Home > Synod > 2010-10-13 17:43:07
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Intervention of Rev. F. Mauro JÖHRI, General Minister of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (ITALY)

In my intervention I recalled the characteristics of the presence of the Capuchins in the Middle East down through the centuries within the wider Franciscan tradition. I paid particular attention to the situation in Turkey. I remembered the cultural commitment and pastoral dedication of the Capuchin bishop Mons. Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar to Anatolia, who was brutally murdered last 3 June, and I recalled the grave difficulties Christians are subject to in that land.
Among the commitments of the Capuchins, apart from the pastoral care of Christians spread throughout an enormous territory, works of charity and evangelical witness, I recalled his commitment to promoting the symposia of Tarsus on Saint Paul and of Ephesus on Saint John, in collaboration with the Antonianum Spiritual Institute with the aim of promoting interest in the sites of the origins of Christianity, rediscovering their cultural importance, and not just for Christians. I also recalled his commitment to the promotion of meeting and dialogue with Muslims through the organization of symposia on inter-religious dialogue. To sum up, the commitment of the Capuchins, along with that of the other ecclesial realities, becomes concrete in wanting to be witnesses in the ecclesial communion of Christ as the hope of peace for everyone.
Finally I recalled, quoting the words of our murdered brother, that it is always possible to live this apostolic responsibility, even where, because of difficulties and discrimination, the only possible commitment “is that of being a presence. A witness. With a greatly reduced pastoral activity [...] the mission is presence”; this is then the only way to render justice to the witness of the martyrs who shed their blood in these lands for the Gospel of Christ.

[00043-02.02] [IN021] [Original text: Italian]


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