Putting gates on the field

In the Brotherhoods there is a certain danger of getting lost in carrying out many activities if they are not systematized and ordered towards a concrete end.

January 21, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

If someone were to consult the Code of Canon Law In order to have a precise idea about the brotherhoods, one would be surprised: there is no reference to them, as if they did not exist, even though they are an evident reality in the Church, sometimes with centuries of existence.

The explanation for this apparent oversight is to be found in Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, of the Second Vatican Council, in which it establishes that, "with due submission to ecclesiastical authority, the laity may found and govern associations". (n.19).

Brotherhoods are not expressly mentioned in the legal text because they are included in the broader concept of associations of the faithful.

The Code recognizes and encourages associations of the faithful that seek "to foster a more perfect life, to promote public worship, or Christian doctrine, or to carry out other activities of the apostolate, namely, initiatives for evangelization, the exercise of works of piety or charity, and the animation of the temporal order in a Christian spirit" (Cfr. can. 298.1), warning that "it is exclusively for the competent ecclesiastical authority to erect associations of the faithful that pursue these ends" (Cfr. can. 301. 1 ).

This opens up a wide range of questions for organizing the day-to-day running of the company. sisterhood. There is a certain danger of getting lost in this field by carrying out many activities, if they are not systematized and ordered towards a concrete end.

In short, it is a matter of setting gates to this field of diffuse limits.

In the world of business, which are also associations of people although with different missions to that of the brotherhoods, we see that there are many computer solutions for their management, they are generically known as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).Enterprise Resources Planning) that record, analyze and relate all areas of the company, facilitating management and decision making.

This example cannot be simply transferred to the sororities. In an organization whose mission is to foster a more perfect life, it is unthinkable to quantify the results; but the model of these programs can serve as a reference to define the different areas of work in the sisterhood and the way in which these areas relate to each other, to offer management models.

In principle, in this endeavor to systematize the governance of the sororitiescould be identified four main areas of work:

  • The place of the brotherhoods is the Church,
  • Management of purely administrative processes,
  • The organization and realization of the activities of the brotherhoods,
  • The doctrinal and social basis on which to anchor them.

1) In order to define the place of the brotherhoods within the Church, it is necessary to have very clear ideas about the nature and ends of the Church; the role of the lay faithful in the Church; how to link the freedom and responsibility of the brotherhoods with the hierarchical dependence, and the knowledge of the canonical norms that affect them. Also the role of the brotherhoods in society.

2) A complex organization, with its own legal personality, and sometimes with a large number of members, requires the appropriate tools for that all processes work and financial processes that are essential in any organization of people. It should be noted that ERP-type IT solutions are widely used to carry out all these processes quickly and securely.

3) The organization and realization of the activities of the brotherhoods, charity, formation and worship, is the most attractive part of the management; but it runs the risk of becoming an end in itself, detaching them from their mission, which is to to foster a more perfect life in the friars (CIC c. 298). The mission of a brotherhood is not the organization of liturgical or pious acts, even though some of these acts, such as the Mass, have infinite value regardless of the motivations of those who organize them.

4) The tasks of the brotherhood, of those responsible for its government, do not end here. It is also part of its mission the sanctification of society from within (cfr. LG n.31), which means to form oneself and the friars, in order to have one's own criteria in a society as liquid as the present one, dominated by the culture woke. A formation that allows the improvement of a society respectful of the dignity of the person and his freedom.

In this way, we put gates to the field, we limit the references that delimit the broad work of the brotherhoods, so as not to get lost in a succession of activities, always well-intentioned, in which a good part of the energies dedicated to their government are lost.

The authorIgnacio Valduérteles

D. in Business Administration. Director of the Instituto de Investigación Aplicada a la Pyme. Eldest Brother (2017-2020) of the Brotherhood of the Soledad de San Lorenzo, in Seville. He has published several books, monographs and articles on brotherhoods.

La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.
Banner advertising
Banner advertising