On Thursday 20 October 2022, an inauguration ceremony took place for the 119th academic year of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure (Seraphicum) in Rome. The event was held in the Sisto V Hall of the Faculty.

The Dean, Friar Raffaele DI MURO, opened the ceremony by greeting and thanking all those present, especially the Rector of the Pontifical Antonianum University, Friar Agustín HERNÁNDEZ, and the Vice-Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Father Giuseppe DI LUCCIO. Friar Raffaele defined this meeting as a “family moment” in which the whole community of the Seraphicum and the friars of the other General Houses of Rome are present together with the students and professors of the theological and graphological faculties. He then presented the Most Reverend Felice ACCROCCA, Archbishop of Benevento, Italy and currently one of the most important experts in Franciscanism. Through his writings and work of popularization, the archbishop continues to offer a wealth of knowledge, ranging from start of the Franciscan experience all the way to contemporary times. After thanking him for agreeing to teach this year’s Faculty Licentiate in Franciscanism despite his many commitments as archbishop, he gave him the floor to begin a scholarly inaugural lecture entitled “The Franciscan Contents of the Magisterium of Pope Francis.”
The archbishop immediately pointed out how summaries have already been made on the strong link between the current Pontiff’s magisterium and the insight of Francis of Assisi. Thus, he chose to give his speech a more reflective and persuasive slant. He began with the first explicit comment that the newly elected Pontiff made about St. Francis of Assisi, during a press conference on March 16, 2013. On that day, he recounted that during the conclave, when his election was already certain from the counting of the votes and while the scrutiny continued, a cardinal told him not to forget the poor. That started him thinking about the Poverello of Assisi, and then about war, and once again he thought about St. Francis, the man of peace and guardian of creation. And right in front of the reporters he exclaimed: “Ah! How I would like a Church that is poor…” Removing any doubt that the choice of the Jesuit pontiff’s name could be linked to some namesake of the Society of Jesus, Archbishop ACCROCCA analyzed five aspects of Pope Francis’ magisterium that have a direct bearing on the Franciscan tradition: mercy, the poor and waste, relationships and harmony with creation, fraternity, and commitment to peace.
Showing his clear pastoral sensitivity, the Archbishop concluded his speech by asking those present to pause for a few seconds and silently meditate on those five issues. We cannot help but thank him for his profound and uplifting words and we accept his invitation to work on “de-mining our own hearts” by turning to the teachings of the magisterium of Pope Francis and letting ourselves be challenged by them.
To listen to the audio of the academic lecture (in Italian) by Archbishop ACCROCCA, go to:


Friar Roberto LIGGERI

no images were found