ROME - Global leader of the Secular Franciscan Order, Minister General Tibor Kauser, released a statement to brothers and sisters around the world regarding the outbreak of coronavirus. The full text follows.
Dear sisters and brothers all over the world,
May the Lord give you his peace!
We are living extraordinary days, weeks, that needs extraordinary decisions and extraordinary attitude. We do not know so far, what is in God's plans that we can use from this grave situation, but I am sure that God is preparing a great surprise for us.
We hear the news from all the corners of the world about the coronavirus epidemic that is spreading very quickly. In some parts of the world the situation is really grave and makes us concern, while other parts are still free of it or less affected.
Being Secular Franciscans, living in the world, we have to faithfully fulfill the duties to our various circumstances of life (Cf. OFS Rule 10). This is more demanding today, as we have to leave many of our comfortable habits and attentively adopt to new circumstances.
Solidarity and fraternal life becomes a new meaning.
First of all I invite you all to join my prayers for those who are affected by the epidemic,
particularly for the people of Italy, China, South Korea, which are the most impacted country for now, but this is changing day by day and others are affected seriously. Let us pray for those, who suffer from this illness, for those who are caring for those being sick, and for all to have the wisdom and patience to behave properly, both physically and spiritually, and to be able to bear this material and mental burden.
Living in the world calls us to be attentive to all those who have more difficulties in this situation, or are facing more risks. There are many elderly sisters and brothers in our fraternities, who need more fraternal care and more attention. I ask you to pay special attention to those in need. We have to be more disciplined as each one of us has an even greater personal responsibility for our brothers,for our neighbours. I am sure that God gives us an opportunity to strengthen fraternal life, even if sometimes there are less of the personal encounters.
The measures of the official authorities declare the situation day by day more critical. Some of the measures and calls from both secular and ecclesiastic authorities may surprise us, or can even be shocking. However, we have to believe that all these are for the common good, and since there is no authority except from God (Rm. 13:1), we shall respect them also if sometimes it is not so simple to understand them. God is always providing for our spiritual and material good.
Let us open our hearts to hear what does the Lord intend to tell us with letting this situation happen.
May God help us all to know what is our duty also today.
Your minister and your minor brother,