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July 28th

To Humanize Globalization

The vice province of St. Vincent Ferrer in Central America and the general vicariate of the Holy Cross in Puerto Rico were entrusted with the Eucharistic Liturgy today. It began with the Nicaraguan Mass with its rhythms and loving lyrics of the people; there was no organ, nor even the noble piano, but only the simple guitar and percussion instruments. Vice provincial Friar Pablo Iribarren presided, accompanied by Friar Mario Rodríguez, the vicar of Puerto Rico; they represented the lands of hurricanes and earthquakes, yet lands where there is no lack of hope. With precise diction Mario put forth thoughts worth meditation. The Gospel treated of the weeds which grow along with the wheat: "let them grow up together". Let us take care of the wheat, not worry ourselves too much about rooting out the weeds. As Dominicans it is not up to us to exorcise but to sow and cultivate the good seed, conscious of the reality of the weeds that grow outside and within us. The Mass was full of the enthusiasm and joy that is Latin America!

The Commission on Challenges to the Mission: Globalization presented their second draft. They reminded us that it is the first time for a Chapter to treat the matter and that globalization (or the French mundialización) affects everyone on each continent. After describing what is understood by globalization and its consequences, the text spoke of the challenges with which globalization confronts the preacher. Some principal themes were: the necessity and acceptance of interdependence; the consideration of the positive and negative aspects of globalization; the recognition that the Dominican preacher is a citizen of a region and of the world at the same time; the call to a greater solidarity within the Order. This commission is the most numerous with 18 friars from 15 countries. The report has been titled, "The Humanization of Globalization".

The document is good and very interesting and tries to respond to the question: What can be done in the Church and in the Order about globalization, which is already a worldly reality,? In order not to start out with a negative concept of said phenomenon, it asks us "why do we not globalize more, why are we not more available to move from one place to another, feeling at home in all of them and appreciating the flavor and reality of each place? Why have a "small town"mentality or be provincial in a globalized world? And the Scriptures support it: Jesus prayed " for all to be one". With such a foundation, who can vote against it?

The last part presented recommendations, petitions, and ordinances. Among them, the internet was recommended for all. And it was ordained to read and write books (because of the danger that the internet might make books useless). But the ordinances were not precise about who would help the publishers, who would make sure that the friars receive the education in writing and speaking in public, etc... Since the text did not specify such responsibilities it was returned to the commission.

The afternoon session was slow and a little boring. Not even the threat of having to continue after supper moved the debate which was at times tangled up in questions of semantics. The document covered almost everything in the challenges which the world offers to us. The title is "The Call of Those Who Surround Us." And there are many who surround us and who call us. It is concerned with the challenges of religions and the "a-religious" world, of fundamentalism, as much within Christianity as outside of it. It speaks of attempts against human freedom, of social, political, and sexual injustices; of determinism and political systems of corruption; of the violence against life and of biotechnology.

There were amendments, amendments were amended, and amendments were rejected. Part of the commission's text was rejected. Today it didn't happen but in the following days it will be necessary to continue after supper....

No one was in the mood for long liturgical celebrations at the end of the session. But we did celebrate the liturgy of light in reverence. The Latin American liturgy was once again a lively one. Sister Carmen Villar, a nun from the monastery of Vivero, Lugo (in Spain), sang a simple psalmody, which she had composed with Spanish psalm tones and Friar Orlando Rueda did the hymn, "Dominic, Your Voice in America".

In the evening most of the participants enjoyed a video of the meeting in Manila which was full of color and creativity.

Happenings in the Chapter Room...

*"Sexual" injustice from the English text was converted into "social" injustice in the Spanish translation. ( It is clear that this little error did not diminish the unanimous recognition of the delicate, steady, and polished work of the translators.)

*One capitular did not like the expression " the world created by God", preferring that one speak of "the world as the body of God". The attempted amendment did not meet with any support, but neither was the "pantheist" burned at the stake. These are different times than those of Giordano Bruno...

*Neither was there any support for a proposal that the record show the Dominicans' support for the ordination of women. And the proposal did not come from the nuns, nor the women religious, nor the Dominican laity present... puce

(Translated from Spanish)


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