Presentation of the Prior General
Rome, 25th September 2015
RE: Presentation of the Prior General
On May 24, 2015, Feast of Pentecost, Pope Francisco published his encyclical letter Laudato Si, in which the Pope made a solemn appeal to the Church and all humanity to "protect our common home",
and invited us all to develop a deep sensitivity to human and integral ecology, based on the values of justice and peace. Early in his encyclical, the Pope makes a brief tour of the magisterium of recent popes on this matter, and shows how this sensitivity has increasingly developed within the Church.
We also, Carmelites, have come a long way in this direction and along the last decades we have published several important documents on this topic. We have organized a number of international conferences and congresses; we have created several NGOs that, both at local and national level, as well as at international level, have developed aid plans, projects, awareness campaigns, etc.; and, perhaps most importantly, we have developed a sensitivity to these values (justice, peace, integrity of creation) that, starting from our charism, could be meaningful, useful and fruitful for the church and the world today. With great humility, but also with a healthy pride, I can say that many brothers and sisters (religious, lay people and the Carmelite family in general) have carried out a serious and generous work in this area.
For several decades now, the International Commission for Justice and Peace has been established in our Order, and some years ago it was renamed "Commission for Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation" (JPIC). Well, this commission has prepared a questionnaire that will be useful for us to evaluate the importance of these issues in our Carmelite life (at a personal, community or provincial level). It will also help us keep walking along this direction and respond to the challenge that the Pope has given us all. I ask you to take it and use it when possible. I hope it will be useful for your discernment.
I appreciate this service made by Fr. Mutizamhepo Conrad, O.Carm., and the members of the commission. May it be a good way for us to not relax on this issue and to continue being involved in it as believers, as baptized and as Carmelites. As does the Pope, also we put this mission into the hands of Our Lady and we ask her to caring "with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world" (Laudato si, n. 241).
Fraternally in Carmel,
Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm.