Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Franciscans of the Immaculate Win Important Legal Battle

Franciscan of Immaculate marching for life. New points for victory, but without a rethinking in the Vatican there seem no end to the torments in sight.

(Rome) The Franciscans of the Immaculate, oppressed by the Congregation of Religious with the approval of Pope Francis, have achieved another victory, at least a moral victory, which should more than ever be the occasion of a process of reflection in the Vatican. There aren’t any indications so far.

Despite its young age, the Order, which was not established until the early nineties, stood out for the great number of religious and priestly vocations, even in Europe, where most of the orders are moaning because of a lack of vocations.

Old Rite and missionary - and a thorn in the eye

The secret: As large parts of the Church and also many members of the Order, especially during and after the Council, were enthusiastic about "cutting off old braids" and introducing all sorts of innovations in the name of new "freedoms," from the setting aside of the Order's name to the abandonment of the Order's habit, from the convenient expansion of the cells while at the same time reducing the communal prayer of the hours, two friars minor went the opposite way. They asked to leave the company of their "progressive" confreres and retire to an abandoned monastery and revive it. There, they did not seek to subject their religious rule to an "aggiornamento" but to build on the first Franciscan rule of the order and deepen Marian spirituality.

The two Minorites, Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli and Fr. Gabriele Pellettieri, were joined by others, and they became the founders of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, a Marian and traditional order. As Pope Benedict XVI. freed the Immemorial Rite with the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and procured a home in the church, the young religious community did not hesitate to follow him in it. The Franciscans of the Immaculate became the first and so far only new religious order, which has returned to the traditional rite, but remained pastoral and bi-ritual. The special charisma that has distinguished the Order from other altruistic communities was its missionary zeal.

Benedict XVI. held his protective hand over the Order, which seemed to become as unique and interesting a model as it was to young members of other orders.

The Commissar 

Then there was the unexpected resignation Benedict XVI. and election of Pope Francis. In the Order, a tiny minority of five disgruntled, liberal brothers had complained because of the change to the Immemorial Rite in the Vatican. Under Benedict XVI. the Congregation of the Religious did not dare to take action. Under Francis, it immediately received the tiny minority's complaint as an opportunity to crack down on the unloved model - and radically.

Order's founder, Father Manelli
Manelli was deposed as Superior General and placed under house arrest. The order's leadership was removed from office, the priests were forbidden to celebrate the Immemorial Rite, and an apostolic commissar was appointed. In contradiction to Summorum Pontificum, each priest had to individually apply for a special permission to celebrate in the forma extraordinaria.

In order to exorcise the Order's charisma, monasteries were closed, its seminary closed and evictions were carried out. The conversion into an Ecclesia Dei community was prohibited as well as the founding of a new order. Bishops were threatened if they accepted Franciscans of the Immaculate who left the Order.

In that summer of 2013, a veritable destructive campaign was kindled. The consequences did not remain: the first was the drying up of the vocations.

No reason

The Summit: To date, the Vatican has not given any reasons for this radical interference, let alone any charges. So far there was no possibility for the Franciscans of Immaculate to defend themselves against the oppressive measures of the papacy or at least to defend themselves. The requests and queries of Fr. Manelli to be received and heard by the Pope were not answered by Francis.

As Commissar, the Congregation of Religious used the Capuchin, Father Fidenzio Volpi. A man who was possessed of no sympathy for the tradition or the Immemorial Rite. Accordingly, he raged against the Order. Unofficially, let it be cryptically hinted that the order was being cleaned up because of "Lefebvrian deviationism." Later, he even claimed that the Order had been put under temporary administration four months after the election of Pope Francis, because it wanted to "overthrow" the Pope. That tradition and the Immemorial Rite is the real enemy became more and more clear, if there was any need for further proof.

In May 2013, founder Manelli celebrated his 80th birthday (see Father Stefano Maria Manelli is 80 - success story of the Franciscans of the Immaculate: Old Rite and Missionary), unaware of what a storm would soon rage over his work. Meanwhile, Fr. Manelli is 85 years old and has been under house arrest for nearly five years, as ordered by the Vatican.

The Book of Slander

By contrast, Commissioner Volpi has been long dead. Today, the second Commissar, who is a bit more reserved than his predecessor, is in office today. Volpi died in the midst of a civil and criminal dispute before Italian courts. The way in front of state courts is at least open to Father Manelli and representatives of the lay organizations affiliated to the Order because the Vatican has no access to it.

The book by Loredana Volpi
Volpi had been condemned by the Italian court for defamation, to payment of damages, the execution of which was prevented by his death.

Loredana Volpi, a niece of the deceased commissar, saw the reputation of her uncle damaged. Together with Mario Castellano, she wrote the book "Truth and Justice for Father Fidenzio Volpi. A dark matter in the pontificate of Pope Francis" (Verità e giustizia per padre Fidenzio Volpi, Una oscura vicenda nel Pontificato di Papa Francesco). Now, she has admitted to accusing the Order of unproven things and writing slander against those in charge of the lay religious organizations.

"While the Acting Administration of the Franciscans of the Immaculate continues in its sixth (!) year, without for the time being, foreseeing a possible solution to this unusual affair, which together with other actions bordering on arbitrariness (see the Order of Malta) like a blemish on this pontificate, has been a important manner of procedure in the indictment and slander-construct that has poisoned this story," said Vatican Marco Tosatti.
Mario Castellano, the co-author with Loredana Volpi, was a consultant to Commissar Volpi. Numerous hints, tips and "recommendations" from Fr. Alfonso Bruno, the main opponent of Fr. Manelli, who became the main beneficiary of the provisional administration of the Order, were probably included in the book.

In each country there are keywords that function as ciphers. If you want to slander someone, it is sufficient to incorporate these keywords and to drop some allusions in the subjunctive. Castellano and Volpi in their book brought the Order and lay organizations into contact with the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia. The mafia is good for slander in Italy.

Loredana Volpi was received in audience, apparently for merit in the struggle against the Franciscans of the Immaculate, even by Pope Francis, to whom she presented a copy of her book.

The Apology

The founders Manelli and Pellettieri
The two authors, however, made a mistake. In their references in the book, they named the leading lay representatives by name. These filed a criminal complaint for defamation. This was to prove the truth, which was obviously not possible. To escape prosecution, Loredana Volpi decided to come to an out of court settlement with the plaintiffs. She undertook to write a letter of apology to be published in the leading daily newspaper of Southern Italy, in Il Mattino, and in the national daily La Repubblica. The left-liberal Repubblica was not the only newspaper to participate in the campaign against the Franciscans of the Immaculate. The ruling may have fallen on it because it is the only newspaper that Pope Francis reads daily, according to his own statement.

However, in order for the message to arrive at the governing pope, who bears the responsibility for the whole case, Volpi must, as she had handed him a book, also make her apologies directly.

Tosatti published excerpts from the letter of apology:

"It is absolutely certain that the statements employed are [...] not justified, being untrue, and for that reason they must be considered absolutely baseless and unjustified. In that sense, I renew to you my formal apology for the unfortunate and unjustified conduct towards you, and I inform you that the present letter will be published in the following ... media organizations and also on the Internet so that it may be widely used to redress the damage caused."
In return, those affected withdrew their ad.

The one most principally responsible is Pope Francis

The incident proves "once more," according to Tosatti, that the whole affair, which brought a most extraordinary, flourishing, young order to the brink of annihilation, is based on a construct of unproven allegations, rumors, baseless allusions, numerous verbal aggressions, and unbelievable slander. In short: it is an intrigue. The intriguers, that's for sure, seem partly personal, but partly ideologically motivated.

The ultimate responsibility for this lies not only with Pope Francis, because he endorsed the interventions of the Congregation of Religious, but above all because he has put both the male and the female branch, which was also placed under provisional administration at a later time, with two separate actions he refused to appeal to the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura against the measures of the Congregation of Religious. Thus, he decided by virtue of his powers as an absolute monarch. Why so much emphasis on an Order with which he had never had direct contact? The ordinary legal process would have clarified the legality and validity of the measures of the  Congregation of Religious and above all revealed what it is all about. That was (and is) precisely, obviously not desired.

Loredana Volpi's apology, according to Marco Tosatti, "casts a heavy shadow on the credibility of the Fronde [faction] of adversaries," arrayed against Father Manelli and his Order.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: MiL / Chiesa e postconcilio / Corrispondenza Romana
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmail.com


M. Prodigal said...

Too little too late. We must await a new time in the Church after a cleansing of the rot and the pontificate of a true Holy Father. It will come one day and the Order will be renewed, I think. Oh, for that day!

Tancred said...

It's too late? Ok, you win, I'm closing down the blog.

Litacanaman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Litacanaman said...

I made a mistake on my spelling,otherwise my question who really running and manifulation going in Vatican? Wolfs,hoodlums gangs ,remember Pope Paul stated the smoked of Satan has enter enter the altar of God,Satanic Power is already in to destroy the Papacy,Pray For his Pope dancing with the the devil ,he need all the rosary he can get to able to obtain the the consecration of Russia.

Tancred said...

The absolute hostility toward Christianity which was a hallmark of Paul VI's appointments and activity has returned. As bad as JPII was, at least he was only mildly hostile to tradition, and I do think he was moved by the SSPX's gesture at the Jubilee. I don't believe this Pope can be moved, or at least moved for long. His animus delendi is implacable.

Anonymous said...

“Why so much emphasis on an Order with which he had never had direct contact? ”

Because Bergoglio was sending a message to all orders considering a move to tradition: you are being watched and may receive a caressing dose of Francis-mercy!

Helen Weit said...

Why this Order? Also because of their Marian charism. The Immaculate Conception is the ultimate refutation of Amoris Chapter 8.

Anonymous said...

As sad as this story is, I find it rather humerous for one simple reason. Francis and his people are so consumed with hate for the Catholic Faith and tradition, that since 2013 they have done everything they can to destroy it. But the funny thing is, where they destroy it in one place, it springs up in 1-2-3 other places. In my travels in Europe in these past few months, and three weeks in Mexico, I heard all about the progressives and their persecution of traditional Catholics and traditional religious Orders. The funny thing is that in imitating Pope Francis and his people, they are just making the grassroots, faithful Catholics hate Pope Francis and his bishops al the more!!
In Poland, Francie, Germany and Mexico, I saw new, flourishing religious Orders which have sprung up since the very end of JPII's reign and during Benedict's reign growing in Grace and in vocations, and with the grateful support of the people. There is a traditional cloister of Redemptoristine nuns in Poland (probably one of only 2 in the world), which has both the Novus Ordo and Latin Mass and has 20 nuns. There is a Carthusian monastery in France which, though affiliated to the SSPX, has a community of young monks(below 40), and a half a dozen novices. There is an Order of nuns in Mexico which was founded by former Religious of the Sacred Heart nuns (founded by St. Madeline Sophie Barat). The Order, founded in 1800 and guided by the Saint for 65 years boasted nearly 9,000 nuns before Vatican II, but went habitless,radical liberal and feminist and now has less than 2,000 aged nuns. In the USA before Vatican II there were over 2,500, but now are less than 200 with a median age of close to 80. That is the median age for the whole Order. But this small convent in Mexico maintains the old discipline, wears the original habit, and has almost 40 members (they will still be here to give witness to a great tradition when the original Vatican II branch dies out in 5-10 years!)
There are traditional monasteries of Discalced Carmelite nuns being founded in the USA(2) which use the old Latin Mass, at least 2 Orders of men in the USA (new groups using the old Mass), and 1 of Carmelite hermits(they live like the Carthusians but are Carmelites in practice).
The attempted destruction of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and slandering their founders who are greatly respected, only made people hate Pope Francis and his agenda more. I've traveled a lot this year, and believe me, there is NO love whatsoever for Pope Francis among traditional, or even faithful Catholics who know him and his agenda....and I'm talking not a few hundred people, but entire countries. Most of the people in Poland I talk to actually HATE him, but they love Benedict XVI and of course their hero, John Paul II.
So the more damage Francis tries to do to Catholic tradition, the more he insults it, degrades it, and allows his closes to persecute it, the more he is hated....and the more Catholic tradition grows.
He should get the point by now but he's too stupid. He'll never change. But when he is gone sooner than we think, so will everything he attempted to do. The Franciscans of the Immaculate will be here standing proud in Catholic tradition, but Francis and his people will be just a bad memory quickly discarded by the next Pope.

Damian Malliapalli

Anonymous said...

YOU WOULDN'T DARE CLOSE DOWN THIS BLOG! I find so much good information and commentary here. Where am I gonna' go otherwise?

Tancred said...

OnePeterFive or maybe Hillary White?

Lee Gilbert said...

Damian, I could not agree more. If the Church were a secular institution, one could plot the trends and safely predict its demise. However, the body of Christ, the Church, is caught up in an entirely different dynamic, the paschal mystery of the passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Our Lord. If the traditional orders are being "crucified," a great re-flowering is implied, and soon. From a worldly standpoint, such a prediction may seem airy-fairy, and surely when His disciples looked on the cold, dead body of Jesus, they would have been justified in thinking it was all over. But no, they were at the very beginning. So are we. All these developments that are so concerning are full of hidden promise, the promise of resurrection, not excluding the suppression of the Franciscanns of the Immaculate, the closing of Mariawald and "Cor Orans."

Anonymous said...

Excellent q. Why this Order?
B/C of the 5th Marian Vow which amongst many things gives supernatural protection via obedience against the Evil that controls this world.
St.Michael´s Religious Order in Spain like the FIs experienced grievous false accusations from planted female xmembers.
Any Religious Order that is on a supernatural plane are targeted by the enemies of this world.
Institute of the Incarnate Word which Card. Bergoglio tried to shut down in the 90s is another example.

Clement H said...

Your own anger, 'animus delendi' and hostility towards the Pope and the reform of the Church at and after Vatican II are unhinging you at an accelerated pace now. It's consuming your soul, mind and spirit, Tancred, poor bastard.

Tancred said...

Tell me where I can find you then.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lee!
It's true, for every evil done against Catholic tradition by Pope Francis and his henchmen wherever they live, tradition gets stronger, not weaker. And a great flowering of tradition is the result.
Take for instance, Pope Francis destroying the 36+ year old tradition of the Pope leading the people thru the streets of Rome for Corpus Christi. I knew he would do this. Every year, he participated in it less and less. The first year or two, he made the procession. The third year, he rode in a car. Last year, he showed up at the end of the procession only for the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. This year, he's taken the procession out of Rome entirely, to an obscure corner near Ostia.
Here's my prediction which I hope comes true:
That almost no one shows up for Francis' Corpus Christi procession in Ostia (just like no one showed up for the Papal Ash Wednesday procession from San Anselmo to Santa Sabina. I was there on Ash Wednesday. The streets used to be packed watching the Popeprocess down the road. This year, if there were 20 people who stood along the whole route to see Francis, he's lucky.
But I predict that the Romans will organize their own Corpus Christi procession and that thousands participate. So much so that it could be taken as a gesture of "we don't need you, Francis".
It's a longshot, but I hope they do organize a big procession for Rome without Francis. He can have his obscure little procession in Ostia....hope no one shows up.
I hope the Romans are outraged at Francis and DO organize their own Corpus Christi procession with the Blessed Sacrament. I can't believe that their faith would be so shallow as to not care about this latest insult from Bergoglio.
Damian Malliapalli

Anonymous said...

Why does Pope Francis go to extreme measures to Silence Fr. Manelli?

Could it be that he knows who is behind the sinister attempts to crush them?

Regurgitate that St. Michaels Religious Order experienced the same Modus Operandi as the FIs female branch. This is no coincidence. Add into it how the Institute of the Incarnate Word was almost crushed by Bergoglio in the 90s.

Same Modus Operandi infilitrate, claim false allegations and use the Media worldwide under their control to force action. Guess the tribe?

Unknown said...

Canons Regular of St John Cantius, bi ritual in Chicago, had their founder falsely accused, and he had to leave, in spite of being cleared of all charges. But the Order is flourishing in spite of those efforts. There is an intense hatred of the Latin Mass and adherebce to our faith. I can only surmise demonic influence.