Saturday morning was devoted to reflection, personal review of materials and discussions over the past week of the General Chapter, and work in the various Chapter Commissions according to thematic and linguistic areas. The Chapter Facilitator, Brother Matteo Giuliani, identified some of the themes emerging from group discussions as being the restructuring of the Order, young people, finance matters, and safeguarding of the vulnerable.
In the afternoon, Conferences met to prepare for the election of he new Minister General that will be held on Tuesday 13 July. This was followed by the first of two consultative ballots.
During his reflection at vespers this evening, theologian and author Brother Daniel spoke about the centrality of fraternity (fraternitas) for our vocation, describing it as ‘the indispensible heart of Franciscan identity.’ He explained that fraternitas is the distinctive gift that the Franciscan Order offers the church and world. In a world that faces challenges such as individualism, clericalism, discrimination, hatred, and sexual abuse and violence, the friars can offer a prophetic witness by becoming true ‘contemplative fraternities in mission.’
Brother Daniel also proposed that we can renew our Franciscan identity by embracing the challenge of an ‘integral fraternal ecology,’ which recognises our fundamental interconnectedness and interdependence as brothers with one another and all creation. He also challenged the Chapter members recognise today as a ‘Franciscan Moment’ and to be ambassadors of Pope Francis’s encyclical letters Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti. Brother Daniel described these two documents as the Holy Father’s expression of a deeply Franciscan vision of fraternitas.
After dinner, capitulars and officials looked forward to special Chapter screenings in English, Italian, and Spanish, of the 2020 documentary Francesco, with film director and producer Evgeny Afineevsky as invited guest for the evening.