Management of goods for the mission of the Church
In his keynote speech at the Symposium, Cardinal Montenegro, President of the Italian Bishops’ Commission for the service of charity and health, affirmed: «the Church will always be stimulated to develop a mature discernment, relevant to specific times and places and inspired by the fundamental criteria which apply to these matters in order to find the most appropriate practical solutions». He continued: «One cannot deny that the issue of the use and management of temporal goods is of great importance for the Church because these goods are needed for the communion and the mission of the Church. In fact, the management of goods should express and serve that communion making up the one People of God». In conclusion, he affirmed: «This entails that we must be more aware of our weaknesses, our limitations, and also our past mistakes and ask for help; we need to make alliances not based on what ‘we’ think is the right thing to do, but on what is needed by those we meet and the opportunities, even small ones, which emerge in our areas».
Professor Luigino Bruni, who teaches at the LUMSA, spoke about how to manage the works of the Institutes with a prophetic spirit. The sign (for which read the work) must speak and have a meaning, otherwise it is empty. If the works of the Institutes of Consecrated Life are not a sign which ‘expresses’ the Gospel value for which they were founded, they end up being empty structures. The use and management of goods need to be rethought with discernment in order to be able to hand down the charism of an Institute through witnessing.
The theme, which Pierluigi Nava, Lecturer at the Pontifical Faculty of Science of Education ‘Auxilium‘, treated was The relationship between Superior and Bursar: a governance perspective. In our complex times, Superiors and Bursars are called to seek ‘new equilibriums’ by rethinking them according to the paradigm of the Church’s mission in order to avoid dangerous logics of self-absorbent. He affirmed that «the goods of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life are a living patrimony, whose added value is the fact that it is a shared patrimony of personal charisms (gifts) put in the service of the charism of the Institute in communion with the Church. Therefore, if the institutional relationships, which are part of the “logic of gratuity”, are pre-disposed to serve the common good, they cannot be part of the “logic of formality” which renders the service meaningless».
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