Conti Martino ,
L'esercizio del « ministerium fratrum» nella fraternità francescana ,
Antonianum, 65/1 (1990) p. 60-69
Summary — On the basis of the « constitutive law » of the Order of Friars Minor (RegB), the Author discusses the problem concerning the equal vocational dignity between clerical and lay friars within the Franciscan fraternity. In accordance with the Church Tradition and the Magisterium of the Lateran Council IV (1215), St. Francis mentions three ministries: ministerium sacer-dotale, ministerium verbi or officium praedicationis and ministerium fratrum. Of these, only the priestly ministry is inseparably linked with the Holy Order of the presbyterate. The other two can subsist without the same priestly ministry. According to the Rule approved by Honorius III (1223), the ministerium fratrum can be exercised at all levels (general, provincial and local) by any friar, clerical or lay, provided that he possesses the intellectual and spiritual qualifications postulated by Canon Law and the particular legislation (RegB and CC.GG). The Author arrives to this conclusion: that, which has been theologically and juridically possible under Innocent III, Honorius III and Gregory IX, must be theologically and juridically possible also under John Paul II. The Ecclesiology of Vatican II and the new Code of Canon Law make allowance for this solution of the problem.