|Founder Father Manelli at the Sacrifice of the Mass|
(Naples) The Court of Avellino has ordered the release of the property that belongs to the lay associations that are close to the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Thus, another of the accusations bandied about dissolves into nothingness that have been spread in recent years, spread against the founder and Superior General, Father Stefano Manelli who was deposed by the Vatican.
The property had been seized at the direction of the late Apostolic Commissioner, Father Fidenzio Volpi. by the district attorney of Avellino. As the traditional Order was placed under provisional administration in Summer 2013, the Commissioner and the leadership of the rebels realized that the properties are not in the direct possession of the Order, but belong to the lay associations connected to the Order.
The Ad Hoc Reason for Provisional Administration Dissolves into Nothingness
In this, however, the Apostolic Commissioner did not have access and thus, neither to the property. Nevertheless, in order to lay hands, there were accusations of alleged irregular transfers of assets. Alleged irregularities have been named in the past two years as the reason why the provisional administration was ordered by Rome. Officially there are no grounds for radical intervention in the life of the Order were announced by the Vatican to this day.
The judicial panel has now established that there were no irregularities present and ordered the release of the seized real estate assets worth around 30 million euros.
New Apostolic Commissioner Appointed
Commissioner Volpi's actions were directed against the lay organizations related to the Order, against the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (MIM) and the Third Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (TOFI). There are thousands of believers organized in these these worldwide and connected to the Order.
Just yesterday the appointment of a new Apostolic Commissioner for the Order became known. With the approval of Pope Francis the Congregation of Religious appointed the Salesian, Fr Sabino Ardito, to succeed Father Volpi. The canonist Ardito will lead the fortunes of the Order for the time being until the summer of 2016. Then the three-year period of a regular provisional administration will be finished. The provisional administration could then, however, be extended on a proposal from the Commissioner.
It is not yet known whether the new commissioner is to continue the dismantling of his predecessor or another line will follow.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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