Thursday, July 18, 2019
Head of Congregation of Religious Gives Insights — Why Attack Holy Franciscans of the Immaculate
(Asuncion) Why, since 2013, have traditional orders and communities, such as the Franciscans of the Immaculata of Rome, been placed under provisional administration since 2013, usually without a reason? This question has been raised since July 2013, four months after the election of Pope Francis, and has to do with Cardinal Braz de Aviz and the Congregation of Religious he leads. In the interview, the cardinal, more unconsciously than he intends, may have given an answer to the question. Braz de Aviz revealed some reasons that seem to be behind the sending of commissars. He also provided illuminating insight into the current understanding of priests in Rome. All in all aspects that are also interesting with regard to the Amazon Synod.
As reported, Cardinal Braz de Aviz recently visited Paraguay. There he gave an interview to the capital's daily newspaper Ultima Hora, which was published last Saturday, July 14th.
Ultima Hora: What are the challenges today (for religious life today)?
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: We are working hard to change the training. We have to think about a training from the womb to the last breath. There is a process of life in which values or sufferings are acquired or not. Everything counts in education, you can not say that is training and that is not. It is a path that must be undertaken, and requires a lot of attention, responsibility, forgiveness, and listening ability. We have a lot to change.
Then we have the problem within the consecrated life of regaining the human, the inclinations, the sexuality. We have to restore the relationship between superiors and subordinates in order to shed new light on them. The man-woman relationship, no longer defensive, but more integrated, deeper and more complete on both sides.
Ultima Hora: There is a career crisis. What does that say in your opinion?
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: I think it's all a problem of the authenticity of life. Another problem is that society denies God in many places. He is not denied in theory, but in practice. So now we have to see: what is fundamental and what is not. Many things of the tradition, many things that belong to the past culture, are no longer suitable.
Ultima Hora: What, for example?
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: For example, we have life forms that are related to our founders, but are not essential: a way of praying, a way of dressing oneself, giving too much importance to certain things that are not important, and others that are really important, too small to pay attention to them. This more globalized view of everything ... that we did not have, now we have it. It is no longer true that my culture is more important than the culture of the other, because the cultures are all the same, but they must find the values of the Gospel.
Ultima Hora: As if spirituality had worsened ...
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: Yes, that's it. All the secondary things can fall, but not the special charisma of the founders.
Ultima Hora: Does celibacy belong in these many things to give up?
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: For the consecrated life, celibacy is of fundamental importance because it is one of the pillars: poverty, chastity and obedience. But these are not commandments, but propositions, they are evangelical counsels. Its value is to discover, someone must discover whether he is called to or not. Sometimes one deceives oneself and thinks he is called to be without it. Others do not accept that because they do not see it as a value. We have to differentiate, recognize and follow.
Ultima Hora: Why do we experience a time when apostolic life seems more endangered?
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: Today we do not think of the priesthood as the most important thing. The priesthood is one of the values, one of the vocations. In consecrated life the priest may not take the first place. He has to take the same place as the other brothers and sisters ... This, for example, must change: the Pope says that we must distinguish between power and authority. The divine authority is in order, the power is not. Because power, according to the mindset of the world, is a form of domination that does not serve. We have to go through another door: be in the secret and be able to
find that brotherhood.
Ultima Hora: How is the Church and the Pope handling the cases of sexual abuse?
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: The Pope wants transparency, he wants responsibility. The Pope says that even if it was only abuse in the Church, it must be clarified because the consecrated figure of the priest is a figure that points to a divine value, a deep human value. If you do not have that, you are abusing. We have to recognize that. And the media is doing very well in putting this into focus, knowing that 95% of these problems are in the family and not in the Church, because that's true too.
Ultima Hora: To what extent have the sexual scandals affected the church, had it led to fewer priestly vocations?
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: The scandal is always affecting, but that's just one side, because most took place 50 years ago; the other side is that now the consciousness is much bigger. But it has a big influence on the decline. But we have more adaptation to the current culture, authentic life, and think that God will take care of it.
Ultima Hora: How should the stigma be removed?
Cardinal Braz de Aviz: Only by clarifying the cases and then by changing our way of being. Because it is a localized problem, a very serious problem, then you have to change. But we are not worried that this will come to light. It is necessary that it comes to light. We need a more modest church to live together and try to protect life. In everything else God does as He pleases.
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Ultima Hora (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org