(Rome Reports) Pope Francis received an enthusiastic welcome from Franciscans taking part in the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor when he met with them at the Vatican. In his address, he focused on the two main elements of the Franciscan vocation: “minority” and “fraternity.”
They are called to be “little before God,” said the Pope.
“Minority means to get out of ourselves, out of our own agenda and personal views. It means going beyond the structures–which are also useful if used wisely–over the habits and certainties, to witness concrete closeness to the poor, the needy, the marginalized, in an authentic attitude of sharing and service.”
He later focused on brotherhood, the second major part of being a Franciscan. The Pope told them that their fraternity would be an example for the world to see how Jesus’ love can heal.
Attendees were also told that it is important “to live a Christian and religious existence without losing oneself in disputes and chattering.”
The Order of Friars Minor has been hit by a major financial scandal recently. Because of financial mismanagement and possible illegal investments, the Order is facing bankruptcy.
It’s newly re-elected leader, Brother Michael Perry, just began what will certainly be a difficult six-year term. The Pope shared a warm embrace with the leader.
Pope Francis warned the group that they must remain committed to their vocation of poverty.
Recalling an old story about the Franciscans, the Pope reminded them that “the whole world” is their cloister, and that they should be “meek and humble” wherever they go.