International Symposium for General Bursars
On 8-9 March 2014, The International Symposium on “The Management of Ecclesiastical Goods of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for the Service of Humanity and for the Mission of the Church,” requested by Pope Francis, took place in Rome, Italy.
The meeting was presided over by his Eminence Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. In attendance was the General Bursar of the Order, Carl J. Markelz, O.Carm., and Sr. Veronica Robert Bien, O.Carm., Treasurer General of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.
The conference included many qualified speakers in the areas of Church History, The Vow of Poverty, Finances, Canon Law, Pastoral Ministry, Charism Development, and Health Care Services. The symposium raised questions regarding the imbalance of personnel and resources between the Church in the northern and southern hemispheres, sustainability on the mission of congregations and in their mission territory, and how to balance business sense with trust in the Providence of God.
The conference was guided by Pope Francis’ statement in Evangelii Gaudium (58):
“Money must serve, not rule! I exhort you to generous solidarity and the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.”