Franciscan Superior Puts Focus on Holiness in Era of Globalization

Talks About Priorities and Challenges of Friars Minor

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ASSISI, Italy, JUNE 19, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Members of the Order of Friars Minor pledge to be faithful to their life way of prayer, contemplation, fraternity, poverty and evangelization, as a response to John Paul II's call to holiness.



So says the new minister general of the Franciscan order, Father José Rodríguez Carballo, in an interview on Vatican Radio.

"I think that to the degree that we are faithful to what we promised in our religious profession, to that degree we will consider the Holy Father's invitation and respond to this fundamental exigency of Franciscan and Christian life: to be saints," the priest said as he analyzed the topics examined during the order's 185th general chapter here.

To carry out the task of evangelization, Father Carballo emphasized the need for collaboration -- "being an instrument of globalization" -- in order to "share what we are and what we have."

"Our missionary presence tends, precisely, to create this fraternal globalization, respecting differences, without excluding anyone," he said.

The new minister general also stressed the role of Franciscans "in this society, so intensely divided and violent": "to witness that it is possible to be brothers and to live as friends despite the differences."

In this context, Father Carballo mentioned the Holy Land, whose hope for peace "necessarily entails the commitment to dialogue, to listening, and to respect for the other by all parties in the conflict."

"Moreover, we must not forget that we can never use the name of God to fight against others," he added. "As the Gospel says, our God causes the sun to rise on all."