the Monastery and the Diocesan Bishop

83. All female monasteries, without prejudice to internal autonomy[57]  and possible external exemption[58] are subject to the diocesan Bishop, who exercises pastoral care in the following cases:

a) the community of the female monastery is subject to the power of the Bishop[59], to whom it must devote respect and reverence in what concerns the public exercise of divine worship, the care of souls,[60] and the forms of apostolate corresponding to their character[61];

b) the diocesan Bishop[62], on the occasion of the pastoral visit or other paternal visits and even in case of necessity, can provide appropriate solutions himself[63] when he finds that there are abuses and after appeals made to the Major Superior have had no effect;

c) the diocesan Bishop intervenes in the erection of the monastery by giving written consent before the approval of the Apostolic See is requested[64];

d) the diocesan Bishop intervenes, as local Ordinary, in the appointment of the chaplain[65] and, always as local Ordinary, in the approval of ordinary confessors[66]. Everything must take place “considering the specificity of the proper charism and the needs of fraternal life in community”[67];

e) the diocesan Bishop intervenes in the suppression of the monastery by expressing his opinion[68];

f) the exclaustrated nun refers to the diocesan Bishop, as the local Ordinary, and to her Superiors, remaining under their dependence and care[69];

g) the diocesan Bishop has the faculty, for a just cause, of entering the cloister and allowing other people to enter, with the consent of the Major Superior,[70].

84. For congregated monasteries and associated monasteries, the points of pastoral care delineated above constitute the only possible forms of intervention by the diocesan Bishop, since the rights/duties of the President of the Congregation for the congregated monasteries and the rights/duties of the religious Ordinary of the Associating Institute towards the associated monastery must be safeguarded.

85. For monasteries entrusted to the particular vigilance of the diocesan Bishop, the points of pastoral care just outlined are to be added to those that the Code of Canon Law presents as expressions of particular vigilance, referred to in no. 81 of the present Instruction.

 

SECOND CHAPTER

THE FEDERATION OF MONASTERIES

I. Nature and End

86. The Federation is a structure of communion among monasteries of the same Institute erected by the Holy See so that monasteries which share the same charism do not remain isolated but keep it faithfully and, giving each other mutual fraternal help, live the indispensable value of communion[71].

87. The Federation is made up of several autonomous monasteries that have affinity of spirit and traditions and even if they are not necessarily configured according to a geographical criterion, as far as possible, they must not be geographically too distant[72].

88. The Holy See has the exclusive competence to erect, suspend, unite, and suppress the Federations[73] of monasteries of nuns.

89. Likewise, the Holy See has the exclusive competence of ascribing an autonomous monastery to a Federation or allowing the passage of a monastery from one Federation to another of the same Institute.

90. The Federation of monasteries of nuns, by the source from which it derives and by the authority on which it directly depends and is governed, is of pontifical right, in accordance with canon law.

91. The Statutes of the Federation must conform not only to what is established by this Instruction, but also to the nature, laws, spirit, and traditions of the Institute to which they belong.

92. The Federation, in accordance with this Instruction and its Statutes, in the distinctiveness of its own charism, promotes contemplative life in the monasteries, guarantees assistance in initial and ongoing formation, as well as the exchange of nuns and material goods[74].

93. Pursuant to the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere, all monasteries must initially enter a Federation[75]. A monastery, for special reasons that are objective and motivated, with the vote of the conventual Chapter can ask the Holy See to be exempted from this obligation. The granting of such dispensation is reserved to the Holy See. A monastery, for objective and motivated reasons, with the vote of the conventual Chapter can ask the Holy See to no longer belong to a Federation. The Holy See must make an appropriate discernment before granting the exit from a Federation.

94. Once canonical erection has been obtained, the Federation seeks legal recognition also in the civil sphere and places its legal see in one of the monasteries belonging to it.

95. Several Federations of the same Institute, with the approval of the Holy See, can constitute a Confederation among them[76] to give a unitary direction and a certain coordination to the activity of the single Federations.

96. The Holy See can establish or approve an International Commission for each Institute with the aim of encouraging the study of themes related to the contemplative life in relation to its own charism[77].

97. The legitimately established Federation is a public juridic person in the Church and is therefore able to acquire, possess, administer, and alienate temporal, movable and immovable goods, which are ecclesiastical assets, in accordance with the universal and proper law.

98. To keep alive and strengthen the union of monasteries, implementing one of the aims of the Federation, a certain communication of goods is encouraged among the monasteries, coordinated by the Federal President.

99. The communication of goods in a Federation is implemented through contributions, gifts, loans that monasteries offer other monasteries that have financial difficulties, and for the common needs of the Federation.

100. The Federation considers the assets in its possession as necessary and useful means to achieve its goals.

101. Each Federation establishes an economic fund to be able to carry out the Federation’s aims. This fund serves to cover the ordinary expenses of the Federation itself and those relating to the formation of nuns at the federal level, to support the necessities of the subsistence and health of the nuns, to maintain the buildings, and to support new foundations.

102. The economic fund is nourished by the free donations of the monasteries, by the donations of benefactors, and by revenues deriving from the alienation of the assets of suppressed monasteries, as established by the present Instruction[78].

103. The Federation’s finances are managed by the Federal Council, presided over by the Federal President, who makes use of the collaboration of the Federal Financial Administrator.

104. As part of ordinary administration, the Federal President and the Financial Administrator of the Federation make purchases and carry out valid administrative tasks within the limits of their role.

105. For expenses and acts of extraordinary administration, the authorization of the Federal Council and of the Federal Assembly is required, according to the value of the sum established in the proper law. Each Federation in the Elective Assembly sets the sum for which it is necessary to have the authorization of the Federal Council and the Federal Assembly.

106. If it is a negotiation or sale whose value exceeds the sum set by the Holy See for the individual regions or deals with votive donations made to the Church of precious items due to their historical and artistic value, the permission of the Holy See is also required.

107. The validity of the sale and any other negotiation, through which the financial situation of the Federation could suffer damage, requires the written permission of the Federal President with the consent of the Council or the Federal Assembly, depending on the value of the negotiation, established by the proper law.

108. In derogation from can. 638, §4 CJC, for the validity of the alienation of the assets of the suppressed monasteries, the President of the Federation and the Federal Council, beyond the value of the asset to be alienated, always and exclusively requires written permission from the Holy See[79].

109. Unless otherwise provided by the Holy See[80], the Federation President disposes of the proceeds from the alienation of the assets of the totally extinct monasteries belonging to the Federation, as established by this Instruction.

II.  The Federal President

110. The President of the Federation, elected by the Federal Assembly in accordance with the Statutes of the Federation for a period of six years, is not a Major Superior and, in the exercise of her service, acts on the strength of what the present Instruction attributes to her[81] in accordance with the universal and proper law.

111. In exemption of can. 628, §2, 1° CJC, the Federation President, within the established time, accompanies the Regular Visitator in the canonical visit to the federated monasteries as a Co-Visitator [82].

112. The President of the Federation, when it comes to the canonical visit to the community of her own monastery, will delegate a Federal Councilor as a Co-Visitator of the regular Visitator.

113. The President of the Federation, whenever the need requires it, can visit the communities of the federated monasteries accompanied by a Co-Visitator, chosen in turn from among the Councilors, and by the Financial Administrators of the Federation.

114. All other visits – maternal or sisterly – are agreed on with the Superior of the monastery.

115. The President of the Federation, at the end of the canonical visit, indicates in writing to the Major Superior of the monastery, the most suitable solutions for the cases and situations that emerged during the visit and informs the Holy See of everything.

116. During the canonical visit, the President of the Federation verifies how the items contained in the points listed in no. 12 and developed in nos. 13-35 of the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere, are lived[83] and if the inherent application rules, decided in the Federal Assemblies, are observed.

117. The Federation President, in particular, watches over initial and ongoing formation in the monasteries to see if it is in conformity with the charism proper to the Institute, so that every community may be a beacon that illumines the journey of the men and women of our time [84]. At the end of the visit, she will inform the Holy See about the real possibilities that the monastery has or does not have of guaranteeing initial formation.

118. The formation of the formators and their collaborators is entrusted in part to the monasteries and in part to the Federation, therefore, the President of the Federation is called to strengthen formation at the federal level[85] and to require the participation of those who exercise the service of formation; if this does not happen, she will refer the matter to the Holy See.

119. The President of the Federation provides the formation foreseen by the Federal Assembly for those who are called to exercise the service of authority[86] and requires their participation; if this does not happen, she will refer the matter to the Holy See.

120. The President of the Federation, having heard the opinion of the Federal Council, chooses the most appropriate places to hold the specific formative courses for the formators and their collaborators, as well as those who are called to exercise the service of authority, establishing the duration of these courses in such a way that they are not detrimental to the needs of the contemplative life[87] and of the community.

121. When an autonomous monastery no longer possesses a real autonomy of life,[88] it is the responsibility of the Federation President to report the matter to the Holy See.

122. When the Major Superior of a monastery denies a nun consent for the passage to another monastery of the same Institute, the Federation President, having made due discernment with her Council on the matter, communicates this to the Holy See, who decides what to do.

 

III. The Federal Council

123. The Federal Council is composed of four councilors elected by the Federal Assembly from among all the solemnly professed nuns of the monasteries of the Federation and remains in office for six years.

124. The Federal Council has jurisdiction over what is attributed to it by this Instruction[89] and what may be established in the Statutes; nevertheless, the Federation President can consult it whenever she sees fit.

125. The Federal Council is consulted by the Federation President at the end of each canonical visit, before sending in writing to the Major Superior of the monastery, the best solutions to the cases and situations that emerged during the visit.

126. The Federal Council expresses its opinion in choosing the most appropriate times and places to hold specific formation courses for the formators and their collaborators, as well as for those who are called to exercise the service of authority.

127. The Federal Council collaborates with the Federation President in drafting the Report on the state of the Federation and of the individual monasteries, to be sent to the Holy See at the end of the six-year term.

128. The Federal Council is consulted by the Federation President before sending the request for affiliation or suppression of a monastery to the Holy See.

129.  The Federal Council gives its consent to the choice of the Federal Formator who carries out and coordinates initial formation in common[90]. Likewise, for serious reasons, it expresses its consent for the removal of the Federal Formator.

130. In exemption of can. 686, §2 CJC, the Federal Council gives its consent for the request of the indult of exclaustration for a nun of solemn vows, after the year granted by the Major Superior of the monastery, up to the completion of three years[91].

131. The Federal Council gives its consent for the request for the extension of the indult of exclaustration for a nun of solemn vows, to be requested from the Holy See[92]. Before presenting the matter to the Federal Council, the Federal President must obtain the written opinion of the Major Superior of the nun professed with solemn vows asking for the extension of the indult, expressed collegially together with the Council of the monastery, with the consent of the local Ordinary where the nun will have to live, and having acquired the opinion of the diocesan Bishop or of the competent religious Ordinary.

132. The Federal Council assumes the functions of the Council of the autonomous monastery when the latter, through affiliation, is entrusted to the Federation President in the process of accompaniment for the revitalization or for the suppression of the monastery[93].

 

IV. The Federal Assembly

133. The communion that exists among monasteries becomes visible in the Federal Assembly, a sign of unity in charity, whose primary task is to protect the charismatic patrimony of the Institute among the federated monasteries and to promote an adequate renewal in harmony with it, providing that no Federation of monasteries of nuns or Confederation of Federations represents the entire Institute.

134. The Federal President, the Federal Councilors, the Federal Financial Administrator, the Major Superior, and a Delegate from each autonomous federated monastery, elected by the conventual Chapter, are members of the Federal Assembly; the Federal Secretary functions solely as an actuary.

135. The Ordinary Federal Assembly is convened every six years and the federal offices are renewed in it.

136. The Intermediate Federal Assembly is convened every three years to verify the progress made and to adopt any remedies or changes within them.

137. If necessity requires or expediency suggests it, the Federal President, with the consent of the Federal Council, can convoke the Extraordinary Federal Assembly.

138. The Federal Assembly, both ordinary and interim, is convened by the President at least six months before the expiration of the six-year period or the completion of the three-year period.

139. The Extraordinary Federal Assembly is convened by the President two months before its celebration.

140. With the cessation of the office of the Federal President, by death or in other ways provided by law[94], the first Councilor convenes, within one month of the office’s vacancy, the Extraordinary Federal Assembly, to be celebrated within two months of the convocation. In this case, the Federal Councilors and the Federal Financial Administrator are elected again.

141. The Federal Assembly:

a.       receives the report of the Federal President on the state of the Federation and of the individual monasteries;

b.      elects the Federal President and the Federal Council;

c.       elects the Federal Financial Administrator;

d.      deals with issues of major importance;

e.       makes decisions and issues norms that all nuns are required to observe, after the definitive approval of the Holy See;

f.       develops for a six-year period, the common formation courses that each community is obliged to carry out;

g.      promotes the creation of new foundations and the methods for implementing them, both as single monasteries and as a federation;

h.      identifies a monastery as the place of initial common formation for the monasteries of the Federation[95];

i.        establishes a formation plan for those who are called to exercise the service of authority[96] and for the Formators[97].

 

V.  Federal Offices

142. The administration of the Federation is entrusted to the Federal Financial Administrator, elected by the Federal Assembly for six years.

143. The Federal Financial Administrator has the responsibility to carry out what is established by the Federal Council and collaborates with the Federation President, in the context of the regular Visit, in verifying the financial performance of the individual monasteries, noting their positive and critical aspects, data that must appear in the final Report of the visit.

144. The Federal Secretary is chosen by the Federation President and remains in office for six years; this office can be carried out by one of the Federal Councilors.

145. The Federal Secretary, as far as possible, resides in the monastery selected as the legal see of the Federation and retains the documents there and keeps the Federation archives updated.

146. Following the indications of the Federation President, the Federal Secretary draws up the agenda and convenes the Federal Council, during which she acts as an actuary.

147. The Federal Secretary, following the indications of the Federation President, prepares the Federal Assembly.

148. The Federal Formator[98] is appointed ad nutum by the Federation President with the consent of the Federal Council. The Federal Formator may be removed from her office for serious reasons, by the Federation President with the consent of the same Council.

 

VI.  The Religious Assistant

149. The Federation Assistant represents the Holy See for the Federation, but not for the individual monasteries that comprise it, and carries out his task faithfully following the provisions relating to this office and carrying out the task received within the limits of his competence.

150. The Federation Assistant, since he participates to a certain extent in the jurisdiction of the Holy See, is a presbyter appointed by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for one or more Federations.

151. The Federation Assistant is not a Major Superior and carries out his task in a spirit of collaboration and service towards the Federation by encouraging the preservation of the genuine spirit of the Institute and helping the President and her Council in the conduct of the Federation, especially in formation at the federal level and in solving the most important financial problems.

152. The appointment of the Federation Assistant is reserved to the Holy See, but the Federation has the faculty of presentation.

153. The appointment of the Assistant is ad nutum Sanctae Sedis.

154. The Federation President, within the established time, is obliged to present to the Holy See the names of three possible candidates for the office of Federation Assistant, attaching the results of the previous consultations of the communities of the single monasteries of the Federation, the curriculum vitae of each candidate, her own opinion and that of the Federation Council, the nulla osta of the Ordinaries of the candidates. The Holy See reserves to itself, in the manner deemed most appropriate and convenient, to integrate information concerning candidates to the office of Assistant.

155. Each year, the Federation Assistant must send a brief report of his work, on the progress of the Federation, reporting any particular situations. At the conclusion of his mandate, the Assistant sends a more detailed report on the state of the Federation to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

 

CHAPTER THREE

SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD

I.  Concept and Relevance for Contemplative Life

156. Starting from the wordings of the Code[99], it is affirmed that the separation from the world characterizes the nature and purpose of the religious Institutes of consecrated life and corresponds to the Pauline dictate of not conforming to the mentality of this century[100], fleeing from every form of worldliness.

For the religious life, the cloister is a common obligation for all Institutes[101] and expresses the material aspect of separation from the world – which, however, does not exhaust its scope – contributing to create in every religious house an atmosphere and an environment favorable to recollection, necessary for the life of each religious Institute, but particularly for those dedicated to contemplation.

157. In the contemplative life of nuns, the aspect of separation from the world deserves particular attention for the high esteem that the Christian community nurtures towards this kind of life, sign of the exclusive union of the Church-Bride with her Lord, supremely loved.

158. The life of contemplative nuns, engaged in prayer in a very special way, in order to keep the heart constantly turned towards the Lord, in asceticism, and in the fervid progress of spiritual life, is nothing other than a striving to the heavenly Jerusalem, an anticipation of the Eschatological Church, fixed on the possession and contemplation of the face of God.

159. The community of the monastery of nuns, placed as a city on the mountain top and a light on the lampstand[102], even in the simplicity of its life, visibly depicts the goal towards which the whole ecclesial community walks, ardent in action and dedicated to contemplation, it advances along the paths of time with eyes fixed on the future recapitulation of everything in Christ.

160. The material aspect of separation from the world has a particular manifestation in the cloister, which is the place of the Church’s intimacy because, in the light of the particular vocation and ecclesial mission, the cloister of the contemplatives responds to the need, perceived as a priority, to remain with the Lord.

161. With the name cloister, we mean the monastic space separated from the outside and reserved for the nuns, in which the presence of strangers can only be admitted in case of necessity. It must be a space of silence and recollection where the permanent search for the face of God can develop, according to the charism of the Institute.

162. The cloister evokes that cell of the heart where each one is called to live in union with the Lord. Accepted as a gift and a choice as a free response to love, it is the place of spiritual communion with God and neighbor, where the limitation of space and contacts works to the advantage of the internalization of evangelical values[103].

163. The cloister is not only an ascetic means of immense value, but a way of living the Passover of Christ, as a joyful proclamation and prophetic anticipation of the possibility offered to each person and to the whole of humanity to live solely for God, in Christ Jesus[104].

164. In the monasteries of nuns, the cloister must be understood in a positive sense as a space for the use and intimacy of the nuns who live the contemplative life, a space of domestic and family life, within which the community lives fraternal life in its most intimate dimension.

165. In monasteries of nuns, the cloister, in a privative sense, is to be considered as a space to be protected, to prevent access by strangers.

166. The modality of separation from the outside of the space exclusively reserved for the nuns must be material and effective, not just symbolic or spiritual. It is the responsibility of the Conventual Chapter of the monastery to determine the modality of separation from the outside.

167. Each monastery is obliged to maintain its primarily or predominantly contemplative physiognomy with all solicitude, engaging in a special way to create and live an area of external and interior silence in prayer[105], in asceticism, and fervent spiritual progress, in the careful celebration of the liturgy, in fraternal life in common, in regular observance, and in the discipline of separation from the world.

 

II. The Means of Communication

168. The legislation concerning the means of social communication, in all the variety in which it is presented today, aims at safeguarding recollection and silence: in fact, it is possible to empty contemplative silence when the cloister is filled with noises, news, and words. Recollection and silence are of great importance for the contemplative life as “the necessary space for listening and pondering His Word and the prerequisite for that gaze of faith that enables us to welcome God’s presence in our own life and in that of the sisters […] and in the events of today’s world “[106].

169. These means must therefore be used with sobriety and discretion, not only with regard to the contents but also to the quantity of information and the type of communication, “that they may be at the service of formation for the contemplative life and necessary communication, and do not become occasions for wasting time or escaping from the demands of  fraternal life in community, nor should they prove harmful for your vocation, or become an obstacle to your life wholly dedicated to contemplation[107].

170. The use of the means of communication for reasons of information, formation or work, can be allowed in the monastery, with prudent discernment, for common utility, according to the provisions of the Conventual Chapter contained in the community plan of life.

171. The nuns procure necessary information on the Church and the world, not with a multiplicity of news, but knowing how to grasp the essential in the light of God, to bring it to prayer in harmony with the heart of Christ.

 

III. The Cloister

172. Every single monastery of nuns or female monastic Congregation, according to can. 667, §3 CJC and of the present Instruction, conforms to papal cloister or defines it in the Constitutions or in another code of the proper law, respecting its own character[108].

173. The diocesan Bishop or the religious Ordinary oversees the observance of the cloister in the monasteries entrusted to their respective care, helping the Superior, who is responsible for its immediate custody.

174. In derogation from the provision of can. 667, §4 CJC, the diocesan Bishop, as well as the religious Ordinary, does not intervene in granting dispensation from the cloister[109].

175. In derogation of the provisions of can. 667, §4 CJC, the dispensation from the cloister rests solely with the Major Superior who, in the event that such dispensation exceeds fifteen days, can grant it only after having obtained the consent of her Council[110].

176. The limitation in the Instruction Verbi Sponsa[111] has been repealed; for just cause the Major Superior, according to the norm of can. 665, § 1 CJC, with the consent of her Council, may authorize the absence from the monastery of a nun with solemn vows for not more than a year, after hearing the diocesan Bishop or the competent religious Ordinary.

177. In derogation of can. 686, §2 CJC, the Major Superior, with the consent of her Council, can grant the indult of exclaustration to a nun professed with solemn vows, for not more than a year, after the consent of the Ordinary of the place where the nun will have to live, and after having heard the opinion of the diocesan Bishop or of the competent religious Ordinary[112].

178. In derogation of can. 686, §2 CJC, an extension of the indult of exclaustration can be granted by the Federal President with the consent of her Council, for a nun professed with solemn vows of a monastery of the Federation for a period of no more than two years[113].

179. For this concession, the Federal President before presenting the matter to the Federal Council, must obtain the written opinion of the Major Superior of the nun professing solemn vows who is asking for the extension of the indult, expressed collegially together with the Council of the monastery, with the prior consent of the Ordinary of the place where the nun will have to live, and having acquired the opinion of the diocesan Bishop or of the competent religious Ordinary.

180. Any further extension of the indult of exclaustration is reserved solely to the Holy See [114].

181. During the canonical visit, the Visitators are required to verify the observance of all the elements proper to the contemplative life as described in the Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere[115] with particular reference to the aspect of separation from the world.

182. The Church, because of the highest esteem it nourishes towards their vocation, encourages the nuns to live faithfully and with a sense of responsibility the spirit and the discipline of the cloister to promote in the community a fruitful and complete orientation towards the contemplation of God One and Triune.

 

IV. Papal Cloister

183. The papal cloister, established in 1298 by Boniface VIII, is that “in conformity with the norms given by the Apostolic See[116] and excludes external works of apostolate.

184. If Pius XII had distinguished it in major and minor papal cloister, [117] the Code of Canon Law recognizes only one type of papal cloister, which is observed in the monasteries of nuns entirely dedicated to the contemplative life[118].

185. Papal cloister for nuns means the recognition of the specificity of an entirely contemplative life which, by individually developing the spirituality of the marriage with Christ, becomes a sign and realization of the exclusive union of the Church Bride with her Lord.

186. A real separation from the world, primarily marked by silence and solitude[119], expresses and protects the integrity and identity of wholly contemplative life, so that it may be faithful to its specific charism and to the sound traditions of the Institute.

187. A wholly contemplative life, to be considered of papal cloister, must be fundamentally ordered to the attainment of union with God in contemplation.

188. An Institute is considered to be of wholly contemplative life if:

a) Its members direct all activities, both interior and exterior, to the intense and continuous search for union with God in the monastery and to the contemplation of His face;

b) It excludes external and direct tasks of apostolate and ordinarily, physical participation in events and ministries of the ecclesial community. This participation, subject to the consent of the Conventual Chapter, must be permitted only on special occasions by the diocesan Bishop or by the religious Ordinary of the monastery;

c) It implements separation from the world, according to concrete modalities established by the Conventual Chapter, in a radical, concrete, and effective way and not simply symbolic, in accordance with the universal and proper law, in line with the Institute’s charism.

 

V. Norms Regarding Papal Cloister

189. Given the variety of Institutes dedicated to a wholly contemplative life and of their traditions, in addition to what is established in this Instruction, some modalities of separation from the world are left to the Constitutions or other codes of the Institute’s proper law which, in line with its own charism, can also establish stricter rules concerning the cloister, which must be approved by the Apostolic See.

190. The law of papal cloister extends to the dwelling and to all the interior and exterior spaces of the monastery reserved exclusively for the nuns in which the presence of strangers can be admitted only in case of necessity. It must be a space of silence and recollection, facilitated by the absence of external works, where the permanent search for the face of God can develop more easily, according to the Institute’s charism.

191. The participation of the faithful in liturgical celebrations in the church or oratory of the monastery or in the lectio divinadoes not allow the exit of the nuns from papal cloister nor the entry of the faithful into the nuns’ choir, except in special cases at the judgment of the conventual Chapter.

192. By virtue of papal cloister law, the nuns, novices, and postulants must live within the cloister of the monastery, and it is not lawful for them to leave, except in the cases contemplated by law nor is it permissible for anyone to enter the cloister of the monastery, except for the foreseen cases.

193. In monasteries of wholly contemplative life, the legislation on separation from the world of external sisters, if contemplated by the Constitutions or other codes of the Institute’s own law, is defined by particular law.

194. The granting of permission to enter and leave the papal enclosure always requires a just cause, dictated by the true necessity of the individual nuns or of the monastery: this is required to protect the necessary conditions for a wholly contemplative life and, on the part of the nuns, of consistency with the vocational choice.

195. Where it is customary, the use of writing entries and exits in a book can be preserved, at the discretion of the Conventual Chapter, also as a contribution to the knowledge of the life and history of the monastery.

196. It is up to the Major Superior of the monastery to safeguard immediately the cloister, to guarantee the concrete conditions of separation from the world, and to promote, within the monastery, the love for silence, recollection, and prayer.

197. It is up to the Major Superior to express her judgment on the opportuneness of the entrances and exits from the papal cloister, evaluating with prudent discretion the necessity, in the light of the wholly contemplative vocation, as established by the Constitutions or other text of the proper law and prescribed by the present Instruction.

198. It is up to the Major Superior of the monastery with papal cloister to appoint a nun professed with solemn vows for the service of the porter’s lodge and, if the law does not contemplate the presence of external nuns, to allow a sister to perform the services of the external sisters for a limited period of time.

199. The entire community is responsible for the moral obligation of protection, promotion, and observance of papal cloister, so that secondary or subjective motivations do not prevail over the purpose of this type of separation.

200. Leaving the papal cloister, unless with particular indults of the Holy See or in case of danger, is permitted by the Major Superior in ordinary cases, regarding the health of the nuns, the assistance of the infirm nuns, participation in courses of initial and ongoing formation meetings organized by the Federation or by another monastery, the exercise of civil rights, and those necessities of the monastery which cannot be provided for any other way.

201. To send novices or professed nuns with temporary vows when necessary to perform part of their formation in another monastery of the Institute, as well as to make temporary or definitive transfers to other monasteries of the same Institute, the Major Superior expresses her consent, with the intervention of the Council or of the Conventual Chapter according to the Constitutions or of another code of the proper law.

202. Entry into papal cloister is permitted, except for special indults of the Holy See, to Cardinals who may bring with them someone accompanying them, to Nuncios and Apostolic Delegates in places subject to their jurisdiction, to Visitators during the canonical visitation, to the diocesan Bishop[120], to the competent religious Ordinary, and to other persons at the judgment of the Major Superior and for a just cause.

203. Furthermore, entry into the papal cloister is allowed, subject to the permission of the Superior:

– to the priest to administer the sacraments to the sick, to assist those who are chronically or seriously ill, to celebrate Mass for them sometimes, for liturgical processions, and funerals;

– to those whose jobs or skills are necessary to attend to the nuns’ health, for formation, and to provide for the needs of the monastery;

– to their aspirants and passing nuns, also from other institutes of contemplative life.

 

VI. The Cloister Defined in the Constitutions

204. The monasteries which associate with the contemplative life some activity for the benefit of the people of God or practice wider forms of hospitality in line with the tradition of their own Institute, define their cloister in the Constitutions or in another code of the proper law.

  1. Constitutional Cloister

205. The constitutional cloister, which has replaced in the Code of Canon Law the minor papal cloister of Pius XII, is a type of cloister regarding nuns who profess the contemplative life by associating “some legitimate work of apostolate or Christian charity[121].

206. The name of constitutional cloister means the monastic space separated from the outside which, as a minimum, must include that part of the monastery of farm land or gardens reserved exclusively to the nuns, where only in case of necessity can the presence of externs be admitted. It must be a space of silence and recollection, where the permanent search for the face of God can develop, according to the charism of the Institute, in consideration of the works of apostolate or charity exercised by the nuns.

207. This type of cloister, “appropriate to the proper character and defined by the Constitutions”[122] is approved by the Apostolic See that approves the Constitutions or another code of the Institute’s own law.

  1. Monastic Cloister

208. To the expressions papal cloister and constitutional cloister, known from the Code of Canon Law, St. John Paul II in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Vita Consacrata[123] added a third one, monastic cloister.

209. Before Vita Consacrata this expression had been used to define the cloister of the monks[124], more rigorous than that common to all religious[125], but less rigid than the papal one and comparable, in some respects, to the constitutional cloister of nuns.

210. For monasteries of contemplative nuns, the monastic cloister, while retaining the character of a more rigorous discipline than the common one, makes it possible to associate the primary function of divine worship with wider forms of reception and hospitality[126].

211. The monastic cloister, as described in the Constitutions or in another code of the proper law, is a special expression of the constitutional cloister.

 

VII. Regulations Regarding Constitutional Cloister

212. It is the responsibility of the Major Superior of the monastery, with the consent of her Council, to clearly determine the extent of the constitutional cloister, to limit it, and to modify it for just cause.

213. By virtue of the law of constitutional cloister, the nuns, novices, and postulants must live within the cloister of the monastery, and it is not permissible for them to leave, except in the cases contemplated by law, nor is it permissible for anyone to enter the cloister of the monastery outside of the foreseen cases and without the permission of the Superior.

214. The participation of the faithful in liturgical celebrations in the church or in the monastery or lectio divina in another suitable place of the monastery, allows the exit of the nuns from constitutional cloister remaining within the same monastery, while the entrance of the faithful is always forbidden in the part of the house subject to this type of cloister.

215. Every nun is co-responsible and must contribute, with great esteem for silence and solitude, to ensure that the external regulation of constitutional cloister preserves that fundamental inner value, through which the cloister is a source of spiritual life and witness to the presence of God.

216. They can enter the constitutional cloister of the monastery, with the consent of the Major Superior:

a)      The people needed to serve the community from a spiritual, formative, and material point of view;

b)      The nuns from other communities who are passing through or are guests in the monastery;

c)      Young women in vocational discernment.

217. The Major Superior of the monastery may permit exits from the constitutional cloister for a just cause, taking into account the indications given by the present Instruction.

218. The Major Superior of the monastery with constitutional cloister appoints nuns for the service of doorkeeper and of the guesthouse and authorizes some nuns to work in the monastery’s works or workshops outside the sphere of the cloister, regulating their stay outside it.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

FORMATION

 

219. A nun becomes with full rights a member of the community of the monastery sui juris and participates in its spiritual and temporal goods with the profession of solemn vows, the free and definitive response to the call of the Holy Spirit.

220. The candidates prepare themselves for solemn profession passing through the various stages of the monastic life, during which they receive an adequate formation and, although in a different degree, they are part of the community of the monastery.

I. General Principles

221. Formation in contemplative monastic life is based on a personal encounter with the Lord. It begins with the call of God and the decision of each one to follow, according to her own charism, the footsteps of Christ, as His disciple, under the action of the Holy Spirit.

222. While the acquisition of knowledge remains important, formation in the consecrated life, and particularly in contemplative monastic life, consists above all in identifying with Christ. In fact, it is a question of “a progressive assimilation of Christ’s sentiments towards the Father”[127], to the point of being able to say with St. Paul: “for me, to live is Christ[128].

223. Both the candidates and the nuns must bear in mind that in the formation process, it is not so much a matter of acquiring concepts, as “of knowing the love of Christ that goes beyond all knowledge”[129]. All this makes the formation process last a lifetime and every nun always feels she is in formation.

224. Formation as a continuous process of growth and conversion that involves the whole person must favor the development of the human, Christian, and monastic dimension of the candidates and nuns, radically living the Gospel, so that one’s life becomes a prophecy.

225. Formation for the contemplative monastic life must be integral, that is, taking the person as a whole into account so that she develops her own psychic, moral, affective, and intellectual gifts harmoniously and becomes actively involved in community life. None of these dimensions of the person must remain excluded from the scope of either initial or ongoing formation.

226. Contemplative monastic formation must be organic, gradual, and coherent in its various stages, as it is called to promote the development of the person in a harmonious and progressive way, in full respect of the uniqueness of each one.

227. Under the action of the Holy Spirit, both candidates and nuns are the main protagonists of their formation and responsible for accepting and internalizing all the values of the monastic life.

228. For this reason, the formation process must be attentive to the uniqueness of each sister and to the mystery that she bears in herself and to her particular gifts, to foster her growth through self-knowledge and the search for the will of God.

229. In initial formation, the figure of the formator is particularly important. In fact, even if “God the Father is the formator par excellence“, however “in this artisan work He uses human mediations” among which are the formators, “whose main mission is to show the beauty of following the Lord and the value of the charism in which it is accomplished[130].

230. It is the responsibility of the individual monastery and of the Federation to pay particular attention to the selection of the formators and to take care of their formation [131].

 

II. Ongoing Formation

231. For ongoing formation, we mean an itinerary of the whole of life [132], both personal and community, “which must lead to configuration to the Lord Jesus and the assimilation of His feelings in His total oblation to the Father”[133]. It is therefore a process of continuous conversion of the heart, “an intrinsic requirement of religious consecration[134], and the need for creative fidelity to one’s own vocation. Ongoing formation is the humus of initial formation [135].

232. As such, ongoing formation must be considered as a priority both in the plan of community life and in the plan of life of each nun.

233. The purpose of ongoing formation is to nourish and preserve fidelity, both of the individual nun and of the community, and to bring to completion what was begun in initial formation, so that the consecrated person can express fully her own gift in the Church, according to a specific charism.

234. What characterizes this stage compared to the others is the lack of ulterior short-term goals, and this can have a psychological impact: there is nothing left to prepare for, but only a daily life to be lived in the full gift of oneself to the Lord and to the Church.

235. Ongoing formation takes place in the context of daily life: in prayer and work, in the world of relationships, particularly in fraternal life in community, and in rapport with the outside, according to the contemplative vocation.

236. Ongoing formation cultivates the spiritual, doctrinal, and professional capacity, the updating and maturation of the contemplative, so that she can carry out her service to the monastery, to the Church, and to the world in an ever more appropriate manner, according to this form of life and the indications of the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere.

237. Every nun is encouraged to take responsibility for her own human, Christian, and charismatic growth, through the personal plan of life, dialog with the sisters of the monastic community, and in particular, with her Major Superior, as well as through spiritual direction and appropriate studies contemplated in the Guidelines for Contemplative Monastic Life.

238. Each community, together with the community plan, is called to develop a systematic and integral permanent formation program which embraces the whole existence of the person [136]. This program will be structured taking into account the different seasons of life [137] and of the various services exercised by nuns, especially by Superiors and formators [138].

239. The Major Superior promotes the ongoing formation of the community through the Conventual Chapter, the days of retreat, the annual spiritual exercises, the sharing of the Word of God, periodic revisions of life, recreations in common, study days, personal dialog with the sisters, fraternal encounters.

240. It is the responsibility of the Major Superior and of each member of the community to ensure that fraternal life is formative and helps each sister on her journey towards total configuration with Christ, the ultimate goal of the whole formation process,[139] and to manifest at every moment of her life “full and joyous belonging to Christ[140].

241. Notwithstanding that the ordinary place of ongoing formation is her own monastery and that fraternal life must favor the sisters’ formation journey [141], in order to ensure a more adequate ongoing formation, collaboration between different monastic communities is warmly recommended, using the appropriate means of communication [142].

 

III. Instruments of Ongoing Formation

242. Surely the first instrument of ongoing formation for all consecrated persons, even more so for contemplatives, is care of the life of prayer: liturgies well prepared and dignified, according to the possibility of the community; fidelity to moments of personal prayer to guarantee that space where one can establish an intimate relationship with the Lord; care of the relationship with the Word, through personal lectio and community collatio, when possible[143].

243. Care and attention to the sacrament of reconciliation and spiritual direction, attention to the choice of confessors prepared to support and accompany the journey of a community of contemplative life with discretion, wisdom, and prudence [144].

244. Intellectual formation must be guaranteed through a plan established by the community that possibly takes into account the cultural level of all, so that everyone can gather something useful for their own journey.

245. Also useful and important are the formation courses common to several monasteries of the same charismatic family[145], thus, federal or inter-federal courses, without forgetting that “formation, especially ongoing formation …, has its own humus in the community and in everyday life.[146].

246. A climate of genuine fraternal relationships, marked by true charity and goodness, is fundamental for allowing each member of the community to have her own space for life and expression.

247. It is the task of each of them to find the right balance in the gift of self through work, so that the latter may be lived as a serene and joyful service to God and to the community. However, the community is also responsible for seeing that no one is over-burdened by particularly heavy works, which absorb the energies of the mind and body to the detriment of spiritual life. Work as such can be a way to put to good use one’s talents and therefore a help for the expression of the beauty of the person; it becomes dangerous when it is absolutized and captures attention to the detriment of the spirit[147].

248. Ascetic means must not be neglected that are of the tradition of each spirituality, as a way of curbing the instincts of one’s own nature and channeling them towards service to the kingdom according to their own charism.[148].

249. Even the proper information about what is happening in the world is an important means of reviving the awareness and responsibility of one’s apostolic mission through the means of communication, using them with prudence and discretion, so that it is not detrimental to the contemplative life[149].

 

IV. Initial Formation

250.  Initial formation is the privileged time in which the sisters who are candidates for the contemplative monastic life, with a special accompaniment of the formator and the community, are initiated in the sequela of Christ, according to a particular charism, progressively assuming and integrating their particular personal gifts with the authentic and characteristic values ​​of their vocation.

251. Initial formation is structured in three consecutive stages: the postulancy, the novitiate, and the time of temporary or junior profession, preceded by aspirancy, in which the candidates grow and mature up to the definitive assumption of the monastic life in a given Institute.

252. In initial formation, it is of great importance that between the various stages there is harmony and gradualness of content. It is equally important that between initial formation and ongoing or continuous formation there is continuity and coherence, so that there is created in the subject “the readiness to let themselves be formed every day of their lives”[150].

253. keeping in mind that the person is built very slowly, and that formation must be attentive to root in the heart “the attitudes of Christ toward the Father[151] and the proper human, Christian, and charismatic values, “ample time must be reserved for initial formation[152], “no less than nine years and not more than twelve[153].

254. Activated during this time is “a serene discernment, free from the temptations of numbers and of efficiency[154]. Moreover, in each monastery special attention must be paid to spiritual and vocational discernment, ensuring candidates a personalized accompaniment and promoting appropriate formation itineraries.[155], paying particular attention so that formation is truly integral – human, Christian, and charismatic – and touches all the dimensions of the person.

255. The establishment of international and multicultural monastic communities manifests the universality of a charism, therefore the reception of vocations coming from other Countries must be the object of adequate discernment.

256. One of the reception criteria is given by the prospect of spreading monastic life tomorrow in particular churches where this form of following Christ is not present.

257. The recruitment of candidates from other countries solely for the sake of ensuring the survival of a monastery it to be absolutely avoided[156].

258. Every monastery sui juris, from the moment of its erection is the place of the novitiate and of initial, permanent or ongoing formation,[157].

259. In the event that, as part of the canonical visit, it results that the single monastery sui juris cannot guarantee a quality formation, initial formation must be taken care of in another monastery of the Federation or in the initial formation place common to various monasteries[158].

260. A monastery that is founded but not yet canonically erected and the affiliated monastery are only the place of permanent or ongoing formation.

261. The founded, but not yet canonically erected monastery, may be the place of the novitiate and place of initial formation, if the conditions set out in this Instruction concerning formation are present.

 

A. Aspirancy

262. The aspirancy, considered as a first knowledge of the monastery by the candidate and the candidate by the monastery community, involves a series of contacts and times of community experience, even prolonged. This knowledge will also be useful to fill any gaps on the path of human and religious formation at this stage.

263. It is the responsibility of the Major Superior with her Council, taking into account each individual candidate, to establish the times and ways that the aspirant will spend in the community and outside the monastery.

264. The Lord Jesus taught that whoever undertakes an important action must first carefully consider whether there “is enough for its completion”[159]. For this reason, those who think of beginning the journey of contemplative life must spend a certain time in reflection regarding their real ability and to first make a personal verification of the authenticity of their call to the contemplative monastic life.

265. Having “enough” means possessing natural and psychological gifts, normal openness to others, psychic balance, a spirit of faith, and a firm will that make it possible to spend life in community, in continence, in obedience, in poverty, and in the cloister.

266. Without these initial qualities, one cannot conclude, either on the part of the aspirant or on the part of the welcoming community, that there is a vocation to the monastic and contemplative life. Therefore, throughout initial formation, but particularly during the aspirancy, particular attention must be paid to the human dimension.

267. During this time, the aspirant is entrusted by the Major Superior to a solemnly professed sister so that she may be accompanied and guided in her vocational choice.

268. The aspirancy, of a minimum duration of twelve months, may be extended according to need at the discretion of the Major Superior, after consulting her Council, but for no longer than two years.

 

B. Postulancy

269. The postulancy is a necessary stage for proper preparation for the novitiate[160], during which the candidate confirms her determination to be converted through a progressive passage from secular life to contemplative monastic life.

270. During this time, the postulant must be gradually introduced to the process of assimilation of the fundamental elements of contemplative monastic life.

271. The postulancy offers a more direct and concrete experience of community life according to a specific charism.

272. Before admitting an aspirant to the postulancy, one must examine her state of health, if her maturity is appropriate for her age, if she has a suitable disposition, if she is sociable, solid in Christian doctrine and practice, if she aspires to the monastic life with a sincere intention, seeking the face of God at all times.

273. The postulant must be entrusted to the novice formator or to a solemnly professed nun who helps her to look within herself, who can discern if there is a real call to contemplative monastic life, and to whom the postulant can open herself with full trust.

274. The postulant, helped by the formator, is especially dedicated to her human and spiritual formation and deepens her baptismal commitment.

275.  The postulancy has a minimum duration of twelve months which can be prolonged according to need by the Major Superior, having heard her Council, but it must not exceed two years.

276. During this period, the postulants live in the monastery and follow the life of the community according to the instructions of the formator and, besides being helped to know their capacity for monastic life, they can deepen themes of study or learn a trade, according to the needs of the community, as established by the Major Superior with her Council.

 

C. Novitiate

277. The novitiate is the time when the novice begins life in a given institute; her vocational discernment continues and the deepening of her own decision to follow Jesus Christ in the Church and in today’s world, according to a determined charism.

278. The novitiate is the time of trial, and its objective is to lead the candidate to become more fully aware of the vocation according to a specific charism, verifying the real and concrete ability to live it with joy and generosity, particularly in reference to fraternal life in community.

279. The novitiate in monasteries of nuns has a duration of two years, the second being the canonical one, following the provisions of can. 648 CJC concerning absences.

280. During the novitiate, the novice must first of all deepen her friendship with Christ because without this she will never be able to assume and keep the promises of donation to Him and desire to grow in the knowledge of the charism that she is called to live, questioning herself if she wants to share her existence in a fraternal life in common with the sisters who make up the community of the monastery.

281. The novice obtains this through the practice of prolonged lectio divina, under the guidance of an expert sister who knows how to open her mind to the intelligence of the Scriptures, guided by the writings of the Fathers of the Church, and the writings and examples of life of their founders. Intimate contact with Christ must necessarily lead to a strong sacramental life and to personal prayer, to which the novice must be guided and for which adequate time must be granted.

282. Personal prayer finds its outlet in community liturgical prayer, to which the novice must devote all her best energies. In this atmosphere of love for Christ and prayer, the novice opens herself to the sisters, loves them cordially, and lives with them in fraternity.

283. The novice is guided by the formator to cultivate an authentic devotion to the Virgin Mother of God, model and patron of every consecrated life[161], and to take her as the example of a consecrated woman.

284. The spiritual edifice cannot be built without human foundations, so the novices must perfect the gifts of nature and education, and develop their own personality, feeling truly responsible for their own human, Christian, and charismatic growth.

 

D. Juniorate

285. In this stage, insertion into the life of the community is full, so the goal is to experience the capacity of the temporary professed to find a proper balance between the various dimensions of contemplative monastic life (prayer, work, fraternal relationships, study …) , succeeding in creating their own personal synthesis of the charism and incarnating it in the various situations of daily life.

286. Without prejudice to what is established by the universal law concerning the valid and licit profession of temporary vows, the juniorate includes the period of initial formation from the first profession of temporary vows to solemn profession, in which the professed continues her spiritual, doctrinal, and practical formation, according to the charism and the law proper to the Institute.

287. Temporary profession is emitted for three years and renewed annually up to the completion of five years, until a minimum of nine years of initial formation is completed.

288. If it seems opportune, the time of temporary profession can be prolonged by the Major Superior, according to the proper law and the norm of can. 657, §2 CJC, but making sure that twelve years of initial formation are not exceeded.

289. In each monastic community, the path of initial and ongoing or continuous formation, as well as the formation of the Superior of the monasteries [162], of the formators,[163] and of the financial administrators, will be modulated according to the charism and law of the Institute, keeping in mind the Guidelines published by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as a continuation and completion of the present Instruction.

 

FINAL DISPOSITIONS

·         The present Instruction does not only concern future things[164] but it applies in the present to all monasteries of Latin rite nuns from the moment of its publication.

·         The provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere for all the monasteries concerning the obligation to enter a Federation of monasteries also applies to other structures of communion such as the Association of monasteries or the Conference of monasteries.

·         This obligation also applies to monasteries associated with a male institute or united in an autonomous monastic congregation.

·         Individual monasteries must comply with this within one year of the publication of this Instruction, unless they have been legitimately dispensed.

·         Once the time has passed, this Dicastery will assign monasteries to Federations or to other existing structures of communion.

·         The decisions that, after appropriate consultation and prior discussion in the Congress of the Dicastery, will be taken by this Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life towards a monastery of nuns relating to the call for an apostolic visit, to the commissioning, to the suspension of autonomy and to the suppression of a monastery will be presented on a monthly basis to the Roman Pontiff for approval in a specific form.

 

CONCLUSION

With this Instruction, this Dicastery intends to confirm the high appreciation of the Church for the contemplative monastic life and its solicitude to safeguard the authenticity of this unique form of the sequela Christi.

On March 16, 2018, the Holy Father approved the present document of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and authorized its publication.

On the same date, the Holy Father approved the present Instruction in specific form:

·         nos. 52, 81d and 108, in derogation from can. 638, §4 CJC;

·         no. 83 g) in derogation from can 667, §4 CJC;

·         no. 111 in derogation from can. 628, §2, 1° CJC;

·         no. 130 in derogation from can. 686, §2 CJC;

·         nos. 174 e 175 in derogation from can. 667, §4 CJC;

·         no. 176, which abrogates the restriction of Verbi Sponsa n. 17, §2;

·         nos. 177 e 178 in derogation from can. 686, §2 CJC;

·         Final Dispositions.

 

From the Vatican, 1 April 2018

 

João Braz, Card. de Aviz

Prefect

 

+ José Rodriguez Carballo, ofm

Archibishop Sevretaray

.

[1] Cf. VDq, 5.

[2] Cf. Perfectae caritatis (= PC) 7; can. 674 CJC; Francis PP., Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere (= VDq). De vita contemplativa monialium, in AAS CVIII (2016), p. 838, n. 5.

[3] Cf. PIUS PP. XII, Apostolic Constitution Sponsa Christi Ecclesia (= SCE). De sacro monialium instituto promovendo, in AAS XXXXIII (1951), pp. 5-23.

[4] Cf. Statuta generalia monialium (= SGM), art. VI, in AAS XXXXIII (1951), p. 17.

[5] Cf. SCE, p. 12; SGM, art. VII, in AAS XXXXIII (1951), pp. 18-19.

[6] Cf. SCE, pp. 10-11.

[7] Cf. SCE, p. 12; SGM, art. VII, in AAS XXXXIII (1951), pp. 18-19.

[8] Cf. Pc 2.

[9] Cf. SCE, pp. 6-11.

[10] Cf. SCE, pp. 8-9.

[11] Cf. VDq, 13-35.

[12] Cf. VDq, 13-35.

[13] Cf. VDq, 8.

[14] Can. 674 CJC.

[15] VDq, art. 14, §1.

[16] VDq, art. 14, §1.

[17] VDq, art. 14, §1.

[18] VDq, art. 9, §4.

[19] VDq, art. 9, §4.

[20] Cf. can. 620 CJC.

[21] Cf. can. 613, §2 and 620 CJC.

[22] Cf. can. 586, §1 CJC.

[23] Cf. VDq, 28.

[24] Cf. Ibidem.

[25] Cf. can. 610 CJC.

[26] Cf. can. 610 CJC.

[27] Cf. can. 607, §3 CJC.

[28] Cf. can. 667, §§2-3 CJC; cf. VDq, 31.

[29] Cf. can. 609, §1 CJC.

[30] Cf. can. 609, §2 CJC.

[31] VDq, art. 8, §1.

[32] Ibidem.

[33] VDq, art. 8, §1.

[34] Cf. can. 610, §2 CJC.

[35] Cf. VDq, art. 8, §1.

[36] Cf. VDq, art. 8, §2.

[37] Cf. VDq, art. 8, §2.

[38] Cf. can. 634, §1 CJC.

[39] Cf. can. 636 CJC.

[40] Exemption approved in specific form by the Holy Father.

[41] VDq, art. 8, §2.

[42] Cf. VDq, art. 8, §3.

[43] VDq, art. 8, §2.

[44] Cf. VDq, art. 8, §1; John Paul II, Consecrated LifePost-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Consecrated Life (= VC) Roma, 25 March 1996, 36-37.

[45] Cf. can. 616, §1 and §4 CJC.

[46] Cf. can. 616, §2 CJC.

[47] Cf. can. 616, §2 CJC.

[48] Cf. can. 614 CJC.

[49] Cf. can. 615 CJC.

[50] Cf. VDq, art. 9, §4.

[51] Cf. can. 625, §2 CJC.

[52] Cf. can. 628, §2 n. 1 CJC.

[53] Cf. can. 637 CJC.

[54] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[55] Cf. can. 688, §2 CJC.

[56] Cf. can.699, §2 CJC.

[57] Cf. can. 586 CJC.

[58] Cf. can. 591 CJC.

[59] Cf. can. 678, §1 CJC.

[60] Cf. can. 392; can. 680 CJC.

[61] Cf. can. 394; can. 673; can. 674; can. 612 CJC.

[62] Cf. can. 683, §2 CJC.

[63] Cf. can. 1320 CJC.

[64] Cf. can. 609 CJC.

[65] Cf. can. 567 CJC.

[66] Cf. can. 630, §3 CJC.

[67] VDq art. 6, §2 CJC.

[68] Cf. can. 616, §1 CJC.

[69] Cf. can. 687 CJC.

[70] Partial derogation from can. 667, §4 CJC approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[71] Cf. VDq, 28-30.

[72] Cf. VDq art. 9, §2.

[73] Cf. can. 582 CJC.

[74] Cf. VDq 30; art. 9, §3.

[75] Cf. VDq art. 9, § 1.

[76] Cf. can. 582 CJC; VDq, art. 9, §4.

[77] Cf. VDq, art. 9, § 4.

[78] Cf. VDq 30; art. 9, § 3.

[79] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in specific form.

[80] Cf. can. 616, §2 CJC

[81] Cf. VDq, art. 9, §3.

[82] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[83] Cf. VDq, art. 2, §2.

[84] Cf. VDq, 36.

[85] Cf. VDq, art. 3, § 3.

[86] Cf. VDq, art. 7, § 1.

[87] Cf. VDq, art. 3, § 4.

[88] Cf. VDq, art. 8, § 1.

[89] Cf. VDq, 9, §3.

[90] Cf. VDq, art. 3, § 7.

[91] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[92] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[93] Cf. VDq, art. 8, § 7.

[94] Cf. can. 184, §1 CJC.

[95] Cf. VDq, art. 3 § 7.

[96] Cf. VDq, art. 7 § 1.

[97] Cf. VDq, art. 3 § 3.

[98] Cf. VDq, art. 3 § 7.

[99] Cf. can. 607, §3 CJC.

[100] Cf. Rm 12: 2.

[101] Cf. can. 667, §1 CJC.

[102] Cf. Mt 5: 14-15.

[103] Cf. Jn 13: 34; Mt 5: 3.8.

[104] Cf. Rm 6: 11.

[105] Cf VDq 33; art. 12.

[106] VDq, 33.

[107] VDq, 34.

[108] Cf. VDq, 31.

[109] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[110] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[111] “It should be noted that the norm of can. 665, §1, on permanence outside the Institute, does not regard enclosed nuns “Verbi Sponsa, n. 17, §2.

[112] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[113] Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.

[114] Cf. can. 686, §1 CJC.

[115] Cf. VDq, 12-37.

[116] Can. 667, §3 CJC.

[117] CfSPE art. IV, n. 1-2; Inter praeclara VI – X.

[118] Cf. VDq, 31.

[119] Cf. VDq, 33.

[120] Cf. can. 667, §4 CJC.

[121] Cf. Pc 9.

[122] Cf. can. 667, §3 CJC.

[123] VC 59.

[124] Cf. can. 667, §2 CJC.

[125] Cf. can. 667, §1 CJC.

[126] Cf. VDq, 31.

[127] VC 65.

[128] Fil 1 : 21.

[129] Ef 3 : 19.

[130] VC 66.

[131] Cf. VDq, art. 3, §3.

[132] Cf. can. 661 CJC.

[133] VDq, 13.

[134] VC 69.

[135] Cf. VDq, 3, §1.

 

[136] Cf. VC 69.

[137] Cf. VC. 70.

[138] Cf. VDq art. 3, §1; 7, §1.

[139] Cf. VC 65.

[140] VDq, 13.

[141] Cf. VDq, 14.

[142] cf. VDq, 34.

[143] Cf. VDq, 24-27.

[144] VDq, 23.

[145] VDq, 14.

[146] VDq, 14.

[147] Cf. VDq, 32.

[148] Cf. VDq, 35.

[149] Cf. VDq, 34.

[150] VC 69; Starting afresh from Christ, 15.

[151] VC 65.

[152] VC 65.

[153] VDq, 15.

[154] Starting afresh from Christ, 18.

[155] Cf. VDq, 15.

[156] Cf. VDq, art. 3, §6.

[157] Cf. VDq, art. 3, §5.

[158] Cf. VDq, 3, §7.

[159] Lk 14, 28.

[160] Cf. can. 597, §2 CJC.

[161] Cf. can 663, §4 CJC.

[162] Cf. VDq art. 7, §1.

[163] Cf. VDq art. 3, §3 e §4.

[164] Cf. can. 9 CJC.

2018年5月16日

・「カトリック教会の統治に一般信徒の参加が不可欠」国際神学委員会が報告(Tablet)

(2018.5.8 Tablet  Christopher Lamb)

 教会の管理運営にとって、ごく普通のカトリック信者の声は「欠かすことにできない」構成要素だ。小教区に一般信徒の助言を求める協議会の設置を義務化するように教会法を改める必要がある―カトリック教会の教えの定着を支援する国際神学委員会が3日、“Synodality in the Life of the Church”と題する提言を発表した。提言は教皇フランシスコの同意をえており、「シノドス(全世界司教会議)教会が直面する主要課題に対応するために活用する」という教皇の意向に肉付けすることを目的としている。

 提言によると、カトリック教会にとって最も重要な役割の一つは、共同の識別をするために用意される「合議制による教会」の必須の要素として、信徒たちに助言を求めることで、「一般信徒の参加が不可欠」としている。

 そして「一般信徒は、神の民の圧倒的多数であり、彼らの協議への参加―彼らの文化、社会活動の分野での専門的な知識や経験から、教会共同体の活動と使命について、大衆の信心について、一般的な司牧について、様々な発想を学ぶことが数多くある」と指摘。「それが、彼らから助言を得ることが、合議制の枠組みの中で識別のプロセスを始める際に不可欠である理由だ。取り組みの不足、認知された公開の話し合いの場―一般信徒が自分の意見を述べ、振る舞える場―の欠落や、一般信徒の声を軽視しがちな聖職者の心理からくる障害を、乗り越えることが必要」と述べている。

 フランシスコは教皇就任以来、シノドスを教会統治の手段として重視し、結婚と家庭生活をテーマに2014年、2015年の二回にわたって、全世界の司教たちをローマに招集して議論の場を持ち、さらに今年秋に若者の召命などをテーマにシノドスの開催を予定している。いずれの場合も、世界中の一般信徒の声を聴き、協議に役立てることを前提にしている。そして、シノドス以上に教皇が重視しているのは、ご自身が「ともに歩む」と表現する「合議制」の心理が教会に根を張るようにすることだ。2015年10月の演説で、教皇は「逆立ちピラミッド」の教会―一般信徒が頂点に立ち、下にいる司教たち、司祭たちに仕えられる教会―となるよう訴えた。

 今回の提言とりまとめの主役となったのは、カルロス・ガリ神父。アルゼンチン人の司祭で神学者、教皇の助言者の一人で、「民の神学」―ペロン大統領の政治思考に影響を受けた、解放の神学のアルゼンチン版―について幅広く執筆した、フランシスコの神学の構築者の一人と考えられている。その政治哲学は、民の求めを中心に置くが、一人の指導者に集中された権力を伴うものだ。

 提言は、司教と司祭は一般信徒の意向に「注意深く耳を傾け」ねばならず、同時に、教会共同体全体が「祈り、聴き、聞き分け、対話し、識別し、そして神の意志によりよく従って司牧上の判断をする際に助言するように、求められている」とし、教会のそれぞれのレベル―教皇が枢機卿の助言を受ける顧問会議から、小教区で一般信徒の意見を聞く「司牧協議会」に至るまで―で、シノドス型の体制をとることを提唱し、これは当面は当事者の自由な判断でされるが、実施を徹底するために、教会法の改定が「必要と思われる」と控えめながら、教会法改定を求めている。さらに、「合議制の教会」とは教会共同体を構成する人全てが参加し、責任を共有する場であり、それに重きを置く「合議制の仕組み」を明確化する方向で、「旧態依然とした教会制度」を現代化することも提言している。

 提言では、シノドスの歴史と神学的位置づけについても言及し、紀元後50年の第一回エルサレム教会会議に遡って、死に至るまで旅を続ける信者たちの「巡礼する教会」の考え方を支持しつつ、イエスの弟子たちが「主の道の信奉者」として知られたことを指摘。

 また、教会の「構成要素」として、シノドスは、キリスト教の最初の千年の間、重要な役割を果たし、中世になって機能を喪失したが、(16世紀の)トリエント公会議で息を吹き返した。これは、信仰者の感覚を通して一般信徒の中にあるものを考察した、ジョン・ヘンリー・ニューマンのような「預言者の声」のおかげだった。だが、教会のすべての構成員に洗礼が与える役割を強調することで「合議制」を再開したのは、第二バチカン公会議であり、閉会から二年後の1967年に、教皇パウロ六世がシノドスを再活性化した―としている。

 さらに、提言は合議制―一つのものとしての教会―と、協働制の違いについても強調している。後者は、司教に与えられた具体的な統治の役割に関するものだ。また、シノドスの取り組みは、ローマと対等であり、従属の関係にもあり、お互いを必要としている各国、各地域の現地教会の経験をも含んでいる。

 (翻訳・「カトリック・あい」南條俊二)

(Tabletはイギリスのイエズス会が発行する世界的権威のカトリック誌です。「カトリック・あい」は許可を得て翻訳、掲載しています。 “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly. Reproduced with permission of the Publisher”   The Tablet ‘s website address http://www.thetablet.co.uk)

 

 

2018年5月10日

・「他の人に歩き方を強要せず、寄り添い、待つことが必要」新求道共同体50周年で教皇

教皇、新求道共同体関係者らとの集い  05/05/2018 20:30: バチカン放送

 (2018.5.5 バチカン放送)教皇フランシスコは、新求道共同体のローマでの活動50年を記念する集いに参加された。

 「新求道共同体」は、1964年、スペインでキコ・アルグエヨ氏とカルメン・エルナンデス氏によって始められた教会運動。現在、同共同体は世界134か国に広がっている。今年は、新求道共同体の活動が、1968年、ローマにもたらされてから50年目を迎える。これを記念し、5月5日、ローマ郊外トル・ヴェルガータで開催された新求道共同体の国際大会には、世界各国からおよそ10万人が集った。

 教皇は、新求道共同体の50年の節目を、愛において忠実である神への「感謝」という言葉で表された。また、これを機会に、同共同体の宣教者らにも感謝を述べた教皇は、「あなたがたは行って、すべての民をわたしの弟子にしなさい」(マタイ28,19)という復活のイエスの言葉を思い起こされた。

 イエスの「行きなさい」という言葉にあるように、宣教とは旅立つことを要求すると教皇は指摘。

 人生にはリスクを避けてその場に留まろうとする強い誘惑があるが、「行きなさい」というイエスの言葉には、神の愛の喜びをまだ知らない兄弟を探してこの世を巡礼するために、常に外に向かうようにとのイエスの明白な招きがあると述べられた。

 外に出ていくためには身軽でなくてはならない。福音を告げるためには、捨てることが必要と教皇は述べ、世俗を捨てることのできる教会だけが、主を告げ知らせることができると説かれた。

 教皇は、イエスの「行きなさい」は複数への呼びかけであることに注目。一人で行くのではなく、共に歩むことは非常に宣教的であると話された。共に歩むのは常に学ぶべき技術であると教皇は述べ、他人の歩き方や歩幅は自分とまったく同じではないことを忘れず、信仰や宣教においても、他の人に歩き方を強要するのではなく、寄り添い、待つことが必要と語られた。

 イエスの「弟子にしなさい」という言葉に宣教の使命を示された教皇は、弟子にするとは、征服することでも、占領することでもなく、自分が受け取った恵みを他の人々と分かち合うことと話された。さらに、イエスが「すべての民を」と言っていることについて、教皇は、イエスの心はすべての人々に開かれており、誰一人除外されないということ、と強調された。新求道共同体のカリスマを、今日の教会に与えられた神の大きな贈り物と述べた教皇は、神に信頼し歩み続けるよう、関係者らを励まされた。

(バチカン放送日本語版をもとに「カトリック・あい」が編集)

注・新求道共同体は、1964年にスペイン人信徒キコ・アルグェヨ氏らによって創設された「キリスト教入信と信仰の継続養成の一つの方式」。(「新求道共同体道」規約より)。日本では1970年代に広島教区でその活動が開始され、その後高松教区をはじめいくつかの教区に活動は広がった。2008年にその規約が教皇庁信徒評議会によって認証され、カテキズムも教理省によって認証を受けているが、日本ではかつて主に高松教区に創立された国際神学院の問題を核として、小教区における信徒の分裂の問題などがたびたび指摘され、それに伴って当時の教区司教を被告とする裁判にまで発展するなどトラブルが深刻化。ソウルの金枢機卿(故人)が、教皇特使として高松教区へ派遣されるほどの深刻な事態となった。その後も日本の司教団がたびたび教皇庁と話し合いを行い、その結果、2008年には高松教区の国際神学院は閉鎖となり、同共同体の司祭養成はローマへ移転して現在に至っている。前向きの活動が評価されている国もあるが、日本以外の国においても同様の問題が発生している教区がある、との情報もある。(「カトリック・あい」)

2018年5月8日

・「真理はあなたたちを自由にする」‐「世界広報の日」教皇メッセージ

          • 5月6日のカトリック教会「世界広報の日」にあたり、教皇フランシスコが

        「真理はあなたたちを自由にする」(ヨハネ8・32)―フェイクニュースと平和的ジャーナリズム―のタイトルで、2018年1月24日付けで、以下のメッセージを出されました。

(公式英語発表文)

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS  FOR WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY 24 January 2018

 “The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Communication is part of God’s plan for us and an essential way to experience fellowship. Made in the image and likeness of our Creator, we are able to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. We are able to describe our own experiences and the world around us, and thus to create historical memory and the understanding of events. But when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can also distort the way we use our ability to communicate. This can be seen from the earliest times, in the biblical stories of Cain and Abel and the Tower of Babel (cf. Gen 4:4-16; 11:1-9). The capacity to twist the truth is symptomatic of our condition, both as individuals and communities. On the other hand, when we are faithful to God’s plan, communication becomes an effective expression of our responsible search for truth and our pursuit of goodness.

In today’s fast-changing world of communications and digital systems, we are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as “fake news”. This calls for reflection, which is why I have decided to return in this World Communications Day Message to the issue of truth, which was raised time and time again by my predecessors, beginning with Pope Paul VI, whose 1972 Message took as its theme: “Social Communications at the Service of Truth”. In this way, I would like to contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.

1. What is “fake” about fake news?

The term “fake news” has been the object of great discussion and debate. In general, it refers to the spreading of disinformation on line or in the traditional media. It has to do with false information based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader. Spreading fake news can serve to advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests.

The effectiveness of fake news is primarily due to its ability to mimic real news, to seem plausible. Secondly, this false but believable news is “captious”, inasmuch as it grasps people’s attention by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices, and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration. The ability to spread such fake news often relies on a manipulative use of the social networks and the way they function. Untrue stories can spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage.

The difficulty of unmasking and eliminating fake news is due also to the fact that many people interact in homogeneous digital environments impervious to differing perspectives and opinions. Disinformation thus thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information that could effectively challenge prejudices and generate constructive dialogue; instead, it risks turning people into unwilling accomplices in spreading biased and baseless ideas. The tragedy of disinformation is that it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict. Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth.

2. How can we recognize fake news?

None of us can feel exempted from the duty of countering these falsehoods. This is no easy task, since disinformation is often based on deliberately evasive and subtly misleading rhetoric and at times the use of sophisticated psychological mechanisms. Praiseworthy efforts are being made to create educational programmes aimed at helping people to interpret and assess information provided by the media, and teaching them to take an active part in unmasking falsehoods, rather than unwittingly contributing to the spread of disinformation. Praiseworthy too are those institutional and legal initiatives aimed at developing regulations for curbing the phenomenon, to say nothing of the work being done by tech and media companies in coming up with new criteria for verifying the personal identities concealed behind millions of digital profiles.

Yet preventing and identifying the way disinformation works also calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. We need to unmask what could be called the “snake-tactics” used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place. This was the strategy employed by the “crafty serpent” in the Book of Genesis, who, at the dawn of humanity, created the first fake news (cf. Gen 3:1-15), which began the tragic history of human sin, beginning with the first fratricide (cf. Gen 4) and issuing in the countless other evils committed against God, neighbour, society and creation. The strategy of this skilled “Father of Lies” (Jn 8:44) is precisely mimicry, that sly and dangerous form of seduction that worms its way into the heart with false and alluring arguments.

In the account of the first sin, the tempter approaches the woman by pretending to be her friend, concerned only for her welfare, and begins by saying something only partly true: “Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” (Gen3:1). In fact, God never told Adam not to eat from any tree, but only from the one tree: “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat” (Gen 2:17). The woman corrects the serpent, but lets herself be taken in by his provocation: “Of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it nor touch it, under pain of death” (Gen 3:2). Her answer is couched in legalistic and negative terms; after listening to the deceiver and letting herself be taken in by his version of the facts, the woman is misled. So she heeds his words of reassurance: “You will not die!” (Gen 3:4).

The tempter’s “deconstruction” then takes on an appearance of truth: “God knows that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:5). God’s paternal command, meant for their good, is discredited by the seductive enticement of the enemy: “The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye and desirable” (Gen 3:6). This biblical episode brings to light an essential element for our reflection: there is no such thing as harmless disinformation; on the contrary, trusting in falsehood can have dire consequences. Even a seemingly slight distortion of the truth can have dangerous effects.

What is at stake is our greed. Fake news often goes viral, spreading so fast that it is hard to stop, not because of the sense of sharing that inspires the social media, but because it appeals to the insatiable greed so easily aroused in human beings. The economic and manipulative aims that feed disinformation are rooted in a thirst for power, a desire to possess and enjoy, which ultimately makes us victims of something much more tragic: the deceptive power of evil that moves from one lie to another in order to rob us of our interior freedom. That is why education for truth means teaching people how to discern, evaluate and understand our deepest desires and inclinations, lest we lose sight of what is good and yield to every temptation.

3. “The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32)

Constant contamination by deceptive language can end up darkening our interior life. Dostoevsky’s observation is illuminating: “People who lie to themselves and listen to their own lie come to such a pass that they cannot distinguish the truth within them, or around them, and so lose all respect for themselves and for others. And having no respect, they cease to love, and in order to occupy and distract themselves without love they give way to passions and to coarse pleasures, and sink to bestiality in their vices, all from continual lying to others and to themselves.” (The Brothers Karamazov, II, 2).

So how do we defend ourselves? The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth. In Christianity, truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. The truth is not just bringing to light things that are concealed, “revealing reality”, as the ancient Greek term aletheia (from a-lethès, “not hidden”) might lead us to believe. Truth involves our whole life. In the Bible, it carries with it the sense of support, solidity, and trust, as implied by the root ‘aman, the source of our liturgical expression Amen. Truth is something you can lean on, so as not to fall. In this relational sense, the only truly reliable and trustworthy One – the One on whom we can count – is the living God. Hence, Jesus can say: “I am the truth” (Jn 14:6). We discover and rediscover the truth when we experience it within ourselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves us. This alone can liberate us: “The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32).

Freedom from falsehood and the search for relationship: these two ingredients cannot be lacking if our words and gestures are to be true, authentic, and trustworthy. To discern the truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness from whatever instead tends to isolate, divide, and oppose. Truth, therefore, is not really grasped when it is imposed from without as something impersonal, but only when it flows from free relationships between persons, from listening to one another. Nor can we ever stop seeking the truth, because falsehood can always creep in, even when we state things that are true. An impeccable argument can indeed rest on undeniable facts, but if it is used to hurt another and to discredit that person in the eyes of others, however correct it may appear, it is not truthful. We can recognize the truth of statements from their fruits: whether they provoke quarrels, foment division, encourage resignation; or, on the other hand, they promote informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue and fruitful results.

4. Peace is the true news

The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people who make the effort to engage in sincere dialogue so that the truth can emerge; people who are attracted by goodness and take responsibility for how they use language. If responsibility is the answer to the spread of fake news, then a weighty responsibility rests on the shoulders of those whose job is to provide information, namely, journalists, the protectors of news. In today’s world, theirs is, in every sense, not just a job; it is a mission. Amid feeding frenzies and the mad rush for a scoop, they must remember that the heart of information is not the speed with which it is reported or its audience impact, but persons. Informing others means forming others; it means being in touch with people’s lives. That is why ensuring the accuracy of sources and protecting communication are real means of promoting goodness, generating trust, and opening the way to communion and peace.

I would like, then, to invite everyone to promote a journalism of peace. By that, I do not mean the saccharine kind of journalism that refuses to acknowledge the existence of serious problems or smacks of sentimentalism. On the contrary, I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those – and they are the majority in our world – who have no voice. A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes. A journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.

To this end, drawing inspiration from a Franciscan prayer, we might turn to the Truth in person:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Help us to recognize the evil latent in a communication that does not build communion.
Help us to remove the venom from our judgements.
Help us to speak about others as our brothers and sisters.
You are faithful and trustworthy; may our words be seeds of goodness for the world:
where there is shouting, let us practise listening;
where there is confusion, let us inspire harmony;
where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity;
where there is exclusion, let us offer solidarity;
where there is sensationalism, let us use sobriety;
where there is superficiality, let us raise real questions;
where there is prejudice, let us awaken trust;
where there is hostility, let us bring respect;
where there is falsehood, let us bring truth.
Amen.     
Francis

(以下、カトリック中央協議会訳・・翻訳された方には申し訳ありませんが、英語公式文から見て、翻訳にいささか難があるように見受けられます。英語公式文をお読みになることをお勧めしますーーたとえば「そうすれば、善を見失わずに、一つひとつの誘惑に「かみつく」ことができるからです」とありますが、この箇所の英語公式文は「 lest we lose sight of what is good and yield to every temptation」です)

親愛なる兄弟姉妹の皆さん

 神の計画において、人間のコミュニケーションは交わりのうちに生きるために欠かせない手段です。創造主にかたどられ、似姿として造られた人間は、真理と善、美を表現し、分かち合うことができます。そして、自分自身の体験や世界について語り、そのことを記憶にとどめ、さまざまな出来事を理解することができます。しかし、聖書の中のカインとアベルの話やバベルの塔の話(創世記4・1-16、11・1-9参照)で当初から示されているように、もし思い上がり、自分のことだけを考えるなら、人はコミュニケーションの力をゆがんだかたちで用いることもできます。真実をすり替えることは、個人的にも集団的にも、そのゆがみの典型的な表れです。そうではなく、神の道を忠実にたどるなら、コミュニケーションは真理の追究と善の構築における自分自身の責任を表す場となります。

 コミュニケーションが加速し、デジタル化が進む現代において、わたしたちはフェイクニュースと呼ばれる「事実と異なる情報」を流す現象を目の当たりにします。わたしたちはこの現象について深く考えるよう求められています。したがって、パウロ六世をはじめとする多くのわたしの前任者がさまざまな機会で繰り返してきたように、わたしは真理をこのメッセージのテーマにしようと思います(1972年「世界広報の日」教皇メッセージ「真理のためのソーシャル・コミュニケーション」参照)。そうすることにより、フェイクニュースが広がるのを食い止め、ジャーナリズムの重要性を再発見し、真理の伝達における各個人の責任を再び見いだすために皆が協力できるよう貢献したいと思います。

1.「フェイクニュース」にはどんな嘘があるのか
フェイクニュースはよく話題に上る、論議の的となることばです。それは、オンラインもしくは従来のメディアを通して事実と異なる情報が広まることを一般的に意味します。したがってこの表現は、ありもしないデータか、ゆがめられたデータに基づく根拠のない情報を指しており、その目的は読者を欺き、操りさえすることによって、一定の目標を果たしたり、政治的決断に影響を与えたり、経済的な利益を上げたりすることです。

 第一に、フェイクニュースの効果は、現実を模倣する性質、つまりもっともらしく見えるようにする力によってもたらされます。第二に、このまことしやかな偽りの情報は、読者の注意を引きつけ、社会全体にはびこる固定観念や偏見に訴え、不安やさげすみ、怒り、挫折といった、いとも簡単にわき上がる感情に付け込むことにより、人々を欺きます。こうした情報は、ソーシャル・ネットワークとその機能を保障する論理を巧みに操ることにより蔓延します。そしてその内容は、根拠がないにもかかわらず、人々の注目を集め、たとえ専門家が否定しても、その被害を食い止めることはなかなかできません。

 フェイクニュースの正体を暴き、根絶やしにするのが難しい理由としては、人々の交流が多くの場合、異なる考え方や意見を受け入れない、同質のデジタル環境の中で行われていることが挙げられます。フェイクニュースをもたらすこの考え方のために、わたしたちは他の情報源と公平に比較することにより、先入観に対して積極的に疑問を抱き、建設的な対話を切り開くのではなく、根も葉もない偏った見解が広まるのに無意識に加担するおそれがあります。フェイクニュースに伴う悲劇は、他者を中傷し、敵として描き、最後には悪者扱いして争いを誘発することです。このようにフェイクニュースは、不寛容で過敏な姿勢の表れであり、それによって広まるのは傲慢さと憎しみだけです。これこそが嘘が最終的に行き着く先です。

2.どのように嘘を見分けるのか
わたしたちは皆、これらの嘘に対処する責任を免れることはできませんが、それは容易なことではありません。なぜならフェイクニュースは多くの場合、さまざまに異なる情報に基づいており、意図的に言い逃れをし、巧妙に欺き、しばしば高度な技術を用いるからです。したがって、教育分野における取り組みは称賛に値します。それらは、伝えられた内容をどのように読んで評価したらよいかを教え、フェイクニュースを無意識に広める人にならずに、暴く人になるよう導いているからです。また同様に、この現象を阻止するために規則を定めることを目指している組織的、法的な取り組み、そしてさらには、無数のデジタル・プロファイルに含まれる個人識別情報を確認するために新しい基準を定めるという、テクノロジー関連企業やメディア企業による取り組みも称賛に値します。

 一方、フェイクニュースのメカニズムを見極め、阻むためには、心の底から注意深く識別する必要があります。実際、どこにでも隠れ、かみつくことのできる「蛇の論理」と呼べるものの正体を暴かなければなりません。それは、創世記に記されている「ずる賢い蛇」が用いた策略です。人類の原初の時代に、最初にフェイクニュースを流したのはこの蛇です(創世記3・1-15参照)。その策略は罪という悲劇的な結果をもたらし、その後、最初の兄弟殺し(創世記4章参照)や、神と隣人、社会、被造物に対する他のありとあらゆる悪事として具体化されました。この狡猾な「偽りの父」(ヨハネ8・44参照)の策略は、まさに模倣すること、すなわち魅惑的な嘘で人間の心に忍び寄る、狡猾で危険な誘惑です。

 実際、原罪の話の中で誘惑者は、相手のためになることを考える友のふりをしながら女に近づき、一部しか正しくないことを話し始めます。「園のどの木からも食べてはいけない、などと神はいわれたのか」(創世記3・1)。実は、神がアダムに語られたのは、どの木からも食べてはいけないということではなく、たった一本の木から食べてはいけないということでした。「善悪の知識の木からは、決して食べてはならない」(創世記2・17)。女は蛇に答え、そのことを説明しようとしますが、挑発に乗ってしまいます。「園の中央に生えている木の果実だけは、食べてはいけない、触れてもいけない、死んではいけないから、と神様はおっしゃいました」(創世記3・3)。この答えには、おきてを重んじながらも悲観的になっているような気配があります。嘘つきを信用し、その説明に惑わされ、女は道を踏み外します。だからこそ「決して死ぬことはない」(4節)と蛇が保証したとき、すぐに関心を示したのです。

 その後、誘惑者のまことしやかな説明が真実味を帯びます。「それを食べると、目が開け、神のように善悪を知るものとなることを神はご存じなのだ」(創世記3・5)。とうとう、敵の魅惑的な誘いにそそのかされ、幸せをもたらす父なる神の命令が信用できなくなります。「女が見ると、その木はいかにもおいしそうで、目を引き付け、賢くなるようにそそのかしていた」(6節)。聖書のこの箇所は、わたしたちの考察の本質となる要素をこのように明らかにしています。無害なフェイクニュースなどありません。それどころか、嘘を信じることにより、最悪な結果がもたらされます。わずかしか真実をゆがめていないように思えても、恐ろしい影響を与えうるのです。

 実際、問題なのはわたしたちの欲望です。多くの場合、フェイクニュースはウイルスのように広まります。つまり素早く広まり、なかなか食い止められません。それはソーシャル・メディアの特徴である分かち合いの精神のためではなく、人間の心にいとも簡単にわき上がる、飽くことを知らない欲望に訴えかけるからです。フェイクニュースの経済的、日和見主義的な動機は、力をもち、所有し、楽しむことへの渇きに根ざしています。その渇きは結局、わたしたちを欺きという何よりも悲惨なもの、すなわち心の自由を盗み取るために嘘から嘘へと渡り歩く悪魔のわざの犠牲者にします。

 ですから、真理に向けて教育を行うことは、自分たちの中で揺れ動く欲望や気持ちを識別し、評価し、熟考するすべを教えることを意味します。そうすれば、善を見失わずに、一つひとつの誘惑に「かみつく」ことができるからです。

3. 「真理はあなたたちを自由にする」(ヨハネ8・32)
人の内面は、嘘によってつねに汚されることにより、実に不明瞭になります。このことについて、ドストエフスキーは注目に値する記述を残しています。「自分に嘘をつき、自分の嘘に耳を傾ける人間というのは、自分のなかにもまわりの人間のなかにも、どんな真実も見分けがつかなくなって、ひいては、自分に対しても他人に対しても尊敬の気持ちを失うことになるのです。だれも敬わないとなると、人は愛することをやめ、愛をもたないまま、自分を喜ばせ気持ちをまぎらわそうと、情欲や下品な快楽にふけって、ついには犬畜生にもひとしい悪徳に身を落とすことになるのですが、それというのもすべて、人々や自分に対する絶え間ない嘘から生まれることなのです」(『カラマーゾフの兄弟』Ⅱ、2〔亀山郁夫訳、光文社〕)。

 それではどのように自分自身を守ったらよいのでしょうか。嘘というウイルスへの特効薬は、真理による清めです。キリスト教における真理は、物事を判断し、真偽を確かめることに関する概念的な存在だけを指すのではありません。また、古代ギリシャ語の「アレテイア(aletheia、隠れていない)」ということばが示唆しているように、「現実を暴くこと」、つまり不明瞭なものに光を当てることだけを指すのでもありません。真理はいのち全体にかかわります。聖書において、真理はアマン(´aman)という語源から分かるように、支え、連帯、信頼という意味をもちます。典礼用語「アーメン」は、このことばから派生しています。真理は、倒れないように支えてくれるものです。このように考えると、わたしたちが頼ることのできる真に信頼に値する確固たる存在は、「真なるもの」すなわち生きておられる神よりほかにありません。「わたしは……真理である」(ヨハネ14・6)とイエスも断言しておられます。そして人間は、自分を愛してくださる誠実で信頼できるかたのうちに、真理を自分自身の中で体験するたびに、真理を繰り返し見いだします。そうしてはじめて、人間は解放されるのです。「真理はあなたたちを自由にする」(ヨハネ8・32)。

 嘘から解放されることと、結びつきを求めることは、わたしたちのことばと行いが正確で真正で信頼に値するものとなるために欠かせない二つの要素です。真理を識別するためには、交わりと善を促すものと、その逆に孤立と分裂と敵対をもたらすものを見分けなければなりません。したがって、外から機械的に押しつけられても、真理を本当の意味で会得することはできません。真理はむしろ、人々が自由に交わり、互いに耳を傾け合う中でわき出るものです。また、正しいことを述べているときにも、嘘はつねに忍び寄るので、決して真理を求めるのをやめてはなりません。非の打ちどころのない論証は、明白な事実に基づいていますが、もしそれが相手を傷つけ、その人の信用を落とすために用いられるなら、たとえどんなに正しく見えても、そこには真理はありません。わたしたちは述べられたことの真偽を、その成果を見て見極めることができます。それらが争いを巻き起こし、分離を助長し、あきらめを感じさせているか、それとも、情報に基づく成熟した考察や建設的な対話、有益な活動をもたらしているかを見極めるのです。

4.平和は真のニュース
嘘に対する特効薬は策略ではなく人です。つまり欲張らずに他の人に耳を傾け、真理が表れるよう誠実な対話に努める人々、さらには善に導かれ、ことばの使い方に責任をもつ人々です。責任が、フェイクニュースの広まりを食い止める方法であるとすれば、情報を伝える責務を担う職業、すなわち情報の番人であるジャーナリストはとりわけその責任を負います。現代社会において、ジャーナリストは仕事をこなすだけでなく、自らの真の使命を果たしています。情報があふれ、特ダネが渦巻く中、情報の核心は伝える速さでも、聴衆への反響でもなく、人々であることを忘れないという使命を、ジャーナリストは帯びています。情報を提供することは、人を育成することであり、人々の人生にかかわることです。だからこそ情報源を確認し、コミュニケーションを守ることは、信頼関係をはぐくみ、交わりと平和への道を切り開く善を発展させるために欠かせない真のプロセスなのです。

 したがってわたしは、平和的ジャーナリズムを推し進めるよう呼びかけたいと思います。それは、深刻な問題の存在を否定し、感傷的な口調を用いる「甘ったるい」ジャーナリズムではありません。そうではなく、うわべを取り繕わず、嘘も、巧妙なスローガンも、大げさな見出しも退けるジャーナリズム。人々によって人々のために作られ、すべての人、とりわけ――世界の大部分の――声なき人々のために尽くすジャーナリズム。事態を根底から理解し、人道的なプロセスを進めることを通して紛争を解決するために、情報を無駄にせずに、その紛争の真の原因を突き止めようとするジャーナリズム。怒鳴り合いやことばの暴力の激化に対し、何か別の解決策を示そうとするジャーナリズムを指しているのです。

 聖フランシスコの祈りに導かれながら、人の中におられる真理であるかたに心を向けましょう。

 主よ
わたしたちをあなたの平和の道具にしてください。交わりをはぐくまないコミュニケーションに潜む悪に気づかせ、わたしたちの判断から毒を取り除き、兄弟姉妹として他の人のことを話せるよう助けてください。
あなたは誠実で信頼できるかたです。わたしたちのことばを、この世の善の種にしてください。騒音のあるところで、耳を傾け、混乱のあるところで、調和を促し、あいまいさには、明確さを、排斥には、分かち合いを、扇情主義には、冷静さをもたらすものとしてください。
深みのないところに真の問いかけをし、先入観のあるところに信頼を呼び起こし、敵意のあるところに敬意を、嘘のあるところに真理をもたらすことができますように。
アーメン。

 

2018年5月6日

・教皇、性的虐待のチリ被害者に謝罪「私は問題の一部です」(CRUX)

(2018.5.2 Crux Vatican Correspondent Ines Inés San Martín)

 ローマ発―チリにおける聖職者による性的虐待けの対応について強い批判を受け、今月末のチリ司教団との会議を前に、教皇は2日、性的虐待被害者3人をご自身が宿舎にしている「聖マルタの家」に招待して、会見、この醜聞に真正面から向き合おうとした。

 3人は教皇との会見後、声明を発表し、「教皇フランシスコは、ご自身の名において、全カトリック教会を代表して、私たちに赦しを乞われた」ことを明らかにし、「教皇は、熱心に長い時間かけて、一生懸命、親身になって私たちの話を聞いてくれた」と会見を全体として前向きに評価した。

 ただし、彼らのうちの一人は、自分は教皇が嘘は言われなかったが、チリの状況に関して言えば正しい説明を受けていない、と思う、と語った。彼によると、教皇は「私は問題の一部、原因を作った。あなたにお詫びします」と謝罪したが、会見では、どのようにして聖職者による性的虐待と戦うべきか、について助言を続けてほしい、と教皇から求められたが、彼らは「『性的虐待とその隠蔽の伝染性の病』を食い止めるため教会に必要とされている変革を進めるのは、私たちではない」と感想を述べた。

 3人はローマで1時間半にわたる記者会見に応じ、教皇との会見について、今後期待することについて、率直に語り、また、チリの高位聖職者の数人を性的虐待事件を隠ぺいする「犯罪者」だと批判した。「Francisco Javier Errázuriz 枢機卿と Ricardo Ezzati枢機卿が法廷に立つことを希望します」「彼らは隠ぺいの罪を犯していると思いますが、チリの法律では罪とならない」と同国の法律の問題を指摘。

 また、Errázuriz 枢機卿は、高名でカリスマ司祭とされていたフェルナンド・カラディマ神父に対する申し立てが信用できると枢機卿に伝えたことも含めて、2005年までの性的虐待事件について、すべて知っていた、との指摘もあった。カラディマ神父は2011年初めにバチカンによって有罪とされ、贖罪と祈りで生涯を送るように言い渡された。チリの刑事提訴期限法によって、同神父は裁かれ、有罪とされたが、(提訴期限切れで)罰則は適用されなかった。これは、「枢機卿が同神父の犯罪を5年以上も隠蔽していた」ことによる。3人は「教会法によれば、そして犠牲者にとっては、枢機卿はカラディマ神父とその取りまきを隠ぺいした犯罪者です」と訴えた。

 Errázuriz 枢機卿は現在も、チリの首都サンチャゴの名誉大司教であり、バチカン改革について教皇に助言する枢機卿顧問団9人の一人だ。チリの司教団は、聖職者による性的虐待問題について教皇から呼び出しを受け、5月14日から17日にかけてローマを訪問し、教皇と会議を行う予定だ。

 教皇は今年1月にチリとペルーを訪問された直後に、バチカンの主席検察官を中南米に派遣するとの教皇の決定を公表していた。訪問後、ローマへの帰途の機上会見で、教皇は、性的虐待問題の渦中にあるチリのホアン・バロス司教を擁護する発言をしたが、司教はカラディマ神父の取りまきで、神父による性的虐待の犠牲者たちは繰り返し、司教がそのことを知っている、と訴えたが、無視された。司教は今でも無実を主張し続けている。

 このような現状について、3人は声明で、「私たちは教皇に、性的虐待、高位聖職者の権力の乱用、特にチリの司教たちによる事件の隠蔽、などについて率直に申し上げた」とし、「性的虐待は罪であるだけでなく、犯罪です。それがまだチリでは終わっていない。伝染病です」と訴えた。

(以下英語原文に続く)

On their personal encounters with the pope

Hamilton, Cruz and Murillo each met with Francis individually, and then on Monday, as a group. Throughout the press conference, each spoke about their individual experiences.

Murillo, who works with survivors on a daily basis, said that even though he was thankful for the hospitality, for him the trip to Rome wasn’t “a victory” nor a “recognition.”

“I’m tired. This has been exhausting,” he said. “I don’t see this as a victory. This wasn’t a moment of triumph, joy or reparation. I’m tired. I constantly work with victims of pedophilia, and it’s in their names that I’ve come. This does not end with me, but with the thousands of victims who’ve been abused, not only by priests but by their parents, professors, trainers.”

“As a Catholic, my personal encounter was a tremendously important experience for me, and I’m still processing it,” Cruz said. “And I said this to the pope, our experience cannot be an isolated case. [Sexual abuse of minors] is a plague, an epidemic. Victims must be treated respectfully, not only by the pope, but the bishops, and the Church as a whole … [that] must be the norm.”

Cruz said that he’d confided in the pope that Barros and the other three bishops from Karadima’s inner circle, Andrés Arteaga, Tomislav Koljatic Maroevic and Horacio Valenzuela, “saw how Karadima touched and abused young people, and they were there. [The pope] received that information.”

Asked about the letter he had sent to Francis in 2015 detailing his experience, and which was hand-delivered to the pontiff by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the survivor said that he hadn’t brought the letter up.

“My conclusion is that the pope was misinformed,” he said, adding that when Francis in Chile had said he wanted evidence of Barros’ wrongdoing, “he didn’t lie. He was truly misinformed.”

“I have never seen someone be so contrite about what he was telling me,” Cruz said. “I felt also that he was hurting, which for me, was very solemn. It’s not often that the pope really says sorry to you and apologizes.”

Cruz then said that Francis had told him: “I was part of the problem, I caused this, and I apologize to you.”

Moving forward, the survivor said, the pope would have no excuses: “Now he knows everything.”

The question of “who misinformed him,” Cruz said, still remains. The Chilean also said that he’d told the pope he’d been “tremendously” hurt by the pope’s words in Chile, when he defended Barros and called the allegations made against the bishops “calumnies.”

Hamilton defined the meeting as very “honest,” with a man who’s not “prideful.” “I told him that he’s facing the biggest crisis the Church has ever faced. This is not a case of priests being killed, but the faith is being killed from the inside, from its credibility.”Hamilton also said that the pope today is “really well informed,” and that this is the case because Francis himself wanted to get to the bottom of things. “Everybody deserves, especially in this case, a second chance. We have hope, but we want to have a hope that is connected with reality.”“If we don’t see any changes, we will continue our fight for all the abused in the world, not only the abused by priests,” he continued. “If we see changes, we will be the first ones to be here again, to help, as we told the pope.”

On how Francis should address the crisis now

Speaking on a “personal note,” Hamilton said that moving forward, he’d want the Church to identify the root of the problem behind sexual abuse of minors. Secondly, the Church should recognize that in front of the law, “everyone is equal.” “Jesus was born in a barn, obeying civil law,” he said. “And Jesus died in the hands of the Romans, also obeying civil law.” The pope, Hamilton said, found this to be “reasonable,” and even gave the example of a bishop reporting a priest to the authorities.

Francis asked the three to continue in conversation with the Vatican, and requested that they send him suggestions as to how the Church should move forth. On this, the survivors said that they will focus on prevention, investigation, justice and reparation for abuse, so that the Church can be “a home for those who need defense, welcoming, justice.”

“We believe that the Church shouldn’t go on putting down fires as a fireman, but be the one preventing them all,” Hamilton said.

Cruz said that the three of them have spoken about what they think should happen with the Chilean bishops – at the very least, several, including the four close to Karadima, should leave their posts. They said so again during the press conference, when they called for Errázuriz to leave his position on the pope’s C9.

“Concretely, we spoke about many issues with the pope, made several suggestions,” he said. “The pope told us he was going to pray on them, think, and then make decisions in the short, mid and long term, as he said in his letter. We await confidently.”

(翻訳「カトリック・アイ」南條俊二)

・・Cruxは、カトリック専門のニュース、分析、評論を網羅する米国のインターネット・メディアです。 2014年9月に米国の主要日刊紙の一つである「ボストン・グローブ」 (欧米を中心にした聖職者による幼児性的虐待事件摘発のきっかけとなった世界的なスクープで有名。映画化され、日本でも昨年、全国上映された)の報道活動の一環として創刊されました。現在は、米国に本拠を置くカトリック団体とパートナーシップを組み、多くのカトリック関係団体、機関、個人の支援を受けて、バチカンを含め,どこからも干渉を受けない、独立系カトリック・メディアとして世界的に高い評価を受けています。「カトリック・あい」は、カトリック専門の非営利メディアとして、Cruxが発信するニュース、分析、評論の日本語への翻訳、転載について了解を得て、掲載します。

2018年5月3日