Apostolic Nuncio addresses the opening session of the 8th Annual Canon Law Conference

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Apostolic Nuncio addresses the opening session of the 8th Annual Canon Law Conference

Dead Sea/ en.abouna.org

Following is the text of the intervention of Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan and Iraq His Excellency Monsignor Alberto Ortega Martin at the opening session of the 8th Annual Canon Law Conference, Dead Sea, Jordan, on July 23, 2019:

I am happy to participate in the inauguration of this 8th Annual Canon Law Conference, 2019 organized by The Ecclesiastical Court of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome. |

And I congratulate the organizers for this important initiative Towards "Canon Law Continuous Education" within marriage, its provisions, and Canon Law procedures.

This continuous education is important because you have a big responsibility dealing with a very important matter especially because you are dealing with people in a special moment of their lives.

From the 12th to the 15th of June, I have been in Rome in a meeting of all the apostolic nuncios. On the 13th of June, we had a meeting with the Holy Father who had prepared a nice speech that he delivered to us.

He said that the speech was a kind of program with important indications for us but also for other bishops, priests and other people.

Thinking about my intervention in the opening of this conference, I have thought that | could use some of the Pope’s indications for you.

Some characteristics that are important for the apostolic nuncios are also important for you, for the judges, the lawyers, the priests who work in the ecclesiastical tribunals.

The first characteristic that Pope Francis pointed out is that the nuncio is a man of God.

| am convinced that this is the first quality that should characterize every one of you. You are called, first of all, to be a man and a woman of God.

I quote the Pope: To be a “man of God” means to follow God in all and for all; to obey His commandments with joy; to live for the things of God and not for those of the world; to dedicate freely to Him all one’s own resources, accepting with a generous spirit the sufferings that arise as a consequence of faith in Him. The man of God does not cheat or defraud his neighbour; he doesn’t let himself go to gossip and slander; he keeps his mind and heart pure, keeping his eyes and ears from the filth of the world. He doesn’t let himself be deceived by worldly values, but looks to the Word of God to judge what is wise and good. Afterwards, he said: The man of God is the one who practises justice, love, clemency, piety and mercy.

These are the characteristics that should describe your work.

In order to be a man of God and to live in this way you need to be men and women of prayer.

Another point the Pope indicated in the aforementioned speech, saying: "Without prayer we become simple functionaries, always discontented and frustrated. The life of prayer is the light which illuminates the rest and all the work of the nuncio and his mission.

I think that this is important also for you. You are not just functionaries. You shouldn’t be simple functionaries.
I would say that even if for many of you this “work” is your way of living, it is not exactly a job, it should be first of all a vocation.

To live this job as a vocation is to realize that it is the way you are answering to God.

It is different to do something to earn a living than to do the same thing to answer to God.

It changes the way of working. That makes you free also of the results.

In relation with this first characteristic there is a second one.

THE NUNCIO IS A MAN OF THE CHURCH

Everyone of you is called upon to be a man of the Church. The greatest honour for a man of the Church is that of being “servant of all.” To be a man of the Church also requires the humility to represent the face, the teachings and the positions of the Church, namely, to set aside one's personal convictions. You are called upon to judge not with your personal ideas but according with the teaching of the Church.

To be a man of the Church requires being a friend of bishops, of priests, of the religious and of the faithful, with human confidence and warmth, carrying out your own mission by your side and always having an ecclesial look, namely, that of a man who feels himself responsible for the salvation of others.

Let us always remember that the salus animarum is the supreme law of the Church, is the basis of all ecclesial action, and is more important than ever for men of the Church. Your work is a service of the Church working in the ecclesiastical courts. It is important to share the same view of the Church.

In relation with this, there are other two characteristics for the nuncios to be a men of the Pope and men of obedience.
Here we can understand and live the great commandment of liberating obedience: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts5:29). Obedience to God is not separated from obedience to the Church and to superiors.

To finish I quote another two characteristics.

THE NUNCIO IS A MAN OF RECONCILIATION

An important part of your work is to be a man of mediation, of communion, of dialogue and of reconciliation. You must seek to be always impartial and objective, so that all parties find in you a just arbiter who seeks sincerely to defend and protect only justice and peace.

And the last characteristic, last but not least, is that the nuncio is a man of industrious charity.

Industrious charity should lead us to be prudent in accepting gifts that are offered to obfuscate our objectivity and, in some cases, unfortunately, to buy our freedom. No gift of whatever value must ever render us as slaves!

I think that this question of the gifts that is just an aspect of charity we are called to live in our job. You will have so many opportunities to express the gratuitousness. And I think that in any case it is very important that all the questions related with money be in their proper place.

I hope that these words can be useful for your work and I wish all the best to all of you for these days of study and reflection.

Thank you for your attention.

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