Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC)

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
The Lord God took man and settled him in the Garden of Eden
to cultivate and take care of it” (Gen 2:15)

JUSTICE, PEACE AND INTEGRITY OF CREATION
Adopted from National Fraternity of Canada
The Basis of Franciscan JPIC concern and action
The basis of Franciscan justice, peace and integrity of creation (JPIC)
concern and action is the Bible, Catholic Social Doctrine/Teaching, Franciscan Tradition and Spirituality, the OFS Rule and General Constitutions, reading the “signs of the times” and the Catholic Action model of “See, Judge, Act.” Franciscan values for 800 years have been: poverty, simplicity, humility, justice, peace, joy in God, universal brotherhood and kinship with creation.

An OFS Presence in the World
In March 2003, the International Council of the OFS (CIOFS) established the Presence in the World Commission (PIWC) to respond to the Conclusions of the 2002 General Chapter regarding the presence of Secular Franciscans in the world. This presence includes activity in the field of JPIC. The OFS General Chapter, 2008 in its’ conclusions stated: “For too long, the Order has not fully entered into its active mission in the world. The moment has come, and it can no longer be deferred, to “enter the city,” to exercise with determination and full visibility its own responsibilities to witness, and to promote justice, peace, human rights and the integrity of creation”.

Parrhesia means to speak clearly and boldly without fear or hesitation. Benedetto Lino, ofs, (a CIOFS Presidency Councillor) wrote this about parrhesia recently: “Today, more than ever, we should ask the Lord for the grace of parrhesia, for each one of us, for the whole SFO [sic] and for our churches.” Parrhesia applies to all JPIC activity and especially to Franciscan Voice Canada (see below n. 8).

OFS Rule and General Constitutions
The OFS Rule (nn.13-19) and the OFS General Constitutions (“For a Just and Fraternal Society” nn. 18-23) form the OFS basis of the JPIC “holy activity” mentioned by Our Seraphic Father Francis (Later Adm & Exhort 51-53). The Rule and General Constitutions are in turn grounded on the basic principles of Catholic Social Doctrine e.g. human dignity; the common good; the preferential option for the poor; agápe/caritas/love and peace; solidarity; and the sacramentality, integrity and stewardship of creation JUSTICE, PEACE AND INTEGRITY OF CREATION

Franciscan Tradition and Spirituality
Franciscan tradition and spirituality leads us to put life before profit, to struggle for justice and peace, and to care for creation. This is at the heart of our Franciscan charism, experience and holy activity. Francis and Clare refused to be bound by the values of a merchant society based on profit at the cost of the exploitation and marginalisation of the poor. Following the poor Jesus, they lead an alternative counter-cultural life based on solidarity with the lepers, the poor and the marginalised (the minores) and also with nature, a gift from God, with whom we have kinship as the Canticle of the Creatures and OFS Rule attest. We can say that Francis and Clare responded to the “Cry of the earth and Cry of the poor” and that they also discerned a “cry for peace” and sought right relationships and were peacemakers.

Still today the enemies of justice, peace and good stewardship of creation are greed, lust for power and ignorance. To emulate Francis and Clare currently requires concrete choices and action in a commercially globalised world. Implementation of this JPIC Action Plan will lead to contemporary ways in which we can follow Francis and Clare in a practical and concrete manner. The OFS, in order to follow the Rule, has a prophetic mission to make it a priority in its’ fraternal and individuals’ lives to raise their own and others’ awareness of, and act for, JPIC. Our JPIC plans and actions should reflect our belief that in addressing systemic injustice, which is the root cause of so much poverty and pain in our world, we will bring hope and positive change into the lives of those who suffer most.

We need to understand the link between faith, charity, justice and stewardship; to develop the habit of analysis of political, social and economic issues (see, judge and act) in light of the social doctrine of the church in order to arrive at clear conclusions; and to take pertinent action ourselves and in collaboration with partner organizations and especially to advocate for the voiceless and un-empowered (the minores).

JPIC Resources

JPIC Resources

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