Quo Vadis, Papa Francisco? –CRACKDOWN ON FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF THE IMMACULATE

OCTOBER 14/DECEMBER 25, 2015

Quo Vadis, Papa Francisco?

19–CRACKDOWN ON FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF THE IMMACULATE

 


 

Above is a representative picture of the Extraordinary Form of Mass

 


 

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate offering the Tridentine Latin Rite Mass sine populo

 

My comments/inclusions are, as always, in green

 

 

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franciscan_Friars_of_the_Immaculate
EXTRACT

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (Latin: Congregatio Fratrum Franciscanorum Immaculatae; F.F.I.) is a Roman Catholic Institute of Religious Life with Pontifical Right
established by Pope John Paul II on 1 January 1998.

The F.F.I. was founded by two Franciscan Conventual priests on 2 August 1970 and is a reformed Franciscan Conventual religious institute living the Regula Bullata of St. Francis of Assisi according to the Traccia Mariana.

The F.F.I. is the male branch of the Franciscan Family of the Immaculate. The female branch is the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate; the third branch of the family is the Franciscan Tertiaries of the Immaculate, which is composed mainly of lay people. An offshoot of the Tertiaries is the Third Order Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate.

The F.F.I. started on 2 August 1970 at the Casa Mariana, Mary Most Holy of Good Counsel at Frigento in the province of Avellino, Italy.

The Traccia Mariana is the way of life that the F.F.I. lives, a Marian plan for Franciscan life. The Traccia Mariana was submitted by Fr. Stephano Maria Pio Manelli and approved by the Minister General of the Franciscan Conventuals in the summer of 1970. It was first lived in the Casa Mariana in Frigento, Avellino, Italy.

On 23 June 1990, the Archbishop of Benevento, Carlo Minchiatti, with the express permission of Pope John Paul II, erected as the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate the approximately thirty Franciscan friars who lived at Casa Mariana as a religious institute of diocesan right. On 1 August 1993, the ordinary of Monte Cassino erected the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, a religious institute of women, also living the Regula Bullata according to the Traccia.

On 1 January 1998, Pope John Paul II elevated the F.F.I. to an Institute of Religious Life with Pontifical Right, while the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate was elevated to a Pontifical Right on 9 November 1998.

Today, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are composed of about 300 professed members each. The F.F.I. is present today on the six continents of the world with friaries in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Chad, England, France, India, Italy, Portugal, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the United States.

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is an Institute of consecrated life and of the Pontifical right. It is a religious community who follow the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) after the recent example of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1894-1941), martyr of charity in Auschwitz concentration camp.

Their habits are ash-blue, and they wear the Medal of the Immaculate Conception on their chests.

Missio Immaculatae (Mission of the Immaculate) is the bimonthly Marian missionary magazine of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

 

 

An explanation about the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate from EWTN:

The Traccia Mariana: A Marian Plan for Franciscan Life    

The Religious Life of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate

http://www.ewtn.com/library/PRIESTS/TRACMARI.TXT
EXTRACT

The Traccia Mariana is a Marian Plan for Franciscan Life, submitted by Father Stephano Maria Pio Manelli, and approved by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in the summer of 1970. It was first lived at Casa Mariana, The Friary attached to the Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Good Counsel, Frigento, in the Province of Avellino, Italy.

On June 23, 1990, the Archbishop of Benevento, Italy, with the express permission of Pope John Paul II, erected the 30 odd Franciscan Friars who lived at Casa Mariana as the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a religious institute of diocesan rite, living the Regula Bullata of St. Francis, according to the Traccia Mariana.

On August 1, 1993, the Ordinary of Monte Cassino, Italy, erected the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, a religious institute of women, also living the Regula Bullata according to the Traccia.

Today, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate each number over 150 members worldwide on 5 continents. The Fruit of a life lived totally for God through the Immaculate.

 

 

The following article published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate was selected by EWTN for their web site as a prime example of Catholic apologetics on the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Apologetics – Why devotion to Mary?

Franciscan Friars

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/DEVMARY.HTM

This article first appeared in ‘Pro Maria’, a publication of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in the Philippines Islands

Why have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary? This is a point debated hotly among our Protestant brethren and which is briefly answered here.

Perhaps devotion to the Mother of God is the constant “WHY?” even among Catholics. Is it necessary? Or, is She important to our Christian life? Finding no convincing answers, this develops into a kind of restraint to come to Her. The Mother of the Redeemer becomes a stranger to the soul that was washed by Christ’s blood-the blood that He owed from Mary. Others are even afraid that devotion to Mary might interfere their devotion to Christ. “How can I give my full attention to Christ, and so my love, if I am devoted to Mary?”

 

 

 

It is simply the difficulty of loving two persons with one heart. Yet, this is the common rationalization of many. Others are apathetic to any Marian devotion because they are thinking that it is “Too Much!” for Her, a creature like us. It is as if too much devotion to Mary would make Her a god. These are the assumptions of others that prevent them from experiencing the warmth of Her maternal love, the happiness of being a child to a most loving Mother and the consolation of being drawn closer to Jesus.

But we can sum up this cold Marian attitude in a single word: IGNORANCE. It is the lack of knowledge of the person, privileges and role of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Oftentimes there is a confusion between veneration of Mary and adoration to Her. Of course, we don’t and never adore the Blessed Virgin as our Protestant brothers accuse us. There is a bold line that delineates between veneration and adoration. No matter how you multiply your veneration, it never ends up with adoration. Just as addition can never make an infinite sum, so our veneration and devotion to Mary remains simply honor to a creature. Period. When we honor Her we never displease our Lord. It never interferes our love and devotion to Christ. It is noteworthy to quote what the Church says on this matter: “The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no way obscures or diminishes the unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power. It rests on His mediation, depends upon it and draws all its power from it. In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 60).

Jesus is never envious when we honor His Mother. On the contrary, He wills it. He even expressed it in the Fourth Commandment: “Honor your father and mother.” Is not the Blessed Virgin our Mother? Jesus Himself upon hanging on the Cross gave His Mother as our Mother: “Behold thy Mother” (John 19:27). Although we are not worthy of Her motherhood, Christ gave Her to us because He knew very well that we need a mother like Her. And She is not simply a metaphorical Mother, and we as metaphorical children, but Mary is TRULY our Mother in the supernatural order just as she who gave us birth is our TRUE mother in the natural order. According to Fr. Neubert, S.M.: “A mother is one who gives life. Mary has given you life, the most real life.”

In order for us that we may honor Mary as our Mother, Jesus, the Son of God, set an example to follow. He was very obedient to Mary (Luke 2:51) because He was the most loving Son. If to be a Christian means a follower of Christ, then are we not to imitate the love and obedience of Jesus to His Mother? How can we become perfect disciples of Jesus imitating Him in every aspect of His life when we fail to love and obey His Mother? And this is precisely what Marian devotion consists of, love and obedience. So in the person of Jesus we have that divine example of devotion to Mary. His example must be perfect; and that is, what we ought to follow as Christian. If we have to follow Christ’s standard of devotion to His Mother, then we should not be afraid in giving Her “too much” love for we will never come to love Her as Jesus did, according to St. Maximilian. Do we think that we can outmatch the love of Jesus to His Mother? Then why are we so reserved in giving our love to Her, in expressing our devotion to Her? Being a Mother of grace She rightly deserves our love-the highest love that we can possibly have. And don’t be afraid; our love to Her is too little in comparison with Jesus’ love.

Why devotion to Mary? Because Jesus wills it by giving Her Mother as our Mother. Fr. Stefano Maria Pio, FFI, S.T.D. says: “The first foundation for devotion to Mary is Her status as Mother and our status as Her children.” This is the reason why the saints had a passionate love to the Blessed Virgin because they looked at Her as a fond Mother. They believed that only by casting themselves upon the maternal care of the Immaculate Mother that one can truly resemble Jesus who quietly rested in His Mother’s arms.

Only in frequent recourse to Her that one can be nearer to Jesus. And only in loving Her that one can love Jesus more than one can do by himself. Devotion to Mary is highly recommended in the school of the saints. There is no other way that is surer, closer and quicker, to Jesus than Mary. AD JESUM PER MARIAM (To Jesus through Mary) is the watchword of the servants of God. In Her we have nothing to do but only a disposition: be a child to a mother; as simple as that and we will experience a sweet intimacy with Jesus, our Brother.

 

This document is part of The Little Internet Library of the Blessed Virgin Mary maintained by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate as the central feature of the Home Page of the Immaculate.

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are a Roman Catholic Religious Institute of solemn vows headquartered at Benevento, Italy. Their Home Page is maintained from the Marian Friary of Our Lady Queen of the Seraphic Order, POB 3003, New Bedford, MA, United States of America, 02741-3003. francescani.immacolata@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.immacolata.com
is the web site of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.
MaryMediatrix.com
is the official site of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in the United States.

 

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

http://marymediatrix.com/religious-life/friars
EXTRACT:

 



 


 

Like the Seraphic Father St. Francis (of Assisi), the Franciscans of the Immaculate strive to be perfectly conformed to the poor, humble, crucified Jesus through a life of charity, supernatural charity and poverty. They are totally consecrated to the Immaculate Virgin after the recent example offered by St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe.

The Franciscans of the Immaculate were founded by the two Franciscan friars, Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli and Fr. Gabriel Maria Pellettieri. Together they outlined a form of life for the friars, sisters and the laity after the example of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, giving the fullest expression to the Marian dimension of St. Francis’ ideal and Rule.

The Franciscans of the Immaculate was established by Pope John Paul II in 1990 as a diocesan institute. The Institute was erected as a pontifical institute of religious life by John Paul II in January 1, 1998, Solemnity of the Mother of God.

 


With Pope John Paul II

 

 

[…]

The religious community begun at Casa Mariana (Frigento, Italy), along the lines and in accordance with the counsels of St. Maximilian, was erected by His Holiness Pope John Paul II as a religious institute of diocesan rite in 1990. On that occasion the Holy Father explained that this was for the preservation and propagation of the life and mission of St. Maximilian Kolbe in the Roman Catholic Church.

This new religious institute is known as the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. (There is also an institute of women, living the same charism, known as the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate.) The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate began with about 30 friars and one house in 1990 have already grown to over 200 friars in 14 houses on 5 continents. Three of these friars came to America in the winter of 1991. Today the community in the USA has grown to 29. Fourteen of these new vocations are presently studying for the priesthood. Their studies are conducted faithfully according to the mind of the Sacred Magisterium of the Church so that they may be holy and god-fearing sons of Holy Mother Church.

[…]

In every friary of ours there must be a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament — truly the center of affection for the whole place, as for every consecrated heart. If possible, it is even to be located at the physical center of the friary, in a recollected and silent area, to facilitate the friar’s visits to the most Holy Sacrament.

In every friary an enclosure is established, comprising as much of the space and as many of the rooms as possible. No one may enter this enclosure, or cloister, except for some objective reason and with express permission, so that silence may be safeguarded and recollection preserved in almost all of the friary.

[…]

The friars rise early and pray the night office (Office of Readings) long before dawn in order to express our resolve to praise the Lord even by night, and to begin each day in a personal contact with Him. Holy Mass and the entire Liturgy of the Hours, mental prayer and Eucharistic adoration, spiritual reading and the Rosary are practiced faithfully every day according to the horarium set for the community.

[…]

As for money, it is unthinkable for us to have a reserve of money in safekeeping, or a bank account in our possession. We are to use only the money necessary for the present needs; the remainder goes to the poor. We ordinarily cannot accept projects and work that have a fixed income attached, such as a school or parish. In this way we share intimately the economic insecurity of the poor and keep untouched our availability to serve the bishop and clergy. We refuse inheritances, perpetual legacies, fixed incomes, insurance that is not required by law, and anything else of value that does not match our condition as poor persons. For the application of Holy Masses, for the work of the sacred ministry, and for any other work we do, we take no offering unless it be a mere alms. We are ready and glad to give all without receiving anything. And in case of true necessity, we trustfully have recourse to what our Blessed Father Francis called “the table of the Lord,” that is, asking alms for the love of God.

[…]

 


At St. John Lateran in Rome

 

 

Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

http://www.franciscansoftheimmaculate.com/, http://www.marymediatrix.com/religious-life: EXTRACT

 


 

We are the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, a religious community of sisters faithful to the Holy Father, the Pope.

We are a pontifical institute who are clothed with the angelic garment of the Immaculate Virgin and clad with sandals of seraphic poverty, prayer, penance and perfect joy.

 

Franciscan Handmaids of the Immaculate

http://marymediatrix.com/religious-life/handmaids: EXTRACT

 


 

We are The Franciscan Handmaids of the Immaculate founded by Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI. We are totally dedicated to Our Lady, and are sealed by the Marian Vow of total consecration to the Immaculate, after the recent example of St. Maximilian Kolbe. This vow distinguishes us from all other religious institutes. We live a penitential life in community; and make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Our day starts with Morning Prayers, Divine Office, Meditation, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Mass. During the day the Sisters pray in community the Angelus, Office, Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet and other community prayers. Coming together for meals, we are spiritually renewed with readings from a variety of pious works. We have one retreat Sunday a month, make a variety of novenas during the year, pray the Stations of the Cross, Franciscan crown, adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, make holy hours, and have choir practice as well as other spiritual exercises throughout the month. We live in a community, wear a traditional habit, and are in total conformity with the church magisterium. Under the guidance of the FI Priests, we share the same charism and spirituality as the FI missionary Friars and Sisters.

 

Franciscan Third Order of the Immaculate

http://www.marymediatrix.com/religious-life: EXTRACT

 


 

 

“The Third Order was born in the mind of your Seraphic Father the day that a group of souls, moved and urged on by his words, asked to be allowed to accompany him on the path he was traveling, following in the footsteps of Christ, in whose name he was constantly repeating the words: “Be perfect” (Mt. 5,48)…the Third Order of St. Francis was born to satisfy this thirst for heroism among those who, though having to remain in the world, did not wish to be of the world. The Third Order, then, seeks souls who long for perfection in their own state.”— Venerable Pope Pius XII (Address of July 1, 1956)

 



With Pope Francis

 

[As far as possible, chronologically arranged]

Before the “crackdown”, we find the order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate favourably reported and supported by the most conservative Bishops:

Time for a new Syllabus?

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/12/time-for-new-syllabus.html

December 20, 2010

A veritable hurricane struck at Rome yesterday, December 17, 2010, just steps away from the Basilica of St. Peter: a bishop has offered nothing less than … the reassertion of the infallible magisterium of the Church.

Since December 16 there has been a major conference taking place in Rome entitled “Vatican II, a pastoral council: historical, philosophical, and theological analysis.”
Requested by the courageous
Franciscans of the Immaculate, the symposium is taking place in the conference rooms of Santa Maria Bambina behind Bernini’s colonnade near the Palace of the Holy Office in a virtual media silence despite the newsworthiness of the theme under the pontificate of Benedict XVI and the quality of the speakers.

Two anticipated speeches marked the first day: that of Mgr. Gherardini, author of Vatican II: an open debate and Professor Roberto De Mattei, Italian historian and author of a recent volume on the council called The Second Vatican Council: A story never written (currently available only in Italian, Lindau editions). Both responded to criticism aimed at their work, paradoxically from elsewhere in the conservative camp, wherein lie a few rare defenders of the infallibility of the Council.
Yesterday, December 17, it was Monsignor Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda who highlighted the event during his communication on the theme of the worship of God as the theological basis for the pastoral council. Offering a long anthology of very theologically orthodox quotations extracted from the conciliar texts, he somehow presented to his audience selected texts of a Vatican II, “more orthodox than Trent.” The captatio benevolentiae was particularly effective; the assembly anxiously awaited the next words to fall from the bishop’s mouth. It was then, while denouncing the misinterpretation of the council in the post-conciliar period, that the bishop concluded his remarks by suggesting…the writing of a Syllabus infallibly condemning “the misinterpretation of the Vatican Council II”.

Because, according to Bishop Schneider, only the supreme magisterium of the Church (the Pope or a new ecumenical council) may correct the abuses and errors arising from the Council and correct its understanding and its reception in the light of Catholic tradition. Responding to a request for clarification, he caused the scholarly gathering to burst out laughing by stating that it was not possible to convene a council for another 500 years. It is left therefore, to the supreme magisterium of the Pope.
Hence his call for a new Syllabus that would list the condemned errors side by side with their orthodox interpretations.

Like so many other instances over the past 40 years, it is the infallible judgment of the Pope in
restating” Vatican II that is called for. Except that since the “freedom of speech” put in place by Benedict XVI, it is now up to officials to make that call.

 

 

A Syllabus infallibly condemning “the misinterpretation of the Vatican Council II”

http://marymagdalen.blogspot.in/2010/12/syllabus-infallibly-condemning.html

By Fr. Ray Blake,
December 20, 2010

The Blessed Pope John XXIII said that there had been enough condemnation, Vatican II would issue none and that despite issuing Dogmatic Constitutions the Council was actually a “Pastoral” Council.
I suppose what he meant was that we were expected to read the documents rather than a summary, which in the case of VII didn’t exist, in a series of condemnations, which every previous Council had produced.


The Vatican Council produced some wonderful documents especially on the Word of God, identifying what we mean by inspiration and the relationship of the Bible and Tradition, and the Church, which speaks so eloquently about the necessity of the Catholic Church and its relationship to other churches and ecclesial bodies.
The real problem with VII is that it can be read both as continuity and rupture with the Catholic Church, Gaudium et Spes can for example be seen to contradict Lumen Gentium and because so many of the documents are lengthy and dense it is easy to read short phrases out of context. Following the Council many “enthusiasts” like Annibale Bugnini seemed to take charge of the interpretation of the Council, putting a gloss on it that would appear to be totally a variance with what the Council Fathers had intended.
Last week, at a conference organised by the Friars of the Immaculate in Rome Bishop Athanasius Schneider called for a “Syllabus infallibly condemning “the misinterpretation of the Vatican Council II”.
[Above]

Because, according to Bishop Schneider, only the supreme magisterium of the Church (the Pope or a new ecumenical council) may correct the abuses and errors arising from the Council and correct its understanding and its reception in the light of Catholic tradition. Responding to a request for clarification, he caused the scholarly gathering to burst out laughing by stating that it was not possible to convene a council for another 500 years. It is left therefore, to the supreme magisterium of the Pope. Hence his call for a new Syllabus that would list the condemned errors side by side with their orthodox interpretations.

Already this seems to have been one of the objects of this Papacy, and the work of Joseph Ratzinger previously. It began in 2000 with the publication of Dominus Jesus and has continued with constant clear teaching of the “hermeneutic of continuity”, notably in his address to the Curia in 2005.


 

A New Syllabus for the 21st Century

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1346299?eng=y

That is, a document condemning mistaken interpretations of Vatican Council II. It’s been requested by a bishop of Kazakhstan, at a conference in Rome with other bishops and cardinals. Also prompting reactions is the announcement by Benedict XVI of a new interreligious meeting in Assisi
by Sandro Magister, Rome, January 14, 2011

The announcement by Benedict XVI after the Angelus on New Year’s Day, that he will go to Assisi next October for a new meeting among the religions for peace, has reignited the controversy not only over the so-called “spirit of Assisi,” but also over Vatican Council II and the post-council.
Professor Roberto de Mattei – who has just published a rewriting of the history of the Council that culminates with the request that Benedict XVI promote “a new examination” of the conciliar documents in order to dispel the suspicion that they broke with traditional Church teaching – has joined other Catholic figures in signing an appeal to the pope that the new meeting in Assisi “not reignite the syncretistic confusion” of the first, the one convened on October 27, 2986, by John Paul II in the city of Saint Francis.
In effect, in 1986, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger did not go to that first meeting, of which he was critical. He did, however, take part in a repeat of it held also in Assisi on January 24, 2002, agreeing “in extremis” after being assured that the mistakes of the previous meeting would not be made again.
The main mistake fostered by the meeting in Assisi in 1986 was that of equating the religions as sources of salvation for humanity. Against this error, the congregation for the doctrine of the faith issued in 2000 the declaration “Dominus Iesus,” reaffirming that every man has no other savior than Jesus.
But also as pope, Ratzinger has again warned against the confusion. In a message to the bishop of Assisi dated September 2, 2006, he wrote:
“In order not to misunderstand the meaning of what John Paul II wanted to accomplish in 1986, and what, in his own words, is described as the ‘spirit of Assisi’, it is important not to forget the attention that was paid at that time to prevent the interreligious prayer meeting from being subjected to syncretistic interpretations founded upon a relativistic conception. […] For this reason, even when we gather together to pray for peace, this prayer must be carried out according to the distinct approach that is proper to each of the various religions. This was the decision in 1986, and this decision cannot but remain valid today as well. The coming together of those who are different must not give the impression of a concession to that relativism that denies the very meaning of truth and the possibility of attaining it.”
And visiting Assisi on June 17, 2007, he said in his homily:
“The decision to celebrate this encounter in Assisi was suggested by the testimony of Francis as a man of peace, upon whom so many look favorably, even those of other cultural and religious persuasions. At the same time, the light of the saint ‘Poverello’ upon that initiative was a guarantee of Christian authenticity, because his life and his message depend so visibly upon his choice of Christ, excluding a priori any temptation to religious indifference, which would have nothing to do with authentic religious dialogue. […] It could not be an evangelical or Franciscan attitude to fail to combine welcome, dialogue, and respect for all with the certainty of faith that every Christian, just the same as the saint of Assisi, is bound to cultivate, proclaiming Christ as the way, truth, and life of man, the only Savior of the world.”
Returning to the controversy over Vatican Council II, an important conference must be pointed out that was held last December 16-18 in Rome, a few steps from the basilica of Saint Peter, for a correct hermeneutics of the Council in the light of Church Tradition.”
Under the critical judgment of the speakers were above all the “pastoral” nature of Vatican II and the abuses that have taken place in its name.

 


The speakers included
Professor de Mattei and theologian Brunero Gherardini, 85, a canon of the basilica of Saint Peter, professor emeritus of the Pontifical Lateran University, and director of the journal of Thomistic theology “Divinitas.”
Gherardini is the author of a volume on Vatican Council II that concludes with an “Appeal to the Holy Father.” Who is asked to submit the documents of the Council for reexamination, in order to clarify once and for all “if, in what sense, and to what extent” Vatican Council II is or is not in continuity with the previous magisterium of the Church.
The preface to Gherardini’s book was written by
Albert Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo and former secretary of the Vatican congregation for divine worship, made a cardinal at the consistory last November.
Ranjith is one of the two bishops to whom http://www.chiesa recently dedicated an article with this title:
Ratzinger’s Best Pupils Are in Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan
And the second of these bishops,
the auxiliary of Karaganda, Athanasius Schneider, was present at the conference in Rome from December 16-18, as a speaker.
Below is presented the final portion of his presentation. Which concludes with a request to the pope for two remedies for the abuses of the post-council: the release of a “Syllabus” against the doctrinal errors of interpretation of Vatican Council II, and the appointment of bishops who are “holy, courageous and deeply rooted in the tradition of the Church.”
There to listen to Schneider were cardinals, curia officials, and prominent theologians. Suffice it to say that the speakers included
Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Bishop Luigi Negri, and Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus of the Vatican secretariat of state.
The audience included a large contingent of Franciscans of the Immaculate, a young religious congregation following in the footsteps of Saint Francis, bursting with vocations and of decidedly orthodox in orientation, the polar opposite of the so-called “spirit of Assisi” and the organizer of the conference itself.

 

Card. Burke pontificates with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/12/card-burke-pontificates-with-the-franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate/

Posted on
28 December 2010
by
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

[ALL POSTS BY FR. ZUHLSDORF ON THE FFI ARE AT
http://wdtprs.com/blog/tag/franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate/.]

Here is some liturgical eye-candy for ya!

 


 

Go to the site of AirMaria for many more great photos!

His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Burke on 26 December pontificated in the Extraordinary Form at the seminary of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in Rome.

 


 

 

The Mass was offered in honor of Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, being his patronal feast day, and in thanksgiving for the elevation of His Eminence to the Cardinalate. The Mass was sung by the combined choirs of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate from various convents of the F.I. in Italy, and was conducted by Sr. Maria Cecilia Manelli and Fr. Giovanni Maria Manelli – resulting in an outstanding example of the magnificence the Mass is meant to have. The Friars and Sisters also had the honor of hosting His Excellency Bishop Gino Reali of the local diocese of Porto-Santa Rufino, Rome.

In his homily, Cardinal Burke focused on the need for beauty and splendor in the sacred liturgy, echoing what His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI wrote in the letter accompanying his Moto Proprio “Summorum Pontificum:” “It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were ‘two Rites’.  Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.” And “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.  It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place…”

And here is the group photo with the Cardinal in his cardinalatial cappa magna.

A great group of religious and a great prelate of Holy Catholic Church.

 

 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider: Doctor Optimus

http://vultus.stblogs.org/2011/01/bishop-athanasius-schneider-do.html
EXTRACT

By Fr. Dom Mark, January 21, 2011

Proposals for a Correct Reading of the Second Vatican Council

His Excellency, Bishop Athanasius Schneider,
auxiliary bishop of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, delivered this address on 17 December 2010 at a symposium organized by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in the Istituto Maria Bambina, next to Saint Peter’s Square.

[…]

 

 

Bishop demands a Syllabus on the Second Vatican Council

http://www.dici.org/en/news/bishop-demands-a-syllabus-on-the-second-vatican-council/

Documentation Information Catholiques Internationales (DICI), January 22, 2011

On December 17, 2010, during a colloquium in Rome organized by the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate on the topic “Vatican II, a pastoral council – Historical philosophical and theological analysis”, Bishop
Athanasius Schneider
, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda (Kazakhstan), asked for the compilation of a Syllabus that would infallibly condemn “the errors in interpreting the Second Vatican Council”. The reason, he explained, is that only the supreme Magisterium of the Church—that of the pope or of a new ecumenical council—can correct the abuses and errors that resulted from Vatican II and adjust our understanding and implementation of it in the light of Catholic tradition. Declaring that it was scarcely possible to convoke a new council before another 500 years had passed…, he considered that we should appeal from it [Vatican II] to the supreme magisterium of the pope. Hence this request for a new Syllabus which would juxtapose the condemned errors and their orthodox interpretation.

Other speakers during this colloquium were Monsignor Brunero Gherardini, author of the book The Ecumenical Vatican Council II:  A much-needed discussion (2009), and Professor
Roberto de Mattei, an Italian historian and author of a recent volume on the Council entitled The Second Vatican Council:  An unwritten story (currently available in Italian from the publisher Lindau).  Both speakers responded to critiques that their books have elicited, especially in conservative conciliar circles determined to defend the infallibility of the Council. (Source: chiesa.espressonline.it – DICI dated January 20, 2011)

 

 

REVIEW: 1962 Roman Breviary iPhone app

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/05/review-1962-roman-breviary-iphone-app/

Posted on
27 May 2011
by
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate created an app for the 1962 Breviarium Romanum.  It is now available, FREE, for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

This may be a way for some of you to get more familiar with the older form of the Office.

There are some typos, throughout, but that doesn’t make much of a difference if you pay attention. I am sure they will be corrected along the way. We hope.

You can download texts a week in advance, and thus use it even when you don’t have a connection.

The texts in order, so you don’t have to flip back and forth between pages. The size of the text can be changed.

There is the option of a parallel English translation.

Since the Vatican’s website has only Latin and Hungarian for Summorum Pontificum, this app has Latin, Hungarian and English. So the app is one up.

You can adjust the size of the text.

There is a section with additional prayers useful to priests, such as certain commonly requested blessings and prayers for before and after Mass.

The app can be found
here.

More information can be found
here.

 

 

http://wdtprs.com/blog/tag/franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate/

http://wdtprs.com/blog/tag/franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate/page/2/

 

THE FFI ARE FAITHFUL, ORTHODOX, BRIMMING WITH VOCATIONS. THEN… IT HAPPENED!

 

For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350567?eng=y

By Sandro Magister, Rome, July 29, 2013

He has touched upon the sore spot of the Mass in the ancient rite. Ratzinger permitted its celebration for all. Bergoglio has prohibited it for one religious order that favored it.

One point on which Jorge Mario Bergoglio was eagerly expected to weigh in, after his election as pope, was that of the Mass in the ancient rite.
There were those who predicted that Pope Francis would not distance himself from the stance of his predecessor who had liberalized the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite as an “extraordinary” form of the modern rite, with the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of July 7, 2007:
Benedict XVI Liberalizes the Ancient Rite of the Mass – And Explains Why
and with the subsequent instruction “Universæ Ecclesiæ” of May 13, 2011:
Two Masses for a Single Church
And there were instead those who prognosticated on the part of Francis a restriction – or even a cancellation – of the possibility of celebrating the Mass with the rite prior to Vatican Council II, even at the cost of contradicting the decisions of Benedict XVI with him still alive.

To read the decree issued by the Vatican congregation for religious shortly before the voyage of Francis in Brazil, with the explicit approval of the pope himself, one must agree more with the latter than with the former.
The decree bears the date of July 11, 2013, the protocol number 52741/2012, and the signatures of the prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, a focolarino, and of the secretary of the same congregation, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, a Franciscan.
Braz de Aviz is the only high-ranking official in the curia of Brazilian nationality, and because of this he has accompanied Francis on his voyage to Rio de Janeiro. He has a reputation as a progressive, although that of a scatterbrain fits him better. And he will probably be one of the first to go when the reform of the curia announced by Francis takes shape.
Rodríguez Carballo instead enjoys the pope’s complete trust. His promotion as second-in-command of the congregation was backed by Francis himself at the beginning of his pontificate.
It is difficult, therefore, to think that pope Bergoglio was unaware of what he was approving when he was presented with the decree before its publication.
The decree installs an apostolic commissioner – in the person of the Capuchin Fidenzio Volpi – at the head of all the communities of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.
And this in itself is cause for astonishment. Because the Franciscans of the Immaculate are one of the most flourishing religious communities born in the Catholic Church in recent decades, with male and female branches, with many young vocations, spread over several continents and with a mission in Argentina as well.
They want to be faithful to tradition, in full respect for the magisterium of the Church. So much so that in their communities they celebrate Masses both in the ancient rite and in the modern rite, as moreover do hundreds of religious communities around the world – the Benedictines of Norcia, to give just one example – applying the spirit and the letter of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI.
But precisely this was contested by a core group of internal dissidents, who appealed to the Vatican authorities complaining of the excessive propensity of their congregation to celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite, with the effect of creating exclusion and opposition within the communities, of undermining internal unity and, worse, of weakening the more general “sentire cum Ecclesia.”
The Vatican authorities responded by sending an apostolic visitor one year ago. And now comes the appointment of the commissioner.

But what is most astonishing are the last five lines of the decree of July 11:
“In addition to the above, the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.”
The astonishment stems from the fact that what is decreed contradicts the dispositions given by Benedict XVI, which for the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite “sine populo” {without the people} demand no previous request for authorization whatsoever:
“Ad talem celebrationem secundum unum alterumve Missale, sacerdos nulla eget licentia, nec Sedis Apostolicae nec Ordinarii sui” (1).

 

 


While for Masses “cum populo” they set out a few conditions, but always guaranteeing the freedom to celebrate.
In general, against a decree of a Vatican congregation it is possible to have recourse to the supreme tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, today headed by a cardinal, the American Raymond Leo Burke, considered a friend by the traditionalists.
But if the decree is the object of approval in a specific form on the part of the pope, as it seems to be in this case, recourse is not admitted.
The Franciscans of the Immaculate will have to comply with the prohibition on celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite beginning Sunday, August 11.
And now what will happen, not only among them but in the whole Church?
It was the conviction of Benedict XVI that “the two forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.” He had explained this in the heartfelt letter to the bishops of the whole world with which he had accompanied the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”:
“With great trust and hope…”
But from now on this is no longer the case, at least not for all. For the Franciscans of the Immaculate, forced to celebrate the Mass only in the modern form, there remains just one way to take to heart what Benedict XVI also hoped: to “demonstrate” in this form as well, “more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage.”
The fact is that one pillar of the pontificate of Joseph Ratzinger has been cracked. By an exception that many fear – or hope – will soon become the rule.
________
(1) Curiously, even six years after its publication, the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI continues to be present on the website of the Holy See only in two languages, and these among the least-known: Latin and Hungarian.
__________
The website of the Franciscans of the Immaculate:
Francescani dell’Immacolata
__________
There is a thorough pro-and-con dispute over the “Summorum Pontificum” in a book hot off the presses by Professor Pietro De Marco of the University of Florence and the liturgist Andrea Grillo:
A. Grillo, P. De Marco, “Ecclesia universa o introversa?”, Edizioni San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, 2013.
In criticizing the motu proprio of Benedict XVI, Grillo rejects even its prescriptive validity. Because in his judgment, the missal prior to Vatican Council II has been abrogated. And therefore there is no longer any reason that could justify its use.
Grillo teaches sacramental and liturgical theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselm in Rome.

 

 

Pope Francis severely restricts the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate from celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass, imposes the Novus Ordo on all their priests

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/07/important-pope-francis-severely.html All colour emphases theirs

July 29, 2013

FULL TEXT OF THE DECREE that abrogates Summorum for the FFI

8/6/13: For our follow-up article see: For the record: Franciscans of the Immaculate – three official responses to Vatican Insider and other official statements – IMPORTANT: Pope Benedict XVI did not order the FFI visitation, PCED supported FFI norms on use of Vetus Ordo in 2012 – Texts and commentary from Rorate
***

Rorate note: A clear attempt to minimize the importance of this decree is taking place here and there in the blogosphere, as expected. We are being told that this isn’t really something to worry about; that this is just a particular situation, limited to a particular religious institution, and has nothing to do with how Pope Francis views Summorum
Against these manifestations of the spirit of denial that we have come to know so well since February 28 of this year, we raise the following points. 
1) First, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are not just a small religious Order or congregation occupying a tiny niche of the Traditional Catholic world; with more than 200 priests, 360 brothers and 400 nuns, they are the second largest canonically-regular religious congregation or society among those that primarily or de facto exclusively offer the Traditional Latin Mass. (The FSSP is the largest.) The family of female monasteries and convents under the spiritual care of the FFI have no other parallel in the Traditional Catholic world outside the SSPX. Anything that restricts the ability of the FFI to offer the Traditional Latin Mass will of necessity be deeply felt by the Traditional Catholic world. 
2) One justification now being raised is that the FFI’s application of Summorum Pontificum had caused discord in many communities and that the Traditional Latin Mass was “imposed” brutally on priests who did not want it. On the contrary, we in Rorate, who have been closely observing the FFI since 2008, can affirm that the opposite is the case: Summorum was applied in a very gradual manner by the FFI, the Novus Ordo was never forbidden in their houses and sanctuaries, and in many parts of the world the FFI continued to offer the Novus Ordo predominantly. It ought to be noted as well that the FFI, in their promotion of the “Forma Extraordinaria”, have been remarkably free of polemics and public attacks on the Novus Ordo. 

 

 


3) Yet another justification now being used is that this action is acceptable because the FFI were not founded with the TLM as an essential part of their charism. This excuse is incomprehensible as it completely ignores the rights given by Summorum Pontificum to religious priests. Furthermore, if the dissatisfaction of a few is enough to get a whole religious congregation or Order restricted from making use of Summorum Pontificum, this opens an easy way by which the opponents of the old Mass can eventually expel the TLM from all non-“Ecclesia Dei” institutes. 
4) Lastly, and most importantly, the decree — by specifically restricting the Traditional Latin Mass — is a clear indication that it is seen as something problematic, something that must be excised from the life of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. If this whole crisis in the FFI is not really about the Traditional Latin Mass, then why is it the target of exclusion and of restrictions, and why does the decree devote so much space to it, and why does the decree take the trouble of noting that this restriction was personally commanded by the Holy Father himself? If the crisis in the FFI is due to the misbehavior of some, then why is the deprivation of the Traditional Latin Mass extended to all?
***
Sandro Magister’s latest column (
For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict) has the details. The emphases in the quote below are by Rorate. In our update, the full text of the decree.

The importance of this decree — exquisitely dated July 11, the feast of St. Benedict in the calendar of the Novus Ordo — is difficult to overstate. In the aftermath of Summorum Pontificum the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate — the largest “strict observance” movement to be established in the Franciscan family of religious Orders and congregations after the general relaxation of observance in the post Conciliar era — became far and away the largest religious congregation to adopt the Traditional Latin Mass as their favored form of the Roman Rite, albeit without completely abandoning the Novus Ordo. The FFI soon came to occupy an important place in the “canonically regular” Traditionalist Catholic world, being involved in numerous important conferences promoting Tradition and playing an important part in organizing many Pontifical Masses especially in Rome.
Many Traditional Latin Mass sites are open only because of the ministry of FFI priests; it remains to be seen how many of these Masses will have to be ended because of this decree. As of today we have already been informed that some of nuns under the spiritual care of the FFI are looking for priests to continue celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass for them after the August 11 ban comes into force. 

In addition, the decree virtually ousts from his position the founder and superior of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, Fr. Stefano Manelli FFI, who is in his eighties, whose writings are known for their intense Marian devotion and fidelity to the traditions of Catholic asceticism and mysticism, and who is venerated by not a few as a living model of holiness.

 

The decree bears the date of July 11, 2013, the protocol number 52741/2012, and the signatures of the prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, a focolarino, and of the secretary of the same congregation, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, a Franciscan.

Braz de Aviz is the only high-ranking official in the curia of Brazilian nationality, and because of this he has accompanied Francis on his voyage to Rio de Janeiro. He has a reputation as a progressive, although that of a scatterbrain fits him better. And he will probably be one of the first to go when the reform of the curia announced by Francis takes shape. 

Rodríguez Carballo instead enjoys the pope’s complete trust. His promotion as second-in-command of the congregation was backed by Francis himself at the beginning of his pontificate.

It is difficult, therefore, to think that pope Bergoglio was unaware of what he was approving when he was presented with the decree before its publication.

The decree installs an apostolic commissioner – in the person of the Capuchin Fidenzio Volpi – at the head of all the communities of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

And this in itself is cause for astonishment. Because the Franciscans of the Immaculate are one of the most flourishing religious communities born in the Catholic Church in recent decades, with male and female branches, with many young vocations, spread over several continents and with a mission in Argentina as well.

They want to be faithful to tradition, in full respect for the magisterium of the Church. So much so that in their communities they celebrate Masses both in the ancient rite and in the modern rite, as moreover do hundreds of religious communities around the world – the Benedictines of Norcia, to give just one example – applying the spirit and the letter of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI.

But precisely this was contested by a core group of internal dissidents, who appealed to the Vatican authorities complaining of the excessive propensity of their congregation to celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite, with the effect of creating exclusion and opposition within the communities, of undermining internal unity and, worse, of weakening the more general “sentire cum Ecclesia.”

The Vatican authorities responded by sending an apostolic visitor one year ago. And now comes the appointment of the commissioner.

But what is most astonishing are the last five lines of the decree of July 11:

“In addition to the above, the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.”

The astonishment stems from the fact that what is decreed contradicts the dispositions given by Benedict XVI, which for the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite “sine populo” demand no previous request for authorization whatsoever:

 

 

“Ad talem celebrationem secundum unum alterumve Missale, sacerdos nulla eget licentia, nec Sedis Apostolicae nec Ordinarii sui” (1).

While for Masses “cum populo” they set out a few conditions, but always guaranteeing the freedom to celebrate.

In general, against a decree of a Vatican congregation it is possible to have recourse to the supreme tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, today headed by a cardinal, the American Raymond Leo Burke, considered a friend by the traditionalists.

But if the decree is the object of approval in a specific form on the part of the pope, as it seems to be in this case, recourse is not admitted.

The Franciscans of the Immaculate will have to comply with the prohibition on celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite beginning Sunday, August 11.

And now what will happen, not only among them but in the whole Church?

 

Rorate has learned from its own sources that the “internal dissidents” were led by an American member of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who was notable for his opposition and hostility to the any criticism of Vatican II, in direct contrast to the Italian friars of the FFI, many of whom adhered to the “Gherardini line” of loyal but unflinching criticism of at least some elements of the Conciliar documents.

_________________________________

UPDATE – TEXT OF THE DECREE
The text of the decree in Italian is transcribed below. The last paragraph, with the specific papal order abrogating Summorum Pontificum for the priests of the FFI, is exactly as reported by Magister.
Full text (Italian – source Messa in Latino):
CONGREGATIO PRO INSTITUTIS VITAE CONSECRATAE ET SOCIETATIBUS VIATE APOSTOLICAE

PROT. N. 52741/2012
DECRETO
[…]
f.to Joao Braz Card. de. Aviz
prefetto
+ José Rodrìguez Carballo, O.F.M.
Arcivescovo Segretario

Readers left 273 comments

 

 

The FI’s and Pope Francis: Two Updates

http://maryvictrix.com/2013/07/29/the-fis-and-pope-francis/

Posted on
July 29, 2013
by
Fr. Angelo M. Geiger

It was reported in the Catholic online press today that our religious community, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, has been assigned an Apostolic Commissioner by the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated life.  Pope Francis has ordered the decree which goes into effect on August 12.

Pope Francis has also severely restricted our use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and this has been reported by a major Italian journalist as a “contradiction” of Pope Benedict’s permission granted in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.  This is an unfortunate instance of an overeager journalist sensationalizing something he can only speculate about.

The restrictions on our community are specific to us and have been put in place for reasons specific to us.  Pope Francis has not contradicted Pope Benedict.  The visitation of our community began under Pope Benedict and the Commission was recommended by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz who was appointed to the Congregation by Pope Benedict.

What is being reported in the press and what has actually transpired within our community over the course of a number of years are two different things.

Many of us—I would hope most of us—Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, welcome the Holy Father’s intervention into our life and trust fully that Holy Mother Church knows exactly what she is doing, even when the journalists do not.  We entrust ourselves to her care, just as we do to the Immaculate.

Please pray for our Institute.

Update 1:

Many of the comments in the blogosphere about Pope Francis concerning his decision in regard to our Institute are simply disgraceful, and “justified” by the most tenuous rationalizations.  He is the Vicar of Christ.  It is less than twenty-four hours since this hit the Internet and so many think they have got it all figured out.  I have also seen sheer fabrications about the situation in our Institute within some of these comments.  May God have mercy on us.  Thank God for all the holy popes we have had for the past fifty years, who all have had much to suffer.

Update 2:

I am closing down the comments now on these posts concerning the situation in the Institute.  I left comments open to make a point, which the some of the commenters have made for me.  Either you get the point or you don’t.  There is no point in trying to explain it. The contempt, disrespect and spirit of disobedience shown toward the Vicar of Christ, I repudiate.  May God have mercy on us.

Readers have left 136 comments

 

 

 

Card. Braz de Aviz moves on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, curtails use of Usus Antiquior. Fr. Z rants, offers tough love.

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/07/card-braz-de-aviz-moves-on-the-franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate-curtails-use-of-usus-antiquior-fr-z-rants-offers-tough-love/

Posted on 29 July 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

It has been a tough week, friends.

Now there is news which will make a lot of the traditionally inclined go bonkers. My email is filling up with panicky bile.

Before any of you readers have a spittle-flecked nutty, in a spittle-flecked nutshell, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFIs) underwent an Apostolic Visitation which finished 3 July. There was division among the FFIs about Summorum Pontificum, their use of the older form of Mass, and criticisms made by some of Vatican II. As a result of the Apostolic Visitation, a decree dated of 11 July, signed by the Prefect of the Congregation for Religious, João Card. Braz de Aviz (remember him?) and the Secretary Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo (a Franciscan and one of the first appointments Pope Francis made). It was approved by Pope Francis before its publication.

The decree appoints “Commissario Apostolico” ad nutum Sanctae Sedis, a Capuchin named Fidenzio Volpi, over the all the FFIs. It also requires – and this is the point some will freak out over and some liberals will crow over –
all FFIs must celebrate the Novus Ordo and that they can celebrate the Usus Antiquior only with permission from competent authorities
. This goes into effect on 12 August.

At a first glance, this move seems to contradict dramatically the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.  We shall have to see how it plays out for private Masses, etc.

I’ll bet most, if not all, of the Friars will obey. They won’t do an SSPX sort of move or go postal. Their obedience will edify us all.

That being the case, let’s think about this for a bit.

First, and I don’t think the Prefect of the Congregation, or the FFIs that sparked this take-over by the Holy See, should get a pass: this decree will hurt a lot of lay people. It will also stimulate the bitter element among those inclined to a traditional expression of the Faith. I had sensed over the last years that some people were finally starting to unclench. This is a setback for their morale. In short, a small group of people ruined something great for a lot of people.

What we need to keep in mind is that this decree is more about a division in a religious community than it is about
Summorum Pontificum.  

The FFIs were not founded as an Extraordinary Form community, as some others were (e.g., the Institute of Christ the King). After Summorum Pontificum, a faction within the FFIs were making the Extraordinary Form the only form. As I understand the situation, other FFIs were unhappy about this, for various reasons. Division ensued. A Visitation resulted. The Holy See executed a take-over with regard to Summorum Pontificum.  The FFIs will now have supervision, because they couldn’t get along over this matter.

All this was set in motion long before Benedict XVI announced his abdication.  Remember also that the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“, now a part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wouldn’t have competence in this matter because the FFIs were not founded under their auspices.

Take-overs happen when something is not working.  Think about the LCWR. (No, I am not drawing a moral equivalence.)

I suspect that faults in charity and prudence on the part of the more traditionally inclined among the FFIs (and the fact that liberals are always ready to shove traddies to the back of the bus) set the stage for this.  Others were caught in the middle.  The result, however, is that the harder-core traditional types and those who lean in that direction are the ones who lost ground.  The FFIs who wanted only or mostly the Novus Ordo won the day.  Let’s let that sink in for a bit.

I think… think… Pope Francis is not against the Usus Antiquior. Francis, however, was a Jesuit, a religious. He was a provincial. In his day, Fr. Bergoglio dealt with huge divisions in his community.  He has insight into problems in religious communities. I think… think… Francis thought that the FFIs needed a way to heal their internal divisions as religious.  He hit the “reboot” button for them.  Moreover, the somewhat draconian restriction of the older Mass could have more to do with Card. Braz de Aviz than Pope Francis.  We shall see.

At the same time, I suspect that neither Francis nor the Prefect (nor the problem elements in the FFIs) gave much consideration to how this will affect the lay people in parishes that the FFIs staff who are attached to the Usus Antiquior.  If that is the case, then this move could be a manifestation of the sort of clericalism that Pope Francis seems to want to diminish.  We shall see what happens when FFIs start asking for permissions from competent authorities for pastoral reasons.  I hope people monitor this closely and let everyone know what happens one way or another.

In any event, this decree probably has more to do with a matter internal to a religious community than it does with the older form of Mass, though the older form was an issue of the division.

It probably also concerns the manner in which some of the FFIs approached or spoke of Vatican II.  Everything “Vatican II” is even more of a third rail now than it was four months ago!  Under this Pontificate, even more voltage is going to that rail.

At this point, I remind everyone that the provisions of Summorum Pontificum are still in effect… but they can be lost.

Therefore, I urge all of you who are interested in the older form, who want to obtain celebrations of the older form of Mass in your parishes or communities, to
push ahead with energy and a cheerful attitude
. Do not relax. Do not slow down. Do not flag in your resolve. Get to work. Now. And be smart about it.  Get whatever chips there may be off your shoulders and get to work.

 

 

Traditional, hard-identity Catholics, need to press forward and be prudent.  Leave aside harsh polemics or comments about Vatican II.  Stow them, at least for now. Be smart. There will be time in the future for people to sort what Vatican II means and what it doesn’t mean.  But, mark my words, if you gripe about Vatican II right now, in this present environment, you could lose what you have attained.

I have some suggestions.

Make some holy “lío”, as Francis would call it.  Stir things up in your dioceses.  But make it a smart and a positive ruckus.

First, work to get Masses established and work to get as many young priests and seminarians trained up as quickly as possible and as well as you can. Stick a crowbar in your wallets and spend money if you have to. Set aside the smaller differences you have over certain hotly-debated issues and band together.  Encourage and persuade with good cheer and without sticking your thumb in the eyes of those who can help you.

Second, get involved in your parishes or in the place where you attend the older form of Mass. Get involved especially in what the parish might have going in regard to spiritual and corporal works of mercy. If that means getting involved in a less-than-perfect RCIA program as a group leader, do it. If that means volunteering to visit the sick, do it. If that means offering to wash altar linens, do it. If that means helping with a food or clothing drive, or even starting them, do it. Do these things, firstly, because they are the right things to do. Do them also because traditional, hard identity Catholics are treated like second-class citizens in the Church. You need to give the lie to the impression which the controlling liberal class has about you.  Don’t just go to your Mass and then go home without thinking about the parish again for another 6 days.

Libs have been energized in the last few months.  They think that the momentum is in the favor right now.  I don’t buy that, but they do.  Thus, in parishes and schools they will rise up against you more vigorously than of late. They are still mostly in control, too!  When they shove you to the back of the bus, again, be better than they are. Stay cheerful and remain energized, and keep pressing forward.

This next part is going to sting a little.

You more conservative or traditional Catholics out there and in here…. clean up your act and be smarter.

Liberals and progressivists seem to be able to set aside some of their differences to band together to create a larger force and lobby.  Together with the effects of Original Sin and the help of the Devil, their ability to work together is one of the reasons why they usually win.  They still control most of the structures and entities in the Church.  The Biological Solution is working on them, but slowly.  It works on all of us, by the way.

On the other hand, traddies, conservatives, call them what you will – self-righteous debating about these imperfect labels is tedious and you know what I mean by them – seem to want to defend every wrinkle of turf they think they own. They don’t want anyone who doesn’t agree with them perfectly in the sandbox with them.  They bite at those with whom they have far more in common than they have differences.  That has got to stop now.  The terrain is shifting quickly and we need a new approach lest we screw up and lose the good ground we have gained.

Be smart about this.  I’ve watched the combox here and on other more traditional blogs which have some focus on the Extraordinary Form and blogs which would surely identify as being “moderate” but which manifest a kind of no-risk conservatism.  All of us still over here on the ‘C’atholic side of things have to do better.

Nevertheless, I’ve also been watching the growing division between hard-identity Catholics and those who are a little squishy around the edges.  We have to do better!  We can’t afford mud fights with those who are for the most part fellow travelers.

I call on both traddies and – I don’t know what word to use – neo-cons? You probably know the range of people and bloggers, etc., I am talking about – to find more common ground.

To those on the trad side of things, you are going to have to stop biting in such a nasty way at those with whom you mostly agree. Moreover, bitchy moaning about Pope Francis in the comboxes of blogs is going to bring about the realization of your fears.  Cui bono?  You are going to spoil everything gained in the last years through your petulance.

To those on the – I dunno – neo-con side, it is time to rethink your no-risk conservatism and toughen up your Catholic identity a bit. You have your nasty moments too, especially toward those who have more traditional inclinations than you.

Goodness gracious!  It’s like something from a fable by Aesop!

The time has come for hard-identity Catholicism, but hard-identity in a smarter tone.

This is going to cost something on both sides.

Let us all start with an examination of our consciences.  We have to root out our personal faults, especially through the sacrament of penance.

We have to be smarter about what we are doing.

 

UPDATE 30 July:

From the blog
Maria Victrix, run by an FFI:

Update:

Many of the comments in the blogosphere about Pope Francis concerning his decision in regard to our Institute are simply disgraceful, and “justified” by the most tenuous rationalizations.  He is the Vicar of Christ.  It is less than twenty-four hours since this hit the Internet and so many think they have got it all figured out.  I have also seen sheer fabrications about the situation in our Institute within some of these comments.  May God have mercy on us.  Thank God for all the holy popes we have had for the past fifty years, who all have had much to suffer.

Readers have left 102 responses

 

 

 

 

 

Below is an extract from one of my earlier reports:

QUOTE Pope Francis on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Summorum Pontificum

A Catholic journalist’s opinion of Pope Francis:

Why Pope Francis May Be a Catholic Nightmare

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2013/03/pope_francis_to_lead_the_catholic_church_cardinal_bergoglio_s_election_as.html
EXTRACT

He may seem like a humble reformer, but Cardinal Bergoglio is the last thing the Vatican needs.

By Michael Brendan Dougherty, March 13, 2013

There is almost no evidence of him taking a tough line with anyone in his own diocese. Are we to believe that Buenos Aires has been spared the moral rot and corruption found almost everywhere else in the Catholic clergy? Or, more likely, do we have another Cardinal who looked the other way, and studiously avoided confrontation with the “filth” in the church, no matter the danger to children or to the cause of the church? 

Liturgical traditionalists (myself included) can only be depressed by this election – it is almost the worst result possible for those of us who think the new liturgy lost the theological profundity and ritual beauty of the Tridentine Mass.

Benedict’s liberation of the traditional Latin Mass and revisions to the new vernacular Mass have not been implemented at all in Cardinal Bergoglio’s own diocese.

Already some of the small breaks with liturgical tradition at the announcement of his election are being interpreted as a move toward the grand, unruly, and improvisational style of John Paul II; an implicit rebuke of Benedict.

 

Another journalist’s opinion of Pope Francis:

“Of all the unthinkable candidates, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is perhaps the worst. Not because he openly professes doctrines against the faith and morals, but because, judging from his work as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, faith and morals seem to have been irrelevant to him,” said Marcelo González, a journalist at
Panorama Católico Internacional, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, “who knows the Church of Argentina as well as the palm of his hand”, according to the traditionalist blog Rorate-Caeli, March 13, 2013.

González adds, “A sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass, he has only allowed imitations of it in the hands of declared enemies of the ancient liturgy.
He has persecuted every single priest who made an effort to wear a cassock, preach with firmness, or that was simply interested in Summorum Pontificum.

Source:
http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-horror-buenos-aires-journalist.html.

 

Catholic sources describe González as a “radical Catholic reactionary”, so read his take on the Pope in that light, but it’s a view that a growing number of Vatican watchers appear to hold after Pope Francis restricted the use of the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass in the communities of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a Roman Catholic Institute of Religious Life with Pontifical Right established by Pope John Paul II in1998, as first reported in July 2013, an issue that has generated much debate and “a storm of speculation about the reasons and broader implications” according to a July 30 Catholic News Agency report. UNQUOTE

 

 

Franciscans of the Immaculate decree worries traditionalists

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/franciscans-of-the-immaculate-decree-worries-traditionalists/

CNA/EWTN News
Rome,
July 30, 2013

The Vatican Congregation for Religious, with the approval of Pope Francis, has appointed a commissioner to oversee the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and has restricted their celebration of the traditional Latin Mass, touching off a storm of speculation about the reasons and broader implications.

The news of the decree was first reported by the veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister, who described the move as the first time that Pope Francis has contradicted his predecessor Benedict XVI.

“But what is most astonishing are the last five lines of the decree of July 11,” writes Magister.

The declaration’s final paragraph reads:

“In addition to the above, the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.”

“The astonishment stems from the fact that what is decreed contradicts the dispositions given by Benedict XVI, which for the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite ‘sine populo’ demand no previous request for authorization whatsoever,” Magister explains.

The decree was signed by the Vatican congregation’s prefect, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, and its secretary, Archbishop José Rodrìguez Carballo. Capuchin Father Fidenzio Volpi was named in the declaration as the commissioner and he will be required to submit a written report every six months to the Vatican dicastery.

The reaction in the Catholic traditionalist blogosphere to the decree has been strong.

 

 

 

The blog Rorate Caeli, which focuses on the sacred liturgy, said in a four-point response that referenced Benedict XVI’s “Summorum Pontificum,” the papal document that allowed the pre-1962 Mass in Latin to be celebrated widely, that the new decree will impact one of the largest religious communities that celebrates the traditional Latin Mass.

“One justification now being raised,” the July 29 post says, “is that the FFI’s application of Summorum Pontificum had caused discord in many communities and that the Traditional Latin Mass was ‘imposed’ brutally on priests who did not want it. On the contrary, we in Rorate, who have been closely observing the FFI since 2008, can affirm that the opposite is the case: Summorum was applied in a very gradual manner …”

But the Assistant General for Apostolate, Missions and Media of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, Father Alfonso Bruno, told CNA July 29 that “more than 80 percent of the friars appreciate the intervention of the Church.”

In his estimation, the “problem is not the Holy Mass usus antiquior,” which he described as “only the tip of the iceberg.”

Fr. Bruno pointed to a “small group in power” within the religious congregation that is being influenced by Mother Francesca Perillo, who is “very close” with Lefebvrist groups. He is worried that Mother Perillo, who is in charge of the congregation’s contemplative sisters, and her followers could fall into “heresy and disobedience.”

Mother Perillo could not be reached for comment before publication time.

Father Angelo M. Geiger, who was the chaplain of the contemplative sisters until recently and is now based in Newquay, England, said in a July 29 post on his Mary Victrix blog that Magister’s piece “is an unfortunate instance of an overeager journalist sensationalizing something he can only speculate about.”

“The restrictions on our community are specific to us and have been put in place for reasons specific to us,” Fr. Geiger remarked.

He also directly addressed the question of whether Pope Francis had contradicted his predecessor.

“Pope Francis has not contradicted Pope Benedict. The visitation of our community began under Pope Benedict and the Commission was recommended by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz who was appointed to the Congregation by Pope Benedict,” he wrote.

Fr. Geiger said that “what is being reported in the press and what has actually transpired within our community over the course of a number of years are two different things.”

Fathers Geiger and Bruno both finished their remarks by emphasizing their trust in the Church and in Pope Francis.

“We are in peace because we are in the hands of our mother Church, by a Pope that we love and appreciate so much,” Fr. Bruno said.

 

 

Is Pope Francis an enemy of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass? Perhaps not!

http://abyssum.org/2013/07/30/is-pope-francis-an-enemy-of-the-extraordinary-form-of-the-mass-perhaps-not/

By
Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida, rhg1923@gmail.com

Posted on 
July 30, 2013

I first read Sandro Magister’s column (http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350567?eng=y) and I was shocked. 

It seemed as though Pope Francis was possibly going to undo all that Pope Benedict had achieved with his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, in which he decreed the freedom of everyone to celebrate and participate in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. But, then on further reflection and upon reading Pope Francis’ remarks about the liturgy of the Orthodox Church during his press conference on board the flight from Brazil to Rome, I am not so sure. I have two reasons for my very limited optimism. First, the decree of the Congregation for Religious that Sandro Magister writes about came about because of group of dissidents in the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate had protested to the Congregation of the Religious that their superiors were forcing them to attend Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form.

[Was the really the case? Or that the TLM was being overemphasized, and maybe some pressure put on to offer it, but I’m not sure about “forced.”]

The Congregation, with the approval of Pope Francis, solved the problem of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate by forbidding the celebration of the Extraordinary Form. That, to me, was the wrong solution.  It would have been better and less drastic to work out an arrangement requiring the celebration of the Mass in the Ordinary Form as well as the Extraordinary Form.

[I think Bishop Gracida might be misinformed here.  I did not understand that there was ever a “denial” to offer the NO?  Perhaps some pressure exerted to focus on the TLM, but from what I understand, the NO was always an option?  But I agree, there were many other options available to resolve this “dissension.”]

But the Congregation did not do that. It is important to note that the ban on the Extraordinary form was the work of the Congregation for Religious and perhaps Pope Francis, in giving his approval to the decree did not realize in the midst of his preparation for the World Youth Day what the full repercussion of the decree would be, both for the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the entire Church.

[Good Heavens, I hope that is not the case.  I’d hate to think the Pope, any Pope, would be distracted when considering an issue of this magnitude]

Pope Francis, in his efforts to be a simple and humble pope, made have made his first big liturgical mistake in approving such a simple solution to a very complex problem of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

[Big is relative. Washing female Muslim feet on Holy Thursday was big to some.]

[Disclosure: I regularly celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in my private chapel.]

[Yay!  I might not agree with Bishop Gracida’s obvious efforts to put maximal-charitable spin on this situation, above, but I always appreciate his views.]

 

 

 

The comments above in red and within brackets are sourced from

https://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/a-different-viewpoint-bishop-gracida-on-the-ffi-situation/ who adds:

Bishop Rene Gracida is an inspiration to me. The man is right around 90 years old, yet his mind is clear as a bell and his comments always … he is a very valuable source of information and views, and possibly the most orthodox bishop in the United States right now. He also posts some text from an interview Pope Francis gave to a Russian news agency, which does have bearing on the Liturgy in the Latin Rite. 

Now, for Pope Francis’ statement to a Russian journalist, as reported by Dr. Robert Moynihan:

Toward the end of the interview, a Russian journalist asks the Pope to comment on the 1025th anniversary, currently being celebrated in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, of the baptism of the Rus’, the ancient Russian people, centered at the time (988 A.D.) in Kiev.

In response, the Pope makes a very positive judgement on the liturgy of the Orthodox. To my knowledge, this response has been little noted.

“They have conserved that pristine liturgy, no?” Pope Francis says. “So beautiful. We [i.e., the Latin Christians] have lost a bit the sense of adoration, they conserve it, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time does not count. 

The center is God and that is a richness that I would like to emphasize on this occasion as you ask me this question.”

I had not seen that quote from Pope Francis before. There is a bit of inconsistency in the Pope’s statements on many issues, including the Liturgy. But I’m glad to know he said the above. I must admit to remaining troubled, however. Even Bishop Gracida in his great charity had to grasp at straws.

 

 

Francis approves appointment of commissioner to oversee Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/vaticano-vatican-vaticano-26865/

By Alessandro Speciale, July 30, 2013

Last 11 July, with Francis’ approval, the Vatican Congregation for Religious decided to appoint a commissioner to oversee the Congregation of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

In recent years, the religious order has combined its devotion to St. Francis with a strong focus on the traditional liturgy.

The decree issued by the Vatican “ministry” of religious orders aims to “protect and promote the internal unity of religious Institutes and fraternal communion, adequate preparation for religious and consecrated life, the organisation of apostolic activities” and “the proper management of worldly goods.”

The decision comes after Mgr. Vito Angelo Todisco’s apostolic visit which began in July last year.

Capuchin friar Fidenzio Volpi has been appointed “apostolic commissioner” and will assume temporary leadership of the order.

The decree states that Pope Francis has ordered the friars “to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite.” This means they will have to celebrate mass in the local languages.

“Any individual religious and/or religious community” that wishes to celebrate the Tridentine Latin mass – which Benedict XVI liberalised with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum – “will need to receive authorisation from the competent authorities.”

After Ratzinger issued the Motu Proprio in 2007, the Franciscans f the Immaculate decided to adopt the “extraordinary form” of the Roman rite, otherwise known as the Tridentine Mass, as their main rite. Indeed, the order’s women religious only used this rite.

But some traditionalist groups exploited this so the Congregation of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate tried to act as mediators in the unsuccessful negotiations between the Vatican and the Lefebvrians of the Society of St. Pius X, Fr. Alfonso Maria Bruno, the order’s spokesman, told Vatican Insider.

According to Fr. Bruno, in a survey carried out during the apostolic visit, the vast majority of the order’s members had said they did not agree that the Old Latin Rite should be the exclusive form used for mass celebrations, “particularly in the pastoral care programmes of Italian parishes and in the missions.”

In some cases, the Old Rite did not go down particularly well. The spokesman for the Congregation of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate said that “if people don’t understand, the message doesn’t get through.”

“The friars accept the providential decisions of the Apostolic See with respectful obedience and a supernatural spirit and as children of the Church offer their complete cooperation,” Fr. Bruno concluded.

 

 

Francis Has Not Contradicted Benedict’s Reforms, Say Franciscans of the Immaculate
http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/no-rejection-of-benedict-in-franciscans-of-the-immaculate-decree-say-leader

CNA/EWTN News, July 31, 2013

The Vatican congregation in charge of religious life has issued a decree appointing a commissioner with the approval of Pope Francis to resolve the internal divisions plaguing the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI) but has touched off a firestorm of controversy by restricting the order’s celebration of the Mass in the extraordinary form.

However, FFI leaders dispute allegations that Pope Francis is rolling back Pope Benedict’s liturgical reforms, and they say the decree is a necessary, temporary measure.

“More than 80% of the friars appreciate the intervention of the Church,” Father Alfonso Bruno, a spokesman for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, told Catholic News Agency.

 

Father Bruno explained that the FFI’s problem “is not the Holy Mass usus antiquior [the Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal].” He said celebrating the extraordinary form of the Mass in the community represented “only the tip of the iceberg.”

The real concern, Father Bruno said, is over a “small group in power” within the religious congregation, which is under the influence of Mother Francesca Perillo, who oversees the FFI sisters who live in hermitages.

Mother Francesca, he alleged, has “very close” ties with groups that take the positions of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), who taught both the Second Vatican Council and the Roman rite promulgated by Pope Paul VI contain grave theological errors.

Father Bruno said the FFI is concerned that Mother Francesca and her followers could fall into “heresy and disobedience.”

Mother Francesca could not be reached to respond to the allegations before publication time.

The Society of St. Pius X holds no canonical status in the Church. Renewed dialogue between the SSPX and the Vatican appeared to hit another impasse in June, with the society’s declaration that their founder’s reasons for his illicit consecrations of four bishops — which incurred automatic excommunication — still “retain their full justification.” The excommunications were lifted by Benedict XVI in 2009 in a conciliatory effort to facilitate the SSPX’s full integration within the life of the Church.

 
 

Contradicting Benedict XVI?
The news of the July 11 decree regarding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, from the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, was first reported by the veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister, who described the congregation’s move as “astonishing” and the first time that Pope Francis has contradicted his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

The declaration’s final paragraph reads:

“In addition to the above, the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (vetus ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities for every religious and/or community that makes the request.”

The decree was signed by the Vatican congregation’s prefect, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, and its secretary, Archbishop José Rodrìguez Carballo. The decree goes into effect Aug. 12 and names Capuchin Father Fidenzio Volpi as the FFI commissioner, who will have to submit a written report every six months to the Vatican department.

“The astonishment stems from the fact that what is decreed contradicts the dispositions given by Benedict XVI, which, for the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite sine populo [without the people], demand no previous request for authorization whatsoever,” Magister said.

 
 

Sensationalizing’
However, Father Angelo Geiger, former general delegate of the FFI in the United States, rejected Magister’s allegations, saying the Italian journalist was “sensationalizing something he can only speculate about.”

“The restrictions on our community are specific to us and have been put in place for reasons specific to us,” Father Geiger stated through his Mary Victrix blog.

He also disputed Magister’s allegation that Pope Francis had contradicted his predecessor.

“Pope Francis has not contradicted Pope Benedict,” he said. “The visitation of our community began under Pope Benedict, and the commission was recommended by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, who was appointed to the congregation by Pope Benedict.”

According to Article 3 of Summorum Pontificum, “Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for Conventual or “community” celebration in their oratories, may do so.” Benedict’s motu proprio goes on to state, “If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues.”

Father Geiger said, “What is being reported in the press and what has actually transpired within our community over the course of a number of years are two different things.”

Still, news of the decree has sparked a strong debate in the blogosphere among traditionalist Catholics about the decision’s implications.

The blog Rorate Caeli said in a four-point response that the decree is “a clear indication that [the traditional Latin Mass] is seen as something problematic, something that must be excised from the life of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.”

The blog disputed the charge that “FFI’s application of Summorum Pontificum had caused discord in many communities and that the traditional Latin Mass was ‘imposed’ brutally on priests who did not want it.” Instead, the blog stated that it had been “closely observing the FFI since 2008 [and] can affirm that the opposite is the case: Summorum was applied in a very gradual manner.”

 
 

Father Z’s Take

However, Father John Zuhlsdorf, who blogs as “Fr. Z” at What Does the Prayer Really Say?, pointed out that the FFI is not an extraordinary-form community like the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, which recently marked its 25th anniversary.

He added that Pope Francis was a Jesuit provincial with experience in handling a community’s internal divisions, and he said the decree “probably has more to do with a matter internal to a religious community than it does with the older form of Mass.”

 

“Takeovers happen when something is not working,” Father Zuhlsdorf said. However, he added that the decree, for some traditionalist Catholics, will be “a setback for their morale” and that it will hurt other laypeople who depend on the FFIs for their access to the Mass in the extraordinary form. “We shall see what happens when FFIs start asking for permissions from competent authorities for pastoral reasons,” he said.

From the FFI’s perspective, Father Bruno said the order was happy to have the decree, while its members work with the Vatican to resolve their internal disputes. “We are in peace because we are in the hands of our mother Church,” he said, “by a Pope that we love and appreciate so much.”
[Editor’s note: The story was updated from its original form to include information quoted directly from Summorum Pontificum.]

 

5 out of 19 comments

1. I started attending daily mass in 2007 and ever since, albeit in a very a slow, incremental manner, I’ve experienced an undermining of my faith and a hardening of my heart.  WHY?  Because after the “honeymoon” ended I recognized that I was amidst a vicious, ongoing civil war inside the Church and I was nothing more than collateral damage.  The architects of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass knew that there is absolutely no way the progressive and traditional forms of faith & worship can coexist.  They are diametrically opposed to one another!  That’s why so many priests, religious and laity are at one another’s throats (figuratively speaking).  For example, before and after Mass how are silent and reverent prayer and worship going to coexist with joking, idle chit chat and laughter a couple of feet from one another?  And you find the same thing as you go down the list—you can clearly see how traditional and the progressive beliefs and practices are completely antagonistic to one another.  That means you have Catholics, whether they intend to or not, completely provoking and alienating one another.  Such disparity drives people up the wall on a daily basis…this can’t go on forever…something has to give.  And from this article and dozens of other indicators it’s obvious that it is the Latin Mass and traditional practices that are going the way of the Red Indian (i.e. wiped off the face of the earth or banished to sparsely populated, remote outposts).  This didn’t happen by accident.  It was carefully planned and executed from the top (i.e. Pope) on down.  Why pit Catholic against Catholic?  Why fragment the Church?

2. What an excellent article on this difficult subject. Honestly, I was shocked and deeply saddened when I read the story on Rorate Caeli. Being a lover of the Latin Mass (it brought me back to the Church after 30 years), it seemed like this action was against the Latin Mass rather than a disciplinary action. It is well known that there are no Latin Masses with the location Pope Francis came from. Was that an indication of his attitude toward the form of Mass celebrated for the last thousand years of the Church?

This article puts my mind at ease. I like many others who attend Latin Masses are new in the faith and have not developed the roots and understanding necessary to weather these kinds of storms that frequently come up against the Mass that brings so many so much joy. For me, it is like looking into Heaven as Jesus converts the simple bread and wine we offer into his body and blood. I know that the Novus Ordo is the same thing but in the Novus Ordo, I don’t SEE Heaven as I do in the Latin Mass. I attend two Novus Ordo masses for every Latin Mass I attend, but no matter how many NO masses I attend, they never have the same effect on my spirituality as the Latin Mass.

I pray that those in Traditionalist circles who create the appearance of division, might learn to show more love and understanding for those who love the Novus Ordo mass. From your article, it appears that this was the cause of the Popes move. Those who challenged the legitimacy of Vatican II. The documents of Vatican II actually speak of the Latin Mass, Gregorian chant, etc. as the preferred Liturgy. Let’s try to get along. The Catholic Church is truly the Universal Church with room for all of us.

Do I think that Pope Francis was ill advised to remove the founder of the order and remove the Latin Mass? Yes. But it does appear that there were problems in the order. It also appeared that an open rebellion against Vatican II was being preached. That sounds a bit like the SSPX and the Church, whether under Pope Benedict or Pope Francis will not stand for that.

I understand your anger and concern. I left the Church for 30 years due to the changes that made the Catholic Church look like the evangelical Lutheran church. I was heartbroken but we don’t make friends by calling them names. The fact is that the Church continues to have a lot of very liberal Catholics in the clergy and bureaucracy. As I mentioned, if it hadn’t been for the Latin mass, I probably would have never come back completely. But if we bite the hand that feeds us, we will be seen as divisive, mean, and hateful. I love the Latin mass as much as most anyone else and that is WHY I want us to learn to be more diplomatic and making our case. Yelling and complaining on blogs is not going to bring about change. Making friends with those in power will.

From what I hear, this biting the hand that feed you is why the changes were made to the FFI by Pope Francis. There seems to have been many who were protesting against Vatican II. We need to work with the structure that exists in the Church like the FSSP.

It is too early to get too worked up. As they say, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

3. I can see it now:  In the not too distant future no one will be concerned or surprised when Pope Francis forbids ALL Catholics from celebrating the traditional Latin mass.  The NCR headline will be “Pope Francis doesn’t contradict JPII or BXVI.” Catholics will post comments like, “Pope Francis really deserves praise for taking action to prevent further division and to save ‘traddies’ from falling into heresy and disobedience”; and, “I’ll really pray for those traditionalists causing problems by clinging to the past.”  Meanwhile, the church and western civilization will continue it’s downward spiral into decadence and decay.
4. I’ve been with the 3rd order of the F.I. for over eight years and never have I heard “an open rebellion against Vatican II was being preached”.

5. I have known this religious community for over 17 years and have family members who are a part of it. I will say it is tragic that the founders who were hailed as mystics and giants of sanctity have been led astray as to strictly enforce the optional Latin mass upon their community members. I know some of the community were even punished.

 

 

As Fr. Z said, they are not an extraordinary-form institute and never were. The charism was and is Total Consecration to the Immaculate.

Wonderful of the Pope to wisely intervene for this order that was declared by the late Pope John Paul II as “Too precious for the Church to lose.”

 

 

From:
Corrispondenza romana
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Friday, August 02, 2013 5:34 PM

Subject:
In support of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and of the traditional Mass


Dear Friend,
This past July 11th, the Congregation for the Religious “commissioned” the Institute of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, forcing them to abandon the traditional Mass, which they have the right to celebrate freely, according to a universal law of the Church, never abrogated, and confirmed by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI of July 7th 2007.
Canon 212 of the Code of Canon Law currently in force state that the faithful: “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” In the light of this canon and of that which the sensus fidei of every baptised person imposes, I consider it my duty to send an open letter to His Eminence Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life.  If you share my concerns, I thank you and invite you to show your support for this initiative by clicking here.
In so doing you will be able to send your own personal message directly to the Prefect of the Congregation and, in copy, to the Secretary of the Congregation, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, to the Vice-President of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, Archbishop Augustine Di Noia and to the appointed Commissary, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, OFM Cap.
Please sign the letter with your name, and include your e-mail address.
I thank you for lending your support to this initiative, promoted for the greater good of the Church and of souls.
Yours sincerely in Christ Jesus,

Roberto de Mattei

 

Declaration about Some Recent Facts

http://maryvictrix.com/2013/08/02/declaration-about-some-recent-facts/

By Fr. Angelo M. Geiger, August 2, 2013

Having learned of the online petition
[above] organized by the website of the Association “Corrispondenza Romana” in order to gather signatures to be presented to the Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life against the Decree of 11 July 2013 (Prot. 52741/2012), after having already expressed its position several times and after having released the official communication of its Father Founder, the Religious Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate REAFFIRMS its obedience to the dispositions of the Holy Father, DECLARES that it will have NOTHING TO DO with the initiative of the aforesaid website or any like initiative, past or future, REJECTS any attempt to use a matter internal to the Institute to attack the Pope and the Catholic Hierarchy, and APPEALS TO ALL to maintain SILENCE, RESPECT AND PRAYER regarding the matter, in order to allow the competent authorities to carry out their task in peace for the good of the Church and of the Institute.

In Corde Matris    
Fr. Rosario M. Sammarco, F.I.
Encharged of the Institutional Website of the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate

 

 

OFFICIAL NOTE of 03 Aug 2013: A RESPONSE TO VATICAN INSIDER

http://www.immacolata.com/index.php/en/35-apostolato/fi-news/230-vatican-insider-response

On 02 August 2013, the website vaticaninsider.lastampa.it published an article entitled «Lombardi: “Sulla Messa in Latino il Papa non contraddice Ratzinger“» (Lombardi: on the Latin Mass the Pope does not contradict Ratzinger), signed “editorial staff”. [Translator’s note: since this Italian article was not published with an English translation, the translations of it are ours.]

This article, after reporting the statements of Fr. Lombardi, who takes the same line we already had, contains calumnious statements against our Founder, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, statements that we feel the duty to reject. In the same article there is also untrue or imprecise information to which we wish to draw attention.

 

 

 

1) In regard to the assignment of a Commissioner for our Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the anonymous journalist writes (our bold):

“The decision of Pope Bergoglio—against which some traditionalist groups rose up, and which the religious instead immediately accepted—was motivated by the fact that the founder and general superior, Fr. Stefano Manelli, had imposed on all the communities of the Franciscans of the Immaculate the exclusive use of the extraordinary form of the liturgy, i.e., the old rite.”

The phrase we have highlighted in bold does not at all correspond to the truth.

It is our duty to respond, with knowledge and in conscience, that in reality, Fr. Stefano not only has never imposed on all the F.I. communities the use—much less the exclusive use—of the Vetus Ordo, but he does not even want it to become the exclusive use, and he has personally given the example, celebrating everywhere according to the one and the other Ordo.

It is well to know that before, during, and after the Apostolic Visit (July 2012–July 2013), as well as at present, the exclusive or prioritized use of the greater part of the F.F.I. Communities is the Novus Ordo (Holy Mass and Breviary).

Fr. Stefano Manelli, as Minister General, together with his General Council, legitimately undertook an effort to promote the Vetus Ordo, respecting the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007), respecting the decisions of our General Chapter of 2008, and respecting the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (2011).

With a letter, Prot. 77/2011, dated 21 Nov 2011, our General Secretary, in the name of our General Council, sent all the F.F.I. Marian Houses (Friaries), some indicative (not preceptive!) norms regarding the use of the Vetus Ordo and the harmony between the Vetus Ordo and the Novus Ordo in our Communities and our Institute.

After this letter, various communities peacefully continued to give pride of place to the Vetus or the Novus Ordo. So there was no imposition on the part of Fr. Manelli.

Some Friars, however, contested the aforesaid letter. Therefore, we consulted the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“, which with a  R e s c r i p t   of 14 Apr 2012, Prot. 39/2011L, found conformity between this letter (Prot. 77/2011) and the “mens” of Holy Father Benedict XVI, expressed in the already-mentioned Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n° 8a.

  
 

2) The anonymous journalist of Vatican Insider, in the same article, also writes (our bold):

«It can be adopted as a proper (therefore exclusive) rite by the Religious Institutes and monastic communities that
return to communion with Rome after having participated in the Lefebvrian schism, and which for this reason are subject to the jurisdiction of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei».

We respond: it is well to point out that in reality, in the spirit of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (n° 3) and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (n° 8a), the Vetus Ordo as a “proper” rite (exclusive or not, but at least having priority), can be adopted also by Religious Communities not dependent upon the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” and not coming from the Lefebvrian “schism”. Nevertheless, it was never our Founder’s intention to arrive at an exclusive use.

 
 

3) The anonymous journalist also writes (our bold):

“The Franciscans of the Immaculate were founded instead
after the Council, and furthermore a survey among the friars demonstrated that the majority of them desire to celebrate the ordinary rite”.

We respond: the fact that we were founded after the Council does not prohibit us F.I.’s from adopting or privileging the Vetus Ordo. Furthermore, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (published after the Council) is also addressed to the Institutes of Consecrated Life (without specification as to the date of foundation), and in addition, in no. 8a of the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, it is specified that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum has the aim, first of all, of “offering to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved“. In that “all the faithful“, Religious are obviously also included.

 
 

If, by speaking of a “majority”, the anonymous journalist refers to the datum cited in the article of Alessandro Speciale of 30 July 2013, «Francis approves appointment of commissioner to oversee Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate», namely: “in a survey carried out during the apostolic visit, the vast majority of the order’s members had said they did not agree that the Old Latin Rite should be the exclusive form used for celebrations of the mass, ‘particularly in the pastoral care programmes of Italian parishes and in the missions.'” [We have slightly altered Vatican Insider’s translation], we consider it necessary to point out that this datum—if true—would not attest anything other than a unity of intention between the vast majority and our Founder on the question of exclusivity.

In any case, if the “majority” of the friars [So far as we are aware, there has not been any survey involving all the members of the Institute. Therefore, survey-based affirmations as to the will of the majority of the friars appear to us to be completely baseless] prefers to celebrate according to the Novus Ordo (Holy Mass and Breviary), it could perfectly well continue to do so, as it has in the past. Furthermore, Fr. Manelli himself principally celebrates the Novus Ordo (Holy Mass and Breviary).

*****

While we remain obedient to the dispositions of the Holy See, it nevertheless remains our duty to make clarifications as necessary to avoid: 1) calumnies against our Founder, and 2) obstacles to the serene progress of the present period under a Commissioner.

We take the occasion to specify that the only official spokesman of our Institute, especially in this very delicate situation, remains our Procurator General, Fr. Alessandro Apollonio.

 

 

UPDATE on Franciscans Friar of the Immaculate

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/08/update-on-franciscans-friar-of-the-immaculate/

Posted on 5 August 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Here is an update about the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  As you know, the Holy See engaged in a “take over” of the group after there was some division over liturgical matters.

At a site of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, HERE.

Here is the first part:

On 02 August 2013, the website vaticaninsider.lastampa.it published an article entitled «Lombardi: “Sulla Messa in Latino il Papa non contraddice Ratzinger“» (Lombardi: on the Latin Mass the Pope does not contradict Ratzinger), signed “editorial staff”. [Translator’s note: since this Italian article was not published with an English translation, the translations of it are ours.]
This article, after reporting the statements of Fr. Lombardi, who takes the same line we already had, contains calumnious statements against our Founder, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, statements that we feel the duty to reject. In the same article there is also untrue or imprecise information to which we wish to draw attention.
1) In regard to the assignment of a Commissioner for our Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the anonymous journalist writes (our bold):
“The decision of Pope Bergoglio—against which some traditionalist groups rose up, and which the religious instead immediately accepted—was motivated by the fact that the founder and general superior, Fr. Stefano Manelli, had imposed on all the communities of the Franciscans of the Immaculate the exclusive use of the extraordinary form of the liturgy, i.e., the old rite.”
The phrase we have highlighted in bold does not at all correspond to the truth.
It is our duty to respond, with knowledge and in conscience, that in reality, Fr. Stefano not only has never imposed on all the F.I. communities the use—much less the exclusive use—of the Vetus Ordo, but he does not even want it to become the exclusive use, and he has personally given the example, celebrating everywhere according to the one and the other Ordo.
It is well to know that before, during, and after the Apostolic Visit (July 2012–July 2013), as well as at present, the exclusive or prioritized use of the greater part of the F.F.I. Communities is the Novus Ordo (Holy Mass and Breviary).
Fr. Stefano Manelli, as Minister General, together with his General Council, legitimately undertook an effort to promote the Vetus Ordo, respecting the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007), respecting the decisions of our General Chapter of 2008, and respecting the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (2011).
With a letterProt. 77/2011, dated 21 Nov 2011, our General Secretary, in the name of our General Council, sent all the F.F.I. Marian Houses (Friaries), some indicative (not preceptive!) norms regarding the use of the Vetus Ordo and the harmony between the Vetus Ordo and the Novus Ordo in our Communities and our Institute.
After this letter, various communities peacefully continued to give pride of place to the Vetus or the Novus Ordo. So there was no imposition on the part of Fr. Manelli.
Some Friars, however, contested the aforesaid letter. Therefore, we consulted the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“, which with a  R e s c r i p t   of 14 Apr 2012Prot. 39/2011L, found conformity between this letter (Prot. 77/2011) and the “mens” of Holy Father Benedict XVI, expressed in the already-mentioned Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n° 8a.

And there is this from
Mary Victrix:

Having learned of the online petition organized by the website of the Association “Corrispondenza Romana” in order to gather signatures to be presented to the Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life against the Decree of 11 July 2013 (Prot. 52741/2012), after having already expressed its position several times and after having released the official communication of its Father Founder, the Religious Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate REAFFIRMS its obedience to the dispositions of the Holy Father, DECLARES that it will have NOTHING TO DO with the initiative of the aforesaid website or any like initiative, past or future, REJECTS any attempt to use a matter internal to the Institute to attack the Pope and the Catholic Hierarchy, and APPEALS TO ALL to maintain SILENCE, RESPECT AND PRAYER regarding the matter, in order to allow the competent authorities to carry out their task in peace for the good of the Church and of the Institute.

In Corde Matris
Fr. Rosario M. Sammarco, F.I.
Encharged of the Institutional Website of the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate

 

1 of 27 readers’ responses

1. If it wasn’t clear already, this shows how the FFI is an order as loyal to the pope as any, which makes the iron hammer which so swiftly came down upon them (instead of, say, LCWR orders or the Jesuits!) particularly ironic.

 

 

Minority within Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate wanted to scrap the Old Mass

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/inquiries-and-interviews/detail/articolo/tradizionalisti-traditionalists-tradicionalistas-27026/

By Andrea Tornielli, Vatican City, August 6, 2013

“Vatican Insider” interviews the Procurator General of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Institute the Holy See recently placed under the supervision of a commissioner

 

 

The decision to appoint a commissioner to oversee the Congregation of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the need for the order to obtain authorisation before it can celebrate Mass according to the Old Rite has sparked a heated debate. Traditionalist blogs and websites have voiced disagreements over this. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi says the decision does not go against Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio but is exclusively to do with existing tensions within the Institute. Vatican Insider asked Fr. Alessandro Apollonio, the Procurator General of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to answer some questions regarding the decision.

 

Why did the Vatican decide to send an apostolic visitor to your Institute?

“Because a few of the friars who don’t agree with the founding Father and Minister general’s style asked for it. They also disagree with his eagerness to promote the Vetus Ordo within the Institute, alongside the Novus Ordo, in accordance with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.”

 

To what extent did the issue of the use of the old missal influence the decision to send an apostolic visitor?

“It had a big influence on the decision because the group of friars I mentioned before accused the founding Father of imposing the Vetus Ordo on the whole Institute. Although the accusation is completely unfounded, people believed it and our attempts to prove it was false proved futile. This false accusation has spread like an oil slick, with various newspapers and news agencies passing it on. This has seriously harmed the good name of the Institute’s founding Father.”

 

Traditionalist blogs and websites have reacted to this news – and to the decision that prior authorisation will have to be obtained before the Institute can celebrate Mass according to the Old Rite – by saying that these decisions disavow Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio. Do you agree with this interpretation? What can you say about these decisions?

“Fr. Lombardi has clearly stated that the decisions taken regarding our Institute are not a disavowal of the Motu Proprio. However, we are still waiting for an authentic interpretation of the Holy See’s liturgical provisions for our Institute. For example, it is still unclear who exactly the “competent authorities” who will give the aforementioned authorization, are. Will it be the commissioner, the Congregation for Religious, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the local ordinary, one of these or all of these? We hope this is just a temporary disciplinary provision and that we will soon be given authorisation to celebrate according to the Vetus Ordo also, as we have always done. Without all the current restrictions which – unless a better reason can be given – deprive us of the universal right granted to us in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.”

 

Have any members of your Institute played a role in spreading the above interpretation?

“No.”

 

When you have asked for clarifications regarding some of our articles, you have always stressed that you did not only use the old missal and that all decisions were taken bearing in mind the provisions of the Motu Proprio. Is it true that before the apostolic visit, the “Ecclesia Dei” commission had cautioned the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to be prudent in their use of the old missal?

“Yes, we tried to be as prudent and discreet as possible in exercising our special right which gives the General Chapter in session “supreme authority in the Institute”, in accordance with the Constitutions (§ 81). The last General Chapter held in 2008, established that the General Council (that is, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli and his five advisors) was to draft a protocol for the Vetus Ordo to be introduced in our communities. This was done in the form of a letter sent on 21 November 2011. The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” considered this letter carefully, taking account Benedict XVI’s thinking, but this official judgement was not taken into consideration during the developments in our case. We do not understand why and are greatly saddened by this. We entrust our cause to Our Lady Queen of the Seraphic Order.”

 

 

More on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the Vetus Ordo (TLM)

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/08/more-on-the-franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate-and-the-vetus-ordo-tlm/

Posted on 6 August 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

[The same as in the Vatican Insider article above]

 

9 of 35 readers’ responses

1. My frustration level with this story is quite high and growing. Clearly, someone with a considerable amount of authority in the Vatican decided the discontent of a few was a ripe opportunity to limit the use of the Vetus Ordo or TLM. I’m sure someone can explain this to me, but I don’t see how this isn’t a move against SP?

Probably what caused me to feel a growing sense of frustration on this issue was a poor decision on my part to read John Allen’s glowing piece about the revolution Francis has brought to the Vatican. Essentially, he cheered for Francis for all but rebuking, in style and tone, the papacy of Benedict.

What really caused my blood pressure to rise though was a comment John Allen made about the clergy and the Liturgy. In the piece, he wrote clergy, who clearly chafed under the perceived liturgical fastidiousness of at the late years of JPII and Benedict, report that ended once Francis was elected. Some were told at Papal Masses they weren’t wearing enough crimson and lace. Horror!

 

 

This John Allen piece works back to the FFI story, at least in my view, because I believe the modernist forces see a renewed chance to “strip the altar bare” and marginalize anything related to tradition. Whether Francis supports this or not, those who seem to be his greatest supporters seem to believe they have a free hand to act.

2. It is always a good thing in these situations to look at the basic facts.

Summorum Pontificum was a Motu Proprio issued by a reigning Pope on the grave matter of the form of expression of Catholic belief and worship. It is therefore a binding document in the absence of any hitherto unknown matter to the contrary.

It is not open to arbitrary reversal – by anyone.

SP stated that the ancient Catholic Mass in the latest form as decreed by Pope John XXIII was one of two valid co-equal forms of the Roman Rite.

It was not, had not been, and could never have been, abolished

Any priest has the right to say it without prior permission from the Holy See or from his Ordinary.

Any group of the faithful who wish to worship in this form of the Roman Rite have to be given the means to do so

The recent decision to, apparently, withdraw such open permission from priests in the FFI and make permission subject to the (arbitrary) permission of the superior, is therefore invalid, and if enforced must be considered a grave matter indeed.

3. Speaking to a friend the other day, he told me that people in a small town here in Western Australia were annoyed because the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, who live in a former convent on the property of their church, refuse to say the Mass of the Novus Ordo. This results in a diocesan priest having to travel quite a long way to say the Novus Ordo Mass in their church. Rather a strange situation I think.

4. I am afraid that your friend is completely mistaken regarding the situation of the FFI priests in the “small town of Western Australia”.
As one who frequents their mass almost every day, I can assure you that the extraordinary form of the Mass was only celebrated once a week on Mondays, and now of course is not celebrated at all, i.e. all masses celebrated by the friars are in the ordinary form.

The Friars are not the parish priests of the attached parish church (which has been the case since they came here in 1997), so the assigned parish priest comes from a nearby location (25kms) to celebrate the mass for HIS parish on the Saturday evening

The Friars assist by celebrating the Sunday morning mass.

Hope this clarifies things for you.

5. For the sake of clarity: The Summorum Pontificum gives the priest the right to celebrate in both forms of the Roman Rite if there are no people (this, indeed, is contradicted by the Decree against the FFI).

But with regards to the habitual or permanent use of the Vetus Ordo with the faithful or in the community the decision must come from the Major Superiors. They had that permission and continue to have it up to August 11th. Now that their Founder has been removed and once the Decree goes into effect for the Mass, it would seem that the Commissioner and his appointments would fulfill that role. At any rate, here is what SP says:

Art. 3. Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for Conventual or “community” celebration in their oratories, may do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues.

So according to SP, no, a community could not habitually celebrate the Vetus Ordo without permission from the Major Superiors.

6. Fr. Zuhlsdorf, with all due respect, I can’t help but notice that you and many other bloggers are regularly posting controversial material regarding the FI’s. Information available online at this time from various sources show lots of pointing of fingers to the point that it is clear that someone is giving misinformation. We keep seeing “official communications” from the Order, but it is quite obvious that there are two sides being taken, and you are clearly favoring one side. The fact is, right now Fr. Volpi is put in charge – he should be the spokesperson. Obviously sides are divided in the order, and the initial information provided on the net pushed in favor of those being accused of “forcing” the EF on the Order. This fact, however, does not mean that the initial information is the correct information. If there could be problems in the hierarchy of the Order, to the extent that the Holy Father saw fit to put an Apostolic Commissary in charge, should we not reserve comment, not knowing who within the Order to trust, and respect the request of the Order that was posted recently?
“…the Religious Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate … APPEALS TO ALL to maintain SILENCE, RESPECT AND PRAYER regarding the matter, in order to allow the competent authorities to carry out their task in peace for the good of the Church and of the Institute.”

We do not have all of the facts. We do not know which friars to trust. An investigation is underway. We really don’t need to keep stirring up hornets’ nests by quoting this friar or that friar. Fr. Volpi will speak when there is something we need to hear. This is an internal matter. Even the FI’s, if there is nothing wrong with what they are doing, should just “maintain SILENCE, RESPECT AND PRAYER” while the decree is instituted. But instead there is continuous defending and commenting.

As a Third Order Franciscan with the FI’s, I am disappointed that there seem to be daily “official communications” from the “suppressed” hierarchy when there should be respectful acceptance of the decree and patient prayer while awaiting further instruction.

 

If I may add one more item. As I said, I believe that Fr. Volpi, as Apostolic Commissary to the Institute, is an official commentator. It might be of interest to readers to see Fr. Volpi’s letter to the Institute, as was provided to me as a Third Order member by my superior in the Order.

 

 

 

[UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION]
Rome, July 22, 2013
The Friars and Others of the Fraternity of the Congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
Their Headquarters
Pace Bene!
The Holy Father Pope Francis has entrusted me with the delicate task of Commissioner
Apostolic of your Congregation. Attached is the Decree of the Congregation for Institutes of
Consecrated Life of July 11, 2013. Although I am aware of difficulty of this task I accepted the assignment because of my desire to take you on a journey of renewed ecclesiality. In order to do this with the certainty that corresponds to the “wishes” of the Magisterium, I can find no better way than to recall the passage of a recent speech by Pope Francis: ecclesiality is “one of the constitutive dimensions of the consecrated life. It is a dimension that must be constantly reclaimed and deepened in life. Your vocation is a fundamental charism for the journey of the Church, and it is impossible for a consecrated man or woman not to “think” with the Church. “Thinking” with the Church begot us at Baptism; “thinking” with the Church finds one of its filial expressions in faithfulness to the Magisterium, in communion with the Pastors and the Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, a visible sign of unity. Proclaiming and witnessing to the Gospel, for every Christian, are never an isolated act. This is important: for every Christian the proclamation of and witness to the Gospel are never an isolated act of an individual or a group. No evangelizer acts, as Paul VI recalled very well, ‘in virtue of a … personal inspiration, but in union with the mission of the Church and in her name” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, n. 80) […] Be aware of the
responsibility that you have in forming your Institutes in the sound doctrine of the Church, in love for the Church and in the ecclesial spirit. (Speech of Holy Father Francis to the Participants of the Plenary Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General, May 8, 2013).

I believe it not necessary to add anything further to a thought so clear and so pressing as that of Pope Francis, who is rightly concerned with the “sentire cum Ecclesia” because only in this way can Consecrated Life respond to what the Church awaits from it, and thus become the light of the gospel upon the world for the faithful who need to know and follow the truth that Christ has revealed to us.

In the spirit of this obedience required by Our Holy Father St. Francis in A Letter to a Minister, I greet you fraternally in Christ.

P. Fidenzio Volpi, OFM Cap.

Apostolic Commissioner

7. Boy, from that letter it sure seems that Fr. Volpi was appointed to correct some kind of deep seated unfaithfulness to the Magisterium from the superiors of the FI. I mean, he wants to “take (them) on a journey of renewed ecclesiality” so that they can “sentire cum Ecclesia” (think with the Church)? It’s also strange that Pope Benedict XVI used the same phrase (“sentire cum Ecclesia”) when he addressed and exhorted the FI in an audience last year. Could he have had the same sentiments as Pope Francis in mind? Surely this whole ordeal can’t be just about the TLM. If it is, then why has just the FI been singled out? There is more here than meets the eye.

8. I wonder why so many think the laity should be quiet about what happens with this decision. If the laity make a valid request to the FFI for Masses in the EF according to SP, they must now be denied this right by the FFI or the FFI have to find someone else to service the request.

Many in the laity who are attached to the EF are rightly distressed when that charism is taken away from them.

The mere fact the founder of an order is replaced when he makes a valid decision to introduce the EF is shocking. How can that not send a direct, chilling message to all other religious institutes that what to have the EF alongside the OF? From what I have read I believe that the founder of an order can make the decision about the form of Mass that is said within the order. It would be similar to a father deciding his children will say the Rosary in Latin some of the time instead of the native language. Some of the children do like this so they complain to the parish priest. The parish priest then takes the bold step of replacing the Father as the decision maker in this area and puts in a Church appointed leader who then decides to restrict the Rosary to English only. He then cautions the members of the family to adhere to the sense of the Church.

Here are the facts as I see them:

1. The founder decides to introduce the EF into the FFI. He sends PCED paperwork to this effect YEARS ago.
2. He allows the FFI chapters to start using the EF according to the provisions of SP, which tell him he has this power.
3. Some FFI chapters start implementing the EF.
4. Some within the FFI are unhappy with this decision and complain to Rome.
5. Rome steps in, removes the founder, inserts their own appointed leader.
6. The EF is restricted, the members cautioned to adhere to the “Sense of the Church” and the OF is the only form allowed to be celebrated without explicit permission of the NEW person in charge of the community.

If I missed something in that timeline, please let me know. How does this not seem like an open attack on the EF? If I understand it correctly the founder had the right, according to SP, to switch the whole order to the EF if he so wanted. So why, when some are unhappy with the founders decision, does Rome step in and replace the founder and restrict a valid form of Mass of the Latin rite?

And people wonder why the laity are worried what is going to happen to EF parishes and religious communities that are not already using the EF exclusively?

9. I say let the Holy Father’s will be done with the FFI and let us see whether it continues to bear fruit or dies on the vine. You know if this ruins the FFI Pope Francis could be up for immediate canonization. I think this could be a perfect case study as to what draws vocations. Is it Vatican II and the mass of Paul VI (revised several times) or the mass of all time, latest addition by John XXIII, and the traditions set forth by the Church prior to Vatican II? You will know them by their fruits. If you keep mixing the forms you never get a true picture. Typical Vatican II speak “This action in no way contradicts the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI.” Yea and this apple that I hold in my hand is actually an orange, you better believe it because I said so.

 

 

1. For the record: Franciscans of the Immaculate – three official responses to Vatican Insider and other official statements
2. IMPORTANT: Pope Benedict XVI did not order the FFI visitation, PCED supported FFI norms on use of Vetus Ordo in 2012
3. Texts and commentary from Rorate
4. Update: FFI spokesman: minority wanted to scrap TLM, current restrictions “deprive us of universal right granted in Summorum”

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/08/for-record-franciscan-friars-of.html
All emphases theirs

August 6, 2013

Before anything else, it is important that we take note of the declaration of obedience made by Fr. Stefano M. Manelli FFI, posted on the main page of the international website of this institute:

Loving Obedience

With reference to the Decree of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, issued on July 11, 2013 (Prot. 52741/2012), Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, together with the whole Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, submits in obedience to the Holy Father and trusts that this obedience will bring forth greater graces.

***

In our earlier post on this matter, published on July 29, (IMPORTANT: Pope Francis severely restricts the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate from celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass, imposes the Novus Ordo on all their priests) we raised four observations, the second and third of which are as follows:

2) One justification now being raised is that the FFI’s application of Summorum Pontificum had caused discord in many communities and that the Traditional Latin Mass was “imposed” brutally on priests who did not want it. On the contrary, we in Rorate, who have been closely observing the FFI since 2008, can affirm that the opposite is the case: Summorum was applied in a very gradual manner by the FFI, the Novus Ordo was never forbidden in their houses and sanctuaries, and in many parts of the world the FFI continued to offer the Novus Ordo predominantly. It ought to be noted as well that the FFI, in their promotion of the “Forma Extraordinaria”, have been remarkably free of polemics and public attacks on the Novus Ordo.  

3) Yet another justification now being used is that this action is acceptable because the FFI were not founded with the TLM as an essential part of their charism. This excuse is incomprehensible as it completely ignores the rights given by Summorum Pontificum to religious priests. Furthermore, if the dissatisfaction of a few is enough to get a whole religious congregation or Order restricted from making use of Summorum Pontificum, this opens an easy way by which the opponents of the old Mass can eventually expel the TLM from all non-“Ecclesia Dei” institutes.

 

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, on August 2, published the following statement — already echoed on a number of other English-language blogs — refuting some of the assertions that had been made by Vatican Insider. These assertions had been immediately seized upon by some parts of the Catholic blogosphere in order to justify the extraordinary intervention of the Holy See and the severe restrictions placed upon the Traditional Latin Mass in the FFI. 

We note that this statement affirms in greater detail some of points that we had initially raised. 

We also find it telling that the FFI chose to respond to Vatican Insider, but has left Sandro Magister’s assertions un-refuted. Due to the explicit indication that Fr. Alessandro Apollonio FFI is the sole spokesman of the institute in this case, it is hard to escape the implication that there is need for great caution in accepting the public statements of some blogging FFI friars on this matter.

Last but not the least it is IMPORTANT to note that, according to the FFI, their internal norms regarding the use of the Traditional Latin Mass were found by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to be in conformity with Universae Ecclesiae in 2012! 

All emphases are in the original.

 

OFFICIAL NOTE of 03 Aug 2013: A RESPONSE TO VATICAN INSIDER

On 02 August 2013, the website vaticaninsider.lastampa.it published an article entitled «Lombardi: “Sulla Messa in Latino il Papa non contraddice Ratzinger» (Lombardi: on the Latin Mass the Pope does not contradict Ratzinger), signed “editorial staff”. [Translator’s note: since this Italian article was not published with an English translation, the translations of it are ours.] 

This article, after reporting the statements of Fr. Lombardi, who takes the same line we already had, contains calumnious statements against our Founder, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, statements that we feel the duty to reject. In the same article there is also untrue or imprecise information to which we wish to draw attention.

1) In regard to the assignment of a Commissioner for our Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the anonymous journalist writes (our bold): 

“The decision of Pope Bergoglio—against which some traditionalist groups rose up, and which the religious instead immediately accepted—was motivated by the fact that the founder and general superior, Fr. Stefano Manelli, had imposed on all the communities of the Franciscans of the Immaculate the exclusive use of the extraordinary form of the liturgy, i.e., the old rite.” 

The phrase we have highlighted in bold does not at all correspond to the truth.  

 

 

It is our duty to respond, with knowledge and in conscience, that in reality, Fr. Stefano not only has never imposed on all the F.I. communities the use—much less the exclusive use—of the Vetus Ordo, but he does not even want it to become the exclusive use, and he has personally given the example, celebrating everywhere according to the one and the other Ordo. 

It is well to know that before, during, and after the Apostolic Visit (July 2012–July 2013), as well as at present, the exclusive or prioritized use of the greater part of the F.F.I. Communities is the Novus Ordo (Holy Mass and Breviary). 

Fr. Stefano Manelli, as Minister General, together with his General Council, legitimately undertook an effort to promote the Vetus Ordo, respecting the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007), respecting the decisions of our General Chapter of 2008, and respecting the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (2011). 

With a letter, Prot. 77/2011, dated 21 Nov 2011, our General Secretary, in the name of our General Council, sent all the F.F.I. Marian Houses (Friaries), some indicative (not preceptive!) norms regarding the use of the Vetus Ordo and the harmony between the Vetus Ordo and the Novus Ordo in our Communities and our Institute. 

After this letter, various communities peacefully continued to give pride of place to the Vetus or the Novus Ordo. So there was no imposition on the part of Fr. Manelli.

Some Friars, however, contested the aforesaid letter. Therefore, we consulted the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, which with a  R e s c r i p t   of 14 Apr 2012, Prot. 39/2011L, found conformity between this letter (Prot. 77/2011) and the “mens” of Holy Father Benedict XVI, expressed in the already-mentioned Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n° 8a.

 

2) The anonymous journalist of Vatican Insider, in the same article, also writes (our bold):  

«It can be adopted as a proper (therefore exclusive) rite by the Religious Institutes and monastic communities that return to communion with Rome after having participated in the Levebvrian schism, and which for this reason are subject to the jurisdiction of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei». 

We respond: it is well to point out that in reality, in the spirit of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (n° 3) and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (n° 8a), the Vetus Ordo as a “proper” rite (exclusive or not, but at least having priority), can be adopted also by Religious Communities not dependent upon the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” and not coming from the Lefebvrian “schism”. Nevertheless, it was never our Founder’s intention to arrive at an exclusive use

 

3) The anonymous journalist also writes (our bold):  

“The Franciscans of the Immaculate were founded instead after the Council, and furthermore a survey among the friars demonstrated that the majority of them desire to celebrate the ordinary rite”. 

We respond: the fact that we were founded after the Council does not prohibit us F.I.’s from adopting or privileging the Vetus Ordo. Furthermore, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (published after the Council) is also addressed to the Institutes of Consecrated Life (without specification as to the date of foundation), and in addition, in no. 8a of the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, it is specified that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum has the aim, first of all, of “offering to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved“. In that “all the faithful”, Religious are obviously also included.

If, by speaking of a “majority”, the anonymous journalist refers to the datum cited in the article of Alessandro Speciale of 30 Jul 2013, «Francis approves appointment of commissioner to oversee Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate», namely: “in a survey carried out during the apostolic visit, the vast majority of the order’s members had said they did not agree that the Old Latin Rite should be the exclusive form used for celebrations of the mass, ‘particularly in the pastoral care programmes of Italian parishes and in the missions.'” [We have slightly altered Vatican Insider’s translation], we consider it necessary to point out that this datum—if true—would not attest anything other than a unity of intention between the vast majority and our Founder on the question of exclusivity.  

In any case, if the “majority” of the friars [So far as we are aware, there has not been any survey involving all the members of the Institute. Therefore, survey-based affirmations as to the will of the majority of the friars appear to us to be completely baseless] prefers to celebrate according to the Novus Ordo (Holy Mass and Breviary), it could perfectly well continue to do so, as it has in the past. Furthermore, Fr. Manelli himself principally celebrates the Novus Ordo (Holy Mass and Breviary). 

*****   

 

While we remain obedient to the dispositions of the Holy See, it nevertheless remains our duty to make clarifications as necessary to avoid: 1) calumnies against our Founder, and 2) obstacles to the serene progress of the present period under a Commissioner. 

We take the occasion to specify that the only official spokesman of our Institute, especially in this very delicate situation, remains our Procurator General, Fr. Alessandro Apollonio.

 

In addition to the above statement, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate also published two more follow-up responses to Vatican Insider.
Un’ulteriore risposta a Vatican Insider (Another response to Vatican Insider)
NOTA DELLE SUORE FRANCESCANE DELL’IMMACOLATA circa un articolo di Vatican Insider 
(NOTE OF THE FRANCISCAN SISTERS OF THE IMMACULATE about an article by Vatican Insider)

 

 


Neither of these two additional responses have been translated into English. Nevertheless they contain the following, very important points:
The second statement, “Un’ulteriore risposta a Vatican Insider”, is a response to Andrea Tornielli’s article “Lefebvriani, la mossa di Francesco” (translated on the Vatican Insider English website with a different title, as “Francis appoints new secretary of “Ecclesia Dei“). Among other things, this statement informs the public that the visitation of the Franciscan Friars was ordered, not by Pope Benedict XVI, but by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life – Cardinal Braz de Aviz. 
It also points out the error of Tornielli’s criticism of the FFI for “extending the use of the ancient rite with an internal circular, without an argument put to the vote in the general chapter” when Tornielli himself had quoted Article 3 of Summorum Pontificum, which vested in the Major Superiors — in this case, Fr. Stefano Manelli — the authority to make this decision. Summorum Pontificum does not mention the need for a general chapter in this case.

 

Un’ulteriore risposta a Vatican Insider
[…]

 

The female branch, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, issued its own statement, which gives the following information about the use of the Vetus Ordo in their communities:
– The sisters “generally” manifest a predilection for the Vetus Ordo but in their chapels not only are both the Novus Ordo and Vetus Ordo used, in some cases only the former is celebrated
– The General Chapter in May 2012 was in favor of the co-existence of both forms, ordinary and extraordinary, for liturgical celebrations.
–  Exclusive use of the Vetus Ordo was proposed only for the contemplative branch of the Institute.
–  At present, in many parts of the world such as the Philippines and Australia, the sisters have not yet received the Roman Breviary; and all over the world, those entering the institute begin with the Liturgy of the Hours in the local languages.

 

NOTA DELLE SUORE FRANCESCANE DELL’IMMACOLATA circa un articolo di Vatican Insider
[…]

 

In parting, we also take note of the following declaration, also on the main page of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate’s international page. 

 

Declaration about some recent facts

Having learned of the online petition organized by the website of the Association “Corrispondenza Romana” in order to gather signatures to be presented to the Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life against the Decree of 11 July 2013 (Prot. 52741/2012), after having already expressed its position several times and after having released the official communication of its Father Founder, the Religious Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate REAFFIRMS its obedience to the dispositions of the Holy Father, DECLARES that it will have NOTHING TO DO with the initiative of the aforesaid website or any like initiative, past or future, REJECTS any attempt to use a matter internal to the Institute to attack the Pope and the Catholic Hierarchy, and APPEALS TO ALL to maintain SILENCE, RESPECT AND PRAYER regarding the matter, in order to allow the competent authorities to carry out their task in peace for the good of the Church and of the Institute. 

In Corde Matris

Fr. Rosario M. Sammarco, fi
Encharged 
(sic) of the Institutional Website of the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate

______________________

UPDATE: Soon after this text was posted, La Stampa‘s A. Tornielli released an interview granted by the Procurator of the Friars, Fr. Alessandro Apollonio, explaining further details on how a minority of dissenters humiliated their founder and subverted the truth in order to convince Rome to impose the recent intervention. 

 

Why did the Vatican decide to send an apostolic visitor to your Institute?

“Because a few of the friars who don’t agree with the founding Father and Minister general’s style asked for it. They also disagree with his eagerness to promote the Vetus Ordo within the Institute, alongside the Novus Ordo, in accordance with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.”

 

To what extent did the issue of the use of the old missal influence the decision to send an apostolic visitor?

“It had a big influence on the decision because the group of friars I mentioned before accused the founding Father of imposing the Vetus Ordo on the whole Institute. Although the accusation is completely unfounded, people believed it and our attempts to prove it was false proved futile. This false accusation has spread like an oil slick, with various newspapers and news agencies passing it on. This has seriously harmed the good name of the Institute’s founding Father.”

 

 

 

 

Traditionalist blogs and websites have reacted to this news – and to the decision that prior authorisation will have to be obtained before the Institute can celebrate Mass according to the Old Rite – by saying that these decisions disavow Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio. Do you agree with this interpretation? What can you say about these decisions?

“Fr. Lombardi has clearly stated that the decisions taken regarding our Institute are not a disavowal of the Motu Proprio. However, we are still waiting for an authentic interpretation of the Holy See’s liturgical provisions for our Institute. For example, it is still unclear who exactly the “competent authorities” who will give the aforementioned authorization, are. Will it be the commissioner, the Congregation for Religious, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the local ordinary, one of these or all of these? We hope this is just a temporary disciplinary provision and that we will soon be given authorisation to celebrate according to the Vetus Ordo also, as we have always done. Without all the current restrictions which – unless a better reason can be given – deprive us of the universal right granted to us in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.”

 

Have any members of your Institute played a role in spreading the above interpretation?

“No.”

 

When you have asked for clarifications regarding some of our articles, you have always stressed that you did not only use the old missal and that all decisions were taken bearing in mind the provisions of the Motu Proprio. Is it true that before the apostolic visit, the “Ecclesia Dei” commission had cautioned the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to be prudent in their use of the old missal?

“Yes, we tried to be as prudent and discreet as possible in exercising our special right which gives the General Chapter in session “supreme authority in the Institute”, in accordance with the Constitutions (§ 81). The last General Chapter held in 2008, established that the General Council (that is, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli and his five advisors) was to draft a protocol for the Vetus Ordo to be introduced in our communities. This was done in the form of a letter sent on 21 November 2011. The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” considered this letter carefully, taking account Benedict XVI’s thinking, but this official judgement was not taken into consideration during the developments in our case. We do not understand why and are greatly saddened by this. We entrust our cause to Our Lady Queen of the Seraphic Order.”

 

4 of 39 readers’ comments

1. My wife and I have prayerfully discerned to continue attending our de facto parish, run by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Even if it’s in the Novus Ordo, we cannot abandon them during their hour of duress.
There is/was a TLM, followed by a Spanish Novus Ordo, followed by an English Novus Ordo. Based on the friars’ official response, I am going to guess that they will not “import” some non-FI priest to continue the TLM — the TLM through which we have worshiped and drawn our strength for facing the rigors of the social gospel and the rigors of living in the world, but not of the world.
I appreciate the clarifications on the part of the Franciscans. Some people think all such information is gossip…and yet the human mind tends to speculate/make up what’s going on in the face of “no” news. I think some things are no one’s business, while others merit an explanation. I am glad the friars chose to explain themselves — it charitably extinguishes many fires.

2. The grave injustice done to the Franciscans of the Immaculate is a crime that cries out to God for vengeance, under the grave crime of Oppression of the poor. Oppression of the poor is not only oppression of the materially poor but oppression of our poor souls in spiritual need. Where is the poverty and love of St. Francis of Assisi in this situation? Those who brought about this sad situation should be relieved of their duties as they have proven themselves totally inept in serving the Church founded By Our Lord Jesus Christ. Servants of Christ are just that, Servants! We are to carry out Christ’s will, not our own.

3. The modernists feel more comfortable now committing these acts under Pope Francis, now that Benedict is around anymore. We the laity, and the clergy who love the traditional mass, have to fight tooth and nail. We can’t allow what happened in the past happen again. This time it has to be different.

4. Not even Pope Paul VI dared underwrite his NO service with an outright abolition of The Holy Mass in Latin. The NO never abrogated the Latin Mass because it is an integral part of Sacred Tradition with infallible papal and conciliar doctrinal guarantees with perpetual rights. When these words were written their true sense was intended. It is to this Traditional Roman Catholics must refer.
The Latin Mass will continue to make progress in spite of this papacy, as it has in spite of the others after 1969: Paul VI and John Paul II.

 

 

Old Mass Lovin’ Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/08/old-mass-lovin-franciscans-friars-of-the-immaculate/

Posted on 11 August 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

 

 

UPDATE: Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and restrictions on the TLM

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/08/update-franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate-and-restrictions-on-the-tlm/

Posted on
24 August 2013
by
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
All emphases his

 

 

 

You will remember the hand-wringing and anxiety prompted by the restrictions on the use of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum placed on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate by the Congregation for Religious.

Reminder: The friars had been using the Usus Antiquior a great deal. A minority didn’t like that. They squealed to the Holy See. The Congregation imposed a Apostolic “Commissar” and restricted the friars right to use the older form, because the older form had become a point of division. That’s the basic sketch.

In a time when Pope Francis is calling for a less “clerical” attitude toward lay people, the Congregation’s move was deeply insensitive to the lay people who frequented the Masses celebrated by the friars. As a result, I suspect that the Apostolic “Commissar” will grant lots of permissions to the friars once things settle down.

I have news about positive developments.

First, the Apostolic “Commissar” granted permission to the friar who is chaplain to the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Lanherne, England.  Also, a permission was granted at the pilgrimage site at Campocavallo, Italy.

Also, a reliable source passed along to me (and I don’t have a way to verify this from a second source, so … take it as it is), that the restrictions on the use of the Usus Antiquior, established by the Congregation’s decree, were desired by Pope Francis to assure that:

1) there is no compulsion to use the Usus Antiquior;
2) this choice of the Usus Antiquior is not motivated by an ideological rejection of the Novus Ordo.

The Pope’s moves were not motivated by any animus against the Usus Antiquior. He is not against Benedict XVI’s legislation. Francis desires, once the above-mentioned conditions are verified, that permissions be granted to the friars who request to use also the Usus Antiquior. These points were made by the Holy Father to “a high-ranking Prelate in a recent personal conversation.”

I can only guess at the name of the Prelate.

So, if any of you are still out there on the ledge ready to thrown yourselves off to the pavement far below, breathe deeply and crawl back in through the window. You are going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay. As I have been saying all along, Francis is not going to abolish Benedict XVI’s provisions in Summorum Pontificum.

UPDATE 25 August:

I received a note today that helps with additional information (edited):

The friars near Binghamton, NY received permission to continue offering the Extraordinary Form in a parish. This has been a highly attended TLM in the area.  An FFI priest will celebrate a Missa Cantata today.
[Sunday]

The word is that after 30 August things will become clearer. Obviously neither the Decree nor Fr. Fidenzio are against the Extraordinary Form, since permissions have already been granted ad experimentum until 30 August.

 

4 of 47 readers’ responses

1. My TLM friend in Singapore wrote to me a short while ago and said there is no longer a daily TLM because of this. That is a loss.

2. These conditions, as imposed on the FFI, are a retrograde step from the privileges granted by Summorum Pontificum. Under that, the friars didn’t need any special permissions. I wonder if this is a temporary thing for the FFI.

3. This post, in my opinion, ignores the elephant in the room.

What is so disturbing is that the decree by the Congregation for Religious, de facto (de jure?), abrogates Summorum Pontificum for the FFI. Why are so few of those commenting here concerned that the FFI now has to operate as though Ecclesia Dei Adflicta is operative instead of Summorum Pontificum?

All of a sudden, the TLM, which Pope Benedict authoritatively declared never to have been abrogated and always permitted, is now forbidden to the FFI unless they receive special permission. Why is there not more uproar in conservative Catholic circles over this? I don’t understand.

4. http://franciscantruth.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/visita-apostolica-questionario-f-i.pdf

This is supposed to be the questionnaire sent to the members of the FFI. Is this accurate?

Anyway, it is actually very strange that, of all the things for Rome to worry about these days and of all the religious groups to set straight, Rome decided to go for the FFI. Why would “obedience” and “order” and “community life” be *more urgent* in this specific religious community than in all the other Orders where weirder things go on and have been going on for decades!

The present Holy Father, being a Jesuit, must be aware of all the needs of his Order and the freedoms they take with their way (practically a rite in itself!) of saying Mass. Why should he not do the same and force them to celebrate the “Ordinary Form” of the Roman Rite?

Strange! Really strange indeed!

 

 

In defense of the Franciscans punished by Pope Francis

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350603?eng=y

By Sandro Magister, Rome, September 17, 2013

Four scholars have sent to the Vatican a petition against the ban on the
Friars of the Immaculate celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite. “It is a sanction in clear contrast with the motu proprio ‘Summorum pontificum’ of Benedict XVI”

The ban imposed by Pope Francis on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate celebrating Mass in the ancient rite continues to raise lively and widespread reactions.
In covering the news of this last July 29, http://www.chiesa used this title:
For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict

 


In reality, the freedom to celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite that Pope Joseph Ratzinger had guaranteed for all with the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” no longer has universal extension today, because it has been revoked by his successor for one religious congregation and consequently also for the faithful who attended its Masses.
With reverberations that are rippling through the whole Church.
Many lovers of tradition are afraid, in fact, that this restriction placed on one of the pillars of the pontificate of Benedict XVI will soon become a more general impediment.
Just as, on the opposite side, others proclaim that the Mass in the ancient rite should be definitively relegated to the past, and are hailing the ban imposed by Pope Francis on the Franciscans of the Immaculate as a first step in this direction.
The Franciscans of the Immaculate have obeyed. But there are some who have not surrendered, and have sent to the Vatican a thorough critique of the decree with which the congregation for religious – with the explicit approval of the pope – intimated to the friars the ban on celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite.
The authors of this critical analysis are four renowned Catholic scholars: Roberto de Mattei, a historian and the author of a substantial reconstruction of Vatican Council II in the traditionalist vein, Mario Palmaro, a philosopher of law, Andrea Sandri, an expert in constitutional law, and Giovanni Turco, a philosopher. The first two teach at the European University of Rome, the third at the Catholic University of Milan, the fourth at the University of Udine.
The four – who have formed a study commission called “Bonum Veritatis” – sent their petition on September 14 to Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the congregation that issued the decree, the congregation for institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, and provided copies for other Vatican officials: incoming secretary of state Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, president of the supreme tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the pontifical commission “Ecclesia Dei.”
In the letter with which they accompany the petition, the four justify their initiative as follows:
“The analysis that we coordinated was drafted by a group of scholars of different disciplines, who felt in conscience the duty to offer a reflection on the question, in consideration of its universal interest, aware of the right of the faithful, sanctioned by the Code of Canon Law (can. 212) to present to the pastors views concerning the life of the Church. These find in the decree a series of grave problems that touch upon respect for natural law and canon law, as well as the ‘lex credendi,’ and that have relevance for the whole Catholic world. Their gravity is such that they deserve to be considered in their scope and their consequences.”
At the conclusion of the letter, the signers ask for “a timely intervention of the Holy See to reconsider the question in the light of justice and equity, as well as of the spiritual good of priests and faithful.”
This is the link to the decree that prohibits the Mass in the ancient rite for the Franciscans of the Immaculate:
“Il Santo Padre Francesco ha disposto…”
And this is the complete text of the critical analysis of the decree, written by the four scholars:

“Una sanzione in palese contrasto…”
Of this, the parts that directly concern the ban on celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite have been reproduced and translated below.
_________
ANALYSIS OF THE DECREE OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST THE FRANCISCANS OF THE IMMACULATE
by Roberto de Mattei, Mario Palmaro, Andrea Sandri, Giovanni Turco

The decree of the congregation for institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life of July 11, 2013 (Prot. 52741/2012) […] is an act of such gravity as not to be capable of being considered of mere internal relevance for the intended recipients alone. […]
The decree imposes upon the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate – contrary to what is established by the bull “Quo Primum” of Saint Pius V and by the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI – a ban on celebrating the traditional Mass.
In doing so, it deprives of a good of incommensurable value – the Mass (celebrated in the ancient Roman rite) – both the friars and the faithful who through the ministry of the friars have been able to participate in the Tridentine Mass, as well as all of those who in the future could eventually have participated in it.
The decree therefore does not concern only a good – and with this, “the” good – of which the friars are deprived (save express authorization), but also a good – and with this, “the” spiritual good – of the faithful, who through the ministry of the friars desired and still desire to access the traditional Mass.
These find themselves subject – in spite of themselves and apart from any offense, and therefore without reason – to a sanction in clear contrast with the spirit and the letter both of the indult “Quattuor Abhinc Annos” and of the apostolic letter “Ecclesia Dei” of John Paul II, and of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI.
These documents, in fact, are clearly motivated by the intention of satisfying the need for participation in the Mass according to the classic Roman rite, on the part of all the faithful who have the desire for this.
Thus the decree bears an objective relevance for all those who – for the most diverse reasons – treasure and love the Latin-Gregorian Mass. These faithful currently constitute a conspicuous part, and certainly not a negligible one, of Catholics, scattered all over the world. Potentially they could coincide even with the totality of the members of the Church. The decree objectively impacts them as well.

 

 


It likewise impacts all those who, even if they are non-Catholic – for different reasons, as historically emerged on the occasion of the appeal presented to Paul VI in 1971 – should have at heart the continuation of the traditional Mass. The decree (well beyond, therefore, the incident relative to one religious institute) bears a universal relevance under this profile as well. […]
*
As for the prohibition of the celebration of the Mass in the ancient Roman rite (also called the “extraordinary form”), many grave problems are posed by the decree that objectively highlight logical and juridical anomalies that are equally manifest.
First of all, with regard to this prohibition imposed on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, deriving from the imposition on them of the sole faculty of celebrating in an exclusive way according to the new missal (also called the “ordinary form”) save express authorization, one cannot help but point out that this is clearly in contrast with what is established for the universal Church as much by the bull “Quo Primum” of St. Pius V (1570) as by the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI (2007).
The bull of St. Pius V, in fact, establishes universally and in perpetuity: “by virtue of the apostolic authority we grant, to all priests, by these presents, the perpetual indult of being able to follow, in a general way, in any church, without any scruples of conscience or danger of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, this same missal, which they will have the full faculty to use freely and licitly, so that prelates, administrators, canons, chaplains, and all other secular priests, whatever may be their degree, or regular, to whatever order they may belong, may not be bound to celebrate the Mass in a manner different from that which we have prescribed nor be forced and driven by anyone to change this missal.”
In its turn, the motu proprio of Benedict XVI establishes that “it is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated.” And it specifies that “for such a celebration with either Missal, the priest needs no permission from the Apostolic See or from his own Ordinary.”
The motu proprio furthermore affirms that “if communities of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, whether of pontifical or diocesan right, wish to celebrate the Conventual or community Mass in their own oratories according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, they are permitted to do so.” Analogously it declares that “ordained clerics may also use the Roman Breviary promulgated in 1962 by Blessed John XXIII.”
The same motu proprio establishes unequivocally that “we order that all that we have decreed in this Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio take effect and be observed from the fourteenth day of September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the present year [2007], all things to the contrary notwithstanding.”
As is clear from the two aforementioned texts and from their essential connotations, the freedom to celebrate the Tridentine Mass belongs to the universal legislation of the Church and establishes a right for every priest.
Analogously there is derived from this a right for the faithful adhering to this “liturgical tradition.” As for them, in fact, the Code of Canon Law recognizes: “The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescripts of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church” (can. 214).
Thus the prohibition, save authorization, established by the decree objectively fails to take into account this universal legislation of the Church, deliberating – through an act evidently to be subordinated to it (in terms of both matter and form) – in a way that contrasts with the universal and permanent discipline. Which, by reason of its apostolic origins, enjoys – as illustrious scholars argue – the character of irreformability.
The prohibition of the celebration of the Tridentine Mass on the part of the decree is unjustly discriminatory toward the Latin-Gregorian rite, which not only dates back from the Council of Trent to St. Gregory the Great, and from these to the apostolic tradition, but according to the unequivocal appreciation of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI must be “duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage.” It, in fact, is an expression of the “lex orandi” of the Church. It is therefore a good to be protected. Not an evil to be shunned.
Moreover, the imposition on the friars of the celebration of the new missal alone supposes a regulation of special authorization with regard to the Latin-Gregorian missal, which is objectively nonexistent. Or otherwise it introduces its application, in the face of legislation of clearly different and opposing content.
It is clear, in fact, that the regime of authorization of a particular act or activity presupposes an ordinary prohibition, to which an exemption may be given in extraordinary cases (particular and determined). But this (or ordinary interdiction) is explicitly excluded by the law of the Church, which declares as a faculty of the priest, to be exercised freely and without any authorization, that of celebrating the Tridentine Mass.
It must also be pointed out that the interdiction (save express authorization) of such a celebration brings out three further objective anomalies of the decree.
This, in fact, establishes a regime of authorization for the traditional Mass, indicating generically as holder of the power of authorization the “competent authorities.” But with the regulation established by the indult “Quattuor Abhinc Annos” and by the apostolic letter “Ecclesia Dei” having been abrogated, it is not clear what is precisely the competent authority to release authorization in words. All the more so in that the competency in this matter certainly surpasses the congregation of institutes of consecrated life, and if anything should be referred to the pontifical commission “Ecclesia Dei.”
It is singular, moreover, that the authorization according to the decree is to be granted “to every religious and/or community,” almost as if the Mass were celebrated not by the individual priest, but even by a whole community, in its entirety (potentially including the friars who are not priests). Almost as if the authorized community could authorize in its turn, transmitting (how?) the authorization (on the part of whom?), procedurally (on what conditions?) to the individual celebrant.

 

A further anomaly of the decree is marked by the fact that this regime of authorization is temporally undetermined. That is, no terms of applicability are indicated for the regime of authorization imposed only on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. How long will the request for authorization be imposed? Until a certain date? Until the attainment of a certain objective? In perpetuity?
The text of the decree says nothing in this regard. Contrary to the need for specificity – or rather for rationality and justice – of any provision (in fact, even a penalty that would coincide with an entire lifespan or be perpetual has its specificity). This is a demand of natural law and canon law (cf. can. 1319). Having ignored which manifests an evident detriment both of the punitive character and of the remedial character of any restrictive provision (in this case, of a faculty proper to each priest).
On the other hand, the prohibition of the celebration of the Latin-Gregorian Mass – although referred to by the decree as having been decided by the pope – remains objectively circumscribed within the domain of a decree of a Roman congregation.
It follows that – at least in terms of its form and the obligation arising from it – it cannot help but share the limitations of the decree itself and its necessary submission to the universal legislation of the Church. In fact, unlike any pontifical disciplinary deliberation whatsoever – “ex professo,” if carried out within the domain of his power of jurisdiction, or indeed of the “munus gubernandi,” and as such legitimately possible in conformity with positive divine law and the solemn definitions relative to it – the measure in question cannot help but remain circumscribed to the decree itself, within the limits of the faculties of one of the Roman congregations.
In any case, the imposition derived from the decree like any sort of disciplinary deliberation by anyone cannot help but be measured objectively by natural law – or indeed by justice – and by positive divine law, to which canon law, discipline, and ecclesiastical jurisprudence must necessarily conform.
In fact, as Benedict XVI recalled in the speech on the occasion of the inauguration of the judicial year of the tribunal of the Roman Rota of January 21, 2012, “the ‘lex agendi’ cannot but mirror the ‘lex credendi.'”

___________
The motu proprio of July 7, 2007 with which Benedict XVI liberalized the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite:
“Summorum pontificum”
The letter with which pope Ratzinger accompanied the motu proprio:
“My dear Brother Bishops…”
And the subsequent instruction of the pontifical commission “Ecclesia Dei” of May 13, 2011:
“Universae ecclesiae”
_________
On an odd change in some official translations of the original Latin of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”:
Il “Summorum pontificum” finalmente tradotto. Ma con una parola cambiata
_________
The website of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, on which among other things they document that their founder and superior general Fr. Stefano Manelli “has never imposed on all of the communities the use of the ‘Vetus Ordo,’ but neither does he want it to become the exclusive practice, and he himself has given the example of this by celebrating everywhere according to one or the other ‘Ordo'”:
Francescani dell’Immacolata

 

 

A plea to the Pope: please, Holy Father, overrule the Curia’s probably illegal instruction to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate not to use the 1962 Missal

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2013/09/19/a-plea-to-the-pope-please-holy-father-overrule-the-curias-probably-illegal-instruction-to-the-franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate-not-to-use-the-1962-missal/

By Dr. William Oddie,
September 19, 2013

The motu proprio ‘Summorum Pontificum’ says that they need ‘no permission from the Apostolic See’ to celebrate the Tridentine Mass: their congregation has acted ultra vires

I write what follows with extreme reluctance, intensely aware that in doing so I will be giving help and encouragement to those who believe what I fervently do NOT believe: that Pope Francis is a “liberal Pope” who is unworthy of the respect and obedience that all Catholics owe their supreme pontiff. Some of the same malcontents think, too, that both Benedict XVI and John Paul II were also “liberal popes”. I think that they are pretty close to being unhinged; they are certainly not in my opinion loyal Catholics. I am not saying that popes don’t sometimes make mistakes, or that we are not entitled to point them out. A pontificate is judged (the extreme rarity of some actual and conscious heresy apart) by its general direction, its clear underlying intention, not by whether or not there are misjudgments. These can always be corrected, when their effects are not what is intended, or prove inimical to the Church’s interests.

Pope Francis has now, in my opinion, committed or allowed — intentionally or unintentionally is not clear — a big mistake, which could have serious consequences for the Church. Possibly because what has happened has simply been slipped through without his being adequately informed or advised, he has allowed a decree to be issued by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life forbidding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate — an entirely admirable body — to celebrate the Extraordinary Rite and ordering them to use instead the Novus Ordo: which in fact they were already doing, though not exclusively. Both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary usage were seen by them as being, as Pope Benedict himself had explained, different expressions of the same liturgy, and they used both.

 

(Incidentally, I understand that the suggestion that an internal attempt was made to make the Extraordinary Rite compulsory throughout the order is simply untrue: See Father Z here
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/08/update-on-franciscans-friar-of-the-immaculate/)

Now, however, the choice which everyone without exception in the rest of the Church has been given by Benedict XVI has been taken away from the Friars: they must now use the Novus Ordo and nothing else, ever. This has prompted four senior Italian scholars — Roberto de Mattei (whose admirable biography of Pope Pius IX I reviewed in The Spectator), Mario Palmaro, a philosopher of law, Andrea Sandri, an expert in constitutional law, and Giovanni Turco, a philosopher (the first two teach at the European University of Rome, the third at the Catholic University of Milan, the fourth at the University of Udine) — to send to the congregation a long and damning critique of the decree, arguing that the congregation does not have the authority to overrule the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI, which specifically authorises the use of the Extraordinary Rite by those parishes or communities which wish to use it.

Whether or not this is the case, it goes clearly against Pope Benedict’s intention: as Sandro Magister put it in a headline at the end of July when all this was first announced, “For the First Time, Francis contradicts Benedict”. Is this true? This is what the four scholars have to say (their academic style in translation comes over as rather stilted); their full text is given by Sandro Magister.

As for the prohibition of the celebration of the Mass in the ancient Roman rite (also called the “extraordinary form”), many grave problems are posed by the decree…

First of all, with regard to this prohibition imposed on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate… one cannot help but point out that this is clearly in contrast with what is established for the universal Church as much by the bull “Quo Primum” of St. Pius V (1570) as by the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI (2007)… the motu proprio of Benedict XVI establishes that “it is… permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated.” And it specifies that “for such a celebration with either Missal, the priest needs no permission
from the Apostolic See (my emphasis) or from his own Ordinary.”

The motu proprio furthermore affirms that “if communities of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, whether of pontifical or diocesan right, wish to celebrate the Conventual or community Mass in their own oratories according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, they are permitted to do so…”

The same motu proprio establishes unequivocally that “we order that all that we have decreed in this Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio take effect and be observed from the fourteenth day of September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the present year [2007], all things to the contrary notwithstanding.”

As is clear from the two aforementioned texts and from their essential connotations, the freedom to celebrate the Tridentine Mass belongs to the universal legislation of the Church and establishes a right for every priest.

Is it now Pope Francis’s intention to overturn, not only Pope Benedict’s cherished wish and intention as expressed in “Summorum Pontificum” but at the same time “the universal legislation of the Church”? He can, of course, himself change that legislation: but he must, if this is what he wishes to do, clearly and unequivocally say that that is what he is doing. Will he really withdraw the motu proprio? I do not believe for one second that he would wish to do that, even if there were no risk (there is in fact an absolute certainty) that by doing so he would alienate many faithful Catholics, and open up wounds and divisions which Benedict XVI had so gently and effectively healed. Pope Francis has not, in fact himself made any public declaration prohibiting the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate from celebrating in the Extraordinary form: so it may be asked if the obedience of the Friars to the Congregation is not a misplaced obedience, an obedience not to the Pope, but to a decree the Congregation had no right to issue, since it is in contravention of the motu proprio, and therefore of “the universal legislation of the Church”? Should not the friars, therefore, respectfully inform the congregation that they intend to revert to the use of the 1962 Missal where and when it seems appropriate to them to do so?

I really hope that that is what they decide to do. For the fact is that this decree does not simply concern the Friars. If they give in, we could be next: I for one fear that I could lose the right, which I increasingly greatly cherish, of being able on Sunday mornings to hear the Mass celebrated according to the Usus Antiquior. As the four scholars point out, “…the decree bears an objective relevance for all those who – for the most diverse reasons – treasure and love the Latin-Gregorian Mass. These faithful currently constitute a conspicuous part, and certainly not a negligible one, of Catholics, scattered all over the world. Potentially they could coincide even with the totality of the members of the Church. The decree objectively impacts them as well.”

So I hope the Pope will now act. Not to support the congregation (which will probably be his inclination) but to instruct it quietly to withdraw this unjust and irregular prohibition. Please, Holy Father, do it: this is a decision which could affect your whole pontificate, the continuity of which with that of your beloved predecessor we all need you to cherish and preserve.

Dr. William Oddie is a leading English Catholic writer and broadcaster. He edited The Catholic Herald from 1998 to 2004 and is the author of The Roman Option and Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy.

 

 

Popes Francis and Pope Benedict XVI Alleged Latin Mass Clash

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pope-francis-benedict-latin-mass-restriction_n_4038259.html?section=india

October 3, 2013
Images omitted

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI allegedly feels that his “Summorum Pontificum” decree has been “wounded” by Pope Francis’ decision to restrict the Latin Mass, which Benedict’s 2007 apostolic letter had explicitly allowed. Italian journalist Sandro Magister reported that in “conversations with his visitors” Benedict has revealed his private opinion of the Francis-initiated limitation.

 

 

Rorate Caeli reported on the “explosive revelation,” which came to light in Magister’s analysis of the Francis pontificate to date, agreeing that Francis’ restriction does indeed undermine the authority of the Summorum Pontificum itself.

Magister wrote:
(See below)

The ban imposed by pope Bergoglio on the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate against celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite has been an effective restriction of that freedom of celebrating in this rite which Benedict XVI had guaranteed for all.

It emerges from conversations with his visitors that Ratzinger himself has seen in this restriction a “vulnus” [or wound] on his 2007 motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum.”

In the interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica,” Francis dismissed the liberalization of the ancient rite decided by Benedict XVI as a simple “prudential decision motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity,” when instead the intention made explicit by Ratzinger – expressed at the time in a letter to the bishops of the whole world – was that “the two forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.”

Francis came under fire from traditionalists over the summer for “abrogating the Summorum,” but the Vatican responded with a statement that refuted claims that his decision undermined Benedict’s initial letter. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said to the National Catholic Reporter that Francis’ orders “do not intend to contradict the general instructions” of Benedict, but respond “to specific problems and tensions created in that congregation regarding the rite for the celebration of Mass.”

The goodwill between two living popes is unprecedented in the Catholic Church, and Francis once joked that The last time there were two or three popes, they didn’t talk among themselves and they fought over who was the true pope!” He added that having Benedict living in the Vatican “is like having a grandfather – a wise grandfather – living at home.”

This is the first report of any discord between the two popes, as Benedict announced his intention to keep a low profile by living a life mostly devoted to prayer when he resigned. He also stressed his “unconditional reverence and obedience” to Francis.

Catholic blog Rorate Caeli anticipates a speedy denial from the Vatican in response to Benedict’s alleged comments.

One comment:

Francis is the secondary infection of the sickness of Vatican II.
Thankfully, all of the modernists ate very old, so we must pay the damage isn’t permanent from these people (Bernadine, Weakland, Mahoney, Bergoglio, etc.)

 

 

The Francis Transformation

He has unveiled the true program of his pontificate in two interviews and a letter to an atheist intellectual. With respect to the popes who preceded him, the separation appears ever more clear. In words and in deeds

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350615?eng=y

By Sandro Magister, Rome, October 3, 2013

The first meeting, in these days, of the eight cardinals called to consultation by Pope Francis and his visit tomorrow to Assisi, the city of the saint whose name he has taken, are acts that certainly characterize the beginning of this pontificate.
But even more characterizing, in defining its approach, have been four media events of the month just ended:
– the interview of pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio with “La Civiltà Cattolica,”
– his letter in reply to the questions addressed to him publicly by Eugenio Scalfari (in the photo), the founder of the leading secular Italian newspaper, “la Repubblica,”
– his subsequent conversation-interview with Scalfari,
– and another letter in reply to another champion of militant atheism, the mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, this last written not by the current pope but by his living predecessor.
Anyone who might wish to understand in what direction Francis intends to proceed and in what he is separating himself from Benedict XVI and from other popes who proceeded him need do nothing other than study and compare these four te
*
In the interview with pope Bergoglio in “La Civiltà Cattolica” there is a passage that has been universally perceived as a clear reversal of stance with respect not only to Benedict XVI but also to John Paul II.
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.  Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”
Naturally Pope Francis is well aware that also for the two popes who preceded him the absolute priority was the proclamation of the Gospel; that for John Paul II the mercy of God was so central as to dedicate a Sunday of the liturgical year to it; that Benedict XVI wrote precisely about Jesus as true God and true man the book of his life as theologian and pastor; that in short none of all this divides him from them.

Francis must also know that the same consideration applies to the bishops who more than all the rest have acted in harmony with his two predecessor popes. For example, in Italy, Cardinal Camillo Ruini. Whose “cultural project” centered key events precisely on God and on Jesus.
There was however in Karol Wojtyla, Joseph Ratzinger, and pastors like Ruini or in the United States the cardinals Francis George and Timothy Dolan the intuition that the proclamation of the Gospel today could not be disjointed from a critical interpretation of the advancing new vision of man, in radical contrast with the man created by God in his image and likeness, and from a consequent action of pastoral leadership.
And it is here that pope Francis separates himself. In his interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica” there is another key passage. To Fr. Antonio Spadaro, who asks him about the current “anthropological challenge,” he replies in an elusive manner. He demonstrates that he does not latch onto the epochal gravity of the transition of civilization analyzed and forcefully contested by Benedict XVI and by John Paul II before him. He shows himself convinced that it is more worthwhile to respond to the challenges of the present with the simple proclamation of the merciful God, that God who “makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and makes it rain on the just and on the unjust.”
In Italy, but not only there, it was the cardinal and Jesuit Carlo Maria Martini who represented this alternative orientation to John Paul II, to Benedict XVI, and to Cardinal Ruini.
In the United States it was Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin who represented it, before the leadership of the episcopal conference passed to cardinals George and Dolan, very loyal to Wojtyla and Ratzinger.
The followers and admirers of Martini and Bernardin today see in Francis the pope who is giving shape to their expectations of a comeback.
And just as a Cardinal Martini was and continues to be very popular in the public opinion outside of and hostile to the Church, the same is happening for the current pope.
*
The exchange of letters and the subsequent conversation between Francis and the professed atheist Scalfari help to explain this popularity of the pope even “in partibus infidelium.”
One passage of the article of August 7 in which Scalfari posed questions to him was already indicative of the positive idea that the founder of “la Repubblica” had formed of the current pope:
“His mission contains two scandalous innovations: the poor Church of Francis, the horizontal Church of Martini. And a third: a God who does not judge, but forgives. There is no damnation, there is no hell.”
Having received and published the letter of reply from Bergoglio, in commenting on it Scalfari added this other satisfied consideration:
“An openness to modern and secular culture of this breadth, such a profound vision between conscience and its autonomy, has never before been heard from the chair of St. Peter.”
In affirming this, Scalfari was referring in particular to what Pope Francis had written to him about the primacy of conscience:
“The question lies in obeying one’s conscience. Sin, even for one who does not have the faith, is present when one goes against conscience. Listening to and obeying it means, in fact, deciding in the face of that which is perceived as good or evil. And on this decision hinges the goodness or wickedness of our actions.”
Francis had not added anything else. And some observant readers wondered how such a subjective definition of conscience, in which the individual appears as the sole criterion of the decision, could be reconciled with the idea of conscience as the journey of man toward the truth, an idea developed by centuries of theological reflection, from Augustine to Newman, and forcefully reiterated by Benedict XVI.
But in the subsequent conversation with Scalfari, Pope Francis was even more drastic in reducing conscience to a subjective act:
“Each one of us has his own vision of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and to fight the evil as he understands them. This would be enough to change the world.”
It is not surprising, therefore, that the Enlightenment-style atheist Scalfari should have written that he “perfectly shares” these words of Bergoglio on conscience.
Just as there is no surprise in his pleased acceptance of these other words of the pope, almost a program of the new pontificate, or “the most urgent problem that the Church is facing”:
“Our objective is not proselytism, but listening to the needs, the desires, the disappointments, the desperation, the hope. We must bring hope back to the young, help the old, open to the future, spread love. Poor among the poor. We must include the excluded and preach peace. Vatican II, inspired by Pope John and Paul VI, decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to open to modern culture. The council fathers knew that opening to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with nonbelievers. After then, very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and the ambition to want to do it.”
There is nothing in this program of the pontificate that could turn out to be unacceptable to the dominant secular opinion. Even the judgment that John Paul II and Benedict XVI did “very little” in opening to the modern spirit is in line with this opinion. The secret of the popularity of Francis is in the generosity with which he concedes to the expectations of “modern culture” and in the shrewdness with which he dodges that which could become a sign of contradiction.
In this he decisively separates himself from his predecessors, including Paul VI. There is a passage in the homily that then-archbishop of Munich Ratzinger pronounced at the death of Pope Giovanni Battista Montini, on August 10, 1978, that is extraordinarily illuminating, in part on account of its reference to conscience “that is measured by the truth”:

 

“A pope who today would not undergo criticism would be failing in his task in the face of these times. Paul VI resisted telecracy and demoscopy, the two dictatorial powers of the present. He was able to do so because he did not take success and approval as the parameter, but rather conscience, which is measured by the truth, by the faith. This is why on many occasions he sought compromise: the faith leaves very much open, it offers a wide spectrum of decisions, it imposes as the parameter love, which feels obligated toward everything and therefore imposes great respect. This is why he was able to be inflexible and decisive when what was at stake was the essential tradition of the Church. In him this toughness did not derive from the insensitivity of one whose journey is dictated by the pleasure of power and by disdain for persons, but from the profundity of the faith, which made him capable of bearing the opposition.”
*
In confirmation of that which distances Pope Francis from his predecessors has come precisely the letter with which Ratzinger-Benedict XVI – breaking his silence after his resignation – responded to the book “Dear pope, I write to you” published in 2011 by the mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi.
Both of the past two popes have dialogued willingly with professed atheists and secular opinion leaders, but they have done so in very different forms. If Francis dodges the stumbling blocks, Ratzinger instead emphasizes them.
It should be enough to read this passage of his letter to Odifreddi:
“What you say about the figure of Jesus is not worthy of your stature as a scholar. If you pose the question as if ultimately nothing were known about Jesus and that nothing were ascertainable about him as a historical figure, then I can only invite you in a decisive way to make yourself a bit more competent from a historical point of view. For this I recommend to you above all the four volumes that Martin Hengel (an exegete of the Protestant theological faculty of Tübingen) published together with Maria Schwemer: it is an excellent example of precision and of very broad historical information. In the face of this, what you say about Jesus is careless talk that should not be repeated. That in exegesis there have been written also many things of scarce seriousness is, unfortunately, an incontestable fact. The American seminar on Jesus that you cite on pages 105 and ff. confirm only once again that which Albert Schweitzer had noted with regard to the Leben-Jesu-Forschung (research on the life of Jesus), and that is that the so-called ‘historical Jesus’ is for the most part the reflection of the ideas of the authors. These maladroit forms of historical work, however, do not in any way compromise the importance of serious historical research, which has led to true and sure knowledge about the proclamation and figure of Jesus.”
And further on:
“If you want to replace God with ‘Nature,’ there remains the question of who or what this nature may be. In no place do you define this, and it therefore appears as an irrational divinity that does not explain anything. I would like, however, above all to note also that in your religion of mathematics three fundamental themes of human existence remain unconsidered: freedom, love, and evil. I am amazed that with a single comment you would dismiss freedom, which nevertheless was and is the foundational value of the modern age. Love, in your book, does not appear and also about evil there is no information. Whatever neurobiology may say or not say about freedom, in the real drama of our history it is present as a decisive reality and must be taken into consideration. But your mathematical religion does not acknowledge any information about evil. A religion that overlooks these fundamental questions remains empty.
“My criticism of your book is in part a harsh one. But frankness is part of dialogue; only this way can understanding grow. You have been very frank, and thus you will accept that I should be so as well. In any case, however, I consider very positively the fact that you, through your engagement with my ‘Introduction to Christianity,’ should have sought such an open dialogue with the faith of the Catholic Church and that, in spite of all the contrast, in the central field of interest convergences should not be entirely lacking.”
*
So much for the words. But to distance the last two popes are also arriving the facts.
The ban imposed by pope Bergoglio on the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate against celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite has been an effective restriction of that freedom of celebrating in this rite which Benedict XVI had guaranteed for all.
It emerges from conversations with his visitors that Ratzinger himself has seen in this restriction a “vulnus” on his 2007 motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum.”
In the interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica,” Francis dismissed the liberalization of the ancient rite decided by Benedict XVI as a simple “prudential decision motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity,” when instead the intention made explicit by Ratzinger – expressed at the time in a letter to the bishops of the whole world – was that “the two forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.”
In the same interview, Francis defined the post-conciliar liturgical reform as “a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation.” A strongly reductive definition with respect to the vision of the liturgy that was proper to Ratzinger as theologian and pope.
Moreover, also in this field, Francis replaced en bloc last September 26 the five advisors of the office of papal liturgical celebrations.
Among those removed was for example Fr. Uwe Michael Lang, a liturgist for whom Ratzinger himself wrote the preface to his most important book, dedicated to the orientation of liturgical prayer “to the Lord.”
While among those promoted are liturgists much more inclined to second the celebratory style of Pope Francis, this too visibly far from the inspired “ars celebrandi” of Benedict XVI.
_________

The interview with Francis in “La Civiltà Cattolica,” made public in multiple languages on September 19:
A Big Hearth Open to God
The pope’s letter to Eugenio Scalfari, published in “la Repubblica” of September 11:
“Pregiatissimo Dottor Scalfari…”
The subsequent conversation between the pope and Scalfari, which took place on September 24 at the Vatican residence of Santa Marta and was published in “la Repubblica” of October 1:
Il papa a Scalfari: Così cambierò la Chiesa
The passages of the letter from Joseph Ratzinger to Piergiorgio Odifreddi previewed in “la Repubblica” of September 24:
Ratzinger: Caro Odifreddi, le racconto chi era Gesù
__________
Before pope Bergoglio, Scalfari had an even more intense relationship with the cardinal and Jesuit Carlo Maria Martini, archbishop of Milan from 1979 to 2002.
In particular, Scalfari reviewed very favorably the book that is perhaps most revealing of the vision of that cardinal on Christianity and the Church, ‘Nighttime conversations in Jerusalem. On the risk of the faith,” published in 2008, a book very widely read and discussed inside and outside of the Church:

God Is Not Catholic, Cardinal’s Word of Honor

As the atheist he professes himself to be, Scalfari wrote that he found it comforting that “the Son of Man for Martini should be much more pregnant than the Son of God.”
At the time, one of Martini’s expressions in that book was very striking: “You cannot make God Catholic.” It is significant that this should have returned from the mouth of Pope Francis in the conversation with Scalfari of last September 24: “I believe in God. Not in a Catholic God, there exists no Catholic God, there exists God.”
__________
On the peak and decline of the leadership of Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin in the Catholic Church of the United States, one thorough analysis is that published by George Weigel in “First Things” in February of 2011:
The End of the Bernardin Era
__________
Benedict XVI dwelt on the question of conscience in particular in 2010, during his voyage in Great Britain with the beatification of John Henry Newman, and yet again in the pre-Christmas address to the Roman curia of that same year:
“Conscience means the capacity of man to recognize the truth…”
For its part, the homily of then-cardinal Ratzinger at the death of Paul VI, it too with a reference to conscience “that is measured by the truth,” was published for the first time at the beginning of last August in a special issue of “L’Osservatore Romano,” at the fiftieth anniversary of the election of pope Montini.

 

 

Sandro Magister on the Gap between Pope Francis and Popes Benedict and John Paul II

http://the-american-catholic.com/2013/10/03/sandro-magister-on-the-gap-between-pope-francis-and-popes-benedict-and-john-paul-ii/

October 3, 2013

My go to guy when it comes to analysis of what is going on at the Vatican has always been Italian journalist Sandro Magister. In a column today he explains the great gap between Pope Francis and his two immediate predecessors on the Chair of Peter: 

There is nothing in this program of the pontificate that could turn out to be unacceptable to the dominant secular opinion. Even the judgment that John Paul II and Benedict XVI did “very little” in opening to the modern spirit is in line with this opinion. The secret of the popularity of Francis is in the generosity with which he concedes to the expectations of “modern culture” and in the shrewdness with which he dodges that which could become a sign of contradiction.

In this he decisively separates himself from his predecessors, including Paul VI. There is a passage in the homily that then-archbishop of Munich Ratzinger pronounced at the death of Pope Giovanni Battista Montini, on August 10, 1978, that is extraordinarily illuminating, in part on account of its reference to conscience “that is measured by the truth”:

“A pope who today would not undergo criticism would be failing in his task in the face of these times. Paul VI resisted telecracy and demoscopy, the two dictatorial powers of the present. He was able to do so because he did not take success and approval as the parameter, but rather conscience, which is measured by the truth, by the faith. This is why on many occasions he sought compromise: the faith leaves very much open, it offers a wide spectrum of decisions, it imposes as the parameter love, which feels obligated toward everything and therefore imposes great respect. This is why he was able to be inflexible and decisive when what was at stake was the essential tradition of the Church. In him this toughness did not derive from the insensitivity of one whose journey is dictated by the pleasure of power and by disdain for persons, but from the profundity of the faith, which made him capable of bearing the opposition.”

*

In confirmation of that which distances Pope Francis from his predecessors has come precisely the letter with which Ratzinger-Benedict XVI – breaking his silence after his resignation – responded to the book “Dear pope, I write to you” published in 2011 by the mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi.

Both of the past two popes have dialogued willingly with professed atheists and secular opinion leaders, but they have done so in very different forms. If Francis dodges the stumbling blocks, Ratzinger instead emphasizes them.

It should be enough to read this passage of his letter to Odifreddi:

 

“What you say about the figure of Jesus is not worthy of your stature as a scholar. If you pose the question as if ultimately nothing were known about Jesus and that nothing were ascertainable about him as a historical figure, then I can only invite you in a decisive way to make yourself a bit more competent from a historical point of view. For this I recommend to you above all the four volumes that Martin Hengel (an exegete of the Protestant theological faculty of Tübingen) published together with Maria Schwemer: it is an excellent example of precision and of very broad historical information. In the face of this, what you say about Jesus is careless talk that should not be repeated. That in exegesis there have been written also many things of scarce seriousness is, unfortunately, an incontestable fact. The American seminar on Jesus that you cite on pages 105 and ff. confirm only once again that which Albert Schweitzer had noted with regard to the Leben-Jesu-Forschung (research on the life of Jesus), and that is that the so-called ‘historical Jesus’ is for the most part the reflection of the ideas of the authors. These maladroit forms of historical work, however, do not in any way compromise the importance of serious historical research, which has led to true and sure knowledge about the proclamation and figure of Jesus.”

And further on:

“If you want to replace God with ‘Nature,’ there remains the question of who or what this nature may be. In no place do you define this, and it therefore appears as an irrational divinity that does not explain anything. I would like, however, above all to note also that in your religion of mathematics three fundamental themes of human existence remain unconsidered: freedom, love, and evil. I am amazed that with a single comment you would dismiss freedom, which nevertheless was and is the foundational value of the modern age. Love, in your book, does not appear and also about evil there is no information. Whatever neurobiology may say or not say about freedom, in the real drama of our history it is present as a decisive reality and must be taken into consideration. But your mathematical religion does not acknowledge any information about evil. A religion that overlooks these fundamental questions remains empty.

“My criticism of your book is in part a harsh one. But frankness is part of dialogue; only this way can understanding grow. You have been very frank, and thus you will accept that I should be so as well. In any case, however, I consider very positively the fact that you, through your engagement with my ‘Introduction to Christianity,’ should have sought such an open dialogue with the faith of the Catholic Church and that, in spite of all the contrast, in the central field of interest convergences should not be entirely lacking.”

*

So much for the words. But to distance the last two popes are also arriving the facts.

The ban imposed by pope Bergoglio on the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate against celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite has been an effective restriction of that freedom of celebrating in this rite which Benedict XVI had guaranteed for all.

It emerges from conversations with his visitors that Ratzinger himself has seen in this restriction a “vulnus” on his 2007 motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum.”

Go here to read the rest at Magister’s blog Chiesa. (It’s on the previous pages –Michael)

 

 

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate news

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/10/franciscans-friars-of-the-immaculate-news/

Posted on 30 October 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
All emphases his

I had placed this entry under password protection after urgent pleas from someone in the FFIs.

Enough of the news is out and around now so I am putting back into public view.

The goal of the group of Friars who are presenting the petition is to have the Extraordinary Form as their preferred mode of celebrating and administering the sacraments without closing the door on the Ordinary Form.  In other words they want to use both forms of Roman Rite.  However, in parishes it will probably wind up that most of their Masses are in the Novus Ordo, simply because of the circumstances of those parishes.  Because their liturgical life and many of the other aspects of their religious life are strongly “pre-Conciliar”, they will be guided by the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“, which dicastery has competence.

I am sure that you will join me in praying for swift and positive reception of their petition.

_____

ORIGINAL POST Published on: Oct 23, 2013

Since I am in Rome as I write, I was earnestly asked, implored, to post a prayer request. I was informed that some 200 members of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have petitioned the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” this week to establish a separate institute which would use the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Good idea or not, I suspected that something like this was bound to happen.  The divide seemed pretty deep and the conviction of those who desire the older forms is a powerful motivation.

A lot of prayers are needed if such a thing is to take place, and a lot of elbow grease.  This is a new era.  I suspect that there will be resistance in the Congregation for Religious.  No band of traditional-leaning worker bees, they.  Who knows how Pope Francis will take this, given that he had some involvement in the imposition of an overseer for the Friars while they were having their internal fights.  If a very large percentage want to have their own branch of the Friars, wouldn’t that be persuasive that there was a misstep?

This is also what results when communities can’t resolve their internal problems: fracture, which is sad but sometimes good in the long run. So, stop and say a prayer or two. Perhaps the St. Michael Prayer and the Memorare.

The COMMENT MODERATION queue is ON.

55 readers’ responses to the above

 

 

 

The Traditional Mass’ quiet strength

http://uk.paix-liturgique.org/imprime.asp?sUrl=http%3A//uk.paix-liturgique.org/aff_lettre.asp%3FLET_N_ID%3D2094%26imprim%3D1

PAIX LITURGIQUE Letter 40,
14 November 2013

Many enemies of the traditional Mass are trying to take advantage of the new pontificate to rekindle the liturgical war. The worst offensive comes from the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which has prohibited the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to celebrate the extraordinary form. Yet Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio continues to have a palpable impact everywhere in the world.

Over the summer new personal parishes (i.e. that have the traditional liturgy as their specific form) were born in the USA and in Australia, while many new priests, from Croatia to Paraguay, opted to celebrate their first Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. Meanwhile in Paris there was an exceptional pilgrimage–and that is the subject of our letter this month. Indeed, an entire Parisian “Summorum Pontificum” parish was able to go to Notre Dame

Cathedral for a solemn Mass celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. A remarkable fact because, since the Council, no archbishop of Paris has ever manifested any particular affection for the Tridentine liturgy.

THE SAINT EUGENE PARISH PILGRIMAGE TO NOTRE DAME DE PARIS

On Wednesday May 29, 2013, the Parisian parish of Saint Eugene-Sainte Cécile went on pilgrimage to Notre Dame de Paris for the 850th anniversary of the cathedral. It left Saint Eugene at 7pm and a long procession went into the cathedral through the north door at about 8pm. Many of the faithful then joined the procession. Then, at 8:15 pm, the pastor of Saint Eugene celebrated a traditional solemn Mass at the high altar of the Pietà.

For a long time the parish of Saint Eugene-Sainte Cécile was so to speak a personal parish before its time. Indeed, since 1989 both Roman liturgical forms (back then one said both rites) have been celebrated there. For nine years the parish had two joint pastors, one for the traditional Mass and the other for the new Mass. Today there is only one pastor, but he relies on his assistant to continue offering both liturgies. In practice, nearly all of those who attend the parish, be they the faithful, catechumens, or Mass servers, are there for the extraordinary form. There are many conversions and returns to the practice of the religion thanks to the traditional Mass. Above all, this parish is one of the premier recruiting grounds for vocations in the diocese of Paris (there have been over thirty priestly and religious vocations in just the nine years of the two joint pastors), and it provides both Ecclesia Dei vocations and diocesan or religious vocations.

Finally, for its eleven o’clock Sunday High Mass Saint Eugene disposes of one of the best Gregorian and polyphonic choirs of France: the Schola Sainte Cécile [1].

For its parishioners as well as for the faithful just passing through, Saint Eugene is in every way a traditional parish, including all the missionary vigour such a place entails.

All of this was transported to Notre Dame last May 29: a very beautiful ceremony; high-quality music; numerous attendees; priests who spoke clearly and prayed piously. During his sermon, which came right after the legalization of homosexual marriage, Father Patrick Faure, pastor of Saint Eugene, invited his flock to “love France” with supernatural love despite, but also because of, the crimes committed by this country’s institutions against the natural law and the rights of God:

“It is not up to the earthly nation to define and to decide for itself by legal, or even parliamentary, means, who may live who and who may not, who may not know his parent’s identity and who may not. Through legalized abortion, and today legalized homosexual marriage which will logically sooner or later lead to the artificial procreation of children, French legislators are building the earthly nation upon the murder and the harm done to the smallest of its members. But here, in Notre Dame, Vigils for Life bring together the faithful from all of the metropolitan area to ask God for the grace of fighting for life with perseverance, energy, and dignity. Here one realizes, in the days we live in, that the supernatural love of France, of her great accomplishments and of her liberty, means, in a very concrete way, the same and equal love for all of her children, including the weakest, in their right to life and in their right to their know who their parents are.”

This ceremony, whose superb photographs we earnestly invite you to view, made a strong impression on all who took part in it, but also on all, be they tourists or sacristans at Notre Dame, who were there out of curiosity. Thus, quietly and peacefully, but solemnly, the traditional liturgy is slowly recovering its right of citizenship in the largest buildings of Christendom and in the souls of the faithful.

Note

[1] The Schola Sainte Cécile will be in Rome on October 25-26 as part of the international pilgrimage of the Summorum Pontificum people, and will sing at the mass which Bishop Athanasius Schneider will celebrate in the Church of the Santa Trinità dei Pellegrini, as well as at the pontifical Mass that Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos will celebrate in Saint Peter’s Basilica on the 61st anniversary of his ordination to priesthood.

 

Pope’s crackdown on order alarms traditionalists

http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2013/12/15/popes-crackdown-on-order-alarms-traditionalists/

By Nicole Winfield, Vatican City, December 15, 2013

Pope Francis may have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, but he has come under scathing criticism from a growing number of traditionalist Catholics for cracking down on a religious order that celebrates the old Latin Mass. The case has become a flashpoint in the ideological tug-of-war going on in the Catholic Church over Francis’ revolutionary agenda, which has thrilled progressives and alarmed some conservatives.

 

 

The matter concerns the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a small but growing order of several hundred priests, seminarians and nuns that was founded in Italy in 1990 as an offshoot of the larger Franciscan order of the pope’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

Then-Pope Benedict XVI launched an investigation into the congregation after five of its priests complained that the order was taking on an overly traditionalist bent, with the old Latin Mass being celebrated more and more at the expense of the liturgy in the vernacular.

Benedict, a great admirer of the pre-Vatican II Mass, had relaxed restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass in 2007.

While the order was in turmoil over this liturgical issue, the dispute at its core comes down to differing interpretations of the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council, which include the use of local languages in Mass that some considered a break with the church’s tradition.

The Vatican in July named the Rev. Fidenzio Volpi, a Franciscan Capuchin friar, as a special commissioner to run the order with a mandate to quell the dissent that had erupted over the liturgy, improve unity within its ranks and get a handle on its finances. In the same decree appointing Volpi, Francis forbade the friars from celebrating the old Latin Mass unless they got special permission, a clear rollback from Benedict’s 2007 decision.

In the weeks that followed, traditionalists voiced outrage: four tradition-minded Italian intellectuals wrote to the Vatican accusing it of violating Benedict’s 2007 edict by restricting the Latin Mass for the friars, saying the Holy See was imposing “unjust discrimination” against those who celebrate the ancient rite.

Volpi though was undeterred: He sent their founder, the Rev. Stefano Maria Manelli, to live in a religious home while he set about turning the order around.

And on Dec. 8, he took action, issuing a series of sanctions in the name of the pope that have stunned observers for their seeming severity: He closed the friars’ seminary and sent its students to other religious universities in Rome. He suspended the activities of the friars’ lay movement. He suspended ordinations of new priests for a year and required future priests to formally accept the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and its new liturgy or be kicked out. And he decreed that current priests must commit themselves in writing to following the existing mission of the order.

In a letter detailing the new measures, Volpi accused friars loyal to Manelli of seeking to undermine him and accused some of embezzlement. He denounced a cult of personality that had grown around Manelli, saying it “reveals a great spiritual poverty and psychological dependence that is incompatible with” the life in a religious community.

The sanctions seem harsh when compared to recent actions taken by the Vatican against other much larger religious orders or groups found to have doctrinal or other problems, such as the Holy See’s crackdown on social justice-minded American nuns or the Vatican’s reform efforts of the disgraced Legion of Christ. In both cases, a papal envoy was named to rewrite constitutions or statutes and oversee reforms, but Volpi’s actions with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate would appear to go much further.

Traditionalists have charged that a double standard is at play, with a conservative, tradition-minded order being targeted for particular sanction on ideological grounds by a pope with a progressive bent.

“I hope that I am not being intemperate in describing this as rather harsh,” the Rev. Timothy Finigan, a British priest whose “The Hermeneutic of Continuity” blog is much-read in traditionalist circles, wrote last week of the sanctions.

Francis has called Benedict’s 2007 decree allowing wider use of the Latin Mass “prudent,” but has warned that it risks being exploited on ideological grounds by factions in the church; Francis has made clear his disdain for traditionalist Catholics, saying they are self-absorbed retrogrades who aren’t helping the church’s mission to evangelize.

For some, the issue is purely ideological. Christopher Ferrara, a columnist for The Remnant, a traditionalist biweekly newspaper in the United States, said Volpi’s aim was to make the order conform to the more progressive ideology of other religious orders like Volpi’s own Capuchins, which he noted are dwindling in numbers while more conservative, tradition-minded orders like the Franciscan Friars are growing.

“Traditionalism isn’t an ideology, it’s holding fast to everything that has been handed down,” Ferrara said in a telephone interview.

A group of tradition-minded lay Catholics has launched an online petition seeking Volpi’s ouster, but it’s not clear how many signatories have signed on; an email seeking figures wasn’t returned Saturday.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, defended Volpi as a sage, esteemed and experienced administrator and dismissed calls for his removal.

“He knows religious life well, was for many years head of the Italian conference of religious superiors and I think his nomination was a wise choice,” Lombardi said in an email to The Associated Press. “While the situation seems difficult and painful, it appears the letter is yet another demonstration that the naming of a commissioner was necessary and that he knows what to do with the powers he has.

“I don’t have any reason to doubt it,” Lombardi concluded.

The Rev. Robert Gahl, a moral theologian at the Opus Dei-run Pontifical Holy Cross University, said he was certain that the pope wasn’t opposed to the old Latin Mass and was not aiming to combat it by restricting its celebration with the Friars. He said Francis appeared to be taking the measures to quell the internal conflicts that arose over its celebration, and then took other measures after financial irregularities occurred.

“Liturgy is always a surprisingly sensitive topic,” he said. “It can be extremely controversial and can upset communities even when the substance of the disagreement is minuscule. So, I think Francis is pushing for community peace and unity which may entail a temporary reduction in some use” of the old Latin Mass.

 

 

 

“I’m certain that Francis wants unity in Christ and to put a stop to the back-biting between ideological groups in the church, also by those who ideologize the liturgy,” he said.

 

3 out of 5 readers’ comments

1. Jorge the Heretic strikes again! Anti-pope in action!

2. You do not know the whole story. The false slander and calumny with a charge of embezzlement was taken to court by the family of the founder and shown to be a lie. There have been no true allegations except that of faithfulness and love for the Church, her traditions, and for the Pope. The dissenting friars found sympathetic ears in the Vatican in this dark and confusing time. There is simply little love for any of the faithful that want to adhere to all the traditions and teachings of the Church. What is wanted is change and a more protestant view: let’s vote on it, shall we?

3. Pope Francis is a “modernist”, and he CLEARLY is ANTI-CATHOLIC. Tell me, are we going to go by the edicts of a tyrannical dictatorial anti-Catholic regime that has been taken over during VATICAL II by Archbishop Bugnini & his band of MASONS & PROTESTANTS who aided and abetted the changing of the liturgy, or are we going to SIDE WITH the 2,000 years of unchanged liturgy of the Catholic Church which prior Popes wrote time after time that to change the liturgy would be committing “suicide” in the Church.

 

 

Is the Vatican Persecuting The Franciscans of the Immaculate?

http://catholictruthblog.com/2014/01/20/is-the-vatican-persecuting-the-franciscans-of-the-immaculate/

Rome, January 20, 2014

“It takes a permit.” A letter from a Franciscan of the Immaculate describes the life subject to approval that the brothers have to lead, since they were placed under provisional administration.

In 1990, the Order was recognized at the diocesan level and 1998 by Rome, the Order internally moved from the Old Rite under Pope Benedict XVI to the Old Rite and for pastoral care it was specified by the Pope as bi-ritual, since 11 July 2013 it has been under provisional administration by the Congregation of Religious. Acting Administrator is the Capuchin Father, Fidenzio Volpi, “a skilled and proven man of power (who is known to move between the internal equilibria of the Superior Conference of Male Religious Communities of Italy – CISM), with Mephistophelian smile and biting repartee” said Messa in Latino.

“We Are no Longer Able to Print and Disseminate Our Own Books”

The Franciscan of the Immaculate Conception described in his letter that he passed by the office of Order internal publishing, Casa Mariana, in Frigento recently. “My heart beat. I felt in me an unusual emptiness and dismay at the thought that we can no longer write for our own publishing house, and are not even allowed to distribute the books of our own publishing company in our convents.

I look at the house. In there are our books. Many of them we have written, and much more contributions to our religious journals: Fides Catholica , Annales FranciscaniImmculata Mediatrix … Many books have been translated by us from  Latin, others we have from Italian, the language most used in the order, translated into other languages. 

That is our life inside, years of study, sweat and sacrifice. The Apostolic Commissioner has ruled that we are no longer authorized to use them. What sin do they represent?

“But it needs a Permit”

I took courage and rang the bell at the door. A sister opens and I ask her about the new liturgical calendar of the Order, because we didn’t have one in the monastery. 

“I cannot give you one Father, you know that it requires a permit,” replied my sister, kind and understanding. 

What could be sinful about a liturgical calendar? 

“But it needs a permit.” 

Exactly the permit. 

Whose? 

“From the Apostolic Commissioner of course!”

“Our Life is made by Applications, Special Permits'”

Since we have been under provisional administration, our life is governed by applications for “special permits” to the Commissioner. You are to provide a copy in writing and are granted permission only by expressed personal validation.

A permit is needed to use the books of the Order from the Order’s own publishing house and be able to impart them. Any “public dissemination” is prohibited. 

A permit is required to celebrate the Holy Mass in the traditional Rite. 

A permit is required to use the Roman Ritual for the Old Rite. 

A permit is required for the Liturgy of the Hours to celebrate it in the Vetus Ordo. 

A permit is required to celebrate the Holy Mass with the Sisters of the Order, for both the Old and the New Rite. 

A permit is required to conduct a meeting of the lay community of the Order or of the Third Order. 

A permit is required to carry out a “Day for Maria” (a day of prayer, which is performed by the Order on pilgrimage or in parish churches and is open to all). 

A permit is required to visit our Founder. It is strongly advised not to make such a request at all, which is actually not approved anyway. 

A permit is required for any initiative in the Order.

 

 

Even more permits are needed of the founders of religious orders: 

“Our Founder even needs explicit permission to be treated at the hospital. He needs an explicit authorization in order to move from one convent to another. He was blamed on the official website of the Order publicly for the fact that he had at first dared to visit the convent of Teramo. In reality, the Apostolic Commissioner had even given the permission to do so.” A grueling guerrilla war. 

Readers have left 66 responses

 

 

From:
Lepanto Foundation
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 2:52 PM

Subject: Why the Franciscan Friars must not sign

Why the Franciscan Friars must not sign 

https://gloria.tv/media/LR6HaorVvWz
Emphases theirs     

By Maurizio Grosso, January 29, 2014

It is by now known to all that by the disposition of 8th December 2013, the Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Capuchin Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, has ordered the immediate closure of the theological Seminary of the Friars of the Immaculate and has requested the following:

            – that all seminarians, who are evidently believed to be misguided and who are apparently even suspected of heresy, must “personally subscribe to a formal acceptance of the Novus Ordo as an authentic expression of the liturgical tradition of the Church and therefore of Franciscan tradition … and of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, in accordance with the authority accorded them by the Magisterium.”  To this is added the usual threat that, “Whoever does not accept such dispositions will be immediately dismissed from the Institute.”

            All the other friars must “clearly and formally express in writing their willingness to continue their journey in the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, according to the Marian-Franciscan charism, in the spirit of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, according to the directives concerning religious life contained in documents of the Second Vatican Council.”

            Therefore the Seminary is closed, the teaching thrown to the wind, the cultural apostolate via the publications of the Casa Mariana Publishing House is suspended, all because the friars have allegedly denied the magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Council, together with the Mass of Paul VI. It would be interesting to ask the Commissioner where this has occurred and if he is able, at least at times, to indicate precisely the place. The accusation is vague and therefore false.

            In fact, by this disposition, the oath taken by the professors of the Theological Seminary of the Friars of the Immaculate has been abolished and substituted by a new oath, or rather a simple self-certification, in which one is to subscribe to a formal acceptance of wanting to remain Catholic, of wanting to remain in the Church and in the Institute, accepting the Council and the Holy Mass reformed by Paul VI.

            It is necessary, however, to remember that in the profession of faith in assuming an office to be exercised in the name of the church, such as the office of a teacher in a seminary, following an oath of fidelity (which takes up again the anti-modernistic oath of Pius X, updated by the Congregation for the Faith in 1988), the candidate says:

                “With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the Word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church, either by a solemn judgement or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed. I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals. Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.”

            This oath was taken by the professors of the Seminary of Sassoferrato as well.  It can be observed, however, that now the Commissioner asks the oath, not from the professors but from the pupils; from the friars who are being educated.  The professors, just as for anyone who assumes an office in the Church, publicly professed that faith of the Church in order to then teach it correctly to the students. They professed the faith of the Church to remain faithful before God, and only in this way to remain faithful to it in front of every listener.  There was nothing else to add to that faith, nor to take away from it. 

            The message which comes from the action of Father Volpi, though, is very clear: this profession of ecclesial faith having been rendered vain and in some way abolished by the closure of the Seminary, the students now have to recognize the Second Vatican Council and the Mass of Paul VI.  It is as if to say: the profession of faith which animated the Seminary has been put on ice and so now one has to accept a new one instead; there will be a new formula to express a new obedience. This new obedience is by definition against the formula of the faith and concerns just two aspects of the Magisterium, taken out of context. 

            Will the Commissioner offer the students a new formula of “formal acceptance” of what he is asking for? It would be interesting to know this and by what ecclesiastical authority it has been approved. 

            If there is not a “formula,” but instead just a spontaneous subscription to the directives of the Commissioner on Vatican II and the Holy Mass, this proves that we are dealing here with an act which is illicit and above all ideological.  Not only is it not the faith of the Church which is being professed, but also the seminarians are being deceitfully urged to demonstrate their own submission to the Volpi-Bruno line of reset and re-education.  The implication is that those who do not obey Volpi do not obey the Pope, which is completely wrong.

 

 

 

            It is as if Volpi and his collaborators permanently enjoy that infallibility which the Pope enjoys only under certain conditions, and which for the last few years he has preferred not to invoke to sustain his teaching.

            The most serious problem, however, is this:  the “new oath” is in itself extremely ambiguous and it seriously undermines the entire doctrine of the Church.  It is a clear example of a break with the preceding doctrine, with the simple Catechism.  This injunction of the Commissioner implies acceptance of the hermeneutics of discontinuity and of rupture, because by isolating the Second Vatican Council from the whole tradition of the Church, the Council becomes, by implication, the only true Council and one which dissolves all preceding doctrine.  By contrast, Paul VI insisted that the Council was not a synthesis of all the faith of the Church.  Consequently, the new liturgy is not either. Benedict XVI has said clearly – and it is the strongest and most painful note of the entire Summorum Pontificum, which some liturgists still pretend not to understand – that the new Missal has not abolished the preceding one.  It could not do so and no one has the authority to do so, not even the Pope. The Pope is the guardian of tradition, not its inventor.  Even the new Mass cannot be abolished but without the preceding Missal, it has neither context nor roots.

            However, Fr Volpi’s letter of 8 December implies precisely that the Council has abolished the earlier doctrine, or rather the very doctrine of the faith, just as the new Mass has abolished the old.

It is difficult to understand, however, from where the new Mass takes its form, if the old one has suddenly disappeared or must disappear.  By this even the new Mass is compromised and the poor seminarians will soon lose their faith.

                In reality, it is precisely this mentality of subjection to the new oath or “formal acceptance,” which has caused a severe winter in the Church for these past fifty years, an atmosphere of the conciliar super-dogma which Fr. Volpi has so deeply inhaled and which he is now so generously spreading around on the basis that he is a “representative” of the Church.

                In the light of all this, the students and friars of the Immaculate, as well as all the other friars, should not subscribe to this injunction.  It is the moment to say: in all conscience, we cannot sign.  By doing this, conscience will, this time, be correctly asserted before mere authority. Such a refusal would not be based on a rejection of  the Council and the post-conciliar innovations – the Friars came into being after the Council and thanks to Perfectae caritatis, authentically interpreted by Pope VI – but instead on the fact that the mens which animates such a request is not Catholic.

            Not to sign means to return to its rightful central place not power but reason and, together with reason, faith itself.  Not to sign means to demand clarity in doctrinal principles; to demand that the mens of the Superior be made explicit, and that precisely in this situation which is so grave, the mind should not remain in the vagueness of presumed “crypto-heresies” or “traditionalist drifts” which do not even exist; and that the Council and the New Mass are not the unicum of the faith but instead a part of it, the latest but not definitive development, and which is capable of improvement and of further development. 

            Under these conditions it will not be possible to expel friars who do not sign, or at least they will not be refused denied the possibility of defending themselves, something which is provided for in the Code of Canon Law, or of having a peaceful discussion, on the basis of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 

            Why not involve the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in all these events?  Is there anyone in a higher position who could put in a good word?

Website:
www.lepantofoundation.org
E-mail: info@lepantofoundation.org

Lepanto Foundation – Piazza Santa Balbina 8 – 00153 Roma

 

 

Petition in support of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI)

http://www.vancouvervtms.com/index.php/news

Una Voce Canada, February 7, 2014

Dear Friends,

The Vancouver Traditional Mass Society (VTMS)
together with
 
Pro Missa Tridentina, from Germany,
 
Una Voce Austria, from Austria,

Ecclesia Dei Delft from the Netherlands and
 
Ecclesia Dei Society of New Zealand
is initiating a worldwide petition drive beginning this Saturday.

Printable Petition form – PDF (English)
The sheets can then be photocopied and/or scanned and e-mailed or posted to
the address on the petition or even to us here in Vancouver.
These will all be presented to the Holy Father.

The petition is meant to address the ongoing situation with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI) by seeking the intervention of the Holy Father Pope Francis.

Just a very brief background on the situation:

A few members of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate from the USA complained to Rome because the FFI were beginning to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in more of their houses. This use was never offered exclusively and never forced on any priest;

This is very similar to the difficulties within the FSSP in 1999, initiated by a small number of members, when all traditional Catholics had to get involved to limit the damage to that organization;

 

 

An investigation was begun into the complaints of this small group of FFI friars, which consisted of a questionnaire to elicit information from all full FFI members, questions asking for responses based not on facts, but on opinions;

On the return of this questionnaire by a minority of the FFI members (calculations from reported statistical numbers indicate that only 47 of about the 350 Friars responded to the questionnaire) Fr. Fidenzio Volpi OFM Cap was appointed by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life to oversee the FFI in the capacity of Apostolic Commissioner. He immediately both removed the Superior and proceeded with severe measures, to radically change the character of this very successful religious order;

Fr. Volpi then prohibited any priest from the FFI from celebrating the EF Mass, including private Masses:

This immediately cancelled many Masses around the world for the laity which were being offered by the FFI;

The Friars were also told that they could then apply for permission to say the Extraordinary form of the Mass. It has subsequently been reported that such requests are in numerous instances being refused.

Our organizations maintain:

The penalties imposed are unjust and an abuse of power;

To require permission to offer the EF and to restrict priests to only saying the Ordinary form is against the established laws of the Church as stated in the motu proprio ‘Summorum Pontificum’ and the extensive clarifications in ‘Universae Ecclesiae’. Since both forms of the Mass are on the same legal footing, every priest has the option of saying one or the other form without needing authorization from anyone;

The actions taken in regard to the FFI are scandalous to the laity worldwide, as the severity of the penalties and restrictions have not been followed by the public revelation of what was done to make these actions just.

There is also a trickle-down effect as those who dislike the spread of this Mass see this as an opportunity to attack and prohibit the Mass consequently the Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore which was said for over seven years was cancelled. The priest who said it simply being told that he could no longer do so. We all need to take action to not only stop the spread of this mind-set but to right the wrongs and injustices involved.

The laity have also been deprived of these priests to continue saying the Masses which they offered with 33 being cancelled in Italy, a number in the USA and 7 in the Philippines. Some of these have since restarted but not by the FFI community.

What we are asking everyone to do including chapters and associated members is:

-disseminate this petition far and wide on your blogs, websites Facebook anywhere you have a presence and to all your members;

-keep it low key in your explanation simply stating that this petition will be forwarded to the Holy Father and it is an attempt to reverse or limit the damage being done to a very good organization the FFI and to restore not only their access to the EF form of the Mass but also to all those they serve;

-all individuals are asked to print out copies and gather as many signatures as possible.

 

 

Pope Francis’ remarks about Extraordinary Form and people who want it

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/02/pope-francis-remarks-about-extraordinary-form-and-people-who-want-it/

Posted on 17 February 2014 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
All emphases the author’s

Pope Francis allegedly made some negative comments about the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and those who desire it.

My comments, below.

From Creative Minority Report:

Pope Francis has made what can only be called disparaging comments about the Traditional Latin Mass and its adherents.

Rorate Caeli reports that the Pope made comments to a Czech Bishop during his ad limina visit those who value and esteem the extraordinary form of the liturgy are merely caught up in a momentary fashion and thus as Pope he does not need to pay attention to them. Yup.

[Abp. Jan Graubner speaks:] When we were discussing those who are fond of the ancient liturgy and wish to return to it, it was evident that the Pope speaks with great affection, attention, and sensitivity for all in order not to hurt anyone. However, he made a quite strong statement when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it. “When I search more thoroughly – the Pope said – I find that it is rather a kind of fashion [in Czech: ‘móda’, Italian ‘moda’]. [Actually, a better rendering of “moda” here is “fad”.] And if it is a fashion [fad], therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us.” [Go deep.   What does that mean?]

Besides being completely wrong, that the Pope is so disrespectful of the reasonable desires of so many good and faithful Catholics it is staggering in its coarseness and dismissiveness.

Not to mention, such an attitude is diametrically opposed to the attitudes and pronouncement of his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

I know that I have probably misinterpreted our humble Pope’s meaning and that the problem is me. For sure, the Pope seems to think that I am the problem. Please forgive me, I only speak Promethean. [ROFL!]

I wasn’t going to write on this, but my email box is filling up.

First, this is the third hand report of something that the Pope might have said.

 

 

 

 

There is an ad limina audience.  The Czech prelate says he chatted with the Pope for a bit.  Fine.  The Czech talks to Vatican Radio and recounts this stuff.  Maybe he does so accurately, maybe he doesn’t.  Vatican Radio then ineptly renders it and puts it around.

Bottom line: don’t worry about third hand accounts of informal, off-the-cuff remarks about the TLM.   If the Pope wants to abrogate Summorum Pontificum, he’ll do it in the proper, juridical way.

And does it surprise anyone that a Jesuit doesn’t quite get the whole traditional liturgy thing?

The Pope’s comments change nothing.

Even if we accept that Francis said these things, even if we accept that maybe Francis doesn’t care about the TLM or doesn’t get people who want it, who cares?  The provisions of Summorum Pontificum stand.

Therefore…

Do not waver.

Do not slow down.

Do not be downhearted.

Do not relent.

Do not budge.

Do not stop working.

We need more and more celebrations of the older form of Holy Mass in more and more places by more and more priests.

Keep at it. Get those resources to priests. Pay any price, offer any help, go the extra mile.

We shall not give up any ground.

There are 57 readers’ responses to this blog

 

 

Logics behind the Chrono-logics The Apostolic Visitation

http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/chronology-of-events-around-the-visitation.pdf

By Jack P. Oostveen, March 3, 2014

[…]

 

 

Pope Francis Openly Contradicts Summorum Pontificum?

http://eponymousflower.blogspot.in/2014/06/pope-francis-openly-contradictss.html

June 26, 2014

Edit: this is from the Catholic Neoconservative commerce website, Kath.net.  It says that Pope Francis has confirmed he will stay the course as stated by his predecessor, and then makes a statement that seems to clearly contradict it.  We can’t imagine he wouldn’t see the problem.  We suspect that he will continue to say one thing and do another with respect to traditionalists who are at present being blamed for all the woes of the Church at present.
Pope Francis has met with about 60 members of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception at the Vatican.   At the meeting the state of the Order was discussed, which has been placed under an Apostolic Commissar for a year.

Pope Francis has already met with about 60 friars of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception at the Vatican on June 10th earlier this month.  The meeting took place in the chapel of St. Martha Guest House and lasted about 90 minutes. This is according to reports by Vatican expert Andrea Tornielli on the online edition of Vatican insider.

After the Franciscans had renewed their consecration to the Immaculate Conception with the Pope, they asked questions of Francis.  The Franciscans of the Immaculate have been under an apostolic Commissar for almost a year because of “internal” problems.  Even the Capuchin, Father Fidenzio Volpi, attended the meeting, says Tornielli.
Francis has been “well informed” in all matters. The Vatican expert, says he is following the development of the Order and expressed his appreciation to Volpi for his “work”.
Due to the Vatican measures, about 40 of the 400 world’s brothers have [requested to leave, per Rorate] left the Order.  It’s about half of the seminarians who were only under temporary vows, writes Tornielli.
With regard to the restrictions on the “Old Mass”, Pope Francis does not want to stray from the line of Benedict XVI.  From the question of rite there should but be no ideological confrontation, the pope continued.   The members of the Franciscans of the Immaculate must obtain permission from superiors and the bishop, if they want to celebrate a Holy Mass in the extraordinary rite in a parish church, a sanctuary or a meeting house.  [Since the legislation specifically says the opposite, it’s difficult to see how this doesn’t contravene, Summorum Pontificum.]

 

 

Stop the Synod! (An Online Petition)

http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/915-stop-the-synod

Written by Christopher A. Ferrara, August 12, 2014

We must face the truth: Francis is not “the most misunderstood Pope in history,” but rather the most liberal Pope in history.

 

 

 

Thus it is Francis who not only ignores pandemic heterodoxy and heteropraxis in the priesthood, which is hardly a new aspect of the post-conciliar papacy, but also orders the unprecedented persecution of a perfectly orthodox, bi-ritual religious order, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, even forbidding its celebration of the traditional Latin Mass—and this for no other reason than what his tyrannical “apostolic commissioner,” Father Fidenzio Volpi, calls “crypto-Lefebvrianism” and a “traditionalist drift.”

And it is Francis who has just lifted the suspension a divinis of the Marxist priest Miguel D’Escoto, the “liberation theologian” John Paul II suspended from priestly ministry 29 years ago. D’Escoto received the Lenin Peace Prize, was an official of the Communist-infiltrated World Council of Churches, and served as a foreign minister in the Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. He was even President of the UN General Assembly from 2008-2009, in which capacity he gave a speech declaring that “we are all sons and daughters of Earth and that we belong to her,” calling for a “planetary civilization” that is “more respectful of Mother Earth, more inclusive of all people and with more solidarity with the poorest, which is more spiritual and full of reverence for the splendor of the universe and which is much happier.” And how did D’Escoto respond to Francis’s supposed gesture of “mercy” toward an old radical the “normalists” suggest must have repented of his errors? On August 6, speaking on Nicaraguan television, D’Escoto promptly resumed his preaching of Liberation Theology, praising Fidel Castro as an instrument of the Holy Ghost and thumbing his nose at Rome:
The Vatican may silence everyone, then God will make the stones speak, and may the stones spread his message, but He didn’t do this, He chose the greatest Latin-American of all time: Fidel CastroIt is through Fidel Castro that the Holy Spirit sends us the message. This message of Jesus, of the need to struggle to establish, firmly and irreversibly, the kingdom of God on this earth, which is his alternative to the empire.
This is the raving heretic Francis has restored to the exercise of the sacred priesthood while he approves the merciless destruction of the orthodox Franciscan Friars. Given the mounting evidence before our eyes, it seems that only an extraordinary intervention of the Holy Ghost will be able to avert the worst consequences of “the Francis effect” that has been exciting paroxysms of delight in the Church’s worst enemies almost from the moment that Francis, emerging from the Conclave, referred to himself as merely “the Bishop of Rome” on the balcony of Saint Peter’s

 

 

Kasper’s Perplexing Notion of “Mercy” Is Not What Church Has Always Taught – an extensive book review, and its implications for Marriage

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/09/kaspers-perplexing-notion-of-mercy-is.html

By Fr Serafino M. Lanzetta, September 27, 2014

Fr Serafino Lanzetta is a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate, a Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and since 2006 has directed the theological journal “Fides Catholica”.

We greet with great interest the theological effort of Cardinal Walter Kasper to restore the theme of God’s mercy not only to the centre of the Church’s preaching and pastoral approach, but – above all – to the centre of theological reflection. In his recent book on Mercy, which appeared in German in 2012 and was then translated into Italian by Queriniana (Giornale di Teologia 361) in 2013, “Misericordia: Concetto fondamentale del vangelo – Chiave della vita” [published in English under the title “Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life], the German Cardinal, for many years president of the Pontifical Council per Christian Unity, parts from a bitter observation: Mercy, which occupies a central place in the Bible, has in fact fallen completely into oblivion in Systematic Theology, being treated only in an accessory manner. Up until the threshold of the 1960s it has no central place in the manuals of Systematic Theology, and in the more recent manuals it can even be totally lacking. If it does appear, it takes a place which is wholly marginal. Notwithstanding the fact that the pontificate of John Paul II gave a great impulse to the rediscovery of Mercy, as a theological and spiritual theme – thanks above all to the Polish saint, Faustina Kowalska – and that Benedict XVI made it, in a certain way, his guide, with the first encyclical on love, “Deus caritas est”, the theme still remains hidden in its potential development for theology, and therefore for Christian life. Our Cardinal, then, in his text with which we occupy ourselves (5th Italian Edition, 2014), takes up this issue, and presents on a systematic level the theme of God’s Mercy.

 

A Justice that retracts into Mercy?
Mercy is an indispensable medicine, it is the ingredient that is sadly lacking, but that – on closer inspection – represents the only true response to the Atheism and the ever so pernicious ideologies of the Twentieth Century. How does one announce again a God whose even existence, after Auschwitz, we would do better to pass over in silence? Historically, in Kasper’s judgement, supported by O. H. Pesch, “the idea of a chastising and vindictive God has cast many into anguish regarding their eternal salvation. The most well-known case, and a harbinger of grave consequences for History, is that of the young Martin Luther, who was for a long time tormented by the question: ‘How can I find a kind God?’, until he recognised one day that, in the sense of the Bible, God’s Justice is not his punitive justice, but his justifying justice and, therefore, his Mercy. On this matter, in the Sixteenth Century, the Church divided” (p. 25), and so, from that moment, the rapport between Justice and Mercy became a central question for western theology.

Our Cardinal prefers not to enter the theme of Justification according to Luther, but he praises it (as he will again at pp. 121. 137). Although there would be many things to say, to take one from among them: Justifying Mercy is seen by the German Reformer not as ontological forgiveness, as Man’s full reconciliation with God, in Truth and in Justice, but as a being simply clothed with the merits of Christ (not of Man), whilst intrinsically remaining sinners, although declared just.

 

Is this the Mercy of God? Where Man remains affected not only by the vulnus of concupiscence, but by sin’s filth itself, while being at the same time just? Just in Sin? About all this Card. Kasper shows himself benevolent, skimming over it, referring only to the enormous effort of both sides, the Catholic one and the Lutheran, to find a fundamental consensus on the doctrine of Justification with the official Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification of 31st October 1999, a collaboration of members of the Lutheran World Federation and of the Catholic Church – represented by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity – with our Cardinal presiding (cf. p. 26). To this Declaration, followed by the joint Declaration of 1997, it had been necessary to prefix, in 1998, an official Catholic Response (developed by the common agreement of the CDF and the PCCU, but signed only by the latter), remaining all the same with a Protestant vision – not reconcilable with the Catholic one – in the ecumenical attempt to no longer consider the condemnations of Trent as divisive for the churches.

In any case Kasper is conscious, in his book, of an assumption: we have to pull Mercy “out of its Cinderella existence, in which it had fallen in traditional theology” (p. 26). Certainly, Mercy is not a mawkish vision of God, of a God who is possibilist towards the desires of Man, compliant, bonist; but rather it is a true challenge – not only theological, but also social and political – if we want it. From true Mercy comes an image of God as the adequate response to the ideology still en vogue, whether Marxist or Capitalist.

Card. Kasper is very careful to denounce all the risks that hide in the almost obsessive emphasising of Mercy, but at times against the truth. A world that has renounced God and Reason can satisfy itself only with good sentiments. He writes, for example: “Mercy without Truth would be deprived of honesty; it would be simple consolation, ultimately empty chattering. But, vice versa, the Truth without Mercy would be cold, standoffish and ready to damage” (p.241).

The primary aim of Kasper’s book on Mercy, all the same, is to give systematic order to the great absentee in theological speculation and debate, provoking a wider awareness. Our author, in this manner, after having examined attentively the message of Mercy in the Old Testament and in the preaching of Jesus, offers important reflections for a general speculative outline for Mercy. We shall occupy ourselves a little longer with this particular point, because – on close scrutiny – in this systematic outline, something seems to be insinuated that could upset the whole: easily exaggerating the merciful traits of God, while at the same time cutting them down. Let us examine this work step by step.

 

Blessed the poor in spirit

There is an almost radical novelty to Christ in respect to the message of the Old Testament, Kasper comments, consisting in the fact that Jesus, “preaches definitive Mercy for all. He opens out the way of access to God not only to a few just ones, but to all… God has definitively silenced his own anger and has made space for his love and his mercy” (p. 103). This drastic separation with the Old Covenant, where – it seems – speaking in such a way, there would be no place for compassion and love, does not appear well supported. It is enough to think of the Psalms which praise the Father’s merciful love for us (cf. Ps 117, along with those which our author cites, convinced that from the Exodus right through to the Psalms God is merciful and piteous, cf. p.93). Mercy, basically, derives from God’s creative act itself, which arouses in Him approval and joy (cf. Gen 1, 4. 10. 12. 18). God does not despise what He has made; he does not deny the work of His hands.

But rather, what the Cardinal pushes to underline, in the merciful emphasis of the New Testament, is this affirmation, which in reality is very obscure: “His (Jesus’) recipients were in a particular way the sinners; these are the poor in spirit” (p. 103). And this, it would seem, for the fact that Jesus is a friend of publicans and sinners. (cf. p.104). The sinners are the poor in spirit? Therefore, one who commits sins is blessed because he has lost something in the spirit? One can see to what conclusions such a consideration would bring us, not to mention real errors, which in fact are already encountered in so much preaching, in so many merciful infatuations. Poverty of spirit is not a material lack of something (of the grace of God?), but an interior condition, an attitude of the intellect and of the heart, simple, penitent and humble, placed before God, without human means, listening to his Word (cf. Mt 5, 3 in the light of Ps 69, 33ss.).

On this point an important Protestant theologian, Heinz Zahrnt, has very clear ideas when he says the following, commenting on the public ministry of the Lord: “Sinners are not excused and the illness does not come to be idealised. Jesus is a friend of sinners, not their comrade… Certainly, the return of the sinner remains indispensable; however it is not the condition, but rather the consequence of the gracious gift of God” (“Jesus aus Nazareth. Ein Leben”, Munich 1987, p. 109). The poor in spirit are those who convert, not the sinners who remain such.

 

Mercy: Mirror of the Trinity?

Kasper refutes the classic metaphysical vision and instead make his own the Critique of Kant, well expressed in the question: “What can we hope for?” That is, our intelligence is limited; it cannot surpass the field of the visible and of human experience. That which goes beyond is not given us to know, but is relegated to Hope, which represents a mere postulation (cf. pp. 190-191). This is true also for Kasper. In fact, he writes: “It is not possible to surpass Kant’s critique of the attempts at a Theodicea; all these attempts are to be considered as failed” (p. 191). But does there arise, at least sometimes, the problem that a hope as a simple presupposition, yet in fact founded on doubt, is already desperation?

Theodicea, bound to an existentialist vision of God, which – among other things – excludes Mercy from the attributes of the Divine Being, instead reducing them to only (strong) attributes like Omnipotence, Justice, Infinity, etc., would leave room, in the Sacred Scriptures, for a more existential form of the “Ego sum qui sum” Ex 3, 14): not I am the Being, but I am always with you and for you (cf. p. 129). But if metaphysics has excluded Mercy from among the essential attributes of God (cf. p. 23), because it is revealed to us by God in his historical self-manifestation beginning with the Sacred Scriptures – the metaphysical attributes of God regard that which Reason can gather as universal and without the necessity of a supernatural revelation –, Kasper in reality strives to try to place Mercy itself within the very essence of God, as God’s fundamental property; moreover, in his own words, as “mirror of the Trinity” (p. 140).

 

 

This, in fact, allows him to be obliged to look now and always to Justice from Mercy: “If Mercy is the fundamental property of God, then this cannot be a mitigation of Justice, but the Justice of God must, rather, be conceived parting from his Mercy. Mercy is, then, the Specific Justice of God” (p. 137).

Here our author’s ecumenical effort is perceivable, in a discourse in which Luther’s vision seems to form the gracious background, but, in any case, what jars is the attempt to absorb Justice into Mercy. In theology, Mercy qualifies as gift, a grace, not an exigency, as Justice is, even if naturally it contemplates also the Aristotelian Epikeia. Mercy perfects and completes Justice but it doesn’t annul it; it presupposes it, otherwise it would not have, in itself, a raison d’être. And this is also because the divine properties, or attributes, on a rational level, are deducible from that which Reason is capable of expressing about God. Saint Thomas says: “Mercy is to be attributed to God in the most principal manner (maxime attribuenda); not for what it has of sentiment or passion, but for the effects (that it produces)” (S. Th., I, q. 21, a. 3).

Though Kant disagrees, Reason remains, all the same, open to reality as such, to things that are in as much as they are, to the things that exist. If God exists (how does Kasper know this? Only by faith? By hope?) Reason is open to all being; Reason is open to all being because God exists. But these arguments can appear too fixist, as having passed out of fashion.

Yet our Cardinal strives to demonstrate, with Saint Luke (6, 36), in a way that truly escapes us, that “Mercy is the perfection of the Essence of God. God does not condemn, but pardons, yields and gives in a measure that is good, solicitous, sifted and superabundant” (p. 105). If then Mercy appertains to the Essence of God, perfecting it (sic! In reality what can perfect God but God himself? At any rate, one must decide whether to make use of metaphysics or not), then, “the Trinitarian Essence of God is certainly not realised in Mercy, but it is in Mercy that it becomes concretely reality for us and in us” (p. 144). Kasper resumes the thesis of the self-retraction of God in his human kenosis, not in the Protestant sense of renouncement of his divinity: for Luther, God in his kenosis is “raumgebend”, that is, one who makes space for the self-determination of the other, rather in the sense of his revelation. God, infinite in himself, retracts to make space for the other; to make space for the Son and, through Him, for the Holy Spirit. In God this retraction, within his infinity itself, is kenosis, stripping of self, then presupposed, because the infinite God might make space for Creation. The Trinitarian self-retraction has its moment of sublime revelation in the Incarnation and the Cross of Jesus Christ, revelation of his omnipotence in love. So states Kasper (cf. p. 144).

Let us ask ourselves: if God retracts to make space for the other, be this a divine person or be it Creation, what will this other be? God himself who retracts to the point of losing himself in the other? Is Man the self-stripping of God? Is the Humanity of Jesus the revelatory self-stripping of God? Is there not the risk that God might remain then only the God of Jesus Christ, in the revelatory kenosis of God? And that Jesus Christ might be God no more, but only the retraction of the Father? Questions that grow and that catch us by surprise, but that place us in front of the concrete risk of the abandoning of Metaphysics.

 

How we can avoid despair

Another important theological chapter in Kasper’s analysis regards Mercy in relation to the eschatological discourse. Once again Kasper, now supported by Hans Urs von Balthasar, asks himself, with Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: “What can we hope?” a question that summarises, according to his judgement, “all human questions” (p. 158). However, as for philosophical Reason, so also for the intellectus fidei, a problem immediately presents itself: not so much what, but how can we hope? What is the correct theological mode of exercising hope? It seems that, as for Metaphysics, also in an eschatological ambit Kasper’s analysis presents a vulnus.

In Sacred Scriptures we discover two different series of affirmations which for Kasper, as already for von Balthasar in his “Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?” (Original German 1986, tr. in Italian 1989) appear irreconcilable. For von Balthasar they remain in fact irreconcilable and, that is, in synthesis: on the one hand there is the incontrovertible statement that God wants the salvation of all men (1Tm 2, 3) and on the other, a summary of other scriptural references, there is Final Judgement, in which some will go to eternal perdition and others to eternal salvation (Mt 25, 31-46).

According to Kasper’s judgement, the universalistic salvific affirmations are a hope for all, but do not regard the effective salvation of every single man, while the affirmations which speak of judgement and of effective damnation do not mean to speak of any man who has actually been damned. This gives the German Cardinal a way to deduce the following: “The eternal damnation of no concrete human being has been revealed and the Church has never taught in a dogmatically binding manner, regarding anyone, that he had fallen into eternal damnation” (p. 166). Not even of Judas could one say such a thing with sureness. But here it seems that Dogmatic Magisterium, which teaches without any doubt the existence of Hell and the effective perdition of one who dies in a state of mortal sin (see, as the synthesis of numerous interventions, the CCC nn. 1033-1035) is confused with some sort of infallible declaration that one such person is in fact damned. The Church, as we well know, does not give “canonisations” for who is damned, but teaches infallibly, based on the clear teaching of the Lord, that Hell exists and that it is not empty.

However, for Kasper, and this is the true problem of his analysis, “we can neither interpret the universal historical-salvific affirmations, full of hope, in the sense of the doctrine of the Apokatastasis, as knowledge of the fact of the effective salvation of every single man; nor can we deduce, from the threat of judgement and the real possibility of Hell, the effective eternal damnation of single human beings or even of the majority of men” (p. 167). And this is Kasper’s position: “We can hope for the salvation of all, but – in fact – we cannot know whether all will be saved” (p. 169). This is in fact the docking place of Kantian Criticism. One cannot hope, against Faith, for the salvation of all. As there is no Hope against or without Reason, analogously there is no theological Hope against or without Faith.

 

 

 

One cannot hope against the most clear words of the Lord: “… and these shall go to eternal perdition, and the just to eternal life” (Mt 25, 46) as though they were mere exhortations to be good.

Kasper, in his analysis, searches a middle way between the position of von Balthasar – from whom he wants to detach himself – and the doctrine of the Church; but in the end he does not succeed.

Von Balthasar had maintained that “it is not known whether all will be saved, but one ‘can’ hope that no-one shall be lost” (“Sperare per tutti”, p. 13). In the end the Theologian of Basle, responding to his critics in an ardent manner, will say that not only can one, but even that one must hope that no-one shall be lost. Whoever were to think that, beyond himself, even only one other man were lost eternally, would no longer love without reserve (“Breve discorso sull’inferno”, orig. German 1987, tr. in Italian 1988, p. 57). In support of his original idea, more possibilist but not yet exclusivist, von Balthasar loved to refer to a “cloud of witnesses”, of mystics, who would have shared his thesis.

In reality, it was show in the same year of 1986, by the German Review “Theologisches”, that none of the mystics indicated by von Balthasar support his vision of an “empty Hell”, with the only exception of Adrienne von Speyr. All the saints and mystics confirm the vision of the doctrine of the Church: there are some damned to Hell; not last among these testimonies is the message of Our Lady at Fatima. If there were any apparent discrepancy among the visions of mystics about the ultimate realities – Balthasar for example loved to refer to the Mercy of the Little Theresa, more than to the mystical theology of the Great Theresa – the thing becomes resolved looking at all the saints together, and not to isolated cases, and doing this through the optic of the Magisterium of the Church.

Kasper also, to reinforce his thesis, cites numerous testimonies of different saints, especially women. But he normally cites them from von Balthasar. Ultimately, von Balthasar’s true problem was his dependence in toto on Origen, as Werner Löser will reprove him: the Theologian of Basle wanted to execute all his work “in the spirit of Origen”; with the difference, however, that he did not propose also the salvation of the Devil, but only that of men.

 

A God who suffers for the sake of Mercy?

Lastly, we can dwell a moment on another systematic aspect with which Card. Kasper highlights the Mercy of God within himself. Now the emphasis is put on the suffering of God and one can immediately understand that also here the question becomes very delicate: on the one hand there lies in ambush the so-called Patripassianism, an old error which admitted the suffering of the Father in the passion of the Son; and on the other hand there is a sort of apathy of God, a reason for which many have withdrawn from a God who seems not to have a heart; a cold, calculating God who remains mute before the mystery of sorrow and innocent suffering.

God is not apathetic, says Kasper. “According to the testimony of the Bible, God has a heart for us men, suffers with us, rejoices with us and grieves for us and with us” (p.183). The Bible does not know a God who dominates in an insensitive manner. Coming to the New Testament, the example of Christ is dazzling, of he who assumed for us the form of a servant, humiliating himself (cf. Phil 2, 6ss.). A God on the Cross: true scandal for the world in the foolishness of human thoughts. Kasper’s attempt here is to unite the teaching of the Bible, that is, of a God who suffers for the sake of love, with the teaching of classical theology and metaphysics, according to which God cannot suffer in himself, which would clearly be a becoming, and hence a solemn imperfection.

In Kasper’s judgement, however, “for the Bible… the co-suffering of God is not an expression of his imperfection, of his weakness or of his impotence, but is the expression of his omnipotence… He cannot then be struck by sorrow passively and against his will, but in his mercy he sovereignly and freely lets himself be struck by sorrow” (pp. 184-185). God in his mercy is free to suffer and does suffer for us. In such a manner, Kasper concludes, “today many theologians of the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant tradition speak of the possibility that God has to suffer and to co-suffer with us” (p. 185).

It is very important to explain that God can suffer, or rather that he made himself man precisely in order to be able to suffer for us and with us. Hence he is not insensitive o apathetic. But in what mode are we speaking of God, when we attribute suffering to him? What extension does the concept “God” have in Kasper and in the other theologians who sustain the “suffering of God”, evidently without distinguishing it from God as such? It seems, after deliberation, that Kasper – in order to determine the merciful suffering of God – uses the concept “God” in a universal mode, or if we like, in relation to the Trinity, in what is a rather modal manner. It is necessary to ask ourselves: Does God suffer as God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; or not rather as Son, and only in his human nature? Truly, the suffering is Christ’s and is circumscribed by his human nature. We can attribute it also to the divine nature of the Son – in this sense God suffers, God dies, God is on the Cross, etc. – in virtue of the “communicatio idiomatum”, a communication that does not move the suffering of Christ to God and therefore to the Trinity, but attributes the suffering of the human nature of “Christus patiens” to his divine nature, a nature hypostasised by the divine person of the Word and so, in any case, delimited to the second divine person of the Most Holy Trinity. God does not suffer as God but as man in Christ. The logically incorrect process is to attribute to God three and one, in an improper manner, what is Christ’s. What Saint Bernard of Clairvaux says is certainly valid, that God is “impassibilis” but not “incompassibilis”, capable, that is, of having compassion but not of suffering, but it is not correct to take this citation, along with that of Saint Augustine in “Enarrationes in Psalmos” 87, 3: the Lord assumed human weakness and death not for the wretchedness of his condition but for his will to have compassion, and place it alongside that of Origen in “Homilia in Ezechielem” VI, 8, according to which God “prius passus est, deinde descendit. Quae est ista, quam pro nobis passus est, passio? Caritas est passio” (cf. p. 186). Here Origen is not acceptable: it is against the dogma of the Church to admit suffering in God, even before the Incarnation, and transform Charity – which is most pure, most simple Love – into suffering. If even God suffers in his Eternity, who shall ever be able to free us from suffering, once and for all? And if God suffers, but for the sake of love, who shall give sense to my love, which is essentially a request to suffer no more?

 

It goes without saying that for Kasper the only true response to evil, to tragedy, to natural catastrophes, is Hope, and – that is – the exercise of Mercy. Neither Reason nor Faith can tell us anything more (cf. pp. 187-199).

May we be allowed, at this point, also some perplexity in thinking of the system of Mercy that would succumb to the “Gospel of the family”, the introductive theme and guiding line for the work of the upcoming Synod on the Family.

What, in fact, is the Mercy that ought to function as a bridge between “the Church’s doctrine on marriage and the convictions lived by many Christians”? Perhaps that the remarried divorced, who would want to make communion, are the poor in spirit, to whom nothing remains but Hope as the exercise of Mercy?

The saints, in truth, teach us to be very cautious with God’s Mercy, to not take it lightly, nor to misconstrue it, closing oneself in a desire for Justice at any cost. The apostle of Germany, Saint Peter Canisius, S.J., says in this regard: “We ought to behave with the God’s Mercy in such a way as to be conformed to his Justice. Blind men let themselves be seduced by a vain confidence in Our Lord’s Mercy” (Letter to his sister Wandelina van Triest, born Kanis, Cologne, 23 March 1543).

 

 

John Allen on Pope Francis’ targeting of conservatives, traditionalists

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/11/john-allen-on-pope-francis-targeting-of-conservatives-traditionalists/

Posted on 4 November 2014 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
All emphases are the author’s

Over at Crux (and my jury is still out… sort of… well… maybe not so much), John Allen posted something about how it seems that, under Pope Francis, conservatives and traditionalists are under fire.

Does Pope Francis have an enemies list?

In the dying days of the Nixon administration, the discovery that the White House maintained an enemies list was, for many Americans, the last straw. It seemed to reveal an administration using power not to advance policy or defend the nation, but to settle political scores.

Although any comparison between Nixon and Pope Francis is obviously an apples-and-oranges exercise, nonetheless many Catholic conservatives and traditionalists these days are asking if the pontiff has an enemies list of his own.

Recently, news has surfaced that the Vatican is either contemplating or has launched investigations of three bishops in different parts of the world:

Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, who has already been removed from the small Paraguayan diocese of Ciudad del Este.

Robert Finn* of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, who’s currently awaiting the conclusions of an apostolic visitation that’s already taken place.

Mario Oliveri of the small Albenga diocese in northern Italy, where a Vatican spokesman this week said that an investigator may soon arrive.

*QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 16-CARDINAL DANNEELS REVEALS THAT HIS CLERICAL MAFIA STRIVED FOR BERGOGLIO AS POPE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/QUO_VADIS_PAPA_FRANCISCO_16-CARDINAL_DANNEELS_REVEALS_THAT_HIS_CLERICAL_MAFIA_STRIVED_FOR_BERGOGLIO_AS_POPE.doc

 

In each case, there are specific motives for the inquests.

Livieres was accused of various forms of mismanagement as well as dividing the bishops’ conference in Paraguay, for instance by publicly accusing the Archbishop of Asunción of being gay.

Finn is the lone American bishop to be criminally convicted of failure to report an accusation of child abuse, and looms for many observers as symbol of the church’s abuse scandals.

Oliveri is the latest to join the line-up. [I don’t think he means the baseball image.] He’s accused of tolerating all kinds of misbehavior among his clergy, including priests who’ve posted nude pictures on Facebook, priests who work as bartenders at night, and, in one case, a priest currently serving jail time for molesting an 11-year-old altar girl. (The priest maintains his innocence.)

Despite the different details, many observers can’t help noticing that all three prelates have one obvious thing in common: Each is among the most conservative members of their respective bishops’ conferences.

Livieres and Finn are both members of Opus Dei, while Oliveri is known as a traditionalist deeply attached to the older Latin Mass.

In conservative Catholic circles, the investigations of these three bishops often are placed in context with other disciplinary moves by Pope Francis, such as his ongoing crackdown on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

The suspicion is that what’s really going on isn’t so much a clean-up operation as an ideological purge. [If it walks like an ideological purge and it quacks like an ideological purge…]

[…]

In June 2014, veteran Italian Catholic commentator Marco Tosatti [who is level-headed] described the crackdown as the leading edge of a wider “witch hunt” directed at conservatives, describing it as “an internal war … being waged in the name of the pope.” [By those around the Pope? I don’t doubt it. By the Pope, too? I have a very hard time doubting it.]

Other frequently cited uses of papal muscle against perceived foes include, for Italians, the removal of Cardinal Mauro Piacenza from the Congregation for Clergy, and, for Americans, Cardinal Raymond Burke losing his membership on the Congregation for Bishops. Burke is also expected soon to be removed from his position as head of the Vatican’s Supreme Court and assigned to a largely ceremonial role.

 

I spoke to one tradition-minded Catholic this week, asking if he sees all this as Francis making clear what side of the street he occupies.

“It’s not just what side he’s on,” this observer said. “It’s that he’ll steamroll right over you if you don’t move to his side.”

Conservatives say that to date, there hasn’t been a high-profile case under Francis of a bishop being called on the carpet for any of the usual doctrinal offenses – tolerating violations of the liturgical rules such as routine use of group confession, for instance, or signaling support for the ordination of women. (Last September an Australian priest was excommunicated on similar grounds, but that was a priest rather than a bishop.) [And it is pretty clear that that was already a done deal by the time Francis was elected.  Oh… btw… Reynolds is still excommunicate under the pontificate of Francis.]

In fairness, there hasn’t been a more liberal bishop accused of personal misconduct who’s been given a free pass.

Last month, for instance, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton in the United Kingdom after Conry admitted to a long-term affair with a woman in his diocese. A supporter of civil unions for same-sex couples and notoriously lukewarm about the Latin Mass, Conry is nobody’s idea of an archconservative. [Hardly a good example. This was out in the press! Nothing else could be done.]

Nonetheless, many on the Catholic right can’t help but suspect that the recent preponderance of conservatives who’ve found themselves under the gun isn’t an accident. Some perceive a through-the-looking-glass situation, in which upholding Catholic tradition is now perceived as a greater offense than rejecting it.
[“Ideologue” is now code for “defender of the Magisterium”.  “Rigid intellectualist” is code for “believer in the Church’s doctrine”.]

How to explain these disciplinary acts?

One possibility is that Francis genuinely wants to hobble the traditionalist constituency, and is using every chance to accomplish it. If so, then Francis doesn’t owe anyone an explanation, because his moves would be having precisely the intended effect.

Another, however, is that the pontiff’s motives aren’t ideological. Instead, he knows he was elected on a reform mandate to promote good governance in the Church, and is responding to reported breakdowns as they occur without really paying attention to the politics of the people involved. [Promote good governance… should we review how well the last Synod was governed, directly under the Pontiff’s eyes?]

The speech Francis delivered at the end of the recent Synod of Bishops would seem to lean in the second direction, as he tried to signal sympathy for both the progressive and traditionalist camps. [That was the speech in which Francis, who for most of this pontificate has been “Bishop of Rome”, is suddenly referring to himself as POPE.] Francis is also a deep admirer of Pope John XXIII, the “Good Pope” of the Second Vatican Council, who famously said that “I have to be pope both for those with their foot on the gas, and those with their foot on the brake.” [Two words: Veterum sapientia.]

If that’s the case, Francis might need to find an occasion to explain in his own voice why he’s going after the people and groups that find themselves in his sights. Otherwise, the risk is that a good chunk of the Church may conclude that if the pope sees them as the enemy, there’s no good reason they shouldn’t see him the same way.

I think that was a well-measured piece. He touched on the angles and was, in the main, fair.

You decide. On track? Off base? Way waaaaay off base?

 

4 out of 70 readers’ responses

1. I’m afraid I *don’t* think it’s off-base… and that erstwhile apologists for the Pope’s behavior in this regard (re: “lowering the boom” on orthodox figures under his authority) are going to have to tie themselves in virtual knots to keep up their efforts. It’s becoming rather plain that Pope Francis sincerely dislikes traditional-minded Catholicism (and traditional-minded Catholics, to the extent that they refuse to let go of public efforts to that effect), that he’s not at all above using his authority to enforce that view, and that he sincerely believes all views but his (rather liberal and horizontal) own view to be fundamentally misguided. I don’t think he’s trying to be petty; I think he sincerely views traditionalist Catholicism (which includes public orthodoxy) as a serious threat. I think he sincerely believes that he would be remiss in NOT reining in such people.

The Pope is human, and he’s susceptible to the deceptions of the devil. Pray for him… HARD.

2. “[T]he risk is that a good chunk of the Church may conclude that if the pope sees them as the enemy, there’s no good reason they shouldn’t see him the same way.”

Allen is not off base. Because of the weight of the existing evidence, the burden is on those who would argue that Pope Francis is not trying to eviscerate those who merely stand for the constant teaching and practice of the Church, love the Usus Antiquior, still believe in the Great Commission, and value both charity and clarity.

We know from history and from doctrine that the pope is not infallible in his prudential acts of governance. We know from Canon 212 that the faithful laity have the right and even the duty to make our concerns known to both the hierarchy and one another. We should understand that those who tried to manipulate the recent Synod will spend the next year working to get their kind elected as delegates to the Ordinary Synod and planning ever more cunning means of controlling information and manipulating processes. They will do their best to “make a mess!”

So we have to start making our voices heard to our national episcopal conferences and praying to stiffen the spines of those who will be electing delegates. And pray for Cardinals Pell, Müller, Sarah, Napier, Scola, Caffarra, and Burke. N.B., Card. Burke is still in place and maintaining a high profile; he is not cowed and not playing for time, he is making the most of it. It might be that his enemies have been given pause by the united front displayed by him and his brother cardinals. Pray, pray, pray!

 

 

3. Directly to your question, John Allen seems to be on track. Adding my 2 cents, I perceive Francis as still stuck in Argentina, where it seems the only way they know to govern is despotically. Maybe he will grow into the job, and perhaps his at last referring to himself as pope is the first small bit of maturation. He could profit from reviewing the history of Pius IX’s early accommodation of liberal-leftist revolutionaries in the Papal States.

4. Well, I have read opinions on both sides of the pope issue….the staunch defenders that claim it is all in mistranslations, etc.
But what I cannot get past is the men he surrounds himself with and the ones he is choosing for high places. The pope is no dummy; he knows what he is doing and the direction he wants. But the most faithful of Catholics do not want to be Episcopalians! And they are not ultramontanists thinking every word from the Bishop of Rome is infallible. There is conflict and confusion instead of clarity, true mercy, and justice. I see that those who have not followed the modern Jesuit profile, shall we say, are being demoted, exiled, etc. I mean these are just facts and one can draw a conclusion from the actions.

 

 

What exactly happened to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate?

http://www.fisheaters.com/forums/index.php?topic=3467068.0

January 1, 2015 

Q: I only recently came to traditionalism so I’m trying to piece together what’s going on but I can’t find any clear explanation. Are they banned from saying the TLM? What about Summorum Pontificum?
Why are they getting in trouble instead of the Sister Mary Pantsuits in the LCWR?

 

A: The only clear explanation is this:
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia at Fatima that there would be ‘diabolical disorientation’ in the Church and that this disorientation would go to the top, i.e. the papacy. The only way the disorientation may be vanquished is when the Holy Father consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a solemn and public manner, and in union with all the Catholic bishops in the world, as was exactly proscribed by Our Lady of Fatima, and which has never occurred. It is claimed that Pope John Paul II performed the consecration but this is not true.
When Russia is consecrated (and Our Lady says it definitely will happen, although it will be late) Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph, Russia will convert, there will be peace in the world and the crisis of the faith will be ended. It is impossible that the crisis in the Church could be ended by any other means other than the consecration of Russia, because the Blessed Trinity wills that the Triumph be attributed to Our Lady.

 

They must get permission to say the TLM. No permission has yet been granted.

 

In many parts of the world, if a priest offers the Traditional Mass without the approval of his superiors, regardless of Summorum Pontificum, this priest will be bullied, disciplined or worst case scenario driven out of the priesthood. Summorum Pontificum is widely ignored because of the disorientation in the Church.

 

A: The permission thing was a trick to find out who the Traditionalists in the order are.
In Italy, two monasteries within the same diocese asked for permission to keep the TLM. They handed in their request together with a letter of support for it from the local bishop.
Both monasteries were closed immediately, their members scattered to different houses across the world. The bishop was deposed by the pope.

 

ACTION ITEM! Help Franciscan Friars!

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/01/action-item-help-franciscan-friars/

Posted on 27 January 2015 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

UPDATE 27 Jan:

I thought you might like a follow up about the collection taken for the Franciscan Friars.

Here is what I received from my friend who is coordinating the project for them.

I wanted to give you an update on the action item for the friars and ask you if you could publish it, also to say thank you to all the donators so far.

The Friars of the Family of the Immaculate and the Familia Christi who is hosting them got about 8.000$ from nearly 160 donators. Thank you to everyone who could give these young men a helping hand. They need you. They pray for you. The goal is to get 50 000$. God bless your generosity.

____

Remember the pictures of the Friars of the Family of the Immaculate I posted when I was in Rome recently? HERE

These young men, between 19 and 40 years old (in total there are about 40 of them), are hosted in one of the oldest Capuchin convents in Italy which belongs to the Familia Christi, a new Religious Congregation recognized by Bishop Negri of Ferrara. These two young communities are helping each other.

They need your help.

The old monastery needs a lot of work. HERE There are bills to be paid. First and foremost they need to rebuild an old chapel. Prayer first.

They need $50,000.

I hope 1,000 of you, in your goodness, would give $50 dollars.

Sure, you can give less, but… 1000 x 50… hits the goal.

I am told that the plan is that two Masses a month will be offered for donors who helped to rebuild the Lady Chapel.

You can donate via PayPal to only4ourlady@gmail.com or click HERE.

 

 

Michael Voris: To the Left of Me, the Church of Nice

http://corbiniansbear.blogspot.in/2015/02/michael-voris-to-left-of-me-church-of.html

February 14, 2015

As told here, Michael Voris has used one of his live Mic’d Up programs to slam news and opinion outlets he considers to the “right” of Michael Voris.
What is this all about?
Here it is in a nutshell: Michael Voris will expose, criticize and ridicule any bishop of the Catholic Church who fails to adhere to his own conservative sensibilities. That is mostly what his flagship program, The Vortex, does, day after day. Michael Voris cannot stand the “Church of Nice,” (i.e. ordinary Novus Ordo parishes) nor the weak, compliant and corrupt bishops who lead them. However, Michael Voris can’t bear to lay any mistake or misdeed at the feet of the Pope.
Hence we have Christine Niles of ChurchMilitantTV saying at least some forms of criticism of the Pope were “just unacceptable.” Michael Voris interjects an “amen.”
Michael Voris is the furthermost right of legitimate Catholicism. Everyone to the left is despised as the “Church of Nice,” and everyone to the right is dismissed as reactionaries.
It is very narrow spectrum of opinion, if you think about it!
Now, Michael Voris and the rest at CMTV know the problems with Pope Francis as well as anyone. They admit (albeit in a sort of hypothetical way) all the problems we talk about concretely here at SCB. So it isn’t that they are fans of Francis (as far as the Bear can tell), or do not cringe at his mistakes.
The ostensible reason for Michael Voris and his people to ignore Pope Francis is that if media powerhouses like CMTV, or The Remnant, start pecking at the Pope, in no time people will desert the Church for more appealing havens, such as SSPX, whom they dismiss as “schismatic.”
Mr. Voris also characterized the Catholic blogosphere by putting both hands by his head and making rapid “talking gestures” while babbling — apparently suggesting ill-informed chatter by hysterical malcontents.
Mr. Voris was quick to point out that the Pope could never err in doctrinal matters, other people do not understand infallibility, and the Pope can entertain and even express wrong ideas on a human level.
Fair enough. But the answer to that is: Mr. Voris, with all due respect, where have you been the last fifty years? Has it been changes in doctrine that have all but destroyed the Church? Or has it been everything but doctrine that has undermined our worship, polluted Catholic culture, and confused the faithful? The Pope does not have to infallibly change doctrine to do mischief! Indeed, why would he, when he can use “gradualism,” and “compassion” to change the implications of existing doctrine until the same words mean the opposite?
The Bear isn’t sure where Mr. Voris is coming from with regard to the Pope. The risk of driving people to SSPX seems small to the Bear.
But to pretend that the Pope cannot harm the Church so long as he does not exercise his infallibility is ludicrous. If adulterers are welcomed to the communion line, one may be sure it will not have been because any doctrine has been changed. Indeed, the Church will take pains to explain that nothing has really changed, but our times demand an enlargement of compassion, not following the letter of the law in some picky way that doesn’t meet human needs.
One supposes Michael Voris and Church Militant TV will pass over all that in silence, unless they can blame the Bishop of Poughkeepsie, instead of the Bishop of Rome.
The irony of what you are reading right now is that the Bear isn’t what you would call a “traditionalist,” not in the way traditionalists would recognize, anyway. He doesn’t think Francis is not really the Pope, and can personally take or leave the Latin Mass. He tells everyone at least once a week to “nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there.”
But to adopt a policy of ignoring Pope Francis short of him infallibly declaring the Moon to be made of green cheese is unsupportable in a Western institution. If God wanted robots blindly obeying the big cheese in every tiny detail, no matter how ridiculous or harmful, He would have not a pope in Rome, but an imam, and there would be a great big mosque where St. Peter’s sits, around which we would all deliriously orbit.
It is clear where the loyalties of Michael Voris and CMTV lie. The Bear certainly doesn’t fault them for being loyal, even if he thinks loyalty has its limits. It’s the narrowness of their moral vision that is a bit surprising. Does Michael Voris really think that he occupies the narrow channel of truth, and anyone to the left or the right is running into the rocks? Why pick a fight with The Remnant now? (Although that has been bubbling for a while now.) [Update: and why pick on a poor old Bear? See comments. Terry Carroll is a CMTV spokesman.]
Peter is not the Church. Peter is not the Bride of Christ. Peter is not Red Queen who cries, “Off with his head!” at the wrong word. Peter is a more or less flawed person with a great deal of authority and influence that he can use for good or evil. When he uses it (innocently or not) to the detriment of Church, God must judge between whose who side with Christ’s Church, and those who side with the Pope. These are very unusual times, and may God be merciful to all persons of good will.

Readers have left 48 comments

 

 

UPDATE: Volpi must pay by March 3, and issue press release through Italian news agency

BREAKING: Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Commissioner Volpi admits guilt of defamation and lies. Must pay 20,000 Euros, make public apology

Will Pope Francis allow what’s left of the FFI to survive?

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/02/breaking-franciscan-friars-of.html
All emphases theirs

February 15, 2015

UPDATE:
Corrispondenza Romana has a copy of the court record and is reporting that Fr. Volpi has a deadline of March 3 for paying the damages to the Manelli family and making public apologies. In addition to the numerous ways he must publicly apologize, listed in our original report below, he must also now issue a press release distributed through AGI (the Italian news agency). 
Corrispondenza Romana also asked if Fr. Volpi will resign. We believe there is a more critical question: Why hasn’t Pope Francis publicly fired him and ended this unjust and unwarranted commissioning that he himself started?

Rorate original post: 
The chickens have come home to roost for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI), Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, and possibly just in the nick of time. 

Rorate Caeli contributor Francesca Romana has translated the first report from Chiesa e post concilio reporting that Fr. Volpi will pay the family of Franciscans of the Immaculate founder Fr. Manelli a large cash sum for his “defamation and lies” and make public apologies on all websites he runs and in a letter to all FI friars and nuns. 
For regular readers of this blog, you know that Fr. Volpi was brought in for just one reason: to crush one of the fastest-growing, traditional-minded religious orders in the world — but not on his own: as he admitted in the past, at least in his words, he was specifically ordered by the Vicar of Christ,” Pope Francis to carry out his mission.
Our questions now are simple:
Will Pope Francis now finally rein this man in and force his boot off the throat of an order that only wants to serve God as the saints have all served Him for two millennia?
And will Pope Francis finally end this unjust commissioning and allow the poor friars who have had to flee the grip of this cruel man to return to their sworn vows and live out the remainder of their vocations in peace? We pray to hear in the affirmative soon. 

From Italian blog Chiesa e post concilio:

Is this a fruit of the Rosaries and fervent prayers at Santa Maria Maggiore?

For the moment the only source is Don Camillo (a priest blogger) whom I know is close to the Manelli family; for this reason I trust the source and thank him for the information. Original text [click] here

Is the justice of men more efficient than ecclesiastical justice – of the new-church that is – which seems to have just discovered Mercy only today?

I’m wondering though, why Don Camillo can attribute what happened, to Benedict XVI, seeing that the Decree of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, wherein the Commissioning of the Franciscans of the Immaculate is laid out, with the subsequent destitution of the Founder and General Minster of the religious Institute (and its Council), is dated 11th July 2013.

The Decree, signed by the Cardinal Prefect, João Braz de Aviz and by the Archbishop Secretary, José Carballo, OFM, deprived the Superiors of the Franciscans of the Immaculate of any authority, entrusting the government of the Institute to an “Apostolic Commissioner”, Father Fidenzio Volpi, a Capuchin. A decree, what’s more, that doesn’t mention any misdeed, nor acts expressly and directly against the good of the Religious Institute. And with no reference to any question or motivation that regard properly faith, morals or discipline.

And it was confirmed in writing by Pope Francis, which made any recourse to appeal not possible.

I have never involved myself too much regarding the situation of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, but a sentence emitted by the  Mediation Organism (Organismo di Mediazione forense) of the Roman Tribunal [Tribunale civile di Roma] on the 12th of February is just too juicy!

The Facts:

On December 8th 2013, Father Fidenzio Volpi wrote in a letter:

“A thing which is extremely grave – and  I bring to your official knowledge only now – was the transfer of assets of moveable goods and immovable real estate, belonging to the Institute, to lay people, known as spiritual sons (or daughters) and family members of the Founder, Father Stefano M. Manelli, and also to some parents of the nuns.” Father Volpi continues: “Such maneuvers, gravely illicit from a moral and canonical point of view, with repercussions in the civil and penal sphere, occurred after the nomination of the Apostolic Commissioner, thus manifesting the will to subtract such funds from the control of the Holy See.” The Commissioner tries to conceal the measures regarding it: “Those who have done or permitted all of this have fallen into grave fault, and, if a religious, are subject to severe canonical sanctions. Something similar has taken place also in the works of the apostolate: the publishing house, and television.”

[…] Well then, for these lies Father Volpi, [after] negotiating with the entire Manelli Family, whose honour was damaged, and consequently having admitted the felony [reato] of defamation and lies [menzogna, also: falsehood] on February 12th 2015, as fair compensation, will have to pay 20,000 Euros to the Manelli Family, plus all legal expenses, the publication of a public apology on internet sites run by him, as well as circular letters to all of the friars and nuns.  

Justice has been done!

 

 

 

Court: Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Commissioner Volpi guilty of defamation and lies, must pay 2K Euros, make public apology

http://pblosser.blogspot.in/2015/02/court-franciscan-friars-of-immaculate.html
Emphases theirs

February 16, 2015

If this report is true, this is utterly deplorable. For English account see Adfero’s post (RR, February 17, 2015). The Franciscans of the Immaculate have been eviscerated as a result.

Video 16:16
There is no easy way to express the magnitude of the destruction of this religious order. There is, however, the following video we posted back on February 2nd of this year, a video claimed to have been obtained exclusively by Rorate, in which the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate filmed an entire day, documenting the way of life in their seminary for posterity. That day was December 8, 2013, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the very day the Theological Seminary of the Immaculate Mediatrix (STIM) was closed by their Apostolic Commissioner, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi.

Update (2/27/2015): Confirmed: court record confirming Volpi must pay by March 3rd, etc.

 

 

For the record: Letter of the Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/02/for-record-letter-of-apostolic.html

February 19, 2015

Fr. Volpi has issued his defense. We post it for the record, as everyone deserves the right to be heard:

Letter of the Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to All the Religious of the Institute

Object: Clarification concerning the civil lawsuit brought against the Apostolic Commissioner and some comments published on the subject

Dear Confreres

Pax et Bonum!

I wish to address you paternally, aware of the concerns that the dissemination of news concerning me may have aroused in your minds. This information has been spread with the clear purpose of harming fraternal communion in the Institute—a communion that distinguishes our common, united effort to restore among the Franciscans of the Immaculate the original charism that has characterised the service the Institute has rendered to the Church.

I ask you, therefore, to give your careful attention to the following account of events in which I have been involved, and in respect of which there is a malicious attempt to generate scandal.

The divine Master said: “Oportet ut eveniant scandala—It must needs be that scandals come”; this principle certainly applies to us all, so long as we are capable of discerning the truth from falsehood, and we know how to draw the correct lesson from the events we encounter.

On the occasion of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 2013, celebrating our Heavenly Patroness, I wrote a circular letter to all of you, summarizing the events that had taken place since my appointment as Apostolic Commissioner.

In that letter I could not fail to address one of the more difficult trials that, together, we have tackled and overcome, in a Franciscan spirit and with the heavenly protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary: I refer to the subtraction from the Institute of the capacity to use the temporal goods conferred upon it that are necessary for the accomplishment of our mission.

Referring to changes made to the Statutes of the two Associations with legal personality under civil law which own the physical assets of the Institute, I stated that these goods had been placed under the control of persons that include some family members of Fr. Manelli. This statement was no lie, and could easily be verified.

However, the brothers and sisters of the Founder (I mean, brothers and sisters according to flesh and blood), together with a brother-in-law, considering themselves offended by what I asserted in my circular letter, took up a civil action against me to obtain compensation for the damage which they had allegedly suffered.

According to current civil procedural regulations, any action may give rise to a judgement only after mediation between the parties has been attempted.

In these circumstances, on February 12 this year, “pro bono pacis” and in the fraternal spirit of our Seraphic Father, I reached for a settlement agreement with the opposite party which did not involve any acknowledgment on my part except by way of a clarification, and which had the sole purpose of avoiding further civil proceedings before the Court of Rome, with consequent additional costs to the Institute.

On the basis of this agreement, I committed myself, among other things, to publish on the official website of the Institute a clarification, agreed with the counterparty.

I was about to do what had been agreed, when, on 15 February, an article appeared in an electronic publication, whose “sole source”—in the words of its editor—was a certain “don Camillo”, qualified as “close to the Manelli family”.

In this text, it was stated verbatim as follows:

Padre Volpi, dopo avere ammesso il suo reato di calunnie e menzogne, il 12 febbraio è stato condannato…  — Father Volpi, after having admitted his crime of slander and lies, was sentenced on the 12 February…”

The intention of the author, identified expressly as linked to the family of Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, seems clear enough: to diminish my prestige and the authority conferred upon me in the sight of you all, dear Confreres.

I have not, in fact, been convicted of any offence, nor subjected to any criminal proceedings; nor have I ever—in court or outside—admitted committing a crime, or uttering slander or lies.

 

 

I have therefore instructed my lawyers to prepare a lawsuit for the crime of defamation through the press against those responsible, and I have made known to the members of Fr. Manelli’s family my intention to no longer comply with the terms of the agreement signed on February 12, 2015, which I consider no longer valid on account of a severe failure of compliance by the counterparty.

Dear Confreres,

I know I rely on your “sapientia cordis” in considering you partakers of the sentiment that makes me regard the campaign of defamation waged against me once again—taking advantage of the Franciscan spirit with which I had resolved to put an end to the dispute with certain relations of Fr. Manelli—as an attempt to undermine the harmony which, until now, has animated all of us in promoting the good of the Institute and the Church.

I invite you therefore to strengthen further the bond of solidarity that unites us with the Holy Father and with the whole Church militant, just as it unites us among ourselves, under the mantle of the Virgin, Mother and Patroness of the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Let us raise to Her our united prayer for heavenly grace in a particularly difficult moment in our history.

I embrace you all, reminding you of the saying in the Gospel: “NON PREVALEBUNT!”—and I bless you.

Rome, February 18, 2015

Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, OFM Cap

Apostolic Commissioner

 

 

SSPX – Schism or not?

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/03/sspx-schism-or-not/

By Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, March 6, 2015

Recently there has been some slightly turbulent discussion in the blogosphere about the canonical status of the Society of St. Pius X, that is, whether or not the SSPX is in “schism”. Some people refer to them as “schismatic”.

That isn’t quite accurate.

First, remember that the full name of the SSPX is “Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X… the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X”. So, the true membership of the SSPX are the bishops, priests and, I suppose in a tangential way, the seminarians and religious. Lay people who frequent their chapels aren’t really members.

When I worked for the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” we avoided using the word “schism”. There hasn’t been any official determination that they are in schism.

That said, it must be admitted that Pope John Paul II wrote of the 1988 illicit consecration of bishops as a “schismatic act”. The 1983 Code in can. 751 describes schism as “withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him”. And I think that the “duck argument” could apply, at least as a warning of what could come in the future.

Moreover, in 2013 Card. Mueller of the CDF – also the President of the PCED – referred to them as being is schism. That said, there hasn’t ever been any official ruling and declaration that the SSPX is, formally, in schism.

In any case, I think it is not helpful refer to the SSPX as being schismatic until such time as that Holy See comes down on that side openly.  Surely is isn’t a good idea to come to digital blows about it.

Folks… we have far bigger problems. We need to close ranks rather than bicker about this sort of thing.

I, for one, pray for a reconciliation. And soon.  If things remain the way they are for much longer, I don’t see how reconciliation will come.  After all, there is now a whole generation raised up in their chapels who have never known clear and unambiguous unity and harmony with the Roman Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him.  That’s not good.

The moderation queue is ON.  I’ll probably let a lot of comments pile up and release them at once, after some filtering.  So, review and think before posting.

 

1 out of 72 responses

The SSPX position is that their lack of canonical regularity is NOT ideal, but the Church is in an existential crisis, and while She remains in such a chaotic state, all they can do is what they’ve been doing: preach the traditional Faith and celebrate the traditional Mass. Considering what’s happened to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the upcoming October synod and the still-massive “silent apostasy” (St John Paul II’s words) taking place in dioceses across the world, one must admit they do make a plausible case—whether justified or not.

Fellay is willing to regularise as long as they don’t have to sign something affirming every jot and tittle of Vatican II. But Rome requires exactly that from them, which is why we are at an impasse. Ironic, though, that they affirm more of Vatican II’s actual teachings than (I daresay) most priests “in good standing”. But they aren’t going away—they have booming vocations.

 

 

Fr. Gabriel Maria Polo, RIP

http://airmaria.com/2015/06/05/fr-gabriel-maria-polo-rip/

By
Fr. Angelo Geiger, Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate, and a priest for more than twenty years, now studying in Rome for his licentiate in Theology, June 5, 2015

 

 

 

Over the past week the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate having been in mourning the loss of Fr. Gabriel Maria Polo, who passed away following a heart attack in Cebu, Philippines. He was forty-three years old, nineteen years in religious vows and twelve years a priest of Jesus Christ.

Fr. Gabriel for a time was a missionary in Anapolis, Brazil and latter was assigned to Stoke On Trent, England. More recently he was the master of postulants and the superior of the formation house in Naga, Philippines.

I came to know Fr. Gabriel while I was assigned to the friary in Cornwall, England. He was a fine friar and priest, kind and joyful, and he was particularly good to me. I am honored to have called him a brother and a friend.

As I understand, he was interred yesterday is Cebu.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family.

I include here a video tribute to him, prepared by Fra Didacus as well as some photos from when he was assigned to England provided by Fr. Agnellus.

Now Fr. Gabriel has both hands free.

Other posts by Fr. Angelo:
http://airmaria.com/author/fr-angelo/

 

 

Fr. Volpi, Commissar over Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, has died.

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/06/fr-volpi-commissar-over-franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate-has-died/

Posted on 7 June 2015 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

From Corrispondenza Italiana […]

Fr. Volpi was the Commissar set over the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  A funeral is on Wednesday in Rome and again in Bergamo on 11 June.  That makes it pretty much official.

Say a prayer for his soul.

The moderation queue is ON.

1 out of 16 readers’ responses to the blog

1. I hope he will intercede for the FFI, now that he knows everything. I will pray for him AND ask him to intercede.

 

 

No Place for Tradition – Not Even on the “Margins”

http://eponymousflower.blogspot.in/2015/06/no-place-for-tradition-not-even-on.html

By Giuseppe Nardi,
June 23, 2015

In a “Church on the margins” there is a place for many, but apparently no place for tradition, at least not in the Abruzzo, Italy. There rules Bishop Michele Seccia, who is considered as an example of a clerical turncoat in Italy. Appointed by Benedict XVI as bishop and placed at the top of the Diocese of Teramo-Atri, he applied himself to follow the Pope in matters motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.  Enter Pope Francis, the same applies, but in the exact opposite direction.

The situation of the traditional believer in the diocese is dramatic (see At the “Margins of the Church” – of Traditional Rite: Situation report from Abruzzo). As Pope Benedict XVI enacted the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, Bishop Seccia called the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to Teramo. They took over the abandoned Dominican monastery and managed the Church of San Domenico, bringing a growing number of believers to the traditional rite. But along with the tradition, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate fell into disgrace after the election of Pope Francis to the highest ecclesiastical office.

 

Ban against the Celebration of the Traditional Rite by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

In July 2013, the Roman Congregation of Religious under the direction of Cardinal Prefect Cardinal João Braz de Aviz banned the Franciscans of the Immaculate from celebrating the traditional rite. In this emergency situation an Argentine military chaplain was brought in to help, who has been borrowed for some years by the diocese of Teramo-Atri. In the church of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, who were no longer allowed themselves, now Don Gaston Munoz Meritello celebrates in the traditional rite.

In February 2015, however, the late Apostolic Commissioner Father Fidenzio Volpi closed the monastery of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate on in Teramo. The San Domenico church was closed. The faithful attached to the traditional rite were literally shut out. They were locked out of the church.

 

Empty Churches but no Place for the Traditional Rite

Since then, Coetus has engaged in protracted negotiations with the bishop, to find admission to another church in the city, or to the opening of the Church of San Domenico, at least for the celebration of the Mass by Don Gaston on Sundays and public holidays.

Although the city’s churches are empty, no priest of the city showed pity on them and offered hospitality in his parish. Although the bishop took part in the celebration on a grand scale opening of the “center” of a different religion, he showed no mercy to the faithful in the traditional rite and offered them, despite many empty promises, hints and promises of any of the numerous, partly unused churches in the city.

 

 

 

The Wandering to the Margins – The Exile in the Mountains

The Argentine military chaplain Don Gaston Munoz Meritello could finally find a replacement. In the parish 25 km distant from Teramo where he worked as a chaplain, he received permission to use the remote chapel. There he had since celebrated then for the faithful who attended the Mass from the city of Teramo and the whole area in the traditional Rite. Although the chapel is tiny, it lit up this remote place with all the splendors of the Sacred Liturgy in honor of God and a blessing to the faithful and the entire Church. This felt as though the Congregation of Religious and  their own bishop had driven them to the underground, but they were glad to be back to have a Mass location.

With the transfer of Don Gaston Munoz Meritello to the mountain parish of Faieto, the old Mass community had to return to wandering, this time in the mountains. The path to the “margins of the church”, not a virtual, but a quite literally has continued to take them to the margins. In the mountainous region, a single priest is in charge of seven parishes. The parishes are very small, but are far apart. A relief for Don Gaston was therefore welcome. Don Gaston was in the Parish Church of St. Andrew of Faieto celebrating Holy Mass in the traditional rite. Faieto is located 630 meters above sea level and has a population of 90 inhabitants. A more remote location could hardly be found in the Diocese of Teramo-Atri.

The faithful began with Don Gaston at their own expense, to beautify the mountain church   and to make a number of liturgical purchases. But even this exile did not last long. Bishop Seccia has ended now without prior cooperation with Don Gaston Munoz Meritello. Reasons were not disclosed. Since he was only “borrowed”, Don Gaston must therefore leave the Diocese of Teramo-Atri. His next mission will be decided by the Argentine Military Ordinariate.

 

The Ruthlessness of the “New Mercy”

For new pastor of Faieto Bishop Seccia has appointed Father Giovanni Maria Manelli of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. As the family name suggests, he is a relative of the Order’s founder, Father Stefano Maria Manelli. Father Manelli is indeed to take over the remote mountain parish, but is limited by the prohibition he is not to be allowed to celebrate the traditional rite the Holy Mass.

The faithful are once again on the road, driven by those who should be their shepherds. For them, it seems in the “New Mercy” has left no room at the inn, not even in the Church.

 

 

New Commissar appointed over the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/07/new-commissar-appointed-over-the-franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate/

Posted on 1 July 2015 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

I saw at Corrispondenza Romana the news that a new Commissar has been appointed over the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

The new Commissar (Apostolic Commissioner) is a canonist, Salesian Fr. Sabino Ardito. Two assistants were also appointed, also canonists, a Capuchin and a Jesuit.

The first, former, Commissar, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi died in June.

Let us pray that prudence and justice are applied in all judgments concerning the FFIs.

 

 

Public criticism of the Pope

http://www.churchmilitant.com/main/generic/faq-public-criticism-of-the-pope

August 2, 2015

We have addressed this topic in the following episodes of “The Vortex”:

It Always Comes Back to the Pope

The Pope Is Different

Tell the Pope, Not the World

Disobeying the Pope

Let’s Just Say

The Razor’s Edge

The Church of Nice — for whom little is intolerable except fellow Catholics who embrace traditional Catholic theology, piety and liturgy — regularly and widely disapproves of Michael Voris and ChurchMilitant.com for “exposing the lies and falsehoods” of the Church of Nice and its clerical enablers in the Catholic priesthood and episcopacy. 

While it is simplistic to lay all blame for the current crisis in the Church at the feet of priests and bishops, the bishops and priests charged with feeding and tending the Mystical Body of Christ are the ones most responsible for the failure and devastation all around us. They have failed, spectacularly, in their mission to teach, govern and sanctify the Church. The consequences of their malfeasance are everywhere: precipitous decline in Mass attendance, vocations, catechesis and overall Catholic identity. The sheep share in the failure of their shepherds, but the shepherds must assume the greater responsibility because they are the leaders who have misled their flocks.

The mission of ChurchMilitant.com is to promote the faith given to humanity by Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Messiah. This faith is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church led by the successor to St. Peter, Pope Francis.

ChurchMilitant.com aims to provide everyone with means to increase their personal holiness through catechesis and evangelization about the truth of the Christian faith. We aim to convert non-Catholics to the faith founded personally by Jesus Christ, and strengthen the faith of existing Catholics.

 

 

Hard sedevacantists, such as the CMRI, and soft sedevacantists, such as the SSPX, accuse Michael Voris and ChurchMilitant.com of failure to criticize the Pope for doing or saying things that, if done or said by anyone of lesser ecclesiastical office, would be denounced vociferously.  That’s a fair criticism. ChurchMilitant.com does not and will not engage in public criticism of the Pope. Other Catholic apostolates do. We believe they should not.

It is our judgment that most Catholics should neither read nor have easy access to articles and essays that could be judged critical of the Pope. Such writings should be published and reserved for those capable of engaging them without risk of damage to their faith in the Church and the Vicar of Christ. We make these recommendations for the same reasons that we discourage people from visiting sedevacantist and pornography web sites: They are potential occasions of sin, from which masters of the spiritual life are unanimous in their recommendation of “flight” rather than “fight.” They lead people to think or do things they would not otherwise have thought or done and, almost without exception, those things are harmful to one’s spiritual life. At least one priest has described websites containing such articles and encouraging such themes as “ecclesiastical porn” (see “Christ is the Point“). We call it “spiritual pornography.”

Since this judgment is not self-evident, let’s try to understand it by way of hypothetical scenarios.

Assume, for the sake of argument, that everything one learns from “ecclesiastical porn” sites and articles is true. Every claim, every allegation, is true. Bad news all around for the Church. Question: How are you a better Catholic for knowing all this, and what is the proper Catholic response?

Conversely, what if everything one learns from “ecclesiastical porn” sites and articles is false? Every claim, every allegation, is false, but they are so persuasive that all is accepted as if true. Again, bad news all around for the Church. Question: How are you a better Catholic for believing what is false as if it were true, and what is the proper Catholic response to all that?

The first hypothetical scenario is more troubling and requires a response: How can it ever be a bad thing to know that something true is true? The second hypothetical scenario is more obviously harmful: believing something false to be true is always a bad thing. But for both hypotheses, the same questions arise: How is a Catholic better off believing bad things about the Church, whether those things be true or false, and how should a Catholic respond to those things? 

If someone believes that the Catholic Church has become a bad place to be, what is that person supposed to do? Join another Church? Break away from the visible, corrupt Catholic Church and form an alternative, allegedly more faithful version of the Catholic Church (see CMRI and SSPX)? Leave the Catholic Church and join a more faithful Evangelical Christian assembly? Give up on religion entirely and go the “I’m spiritual but not religious” crowd? Organize “Recognize and Resist” movements within the Catholic Church and relentlessly attack Her from the inside? Seek Church reform via some kind of coup d’état and replace current leadership with … what?

None of these responses is authentically Catholic. Each is facilitated and encouraged by papal criticism almost indistinguishable from what is found in the writings of virulent anti-Catholic apologists. The only authentically Catholic response is the example of Our Lady who, throughout Her Son’s Passion, stood by Him with full confidence, in spite of all appearances, that God’s will was and would be done. No matter how bloodied, beaten and defeated Our Lord appeared throughout His Passion and death, He was still Our Lord, and neither the flight of the Apostles nor their fear is remembered as a positive example to follow.

We are called in the face of the Church’s Passion to be faithful disciples close to Our Lady. To titillate ourselves with “ecclesiastical porn,” to feed our anxieties and worries with doubts about Our Lord’s very promise to be with His Church until the end of time, to reject Our Lord’s “Peace be to you” spoken to His frightened followers after the Resurrection, is to abandon Our Lord Himself. The crisis in the Church today invites us to be saints not cowards. No matter how it appears, we are always able to be “persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). We can continue to be faithful to the duties of our state in life, to daily recitation of the Rosary, to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, to the need for penance and mortification, to the need to grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Faith.

Yes, there is a crisis in the Church today, possibly the worst crisis in Her history, and it makes no sense to be completely ignorant of that reality. It helps to know one’s enemy so that effective strategies for daily living can be pursued. But the Church Herself cannot be our enemy, and that perception is precisely what trenchant criticism of the Pope invites and enables (see CMRI and SSPX). There may be apostasy throughout the Church, even at the very top, but the Church doesn’t cease to be the Church any more than Our Lord ceased to be Our Lord during His Passion and death. We shouldn’t and don’t need to go looking for reasons to lose faith in the Church. We are not better for reading pornography, spiritual or otherwise. “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). “Ecclesiastical porn” sites and articles cannot be approved in light of St. Paul’s words.

We recommend the following sermons as both inspiration and reinforcement of what we are saying here:

Christ Is the Point

Spiritual Contraception

Don’t Follow the Leader over the Cliff

Storm Clouds on the Horizon

Who Is Ruling Your Heart?

Also read Colossians 3.

While we greatly admire and are the beneficiaries of the work of those on whose shoulders we stand in the work to help restore the Catholic Church to its authentic glory, we can neither support nor encourage their ongoing, unnecessary and harmful attacks on the Church and the Holy Father.

 

 

Most Catholics are not even aware of the many disconcerting words and deeds of Pope Francis and his predecessors. Most Catholics have no idea there were ecumenical events at Assisi or that Pope St. John Paul II kissed the Koran. Most Catholics, including most bishops and priests, don’t even know there is a crisis in the Church today. They do know, however, that the Pope is the head of the Catholic Church and, presumably, the guardian and protector of Catholic orthodoxy. Who benefits from attacks on the Rock on whom Our Lord established His Church (Matt. 16:18)?

Faithful Catholics need help in persevering through their anxieties and doubts, not continual reinforcement and encouragement of those troubling states. Less faithful Catholics form their judgments of “traditional Catholics” through the lens of perceived dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the Church and the Holy Father. Those who relentlessly criticize the Church, Her leaders, and especially the Holy Father, risk doing immense harm to the Church Herself and discouraging both potential converts and those struggling to stay faithful through the crisis that is all around us. The sad reputation of “traditional Catholics” as angry dissidents from virtually everything in the Church today is as well deserved as the reputations of those rightly described as modernists.

A line must be drawn when it comes to criticism of the Holy Father, even when he says or does things that would invite appropriate criticism when said or done by those of lower ecclesiastical rank. Errant priests and bishops can be replaced. The Pope cannot. The Pope represents and symbolizes the unity of the Church in a way that bishops and priests do not. It may make us cringe at times, but it always was and always will be true that “ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia.” There have been extraordinarily awful popes in the past but, for all that, the Church not only survived but thrived. The popes immediately before, during and after the Protestant Revolt showed little recognition or understanding of the catastrophe unfolding before them (not unlike the post-conciliar popes of our own time), yet from such unpromising soil emerged an astonishing number of great saints, and the Council of Trent.

Australian Mary MacKillop became St. Mary of the Cross in circumstances similar to what is perceived as happening with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI). She founded a religious order, was replaced as Mother Superior by her local bishop, served for many years under her replacement before being restored as Mother Superior, was even unjustly excommunicated by her bishop, and the order that she founded is today a complete mess. But she became a saint through all that. She showed respect for her local bishop who truly didn’t deserve it, even finding excuses for his behavior. During the time she was excommunicated, she didn’t seek to start an alternative order to preserve the integrity of what she had started. She was obedient, humble, trusted God, and she became a saint.

A very poignant example of how we should treat the Holy Father is found in Genesis 9:18–27, particularly 21–23:

And the sons of Noe who came out of the ark, were Shem, Cham, and Japheth: and Cham is the father of Chanaan. These three are the sons of Noe: and from these was all mankind spread over the whole earth.

And Noe, a husbandman, began to till the ground, and planted a vineyard, and drinking of the vine was made drunk, and was uncovered in his tent. Which when Cham the father of Chanaan had seen, to wit, that his father’s nakedness was uncovered, he told it to his two brethren without.

But Shem and Japheth put a cloak upon their shoulders, and going backward covered the nakedness of their father: and their faces were turned away, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

And Noe awakening from the wine, when he had learned what his younger son had done to him, he said: Cursed be Chanaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

And he said: Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; be Chanaan his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and Chanaan be his servant. (Emphasis added)

A strong case can be made that “ecclesiastical porn” sites and publications, and those who write for them, are walking in the footsteps of Cham by telling others of their father’s nakedness. Scripture gives us the example of Shem and Japheth who “covered the nakedness of their father, “their faces were turned away,” and “they saw not their father’s nakedness.” The sons of Noe knew that their father was naked, but they chose to “cover” it.

We at ChurchMilitant.com are as aware as anyone of what could be judged the “nakedness” of Pope Francis and his predecessors. We choose not to tell others about it. We are not ultramontanists who believe that if the Pope burps during Mass it becomes a new rubric for the liturgy. The Pope is both Vicar of Christ and a human being who, in the normal course of a day, can say things that are doctrinally ambiguous, occasionally even erroneous. The Pope is protected from error in matters of faith and morals in very precise and defined circumstances, and interviews with journalists, remarks during general audiences and homilies during his morning Mass are not among them. The Pope is the protector and guardian of the Deposit of Faith which came from Jesus and His Apostles. Dogma does not change, although articulation of dogma can become clearer as the fruit of centuries of contemplation on the truths of the Faith.

No good is served by giving people the impression that the Pope is not Catholic, even if it can be alleged that there is reason to believe that he is not. “Ecclesiastical porn,” such as what is found on hard and soft sedevacantist websites and in allegedly faithful Catholic publications, discourages those struggling to remain faithful to the Catholic Church as well as those considering conversion to the Catholic Church. As noted above,

The mission of ChurchMilitant.com is to promote the faith given to humanity by Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Messiah. This faith is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church led by the successor to St. Peter, Pope Francis.

ChurchMilitant.com aims to provide everyone with means to increase their personal holiness through catechesis and evangelization about the truth of the Christian faith. We aim to convert non-Catholics to the faith founded personally by Jesus Christ, and strengthen the faith of existing Catholics.

ChurchMilitant.com will not engage in public criticism of the Pope. Period.

Addendum: See also “Striking God’s Anointed One” by Canadian Catholic evangelist Mark Mallett.

 

 

A COMMENTARY ON HOW MUCH THE LITURGICAL CLIMATE HAS CHANGED AS SIGNIFED BY POPE FRANCIS’ CHOICE OF CARDINAL ROBERT SARAH AS THE PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP

http://southernorderspage.blogspot.in/2015/08/a-commentary-on-how-much-liturgical.html
All emphases the author’s

By Fr. Allan J. McDonald, August 16, 2015.

On my post below this one about Cardinal Sarah, a Pope Francis appointee to be the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, John Nolan* writes the following insightful comment which I had not considered:
“Fontgombault, with close to 100 monks and which has founded four other abbeys has opted to use the pre-Conciliar rite. Did Cardinal Sarah come with a message from Pope Francis to get with the program and update their liturgy? No he did not.
This is highly revealing and shows the extent to which the liturgical climate has altered since the 1960s and 1970s when Benedictines in France burned their chant books, embraced modernism and saw their communities disappear through lack of vocations.
Here in England Bishop Egan of Portsmouth has entrusted one of his parishes to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who are offering Mass in both the newer and older forms.”

*http://southernorderspage.blogspot.in/2015/08/the-cardinal-that-would-be-pope-one-day.html
As you know I was formed (some might say deformed) by my quite progressive and very liberal seminary. When I entered First Theology in the fall of 1976, there were 60 eager candidates many of whom, not all certainly, were formed in solid Catholic households and parishes despite the silliness in the Church of that period.
I would say that the majority of that 60 seminarians knew their Baltimore Catechism frontwards and back and not only attended Mass daily as lay people, but also had a powerful devotion to our Blessed Mother, frequently prayed before the Most Blessed Sacrament and appreciated the deep devotional life of the Church prior to the Council. They also appreciated distinct garb for nuns and priests and despised the frumpy secular clothes (although some wore rich fashions) that many nuns and priests had selected over habits/clerical clothing to look like lay people, although the nuns never seem to be able to do so for some reason, you could still pick them out even in frumpy lay clothing! They also liked calling priests “Father” although our seminary priests to include the rector wanted us to call them by their first name! I felt so grown-up!
At the time I was 22 years old. Thus only 11 years had elapsed since the close of the Council, but to me at the time it seemed like a lifetime!  But the point was that most of us and I was amongst the younger, were formed in a hybrid Church, pre and post Vatican II. Most of us loved the best of pre-Vatican II and appreciated what the real Vatican II wanted to accomplish if only it would be implemented except for the progressives who hijacked the Council with their spirit, not the Holy Spirit and distorted it.
However, the silly progressive priests in the seminary who ridiculed the entire corpus of the pre-Vatican II Church to our first year class had already begun what would lead to the destruction of once proud and glorious religious orders and lay the foundation for the same thing to happen to a significant number of lay Catholics who would eventually become “nones.” These same progressive priest/theologians also ridiculed the conservative inclinations of more than half of my first year class leading to about half of them not coming back for second theology, some of whom went to other seminaries and eventually were ordained.
By the time we were ordained transitional deacons in 1979, my class of 60 had dropped to 24. Today of that number some have died but many have left or have been asked to leave the active priesthood. So the active priests today are about 8!!!!!!! (Aging Progressive priests of that era would see my class as a success so in denial are they about the ruin they caused!)
What did the progressive seminary staff despise about the majority of my entering class? These wicked first year seminarians challenged the seminary personnel to have public recitation of the Holy Rosary or at least a public time for all to quietly pray it together, to have Adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament regularly; to promote Holy Hours before the Blessed Sacrament and to tighten up on the public dress of seminarians on the first floor of the building. (There was no dress code!) However, but 1978 after some seminarians started wearing short-shorts and flip flops to class and one even a tank top with it, the seminary cracked down, kind of and said, don’t wear that).
The other thing some of our seminarians demanded was more Latin in the new Mass and more tradition (not a return to the Tridentine Mass but just more attention to detail and tradition for the new Mass). For anyone to push the Tridentine Mass at the time would have been a sacrilege and gotten them thrown out of the seminary under the cover of night.
Baby, we’ve come a long way since the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. A Pope Francis appointee goes to a French monastery that primarily celebrates the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and supports the great recovery this Benedictine Order of priests has experienced since doing so and even spreading their success to other places. 
It has to make the iconoclasts of the 1960’s (if any are still alive or have their faculties) burn with anger to see their agenda completely dismantled and by a younger generation. These still live progressives (some 84 and older like good ole Fr. Hans Kung) don’t like to have their ideologies questioned although they encourage others to question truth and Truth! Just don’t question them or they will bring down their almighty wrath on you!

 

 

 

 

UPDATE

Ave Maria! Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate: no more lies in the Jubilee Year of Mercy

http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.in/search/label/Franciscan%20Friars%20of%20the%20Immaculate%20Boccea%20Rome

By Lionel Andrades, December 25, 2015

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate seminarians and students most of whom live at Santa Maria di Nazareth, Boccea, Rome interpret Vatican Council II with the theology of Cushingism instead of traditional Feeneyism.(They are my neighbours. I live nearby. This is my parish.)

 

WITH CUSHINGISM

So with Cushingism, Lumen Gentium 16 (being saved in invincible ignorance) refers to an explicit case in 2015 the Year of Mercy. And since it is an objective case, it is an exception to all needing to formally enter the Church for salvation. Objective exception?! It is an exception to all needing to be ‘card carrying members’ of the Church; all needing faith and baptism to avoid Hell.

If these students and their superiors (also seen in the picture) would interpret Vatican Council II with the theology of Feeneyism instead of irrational Cushingism, then there would be a different Vatican Council II, it would be traditional.

 

WITH FEENEYISM

With Feeneyism Lumen Gentium 16 ( being saved in invincible ignorance) would refer to an invisible case, in the 2015 the Year of Mercy, and since it is not an objective case, since it is not explicit, it is not an exception to all needing to formally enter the Church for salvation. No objective exception! It is not an exception to all needing to be card carrying members of the Church, all needing faith and baptism to avoid Hell. Vatican Council II would be traditional and in harmony with the strict interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

But the students and their superiors are not allowed to interpret Vatican Council II with Feeneyism instead of Cushingism. Rome will not allow it.

Even the students and seminarians who stayed at this seminary, before the pontificate of Pope Francis, when the Traditional Latin Mass  was offered would interpret Vatican Council II and the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and other magisterial documents, with Cushingism instead of Feeneyism .So did their superiors.

So they would offer the Latin Mass but would change Catholic doctrine with irrational Cushingism and believe they were faithful to the teachings of the Church.

Nothing has changed, except for the Mass- it is now only in Italian.

There is anger against the Traditional Latin Mass since it is believed it reflects the old ecclesiology, the strict interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus which none of them want to affirm for practical and expedient reasons. It is not politically accepted within and outside the Church. It is not good for the ‘career’.

But the problem really is not with the Mass as they believe, but with the theology they use. It is the theology which creates a break with the past, a break with Tradition, a break with the old ecclesiology of the Latin Mass. It is a break with the Mass of All Ages, a break with the saints and a break with the original Catholic Church.

Change the theology and you change the Church. One could also say identify the wrong theology and you get back to the old Church.

Today the Franciscans of the Immaculate, a community I love, is divided and broken. And they think it is because of the Mass. Pope Francis thinks it is because of the Mass. For him the Mass is ideological.

This is because Pope Francis like the Franciscans of the Immaculate do not realize that it is THE THEOLOGY which creates the IDEALOGY. It is not the Mass. I repeat it is not the Mass.

One can use Feeneyism with the old or new Mass.

One can use Cushingism with the old or new Mass.

I am a Feeneyite. I go for the new Mass and also for the old Mass, when it is available. My ecclesiology is constant. I affirm the old ecclesiology even if Mass is in English or Italian. Pope Francis will not like my ideology even when I attend the Novus Ordo Mass. The one world religion people, the Jewish Left will not like my ideology even when I attend Mass in Italian.

This is important for all traditionalists to realize. You can affirm Vatican Council II with Feeneyism and ask the Franciscans of the Immaculate Superiors and Pope Francis and his Curia to do the same. Ask them to affirm Vatican Council II with Feeneyism. Ask them to have the students and seminarians of the Franciscans of the Immaculate now being taught at the Pontifical Universities in Rome, at the Angelicum and Anthonianum, to interpret Vatican Council II with traditional and rational, Feeneyism.

Cushingism is irrational and a lie. 

It is not Catholic to promote a lie for worldly and false reasons. It is time for the seminarians themselves to break free from this lie.

 

 

Pope restricts use of Latin Mass by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

http://ncronline.org/news/theology/pope-restricts-use-latin-mass-franciscan-friars-immaculate

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, August 6, 2013

 

 

Pope Francis’ order restricting the use of the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass in communities of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate addresses problems within the religious order and does not contradict retired Pope Benedict XVI’s permission for wider use of the old Mass throughout the church, the Vatican spokesman said.

Pope Francis’ orders “do not intend to contradict the general instructions” of Pope Benedict, but respond “to specific problems and tensions created in that congregation regarding the rite for the celebration of Mass,” said Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, in a statement Friday.

After an apostolic visitation of the order, begun under Pope Benedict, Pope Francis appointed Capuchin Fr. Fidenzio Volpi to serve as apostolic commissioner of the order.

Announcing the appointment in a letter dated July 11, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life also issued a decree saying that Pope Francis requires all the friars “to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite,” the post-Vatican II Mass, and that the use of the so-called extraordinary form or pre-Vatican II Latin Mass “must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities for every religious or community that makes a request.”

Some bloggers and Catholic websites had presented the Vatican move as an attempt to restrict use of the old Mass, but Lombardi said Friday the provisions concern “the life and governance of the congregation as a whole and not just liturgical questions

A statement published on the friars’ website said that Fr. Stefano Manelli, founder and superior, “together with the whole Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, submits in obedience to the Holy Father and trusts that this obedience will bring forth greater graces.”

An “official note” from the friars Saturday said while many of the members and communities chose to give priority to the old Mass, the priests always were free to celebrate Mass using both forms, and Manelli often celebrated Mass using the new rite. It acknowledged, however, there were internal differences over how the choice of liturgy was being made.

The sisters, in a statement Tuesday, said members of the women’s branch of the order also were allowed to choose which form of the Mass they wanted to attend unless they belonged to the contemplative branch of the order that used the extraordinary form exclusively.

 

 

FAQ – Franciscans of the Immaculate & Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum

http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/faq-ffi-en.pdf

Undated

Questions regarding the petition in support of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the world-wide implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum have been asked all around. Here we have compiled the most important ones and present them along with their answer to the public.

 

What is the goal of the petition?

Those signing it promote respect for and the implementation of the Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” and the instruction “Universae Ecclesiae” – both in general and in the specific case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception, to whom, since the beginning of August 2013, the use of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite has been forbidden. This prohibition affects not only the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate directly, but as a consequence also all the faithful who are cared for by them. They too no longer have the opportunity to celebrate the Holy Mass and the other sacraments in the extraordinary form (unless the local bishops provide for a speedy replacement in all affected locations).

 

Why the ban?

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI) are a young congregation (founded in 1970) that, following the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, opened itself towards the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite: Since 2008, the seminarians were learning both forms of the Mass and, as priests, celebrate in both the Novus as Vetus Ordo. The Order consists worldwide of 350 brothers with vows and 120 seminarians. The female branch comprises of about 350 sisters. After 5 FFI-members had complained to the Vatican alleging too much emphasis on to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, initially an Apostolic Visitor was appointed, and following that, (early July 2013) an Apostolic Commissioner, the Capuchin Father Fidenzio Volpi, OFM Cap. In the decree of appointment for Father Volpi – citing the name of Pope Francis – a ban concerning use of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite decreed which affects the whole. Commissioner Volpi has the power to give dispensation on special requests (by religious communities or individuals); in fact he makes little use of it: for example, out of 33 communities s in Italy, only 3 received permission, 3 others were closed following such a request. All three belong to the diocese of Albenga-Imperia in Liguria, whose bishop promotes the old rite. In his diocese, the FFI were entrusted with the care of souls in three communities. As well, the Order’s own seminary in Sassoferato was closed, the seminarians were dispersed to other communities and all ordinations to higher orders were suspended for a year.

 

How do the relevant documents actually say?

Quote 1:

Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without a congregation, any Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use either the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed Pope John XXII or the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, and may do so on any day, with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such a celebration with either Missal, the priest needs no permission from the Apostolic See or from his own Ordinary.

 

 

Source: Summorum Pontificum motu proprio (7.7.2007)

Quote 2:

Article 9, § 3 “Consecrated clerics have the right to also use the Roman Breviary by Blessed John XXIII as promulgated in 1962.”

Source: Summorum Pontificum motu proprio (7.7.2007)

Quote 3:

“In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but not rupture. What earlier generations held sacred, remains sacred and great for us and it cannot all of a sudden be entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

Source: MPSP accompanying letter to the bishops (7.7.2007)

Quote 4:

23. The faculty to celebrate sine populo (or with the participation of only one minister) in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite is given by the Motu Proprio to all priests, whether secular or religious (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 2). For such celebrations therefore, priests, by provision of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, do not require any special permission from their Ordinaries or superiors.

Source: Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (30.4.2011)

Quote 5:

13. Diocesan Bishops, according to Canon Law, are to monitor liturgical matters in order to guarantee the common good and to ensure that everything is proceeding in peace and serenity in their Dioceses, always in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father clearly expressed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Source: Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (30.4.2011) Quote 6: The Holy Father Francis on 3 July [2013] disposed that each member of the Congregation of the Franciscan of the Immaculate Conception is bound to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite, and that, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be approved explicitly by the responsible authorities for every religious community or members on request”

Source: Decree by Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life 11.7.2014, gez. Cardinal de Aviz (PROT. N. 52741/2012)

Comment: An institution that gives itself laws, but then obviously disregards its own laws, makes itself untrustworthy – and cannot demand of others to respect its laws. This applies not only to the Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, but also to attendance at mass every Sunday, to express one’s sexuality only within a marriage consecrated by the church, to confess serious sins, etc., etc.

 

Why a petition? Isn’t that something we expect in politics and is used by groups such as the “Kirche von unten” – but not from conservative Catholics?

Canon law states: Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church. §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Source: CIC 1983

Comment: According to Canon Law then, the Catholic laity not only have the right, but the duty to point out grievances and to communicate them upwards until they have reached a place that can resolve the problem. One way to achieve for a group of people is to write and sign a petition. The goal of the petition is not to put pressure on the Holy Father – which is in any case impossible from within the Church due to its structure, even if one would want that – but to point out the violation of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” with a (common) and strong enough voice by the practicing faithful such that he will take notice of it. The second and very important point in this respect is the fact that this petition does not seek to change either church dogma or law, but to urge the leadership to observe and follow existing church law.

 

The petition and its accompanying speaks of “manipulation of data”: What data is involved?

Please read: http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/20130919_presentazione_dati_visita_apostolica+englishsummary.html number 05 in list of documents at: http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/dossier_ffi.html

The presentation of the data on page 1 of this document, by displaying not absolute percentages, but rather relative percentages, creates the impression that 70% of respondents had voted for resolving the internal problems by an extraordinary General Chapter or by the appointment of a Commissioner – in reality there were only 6% of the professed Franciscan brothers who voted for it (see below). Why not also present the absolute numbers? Were they too low? Why is only a combination of response shown – and why were the responses to the very different approaches not shown separately – on the one hand an extraordinary General Chapter and on the other an external commissioner? Was the ratio too much in favour of an exceptional General Chapter? The Apostolic Visitor did not visit the individual FFI branches but only sent out a questionnaire to all Franciscans with solemn vows. This included an unannounced deadline for the completion and return, i.e. only the opinion of an unknown proportion of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate was evaluated. Of this portion, less than 45% voted for the appointment of a commissioner.

 

 

 

However even by combining the two answers, the significance of this questionnaire result remains low. To illustrate lets propose the analogy from the medical education: a patient is sick (has trouble breathing, cough) and is examined by several doctors who write down their diagnoses, and one of them present them in a lecture. The following treatment options are available: a) observe and wait; b) prescribe an inhaler and vitamin; c) prescribe antibiotics d) operate (e.g. remove part of the lung). The professor has the 350 students vote in writing, but terminates the vote before all students have dropped their ballot into the box. After the count, he shares the result: The patient will undergo an operation as 74% of the votes called for the alternative “operation”. As an explanation of the votes, the professor announces: a) 39% advised to wait and see b) 26% of the remaining students voted for inhalation + vitamin supplements, c) + d) the other 74% of the remaining students voted for an antibiotic or surgery.- Accordingly the decision of the 350 students was very clear: 74% voted for the operation. After lunch, the professor tells a colleague of this lecture and the vote. The colleague is not satisfied with the above percentages and wants to know how many students had voted directly for the Alternative “surgery”. Answer: 21 – “21 of 350: But that is only 6% – and not 74%” he exclaims. – “It depends on how one evaluates the results” answers the professor with a smile. For more on this topic, please read the documents at: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-not-so-immaculate-curia-they-dont.html and http://ecclesiadei.nl/docs/chronology-of-events-around-the-visitation.pdf

 

What are the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate actually accused of?

In addition to the written complaints of five dissidents (who claimed to speak for a total of 21 Franciscan brothers) because of an alleged overemphasis of the old rite within the FI-religious community there are two areas in which Commissioner Volpi raised allegations:

1) Financial irregularities: The family of FFI-founder Father Manelli, appropriated money and property. After a court case with the Manelli family, Commissioner Volpi, had to deny the accusation of financial enrichment and publish all relevant correspondence in early February on the FFI website: http://www.immacolata.com/index.php/it/35-apostolato/ffi-news/253-precisazione-del-commissarioapostolico

2) The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate had drifted in a “crypto-lefebvrian traditionalist” direction. Commissioner Volpi never explains in concrete term what that means nor does he present evidence or examples.

 

Among other things, the petition asks the question why the Franciscans of the Immaculate are treated more harshly than any other community in the past 50 years. Is this question appropriate or is it an internal matter for the community?

An example: When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope in 2005, he personally instituted proceeding against Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ (LC) and ordered an Apostolic Visitation of 2009. Benedict XVI spoke about Maciel’s “very serious and objectively immoral behavior that is supported by indisputable testimony” and which expressed itself “sometimes in the form of real crimes” and revealed “an unscrupulous life without true religious sentiment”. But Benedict XVI did not proceed against the Order, which had distinguished itself in many ways. Because of the trepidation of the Order around the Founder and the Superior General and, he placed the order in 2010 under provisional administration. For this purpose he appointed in Velasio de Paolis a cardinal, who, in a fatherly way, led the Order to a new start. A path, which was successfully completed in early 2014. As Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio was elected pope in 2013, he agreed to the resolute action by the Congregation for Religious against the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FFI). Neither the Order nor its founder, Father Stefano Manelli were guilty in any way. They had neither committed a shameful crime, as Marcial Maciel, nor were spreading heresies, caused confusion or infringed in any other way church doctrine and order. Not a Cardinal as a fatherly friend of the Order, but a simple Capuchin was used by the religious congregation as a Commissioner. See: http://www.katholisches.info/2013/12/07/eingriff-gegen-franziskaner-der-immakulata-weil-kryptolefebvrianisch-jedenfalls-traditionalistisch/

Of course, details should not be released – but some clues as to WHY the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are prohibited from using the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, why many pastors were separated from their sheep – which offenses are expected to be “cured” by these measures?

 

Are there any similar cases?

Is it useful and effective when the faithful write to Rome? As already mentioned several times, it is not only the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, but also the laity whom they serve who are affected by the measures of Commissioner Volpi. The situation is similar to an incident in 1999 within the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). 16 dissidents had addressed a complaint to Rome and accused the core of the FSSP of a “separatist spirit” and serious reservations “over the visible church, her current teaching and hierarchy”. In 1999 the FSSP consisted of about 80 priests, with a total (including deacons and seminarians) of about 240 members. 16 of 80 correspond to 20% of incardinated priests, but only about 7% of total FSSP members. With their action these 16 FSSP priests wanted to force the members of the Fraternity of St. Peter to celebrate regularly using the books of 1970 and obtain permission which would allow FSSP members to reshape the liturgy in the ancient rite according to their personal, “pastoral” preferences. Both requests were rejected – not only, but also because of the letters sent to the Commission “Ecclesia Dei” by the executives of some traditional national organizations, the Executive Board of the International Una Voce Federation as well as many individuals. The case of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is analogous: Only 5 dissidents turned to Rome with a complaint. Once again the Vatican party sided with the small group, stripped the regular leadership of the order of all the powers and appointed Father Volpi as a Commissioner.

 

 

 

He filled the order’s internal management positions with new people, including the five dissidents. Back then, lay people were also told that it was purely an FSSP internal problem; to write letters of protest was neither appropriate nor sensible … Then, as now, this position is false. Because if the priests are no longer allowed to celebrate in the old rite, the faithful no longer have the opportunity to celebrate mass in the old rite nor to receive the other sacraments in the old rite. Thus, such a prohibition affects both the priests AND the laity.

 

How can the faithful participate in this initiative?

The petition is available in 7 languages. At: http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/dossier_ffi.html links to the various language forms are available. Anyone can print them and send the complete forms to the addresses given. In addition, all readers are encouraged to pray for the adequate implementation of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum as well as for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and for Pope Francis.

 

When does the collection of signatures end?

Signed petition forms can be sent to the specified addresses until the end of March 2014.

 

Where and how can I get further information?

· Concerning the ban of the extraordinary form for the Franciscans of the Immaculate: http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/dossier_ffi.htm l (Collection of documents)

· Concerning the bam of the extraordinary form for the first Saturdays of each month in Santa Maria Maggiore (Rom): http://www.katholisches.info/2014/01/07/santa-maria-maggiore-messe-im-alten-ritus-abgeschafftappell-der-glaeubigen-an-den-papst/

http://www.katholisches.info/2014/01/14/gebetsvigil-in-papstbasilika-santa-maria-maggiore-fueralte-messe/

· Concerning the ban of the extraordinary masses at Fisher More College in Texas: http://www.katholisches.info/2014/03/03/die-neuen-bischoefe-von-papst-franziskus-zynischesverbot-der-alten-messe-aus-sorge-um-das-seelenheil/

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/03/guest-op-ed-fisher-more-college-and.html
http://www.katholisches.info/2014/03/18/zur-kontroverse-rund-um-fisher-more-college/

 

Vatican II Pope Francis and The Franciscan Sisters Of The Immaculate

http://yourvideo.space/vatican-ii-pope-francis-and-the-franciscan-sisters-of-the/

The Remnant forum’s Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara discuss the accept Vatican II or else canard and the persecution of the Franciscan Friars.

 

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate – Notes | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Franciscan-Friars-of-the-Immaculate/100733584481?sk=notes

 

Vocations video of FFI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7V3iYeZU0E 3:54

 

The FI family

http://www.marymediatrix.com/who-we-are/

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