Pope Meets with New Dominican Leader

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 30, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II received Father Carlos Azpiros Costa, the new master general of the Dominicans, in audience at the papal summer residence Wednesday.

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Father Azpiros, an Argentinian, was elected at the order´s recent general chapter, held in Rhode Island.

The general chapter gave special attention to the order´s role in Africa and China — the latter would involve reinforcing the order´s presence in Taiwan — and to Christian witness in a globalized world.

In an interview published in the general chapter´s bulletin, Father Azpiros, 44, wondered if consecrated life today is a limitation. His answer: «To me, consecrated life means something like having both feet on the ground, but no roof over our heads.»

«Some think that consecrated life locks us in,» he stated. «It´s not at all like that! To have no roof means to have no limits to what is above; but we must be well grounded in reality. I believe that it is a gift from God to receive this. The temptation today is to be alienated from the world, as some people do not like the world as they see it, and try to flee from [it].»

«We have our feet in the world, but have wide horizons, with no roof whatsoever over our heads, with no walls that imprison us, going forward, with Dominic,» he added. «I think that many young people should know the great challenge of preaching like Dominicans.»

The next general chapter will be held in Krakow, Poland, in 2004.

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