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The Chapter's Chronicle

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July 31th

Documentorum Progressio

On The Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the liturgy was entrusted to the provinces of Ecuador and Argentina. The young Provincial of Argentina, Fr. Javier Pose presided. He told us at the beginning of the Eucharist that Saint Ignatius was impressed by the personage of Saint Dominic. This must say something to us Dominicans. Fr. Antonio Cabrejas preached, originally Castilian who has spent the most part of his life in Ecuador, from which province he is a diffinitor in this chapter. The explanation that Jesus gives us about the parable of the weeds and the wheat invites us to learn how to wait, be tolerant, not to judge or condemn so that we are not judged or condemned. But there are other readings. If we think, says the preacher, of ourselves, this waiting must be accompanied by a continuous discernment to be able to identify the weeds and the wheat and to cultivate our interior life. Something similar must occur in formation, one must discern and patiently purify. It is good to insist in discernment on the feast of the author of the "Spiritual Exercises". In the musical part of the celebration "Las coplas del Yaravi" (The Stanzas of the Yaravi) stood out; directed and interpreted by the Master of the Order himself.

The plenary began with a joke. Yesterday at one moment the voting machines broke down. At the secretary's words, repeated many times, "please, indicate that you are present", the number that resulted did not correspond to the number of people present. In order to show their presence, he asked the vocals that, in place of pressing the button, they raise what was under their folders. What was under their folders was a large card with the word "present" printed on it, which all raised in unison. Expenses of the Chapter. The new solidarity equation will be applied according to the income of the provinces. There are notable differences. They made seven types of entities: the first three will pay less, the fourth pays its own part, and the fifth, sixth and seventh will pay their own part plus part of wat is due from the first three types. There were no protests as it all seems just … They did not say in which group each entity fell. The afternoon sessions were moved up 30 minutes. They shortened in word and deed the now globalised siesta. At three we must start work.

The commission for the Intellectual Life presented a well-done text prepared by our theologians, philosophers and thinkers. We found out that our mission is paraclectic - so many years without realising it -, that we must pay attention to the anamnetic, etc. Even the title is appealing: "Misericordia Veritatis". Study is not a hobby, nor does one study as a profession: it is a contemplation to be brought to hearts most wounded. There lies our pataclectic mission - our consoling mission.

We must study philosophy, the great loss in initial formation in recent years. We must also study Latin and Greek. Someone said that the Indians, Chinese, Koreans and Japanese could spend their entire lives studying these languages, and they would not learn them. The commission is faithful to the Bologna Chapter: In initial formation, it is necessary to study one of the three official languages of the Order different from our mother tongue. As the text speaks of communication and investigation, someone proposed that German be included - a language essential for investigation. The text from Bologna was maintained by a slim margin.

Speaking of languages, Italian appeared today. They were speaking of the Angelicum. The arch-administrator of the University could not express himself precisely if not in his own language. Both he and the commission received warm and enthusiastic applause.

At the beginning of the afternoon session, the Master communicated to the assembly the new positions of the General Council. There were applause for these new as well as for the outgoing members.

Constitutions. Historians say that LCO n. 100 does not correspond to the historical reality, there is not historical document that validates the claim that in the beginning of the Order they called the convent the "sancta prædicatio" (many retreat talks have not been historically accurate!) This number was included in the LCO in 1968. If it is not history, it is tradition. "In the beginnings of the Order" will be changed to "In the tradition of the Order".

The Promoter of the Nuns. Number 438 of the LCO says that it is the responsibility of e promoter to help the "nuns and sisters". "Sisters" will be removed. He is the Promoter of the Nuns; not of the sisters. It passed with almost unanimous approval; there was only one abstention.

The first draft of the Commission on the Dominican Family. The redaction of the text took time, but it is well done. The presenter said that the important thing is what is beneath the text: the life if the Family, how the reality had evolved through the Chapters, how there are intentions to open means of collaboration … etc. It was a text that they presented to hear the echo from the assembly and incorporate their suggestions. Some echoes were heard, and none disagreeable. The suggestion was made to remove the difference between Order and Family. The important thing is to feel ourselves as a family and to be disposed to plan and collaborate together. The text was accepted. Without doubt, there will be numerous things to consider when the text is again presented.

For the second time, the text on the challenges to the Order was presented. The weariness in the room was notable. There were amendments, amendments of the amendments, amendments included and later removed. The members of the commission do not know what to do to carry forward their text. It was 18.30. The meeting had lasted already three and a half hours with only a fifteen minutes break. The moderator proposed that we continue another fifteen minutes. We voted. A vast majority launched us outside for a breath of fresh air. We needed it.

It happed in the meeting room …

A young Italian capitular speaks very fast when he intervenes, and he speaks in French. At the protestations of the translators, who could not keep up with him, the moderator called his attention to his speed. His response: "Listen, I am from the country that makes the Ferrari." (The vocals buckle their seat belt when he asks to speak.)

The changes to the LCO must be done in Latin. The secretary writes the changes to the text in his computer, and then projects them on large screens, in red beside the original text. A real expert. There is not that much in Latin.

In spite of the long afternoon session, some capitulars are untiring in their loquacity. Authentic verbal incontinence. puce

(Translated from Spanish)


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