[quote="AndyF, post:1, topic:267043"]
I was wondering if it was a wise thing to have Spiritual Directors sit in on formation workshops. Other orders specifically state that spiritual directors should not become officers in their respective orders.
So some questions for discussion:
1/ Isn't their job to prepare the individual for formation beforehand.?
2/ Is it due to the Franciscan order being autonomous thus deviant in this procedure?
3/ Can a conflict arise in the formation decision making process, that is, a bias opinion rooted in his knowledge gained by discreet disclosure of information?
4/ Wouldn't it guarantee this could never happen if he were NOT there at all.?
5/ Are the spiritual directors self aware enough in conscience to know they are holding a bias in a particular decision?
I'm not sure what the situation is, and others from this thread apparently don't either. But you can read information on the role that a spiritual assistant plays (and a director USED to play) on the CIOFS and NAFRA websites.
The SFO is an autonomous order. You should have a minister and vice minister elected from among your members. You should also have a formation person from among your number doing the formation. Your fraternity should NOT have a director who is an OFM or TOR (either gender or any other order) at its head, as its major authority. If that is the case, you need to change it peacefully. Regional needs to know also - peacefully.
If you have an OFM or a TOR of either gender, they should be around just for guidance. They are sometimes at meetings but they have no vote, the way I understand it. They are supposed to be available to answer questions and model the charism so that it doesn't drift from being Franciscan to something else like paganism or generic something out of ignorance or misunderstanding -- and that's why you have them, if you have them.
It's an American thing to have to legislate rules down the nth degree and I'm pretty sure that we don't have a rule that says that the spiritual assistance can't be present at formation meetings, because the SFO isn't only American! I believe that the spiritual assistants are supposed to have the opportunity for some advisory input in council meetings. However, they're not supposed to be running the show, no.
Read what's at the CIOFS and NAFRA sites on the topic, and then you're going to have to work this situation out peacefully. Good luck.