SFO Terminology and Form II


#1

Continuing from Form I, a few more puzzling features of the Order.

   To review. The brothers and sisters are of Penance and are Eucharistic as well. As we know the community contains professed members and candidates. The literary material selected for teaching on a given subject is oriented to both groups in the same local. The professed are considered deficient in spiritual growth, and development in this area is a continuous process.  

   The local itself holds the character of pseudo academic, retaining one feature in that there is a selection process at the term of the initiation formation which determines qualifications for profession. A body of the professed called the counsel are tasked with this work. The academia disregards milestones for the candidate's progress.     

   The candidates live in an environment where they strive and vie for acceptance by all the professed who have veto power in the candidate's advancement to profession even though the Order confirms they are admittedly deficient themselves.

   There is no assurance by the Church who should monitor conditions in the order to ensure the establishment of fair standards. The professed would be deprived of the Holy Spirit if they are not in friendship with the Lord(penance). There is no assurance a professed so disposed would disqualify himself from the day of the selection process, since he could not discern the Holy Spirit in others if he were not so imbued himself, with the result the risk of a false negative evaluation. This would be the Franciscan thing to do and would call for sacrifice and virtue. The counsel is also comprised with professed who due to being absent at some meetings for whatever reason would not have a complete compliment of experiences to establish a fair assessment of the subject. Here again it would call for a virtuous member who would know enough to bow out of the selection.

   These are but two areas of concern that could be addressed if the Church took an active part in the order's dealings and simple standards adopted.

   The psychological frame of mind of these candidates need to be studied in context of like social environments. An artificial environment is the reality but not desired by the Church. The Order would like the candidate to relax and be himself in order to discern the Holy Spirit within him. It would like him to portray his true personality. His mannerisms and words are measured for appropriateness and the candidate is required to be comfortable with this. There is a feigned relationship of friendliness in the candidates, and a real one in the professed where no risk is incurred. Again, we have possibly some cases where the professed is not in true friendship with the Lord while he does his assessing. 

   There is a sinister element characteristic that occasionally rears it's head in  autocratic and authoritative institutions such has these. It is irresistible at times for some "assessors" to take advantage of the dependance placed on them. They relax their otherwise decent composure reserved for their co-brothers and delve into the dark side. These types can't resist creating situations that have no bearing on recruiting but are designed to provoke the person to test his limits and/or reaction. Whatever the results it is placed in the pool of the candidate's negative features for later. I have also seen professed be very rude to a new member. The member not daring to be a whistle blower.

   The answer of course is the milestone implementation along with a system where everything official is written and given to the candidate. Instead of being confronted on the last day he has a running log of his accomplishments he can count on. The counsel is not a professional group, and not required a clergical position, nor are they required to carry psychological credentials. A scenerio for disaster if there ever was one. Perhaps a qualified independant party could be assigned to investigate and represent the candidate if dismissal is in the works.

#2

What on earth?

Have you personally spent time in formation and with an SFO/OFS fraternity? There is nothing sinister going on. The friendships I had with people in the fraternity were not somehow fake because i wasn’t yet professed and needed their approval.

Professional is not some kind of goal. The goal is to follow Jesus, and to mutually discern whether i should be following in Francis’ footsteps. If I weren’t, it’s not as if all the time I had invested in formation and relationships were wasted. All of it brought me closer to Jesus and my brothers and sisters. In my case, my vocation was indeed confirmed and I was professed when the time came. But even if they/we decided it wasn’t right for me, that’s not a rejection or a criticism.

A council is a group of people rather than one person, in order that they might balance each others’ strengths and weaknesses. One would hope that they are each elected because they possess the gifts to do their jobs properly. I trust that the Holy Spirit is able to act through the council, and in fact we pray that formally quite frequently. Spiritual Assistants are appointed rather than elected, and as religious or clergy or trained lay people, they ought to have the background to know if there is a personality problem.

On the ground, in real life, I don’t see any basis for your suspicions.


#3

But even if ....they......decided it wasn't right for me, that's not a rejection or a criticism.

Provided it is you and something only you have to deal with. If it is the counsel, then it would need the experience to know what is pertinent and what isn't, and have the *same field of view has you do through your window of conscience*, and that is impossible and the Church states this. 

Because of this admitted Truth we can count on, then reverse logic creates a potential for inconsistency, in that the counsel by this handicap could conclude you do not qualify, whereas, you having access to this personal information result in a positive decision. So you can see that you can not take the counsel decision at face value, ever. 

Has I said earlier, human psychology has been struggling with difficulty of understanding the human psych for ages, how can the counsel claim it has it down pat?. How do you know that one of the counsel has attributed a personality trait for a spiritual one?. (St. Peter has a strong personality I am told.) How do you know that an event/action/word that has been attributed to you has a norm by professed members, in reality is an exception because the members who would normally have graded you positive and tip the scale in favor were consistently absent? How would you know if more than one has fallen out of his penitential promise and by Francis's standards should not even be on the counsel? Would the counsel admit it? To the national Fraternity even? How "Franciscan" do they need to be to be called Franciscan?

The goal is to follow Jesus, and to mutually discern whether i should be following in Francis' footsteps. If I weren't, it's not as if all the time I had invested in formation and relationships were wasted. All of it brought me closer to Jesus and my brothers and sisters. In my case, my vocation was indeed confirmed and I was professed when the time came.

Certainly, but in failure Francis reports to Jesus that you were disqualified, whatever impact that has on you. I know I would care. Possible it may be, you would still wish the infrastructure for determining that decision had been sound. Because you are going through formation you aim to give your worthy acts Spiritual substance by obtaining official recognition by the Catholic community. Nothing wrong with that.

The purpose for dismissal at the final stage is claimed to be for the common good. The problem is that the use of the common good in a dismissal case could have been prevented by addressing faults has they occur. The justification for the use of the common good in this case can only be used if a remedy can not be found through the rights of individuals. Therefore, the claimed justification for it by counsel is wrong, since corrections that have a disqualifying effect could be addressed has they occur.

 In fact the dismissal is a commentary on your faith in general and it is no light matter. The Fraternity states you don't incur sin by it and it is what they would like you to believe. This is a placebo, a dispensation in effect meant to soothe the rejected.

The fact is no one would like to go to his death with the reality of failure that he is not Franciscan material and I think you know it.

 If you are unable to attain to a life standard dedicated to the emulation of Christ through Francis, neither can you do it through our baptismal promise to emulate Christ directly. We are to "be perfect" regardless in our journey to spiritual maturity. Getting a document that you are unable at a certain point is nothing to be complacent about. (BTW: it is recorded. The results are sent back to your parish).

 Have you personally spent time in formation and with an SFO/OFS fraternity? There is nothing sinister going on.  The friendships I had with people in the fraternity were not somehow fake because i wasn't yet professed and needed their approval. 

It is an artificial environment if the class room is the day to day interaction of individuals, since all words and actions are being measured. If you had a negative opinion of the Fraternity, being perfectly relaxed and feeling at home has you claim, would you state it publicly? Honestly? Since Francis encourages fraternal correction since this is also in scripture (1Cor), would you correct a professed member of the counsel if it were called on you in conscience to do so? Honestly? ;)

A council is a group of people rather than one person........

...... and fallible, but not at my or your expense. ;)

One would hope that they are each elected because they possess the gifts to do their jobs properly. I trust that the Holy Spirit is able to act through the council, and in fact we pray that formally quite frequently.

 agree

Spiritual Assistants are appointed rather than elected, and as religious or clergy or trained lay people, they ought to have the background to know if there is a personality problem.

 .....and individuals and institutions are to abide by directives outlined by the Church for their services; one of which stipulates they cannot hold two offices. Your argument isn't with me if you disagree, take it up with the Church.....

    ....... and by it's heart felt disapproval by the members here, it would appear we have cafeteria Franciscans as well. :shrug:

Sorry for the length


#4

“The fact is no one would like to go to his death with the reality of failure that he is not Franciscan material and I think you know it.”

Not at all! If my fraternity had decided I was not “Franciscan material,” then it would be up to me to continue to look around and figure out if maybe I were Dominican material, or Benedictine, or whatever. It’s not failure! They are all different paths headed the same place.

And yes, I did have disagreements with council members and frank discussions with them, while still not professed. If I cannot be real, how would they know who I am, and how would they ever make a decision?

The council is human and fallible, to be sure, but they also want very much to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Now, if I understand you correctly, you’re bemoaning the possibility of a candidate not being permitted to profess, for issues that should have been addressed early on in formation. In that case, I certainly agree with you, and I wonder if the formation team was chicken, or if they were not perceptive, or just what. It is a shame to lead someone on and then pull the rug out, especially if what is communicated is that the candidate is somehow “not good enough.”


#5

One thing that crosses my mind, that we might have neglected in our discussion --- OFS has Pontifical Right. Among other things, means that OFS is NOT open for review by outside sources except the Holy Father himself (and his delegates).

Also it might be recalled that the Rule and Constitution are each sealed by a Papal Bull.

All these points have been clarified in the assorted SFO (OFS) threads.

CAF, imho, is not the place for certain discussions.

In friendliness, what do you want?


#6

These are but two areas of concern that could be addressed if the Church took an active part in the order's dealings and simple standards adopted.

The Church did take an active part. The Rule of 1978 as it stands now was actually approved and confirmed by Pope Paul VI. Here is a link. I do question your motivations for not keeping all of this on one thread? I think it would have been much simpler to have combined these.


#7

[quote="joanofarc2008, post:6, topic:270588"]
I do question your motivations for not keeping all of this on one thread? I think it would have been much simpler to have combined these.

[/quote]

Not only that, but the other thread was create with the "I" at the end as if it was originally intended to be multiple threads. More Preaching then seeking answers. But as always, need to assume good faith.


#8

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