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Report of the Rule Revision Commission

The Report of the Rule Revision Commission to the General Council contains the following highlights:

General hopes expressed in anticipation of the review of the Rule touched upon the “genre” that the Rule might employ. Respondents requested that a review of the Rule employ more Gospel- and Founder-based language in preference to prescriptive directions. There was a hope for more concise and succinct expressions that inspired rather than legislated. The majority of the 995 Brothers responding supported the opinion of the ad hoc committee (General Chapter #2 Document) that a “simple” revision of the Rule will not be sufficient. In respect of lay partners, the responses insisted not so much on including them in the Rule but that more account of them is taken in the mission of the Institute and that the language of the revised Rule be “inclusive” in recognition of this throughout the chapters. A second group of comments relating to the Rule in general addressed the question of the “audience” for the Rule. Some responses proposed separate “texts” (some being for Brothers others for associates). The second possibility is an inspirational text around “association” and “mission” and addressed to Partners and to the Brother. If the Rule is to be inclusive of associates and partners then it appears necessary to devise a process by which partners would be included in the consultation. English speaking and French speaking respondents made frequent reference to the circumstances of elderly men even to the extent of recommending that each chapter of the Rule, especially mission, contain specific provisions that take account of the circumstances of the elderly. Interestingly, the view of a considerable number of  “young” Brothers argued that there was no need for any change in the Rule.-Commission Chair Brother Ambrose Payne, Newsletter of the Brothers of the Australia/New Zealand/Papua-New Guinea District