Franciscans Are Cautioned Not to Skimp on Studies

ROME, OCT. 6, 2002 ( The Franciscan order is urging friars to follow the Word of God humbly — but without neglecting their studies.

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In a letter sent to friars for the feast of St. Francis of Assisi last Friday, the General Definitorium, an organization of the order’s Curia, asks: “Might it not be that the origin of the fragility of certain vocational choices is weakness of thought, that is, the lack of an integral formation — and, consequently, also intellectual — that is solid and adapted to our times?”

The Franciscans have a rich intellectual tradition, and the Curia letter congratulates the order for the improvement of its schools and study centers.

But it laments that many friars see study “in opposition to the ‘pure and holy simplicity,’ loved and welcomed by Father Francis, or who do not consider study as a commitment that requires dedication and discipline.”

This way of thinking, the message concludes, “only impoverishes our life and our capacity for dialogue with the world and the present culture.”

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