The second week of the General Chapter was principally taken up with the issue of the finances of the General Curia and of the houses and entities dependent on it. This topic is of huge interest to the Chapter Members, given the financial crisis which was publically acknowledged by the Minister General at the end of last year.
Br. Silvio Rogelio DE LA FUENTE, the Vice-Treasurer of the Order was asked to give a detailed presentation of the current state of affairs. The schedule of the day would be quite flexible, so as ensure that the Chapter Members have sufficient time to ask any questions they wish to ask and to clarify any matters that may be unclear. Br. Pasquale DEL PEZZO, General Delegate for the Financial Affairs of the Order, was also available to give his contribution. Once Br. Silvio had presented the plan for the reorganization of the financial resources of the General Curia, and of the Entities and Projects dependent on the Curia, there was an open and lively discussion.
In the afternoon Br Michael Perry, the Minister General, presented proposals for renewed and expanded structures which are designed to provide oversight and financial controls in order to achieve a healthy financial system. Once again the friars were able to ask questions and make comments.
The rest of the afternoon was devoted to the reports of the Conference Presidents. This gives an overview of the whole Order, with friars from all over the world reporting on the lived reality of the Franciscan Provinces in their Conferences.
Finally, the whole assembly spent time in a prayerful reading of the Word of God. After a day during which the friars struggled with difficult issues, it was good to be nourished by the bread of God’s word.