Pope Francis has sent a telegram to the Master General of the Order of Preachers – the Dominicans – who are currently holding the General Chapter of Priors Provincial in the central Italian city of Bologna.
The General Chapter of Priors General is the second of three specific kinds of General Chapters, each being held at three-year intervals for a 9-year cycle that ends with the election of a new Master General. The sequence begins with General Chapter of delegates – called “diffinitors” in Dominican parlance; then the General Chapter of Priors Provincial; and then, the Elective General Chapter.
This General Chapter of Priors Provincial is taking place in the context of the 800th anniversary of the confirmation of the Order under Pope Honorius III, and in the middle of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
In his telegram, signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis expresses the hope that all Dominicans find the spiritual wherewithal to rededicate themselves to the charism and legacy of St Dominic their Founder, who was, “a tireless apostle of grace and forgiveness, compassionate towards the poor and an ardent defender of truth.” The Holy Father also calls on all Dominicans, saying, “Testify to mercy, professing it and embodying it in life.”
Pope Francis’ telegram concludes with an exhortation to the whole Dominican family and all its members to be signs of the nearness and tenderness of God, that society might in this day rediscover the urgency of solidarity, love, and forgiveness.