Rome, Monday September 10, 2012
The activities of the Intercapitular Assembly of Friday, September 7, were centered on the reflection on the theme of “Continentality.” Bro. Daniele Giusti gave a brief historical summary of how we have arrived to this theme and of the results of the “questionnaire on continentality.” In the afternoon the work continued in group by continent, followed by the results of their conclusion in the assembly. At the end of the day a group of participants went to town to pray Vespers with the Community of Sant’Egidio in the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.
Bro. Daniele Giusti, member of the general council, in the first session of the activities of
September 7, gave an exhaustive exposition of the theme of Continentality, namely of the experiences of subsidiarity at cont8nental level, and a summary of the results by continent of the “questionnaire on continentality, which has been sent to the circumscriptions following the outline of the questionnaire itself.
The question of continentality appeared in a more evident manner already in the Chapter of 1997 (#168.4), where the General Council (GC) is asked to keep in mind forms of continental coordination and to promote new initiatives such: the choosing of a provincial as coordinator; discernment over continental emergencies and solidarity; assemblies by continent and by sector; forms of cooperation like, for example, exchange of personnel and means, common projects.
The 16th Chapter went beyond that giving a more structural form as it spoke of Continental Coordination (CA03 137-138), Continents Assembly of Provincials (CA03, 139), Provincial Overseers of sectors and Continental Councils of sectors. The theme was picked up again by the Pre-Capitular Commission of the 17th Chapter (chapter 3,23-24).
According to Bro. Daniele: “The 17th Chapter seems to have accepted with a certain moderation the entire question of Continentality, thus confirming the journey accomplished but without advancing it and without insisting on a ‘brassage’ too intense between GC and Assembly of Provincials, and not even with an assistant in charge of it. And it demands an evaluation of the journey of the three years.”
In this regard the 17th Chapter (CA09 – 132.2) says: The GC, in dialog with the Provincial Superiors, should start a study of continentality in order to clarify its form, functionality and structural subsidiarity to be presented to the next Intercapitular.”
Moving on to the results of the questionnaire, Bro. Daniele presented the answers in a summary form by continent (America/Asia, Europe, English speaking Africa-Mozambique, French speaking Africa) and in the end he offered a synthesis of the topics (Coordination, Cooperation at continental level of the Secretariats of sectors of the provinces, Assemblies, Projects and common initiatives, Exchange of personnel, Sharing of funds, Managing of emergencies, Six-year Plans and Activities) and some comments.
In the synthesis Bro. Daniele highlighted: “The practice of coordination among provincials and regular meetings, sharing and common discernment are an acquired fact. Same can be said for the formulation of plans to guide the practice of continentality, the effective implementation notwithstanding. The same can be said of assemblies of various sectors that seem to be among the most appreciated aspects of continentality. Also the coordination of sectors is fairly well structured and it shows its usefulness with different speed in different continents but, in any case, it seems to be an accomplished fact. So that the effectiveness and durability of this experience of coordination of sectors would be the best condition to favor a ‘lightening’ of the center. For what concerns the projects and common initiati8ves it must be noted that, except for the positive experience of Europe and English speaking Africa, in the other two continents there prevails a certain ambiguity of perception and of practice.”
In conclusion Bro. Daniele Giusti stated: “In general as a last comment over the whole thing, it is easier to put together a reflection, dialog, planning and all that can be defined ‘soft’ than to realize a project or initiative that will touch one’s own pocket or one’s own personnel.”
In the afternoon the work moved on in group by continents, with a sharing at the end in the assembly. At the end of the day a group of participants went to town to pray Vespers with the Community of Sant’Egidio in the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. After a short meeting with some members of the community, they went to dinner together.
(Please find attached the Summary presented by Bro. Daniele Giusti in Italian).
At the end of the day a group of participants went to town to pray Vespers
with the Community of Sant’Egidio in the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.
After a short meeting with some members of the community, they went to dinner together.