(Rome) The Acting General of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FI) recently made a statement in a mocking tone to a recent article by Rorate Caeli. The well-known traditional English language website reported on 14 May that a "substantial" part of the Order, between 100 and 150 brothers have appealed to the Roman Curia, to be dismissed from the Order of Pontifical Right and to be a Community of Diocesan Right.
The Franciscans of the Immaculate , since 1998, have been an institute of pontifical right, were provided with papal approval to be under the provisional administration of the Congregation of Religious on July 11, 2013. Officially no reasons for the drastic intervention were given until today. In reality, the reasons have been thoroughly revised. The management of the Congregation of Religious had interfered in the Order's change of internal liturgy from the New to the Old Rite, the participation of the Order in a critical review of the Council and its documents, and the post-conciliar period, and not least the fact that the Order, because of its seriousness and rigor, has become the most flourishing Order of the Catholic Church.
Since the hard engagement of the Congregation of Religious with the dismissal of the Order's leadership and the imposition of house arrest for the Founder, Father Stefano Maria Manelli, the brothers are looking for a way to save the charism of the Order and continue to maintain the Old Rite.
Request for Change of FI to Ecclesia Dei Ignored
Already in the autumn, there was a motion that the order be recognized as an Old Rite Order and the jurisdiction of the Pontifical Commission of a considerable part of the brothers would be assumed by Ecclesia Dei. The request was ignored by the Congregation of Religious. In this context, the new test is to see, if they dispense with the already granted papal rights.Under a benevolent diocesan bishop, as the desire of the signatories of the petition, it should form a new order of diocesan right.
The Acting General of the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception, to be exact the papal commissioner appointed by the Secretary-General, Father Alfonso Bruno, has responded now on the article: "Rorate Caeli is lying again about us". For the brothers who want to keep the Old Rite, the Secretary-General has only few merciful, disparage words.
New Order of Diocesan Right?
However, the Curial General, confirmed there was a request to "be released from religious vows," but played down the scope. "Only about 15 priests and seminarians and most in temporary vows" would have made the request. In short, only about ten percent of the remaining members of the Order and not 30-40 percent. The inner need of the friars after a year under provisional administration, the prohibition of the Old Rite, the imposition of numerous restrictions, the dissolution of several monasteries, the suspension and removal of the international seminary is completely ignored by the Secretary-General.
"No Bishop Even Wants Them"
In a mocking tone the Curial General insists hat the priests who want to leave the Order, "have not even found a bishop in two months" who would be willing to accept them. Father Alfonso Bruno, the Order's internal gray eminence behind the coup of 2013 against the order leadership, simultaneously provides his interpretation of things corresponding to that line he spread since last summer: When the request for release of the religious vows and desire to found a new order is that it was "merely a destructive and sabotaging strategy of former superiors who do not want the end of the crisis for ideological reasons and personal interests." However, the Secretary General also gave no reasons in this case for the provisional administration, nor what the "crisis" is and who caused this "crisis".
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Franciscans of the Immaculate
image: Franciscans of the Immaculate
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