Rome. The Ius Group – Jurists of the Order had their second annual meeting at the General Curia of the Capuchin Friars Minor from July 10 to 14, 2017.
The Group was established by the General Minister and his Council on March 20, 2015, based on the suggestion made by the General Procurator. The idea is a technical law group, made up of canon and civil lawyers, to assist the General Minister and his Council in extricating themselves from the inevitable lacunae, imprecisions, and interpretive difficulties in our proper law (Constitutions and Ordinances of the General Chapters) and of the law in general. Therefore this is not something ‘academic’ but a practical assistance in the difficulties that emerge daily in the work of the central administration and in relation to the circumscriptions. After all, it was at Rome, in a more classical age, that juris prudentia, the science of the law, was born precisely for the resolution of concrete cases.
Video - Jurists of the Order – 2017 Meeting
The group brings together voices from various continents: the Presiding Delegate of the General Council, Br. Victorius Dwiardy (PR Pontianak, Indonesia), the General Procurator, Br. Antonio Belpiede (PR Foggia, Italy), the Vice General Procurator, Br. Albert D’Souza (PR Maharashtra, India), Br. John Celichowski (PR Calvary, USA), Br. José Ángel Torres (CU Puerto Rico, USA), and Br. Jean Miguina (CG Chad – Central African Republic).
During the year the Group remains in contact by means of the internet and shares juridical questions according to what is indicated by the General Minister. There is a lively exchange of a technical-juridical nature, as well as reflection in common, over email. Once a year the Group meets at the General Curia to discuss the topics that have come up and to provide the General Minister with the fruit of this digestum. In the end, this a reflection that includes all the juridical points that the Constitutions and the OGC leave open, in order that these may be presented at the next General Chapter for resolution (letter of the General Minister to establish the Group).
It’s good to recall that the casus belli that inspired the idea for the Group was the General Minister’s request for clarification on the general custodies. In the 2016 meeting the Group gave itself to drawing up a model Statutes for a General Custody (Const. 136, 1) and to study, in the case of a provincial custody—by which general custodies are defined by analogy (ibid.)—the ‘division of labor’ between the custos and provincial minister. This happens in two ways: by the written delegation of faculties given to the custos by the provincial minister (Const. 136, 6) and by statute (Const. 138, 8). In the recent New Ministers’ Meeting in Frascati it emerged that many of these means foreseen by the Constitutions are often ignored…an ignorance that generally increases the difficulties of administration. Our work continues…
Br. Antonio Belpiede, OFM Cap., General Procurator