2015-12-16 VATICAN

Church recognizes the identity of the religious Brother in a publication

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The Vatican has launched a document that clearly defines the identity of religious Brothers, which are one fifth of the world’s religious men, for the first time in the history of the Church.

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life presented the document, titled ‘Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church’ – And you are all brothers, at the Holy See Press Office on Dec. 14.

Written by the Congregation with the collaboration of several congregations of Brothers, the publication stresses fraternity as the core of the Brother’s identity.

“The document indicates that the identity and mission of the religious brother can be summed up in fraternity,” said Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation.

He noted that in the publication, fraternity is understood as “a gift the brother receives from God Trinity, communion of persons; a gift he shares with his brothers in fraternal life in community and a gift that offers the world for building a world of God’s children and brothers.”

The Congregation’s secretary, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, indicated his gratitude towards Pope Francis, who was aware of the draft document when he was the Cardinal of Buenos Aires and member of the Congregation, and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who “gave the first impulse to prepare this document” in 2008.

“The document aims to highlight the richness and the needs of all vocations in the Church, especially the religious vocation of lay men and women,” the Archbishop stated at the press conference.

“The document is particularly intended to religious brothers of lay institutes, but it also extends to consecrated women, by virtue of the great similarity that exists between both vocations,” he continued.

The Archbishop revealed that the Holy Father will be asked to establish an ad hoc committee for the participation of Brothers in local, provincial and general government within clerical Institutes.

He underscored that the document “stands out for its meticulous preparation, the abundance of biblical icons, the constant reference to the Word of God and the magisterium of the Church, as well as the simple and profound way of presenting the Brother’s vocation and mission.”

Among the many religious who participated, there was a group of 18 Marist brothers including superior general Brother Emili Turú, who was invited to speak at the end of the press conference.

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