(Rome) The joy of Christmas 2013 has brought another sad note for the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Shortly before the Solemnity, the Apostolic Commissioner, Father Fidenzio Volpi OFM Cap has closed up three more branches of the Order. Many Traditional Mass locations in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite were connected to the closings. The faithful were faced with this fact just before the holidays, that they would be without priests and Mass locations for Christmas.
Of the convents that were closed, one held two Marian shrines, that of Our Lady della Rovere in San Bartolomeo al Mare on the Italian Riviera and that of Our Lady of Pontelungo in Albenga and at the Church of Saint Leonard of Porto Maurizio in Imperia. The reason used by the Apostolic Commissioner was that the Franciscans of the Immaculate have a missionary charism, which is why they should also be active in the mission and is displacing the brothers to the Third World countries. The papal commissioner has already directed the closure of other convents and the exile of leading religious representatives (see separate reports After Rebuilding the Desolation Follows - Commissioner Disbands Convents of the Franciscans of the Immaculate on and The Road to Exile - Purge of Franciscans of the Immaculata ).
All three branches and Mass sites were located in the diocese of Albenga-Imperia in Liguria. The diocese is led by Bishop Mario Oliveri, a traditional diocesan bishop, like Bishop Dominique Rey in the nearby French Diocese of Frejus-Toulon on the Cote d'Azur, who promotes the establishment of old and biritual communities and gives them the task of the care of souls.
The closure of the three religious houses by the papal commissioner came after Bishop Oliveri gave permission for the brothers to live in his diocese, also supporting them in continuing to be able to celebrate in the traditional Rite. The Bishop drew particular attention to the pastoral care of the faithful at the three Mass sites. "Messa in Latino" refers to a "retaliatory action" against the bishop, if he "had dared to defend the Franciscans of the Immaculate."
Bishop Oliveri in 2008 was the world's first diocesan bishop, after the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, of Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate a Pontifical Mass from the throne. Seven Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate took their solemn profession in the Co-Cathedral of Imperia before the bishop.
"The Commissioner and some brothers collaborating with him, have imposed a climate of intimidation and fear in the Order," says a Catholic from Albenga in a letter to Libertà e Persona . "In dealing with the Franciscans of the Immaculate itself, there is little sense of 'mercy' and 'justice' and even less 'brotherly love'. And what can we ordinary believers do? We pray. But we should also write Pope Francis write personal, because only he can put an end to this destruction of this thriving Order ".
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org