Showing posts with label Father Stefano Manelli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Father Stefano Manelli. Show all posts

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Radical Vatican About to Take Vengeance on Father Stefano Manelli

[]Sanctions against Father Stefano Manelli, 85, the founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, are imminent, writes Marco Tosatti (July 21). Manelli’s order languishes under a Vatican commissioner since July 2013.

The reasons for this crack down, never explained by the Vatican, are evident: for the present Vatican nomenclature, the Friars are “too Catholic”.

According to Tosatti, a document containing sanctions against Manelli, authored by the Congregation for the Religious, is currently on Francis' table.

After the sanctions are imposed, the Vatican will push for a General Chapter. The plan is to change the Friars' constitutions and to abolish the vow of consecration to the Immaculate and the vow of poverty. The latter has created a situation in which all material goods of the friars belong to lay-people. The Vatican has tried in vain to get hold of this patrimony but lost all juridical battles in Italian courts.

Therefore, the Vatican tried to use Father Manelli in order to put pressure on the assets' owners. After this failed, it seems, Francis wants to punish Manelli which reveals Francis’ strange sense of justice.

One of the leading Vatican bureaucrates who fights against the Friars is Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo OFM, the secretariy of the Congregation for the Religious, a Francis intimate, who was one of the main protagonists of the huge financial scandal hitting the Franciscans (OFM) in December 2014. The scandal was quickly hushed up.

Because Carballo is a radical-liberal, nobody touched him, on the contrary, Francis promoted him to become an archbishop.


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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"'na roba", the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the New Chess Move of the Congregation of Religious

Other times: Benedict XVI. had allowed that for the first time in 2009 that
the Founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate could say Mass in the Lateran Basilica,
"the Mother of All Churches". Now there is Francis
(Rome) There is no end of the Calvary of Father Stefano Maria Manelli, the founder and until his dismissal, head of the Order of the Franciscans of Immaculata. Since July 2013, the young and, until then, flourishing, Order has been under the administration of a Commissar appointed by the Roman Congregation of Religious. Although four years have passed since, and the second Pontifical Commissioner has already overseen the prescription, there is still no official reason for the grave intervention in the Order. An alleged "Lefebvrianian deviation" was attributed to the Order. "What makes this all so comical today is that the Pope is ready to welcome the heirs of Marcel Lefebvre with a Personal Prelature into the Church," as the Vaticanist Marco Tosatti noted two days ago.

The Commissioner and a slander campaign

Tosatti sees "from the outside," a "variety" of reasons leading to the provisional administration of the Order: first the attack against the founder by a group of "young Turks" who wanted to take over the Order, "one of the most flourishing with vocations." Today the vocations must be imported, contrary to the Vatican directives, which provides training on location, from Nigeria), but then also for property, "na roba", the "reason".

P. Fidenzio Volpi, Pontifical Commissioner, 2013-2015

What Tosatti does not mention, however, is to be guessed at: that the Order which had changed with Pope Francis, and with the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, had changed from the new to the traditional form of the Roman Rite, and yet (or precisely for this reason) attracted numerous vocations while the "modern", "cosmopolitan" orders dried up. Benedict XVI held his protective hand over this extraordinary case among Catholic religious orders. With the new pope, the defeat of the Order began, as it was evidently a thorn in the eye.
The assumption of background touched upon by Tosatti in any case helps to understand the "angry slander campaign" which was unleashed against sisters of the Order because of alleged abuses. The starting point of the campaign in November 2015 was with Corriere della Sera, the flagship of the Italian "quality press". The alleged "scandal" led to investigations by the prosecutor's office, which concluded a year later and was unceremoniously archived. The media claims proved to be what one would call Fake News today.
"However, they will probably have a sequel to some newspapers and websites with severe financial consequences, because they are civilly faced with high claims for damages by the victims," ​​Tosatti said.

"Na' roba"

There are now fresh actions of the Roman Congregation of Religious. It is not so much about the Cardinal Prefect, the Brazilian João Braz de Aviz, but "about the secretary of the Congregation, the Franciscan José Rodriguez Carballo, who has a direct connection with the Pope," says Tosatti.
Carballo is one of the first personnel decisions of this pontificate. Pope Francis proclaimed him on April 6, not four weeks after his election, as Secretary of the Congregation of Religious. Until then, the Spaniard was Minister General of the Franciscan Order. As such, he is directly involved in the financial scandal that exploded in December 2014 and brought the general leadership of the Order to the brink of bankruptcy. The Swiss public prosecutor's office had seized accounts of the Franciscan Order in October 2014 because of the suspicion of money laundering. The money, several tens of millions of euros, had been invested in ill-fated companies, which are being investigated for illegal arms and drug trafficking. Nothing is known of consequences of any kind against Carballo in the Vatican.
This brings us to ",na roba", which is not insignificant in the Order of the Franciscans of Immaculata (canonically recognized in 1990, not to be confused with the Franciscans, founded 1210/1517). It has about 59 buildings, 17 properties, five photovoltaic plants and a series of banking accounts. The entire property, however, is not in the hands of the Order, since it has the vow of strict poverty, but in the hands of lay associations. The proceeds from the estate were given to the Order for its duties in pastoral care and mission.
When the Order was placed under the Commission, the first Commissioner, Father Fidenzio Volpi, a Capuchin, who died in office in 2015, had the property confiscated. The court then decided completely differently. The entire assets were released again and reunited with the lay associations.

As the Congregation of Religious could not get at the Order through the secular courts, it is now exerting pressure on the now 84-year-old founder of the Order, Father Manelli. Since the provisional administration, he has been under house arrest by the Vatican, "which in 2017 is in extremely bad taste," says Tosatti.

Recent actions of the religious congregation: the "Trap" and the demand

Diaconal consecration 2010

Recently, Father Manelli officially and in the name of the Pope was asked to renew his allegiance of loyalty and obedience to the Pope. The demand appears to be doubtful, since officially no reproaches have been made by the founder of the Order. This, however, has deprived him of the possibility of defending himself for whatever reason. Father Manelli did not contend, but renewed the required oath.
Two weeks ago, he received another letter from the Congregation of Religious. This time he was asked to make the entire property available to the Church, as mentioned above.
"Naively, the founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculata responded," says Tosatti, that he can not provide anything because he has nothing. The above-mentioned assets are not subject to his authority, but to that of the lay associations.
Father Manelli evidently did not see through the "trap" which had been made for him with the renewal of his loyalty first and then the money demand. Maybe he's just too honest, too old or too tired to dodge the trappers with prudentia.
Tosatti wrote:
"Perhaps he would have done better to meet with the laity and to present the Vatican demand to them.The laity, who are not under obedience, would have made a decision. But he did not apply this ruse."

The "weapon of obedience" and an "act of disobedience"

His response is now interpreted by the Vatican as an act of disobedience to the Pope. With the letter one wants to turn him with a rope. In other words, in the Congregation of Religious, it is now believed that they have the occasion to impose sanctions against the founder in the Church. And all without being told by the Vatican why the Order is under commissionerial administration, and why Father Manelli was deposed as General-General.
In the Vatican, someone is obviously rubbing his hands. So far, the Congregation of Religious and Pope Francis have been wrong. In which state can sanctions be imposed without charges, without the possibility of defense and without a regular canonical procedure? Now, however, one must not talk about it any more, because one has the statement by Manelli, who answered truthfully, but not satisfactorily. Is this for an ecclesiastical condemnation? In the face of the bad experiences the Order has had to overcome for the last four years, no one in the Order would doubt it.
The real concern, however, is "'na roba", the property. Manelli is particularly stifled, because he can not "relinquish" the possession of valuable property. Legally, he is unquestionably in the right, which is why the Vatican operates the moral lever. The exact disposition of the lay associations are not known, but they can be seen. For a long time the hope existed (and perhaps still exists) that the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate could be reestablished in the bosom of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, then it would have the means to continue its work blessedly. Such a new foundation has been prevented by the Vatican for four years. Yet another reason is not insignificant: it can be argued that the benefactors who have given the estate to the Order have left it to the Order founded by Father Manelli. Not to any order or in general "of the Church," but in a very particular order with a very definite charism. However, after four years of commissionership, it is no longer the same order.
"As a sidenote" it is also addressed, again to quote Marco Tosatti, "that it is more and more frequent that obedience is used as a weapon. Let us recall how Fra Matthew Festing, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, was forced by the Pope to resign and sign a letter of doubtful content, by obedience. A bad habit, which is at the risk of becoming chronic ... "
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: MiL
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Franciscans of the Immaculate: Father Manelli Initiates Criminal Complaint For Slander

Father Alfonso Bruno

(Rome) The Congregation for Religious' struggle against the   Franciscans of the Immaculata  is going into a new round On March 2nd, the  legal representatives of the founder and General Superior dismissed by the Vatican, Father Stefano Manelli, has issued a complaint to the state prosecutor of Avellino. 
He founded the Order in the 1970s, it was recognized by the Holy See in 1990, returned to the original Franciscan Rule and also followed Pope Benedict liturgically.   After the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum  he implemented the traditional liturgy internally, while offering the Sacraments in both forms of the Roman Rite for pastoral reasons. Thus the Order was an absolute exception, because it was the only Old Rite religious order of the Congregation for Religious, and not under the Papal Commission of Ecclesia Dei. What appeared to be taken in a special dynamic under Pope Benedict XVI., because the Franciscans of the Immaculata, in contrast to other new ritual orders, was an attractive example of an Old Rite Order  that was also missionary in character, became under Pope Francis, the complete opposite. Now the protective umbrella  of the  Ecclesia-Dei Communities is completely absent.

Slander Campaign Against the Franciscans of the Immaculata

Attorney Enrico Tuccillo lodged a complaint two weeks ago, of slander, and the formation of a criminal organization. In this way the founder is defending himself, in the name of his brothers and sisters against the ongoing "slander campaign," which was directed initially against the men's and subsequently against the women's branch of the order.  On November 4.  2015 the  Corriere della Sera  made an appeal from direct or indirect statements by  "concerned parties" in an article series with various horror  stories about the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Similar slander campaigns have happened in the past already against other religious communities and have mostly had their origins in inner-ecclesiastical conflicts. The mass media has likewise been ever ready themselves  to assist progressive circles.  
The Congregation of Religious reacted with the introduction of an  Apostolic Commissar  to the female order and justified this step just as they did the Commisarate administration of the male branch in July of 2013. The sisters were accused that they  "did not succeed in assimilating the riches of Concilar doctrine and the subsequent papal magisterium in their consecrated life in a reasonable way and to use it in the context of their apostolic life and mission."

The Rebellious Within the Order Against  Pater Manelli are Given a Name 

With the charge,  now the opposition within the Order who have triggered and expedited in collaboration with the Roman Congregation of Religious, against the  Franciscans of the Immaculata, have a name. Rome has not named till today any reasons for the radical clampdown on the blooming religious order,  which from many points of view represent an anomaly among Catholic religious communities. It has been maintained from different sides, that the Congregation for Religious have only reacted based on a petition from members to this Congregation.  The internal opponents of the founder, Father Manelli, have never been officially identified. The letter actually does this. Less believable is that it was the catalyst for the various interventions of the Congregation.  The Order was a thorn in the side of the Congregation and other heads of religious communities for a long time.  Under  Benedict  XVI., who stood fully behind the Franciscans  of the  Immaculata, Cardinal Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Religious, dared not move against the young order. Under  Pope Francis, who makes no bones about his antipathy to the traditional Rite, the playing field was  fundamentally altered.
With Pater Manelli's legal conplaint, the names now lay on the table. That is, "not an easily introduced step, which has become necessary for the protection of many of the Order's brothers and sisters," said Manelli's attorney.

Three Sisters, Six Priests and Two Laity Cited

The complaint is against the three religious sisters or former sisters,  Lattanzi, Turturiello und Lovine, against six priests and two laymen.  Among the priests there is  Pater Alfonso Bruno, who is considered the actual instigator and leader of the uprising against the founder. Father Bruno already belongs to the leadership imposed by the Vatican and was, under the late Apostolic Commissar, Father  Fidenzio Volpi, who as his right hand as General Secretary, actually became the new highest ranking member  of the Order. Also mentioned in the complaint is  Father Alessandro Calloni, who has been the General Delegate of the Order for Italy.
The two laymen are alleged to be guilty of have disseminating  an "anonymous dossier with false contents," to discredit the former leadership, who have a severe vow of poverty,  among the brothers and sisters, the faithful, the Church authorities and especially the media. "It is no accident that the same subjects now have leading positions within the Order," says the complaint.  

"Indeed Impressive and  Striking, but False Evidence"

For example,   Ilaria Turturiello (formerly  Sister Maria Letizia), because she made, "Indeed Impressive and Striking, but False Evidence," alleging abuse she is supposed to have suffered.  She was, according to her, forced by her superior, a niece of the founder, to sexually gratify the owner of a supermarket. The women's superior has in the meantime, filed a counter-complaint for defamation and slander.
The former sister also offered the media the story of a "poor fellow sister", who likewise, she said, knew to tell the questionable horror story, which was gleefully broadcast by some of the media. This "fellow sister" was approached by the media for a quote but she denied Turturiello's claims.
The founder, Manelli, must lay his cards before the judge's table.  
The smear campaign of Corriere della Sera and other media was commented upon then by  Messa in Latino. The traditional  site opposed the harsh and unjust attacks against this Order, "which wasn't guilty of anything" compared to the shortcomings and defects of other orders, where the Congregation for Religious sees  no impulse to intervene:
"The moral of the story? The new message of Rome to Religious Orders appears to say: if you give in to your sexual desires, lie, steal, betray, deny doctrinal truths and dogmas, disturb ecclesiastical order and promote liturgical abuse, it doesn't matter, the main thing is that you do not hit out at the Vatican Council II and the achievements of the post-conciliar epoch."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: Airmaria (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cardinal Betori Forbids Immemorial Mass -- The Dilemma of the "Conservatives" Under Pope Francis

Franciscans of the Immaculate, Photo From Better Times:
1st Row in the middle are the two founders (Father Pellettieri,
Father Manelli). 2nd Row, 2nd from the right, Father
Serafino Lanzetta
(Florence) The "tragedy" of so-called "conservatives" in the Church under Pope Francis is currently being revealed emblematically  in Florence, says lawyer Carlo Manetti. This coming September 25, Father Serafino Lanzetta of the "Commissariat" oppressed Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in Florence will his announce his latest book: "The Second Vatican Council: a Pastoral Council" arranged to be introduced in the context of this conference. Cardinal Archbishop of Florence Betori has prohibited the public celebration of Holy Mass in the traditional Rite by Father Lanzetta.
Father Lanzetta had been the Prior of the Order,  since the provisional administration, at its convent in Florence.  Since then he lives in "exile" in the monastery of Kitzbühel.
It was not only he and his brothers were forced to leave the city by the Apostolic Commissar Father Fidenzio Volpi.  Meanwhile, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Florence  must vacate, who are currently affected by Apostolic Visitrix.

The Archbishop, the Old Mass and "Reasons of Expediency"

These days one of the decisions of the Archbishop of Florence has caused a stir. Because of the abnegation of Pope Benedict XVI's Moto Proprio by the Congregation of Religious,  the organizers presented Archbishop Giuseppe Cardinal Betori  the request for Father Lanzetta  to celebrate on the occasion of the meeting and for the participants in Florence, a Holy Mass in the traditional rite. The request was rejected by the cardinal.
In the book, which is at the same time a Doctoral thesis, Father Lanzetta outlined and analyzed, based on meticulous documentation of the main currents of the Second Vatican Council and its work in bringing about the conciliar documents (see separate report Mental Power of an Exile - Habilitation Thesis of Father Lanzetta Presented on Second Vatican Council ). The preface is by the famous theologian Manfred Hauke, who supervised Lanzetta's habilitation. A book of "incontrovertible orthodoxy," said Carlo Manetti in an interview. Manetti is the editor of the book:Un caso che fa discutere: i Franciscan of the Immaculate (Franciscans of the Immaculate: One Case that Provides Discussions, Fede & Cultura, Verona).
The lecturer in International Relations is one of the speakers at the conference, to be held in the ballroom of the Regional Parliament of Tuscany. Among others, the historian Roberto de Mattei (European University of Rome) and Pietro De Marco (University of Florence) will speak, as well as representatives of Catholic media, Guido Scatizzi (Riscossa Christiana) and Pucci Cipriani ( Controrivoluzione ). The organizer of the conference is traditional  association Communion Tradizionale of Florence, under its president, Ascanio Ruschi. Ruschi it was who put the motion to the Archbishop and received the written rejection from  him. The interview was conducted by Domenico Rosa for Il Sito di Firenze .

The No of Cardinal Betori to Father Lanzetta and Traditional Rite

Carlo Manetti on the "conservatives" in the new "climate" of Pope Francis
And yet seems Cardinal Betori, who is counted among the "conservative" bishops, does not consider the book by Father Lanzetta as "orthodox" ...
Manetti: Judging by the letter his lawyer Ruschi, President of the association Communion Tradizione has sent, in which he expressly forbids Father Serafino public celebration of the traditional Mass, one can see no doctrinal condemnation of the book content, but - if one may say  - it is a "political" condemnation of the text. It is said that a Bishop can not approve the theses contained there, without claiming that we are dealing with heresies, whereby the doubt arises that this impossibility is not caused by the thesis itself, but the position of the bishop; in other words. that it is not about doctrinal reasons, but "pastoral" considerations that cause the head of a Catholic diocese, to not comment positively in public on the great work of Father Serafino.
If you allow, I would like to extend the question still to the drama, not to say, tragedy, to present the situation in which the so-called "conservative" Catholics are: they would like,perhaps to return to the truth in their hearts, but  reasons of practical expediency, which are called "pastoral" today ," compels them to accept this and to confess as always, they are valid and immutable. So, to avoid the current widespread accusations of "traditionalism" or more recently even the "crypto-Lefebvrianism", they are forced to represent opinions and to put actions that actually represent the progressive Catholic extremism.
How do you explain the ban in the Church of San Gaetano to celebrate a Holy Mass in the traditional rite ... the church which is supervised by the Old Rite  Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest? How do you see this "turnaround" of the Archbishop of Florence, who generously supported the traditional Mass until recently and the Old Ritual community churches entrusted to his care?
Manetti: As the Cardinal himself stated in his letter, the reasons are not doctrinal, but pastoral, political, ideological. Today, after the accession of Pope Francis, the "most endangered" prelates, the so-called "conservatives" are exactly like that. case of Cardinal Piacenza example showed: the first defenestrated  by the new Pope. They are forced to show themselves as far more progressive than their colleagues to provide evidence of their loyalty to the "new course". For the progressives whose resistance acted against Benedict XVI., is today, however, like a life insurance policy, a guarantee certificate for the future that they believe in the so-called new "Church of Mercy". The Conservatives, however, who, offered assistance to Benedict XVI have aroused ​​"suspicions",  and are forced today, but also in the future, to provide evidence of their "reliability".  In particular, they may not afford the slightest relapse and that includes any concession to the "Traditionalists."

So you are, in a humanly speaking, very difficult situation from which there is a solution only if  they recognized the priority fully for themselves of the truth about the practice, recognize and accept the primacy of faith over the pastoral, the primacy of Jesus Christ through the hierarchy. This is not just a question of courage. After decades of the devaluation of truth in favor of the tactical achievement of practical results, it is hard to sacrifice everything you have built up personally and intellectually appropriated. Often it is difficult to be conscious of this necessity.
Father Serafino Lanzetta is not a dangerous heretic?
Manetti: Of course not. Father Serafino Lanzetta is not only not a dangerous heretic, but - despite his young age - one of the greatest living theologians, brilliant and profound at the same time, capable, as I said, to the depths of the errors, but also he has gathered the reasons and presented the actors of the Council.
How is the provisional administration of the Franciscans of the Immaculate to end, after most of the brothers have unsuccessfully made ​​the request to be allowed to leave the Order?
Manetti: Everything happening so far suggests that the deliberate intention is to "liquidate"  the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, both the male and the female branch. All measures, sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowed down, aim at that. It can be seen plainly that the case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate reveal the violent face of modernism and show the way postulated by Gramsci of the primacy of practice leads over theory. 
I would therefore like to take the opportunity of this interview to prompt all, in the defense the truth about the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate founded by Father Manelli and Father Pellettieri, to persevere so that the silence about this sad state of affairs can  be spread, because of the silence can make profit only the persecutors.
Introduction / Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Messa in Latino / Carlo Manetti
Trans: Tancred

Monday, May 19, 2014

Franciscans of the Immaculate: New Order? The Curial General's Ridicule

(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 CaeliThe 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
Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No Immemorial Mass of All Ages for the Franciscans of the Immaculate, Either

Edit: we just received another, more recent update on the Franciscans of the Immaculate.  Remember when all those people were saying that the FFI would have the option to say the Mass if they sent in requests?  All the requests have been ignored.  As the following shows, there are two hermeneutics at work here.  One which opens new religious houses and the other which closes them.

Correction from the comments section:

Actually I think there are possibly 3 (out of a former 33?) TLMs allowed in Italy. There is one in Cornwall and one allowed at a parish in New York far as I know. Others have been denied through.

March 10 2014

The Stakes are High for the Franciscans of the Immaculate 

by Maurizio Grosso

Since the beginning of the external “commissioning” of the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the new authorities have continuously repeated the same refrain: "Are you on the side of Father Stefano Manelli or on the side of the Pope?" ... "If on one side there is Fr. Stefano and on the other the Pope, whom do you choose?" It was an external commissioning which started out on the wrong foot, and it soon caused the capitulation of any undertaking for unity.

In the name of the authority enjoyed by the Commissioner, the Capuchin Father Fidenzio Volpi wished to pressure the brothers, not so that they might recognize their mistakes and thereby correct them, but so that they might embrace the new line of thought proposed by him and abandon fidelity to the Founding  Fathers. The Friars have not yet been officially notified of the infamous "reasons" for the necessity of an external commissioner. Were there serious crimes? No. This was merely a "benevolent attention that expresses the maternal care of the Church.” Such were the words of those “in the know,” who have constantly repeated the same lullaby, which at times has been extremely contradictory.

Monday, March 24, 2014

There is no Exoneration for the Innocent Franciscans of the Immaculate to Date

Edit: The following a translation of an article by Federico Catani  we've received and edited slightly, recapping the situation as it stood in February and continues today:

“Lies have short legs” and time continues to give reason to popular wisdom. A few days ago, Msgr. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Roman Congregation that is concerned with religious life, has released in a press conference some affirmations regarding the question of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. The aim? To defend at all costs a congregation (that is the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated life and Societies of Apostolic life) that is already considered an accomplice before the whole world, if not in actuality sent, for the destruction of one of the most flourishing and holy Institutes of pontifical right, erected by the will of the future saint Pope John Paul II. Naturally climbing up a slippery slope is not easy, and sooner or later one is bound to slip, and in fact his affirmations are failing desperately in many ways. The first to notice this was Sandro Magister who had brought the numbers at hand to light,  the figures that have been manipulated by the ex-general of the Friars Minor to justify an external commissioner has given birth to the banner of injustice and of falsity. In fact, the total, to be benevolent, was numbered to be of about fifty religious, which has miraculously been transformed in the hands of Carballo (or by someone for him) to 74% of friars of the Institute (regarding this, read the precisely documented article of Lorenzo Bertocchi). Another journalist that has awakened to this deceitfulness is Marco Tosattione one of the few vaticanists that have not been seduced by the dominant methods in use in these parts for almost a year now.

There is however one other affirmation of Carballo, passed by unobserved from the excellent pen of Magister, that is destined to contradict itself with the facts at hand, and that is the circumstantiation that the external commissioning would not have been caused primarily by the adoption of the Old Rite of the Mass. Nevertheless anyone having had read the questionnaire sent out by the apostolic Visitor Msgr. Vito Todisco to the religious of the FFI (only to the perpetually professed, about 200) would not need long to understand that main accusation was principally the adoption of the Old Rite (see here). It’s very true that the questionnaire seemed already to underline the forced introduction of the rite on the part of the founder Father Stefano Manelli, or at least this is how he was calumniously accused by a small group of disobedient friars. Although unfortunately, that with this type of attitude the founder had never either recalled or reprimanded or excluded these friars for  not having ever celebrated it. This, however, the Congregation came to understand much too late or if they had understood right away, had maliciously left it unmentioned for other reasons. So when they became aware that this accusation didn’t hold up anymore, they desperately looked for another primary accusation: and behold! the tale of the movable goods and the passing of the immovable goods to the relatives of Father Manelli. Nevertheless   this was also a baseless accusation that has finished in failure, insomuch that the same commissioner, with his profound humiliation had to officially deny the defamation (see here).

Now one may ask what else  these destroyers of the order must now invent about the FFI. Among others, besides that of the Corrispondenza Romana, which has begun another collection of signatures against the vaticans handling of the circumstances of the poor religious and other journalist, like Antonio Socci (see here, and here), who are taking.

*Note of the sea of falsity and injustices which are coalescing a cheap spectacle for all in the Church of mercy, towards a religious order that is absolutely CATHOLIC. We must wait to see but we already know that the truth sooner or later will come to light!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sad Christmas for Franciscans of the Immaculate -- Three More Mass Locations Closed Down Just Before Christmas

(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 ".
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Santuario della Rovere NS / Santuario NS di Pontelungo
Trans: Tancred

Monday, December 9, 2013

Franciscans of the Immaculata --- Founder’s Health Situation “Serious” AVM

(Rome) A letter from the Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscans of the Immaculate laid bare last week what has been long suspected. The dismissal of the Order's founder Father Stefano Manelli, as General Minister and the entire Orders leadership was carried out with the approval of Pope Francis for a reason,  Pope  Francis' really sharp criticism. He repeatedly admonishes that he does not to see the Church as an ideological battleground. The Apostolic Commissioner Father Fidenzio Volpi  wrote to the daily La Stampa that the action was taken because it is  Crypto-Lefebvrian, anyways traditionalist. The attitude of the Commissioner can be recognized in the formulation. Obviously, they came across some curial representatives  who noticed that  the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception  sought a canonical recognition of the Society of St. Pius X.. Meanwhile,  there are suggestions  that  about150-200 brothers, who were loyal to Father Manelli and his charism, want to start a new order. A request has already been sent to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. 

Meanwhile, to the health of the 81 year old Founder, Father Stefano Maria Manelli, who was almost completely isolated from the outside world, has deteriorated dramatically. For this reason, we are publishing the following guest commentary of "Cordialiter".

For the Health of Father Stefano Maria Manelli

of Cordialiter
Readers have recommended prayers for Father Stefano Maria Manelli (FI) , who needs them really badly. The health status of the founder of the religious family of the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception is serious and it seems like the time is approaching to leave this world of misery and enter into eternity for him.
Representation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, venerated in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Rome
In the 90s, my grandfather gave my father a little book with the title: "The Great Promise of the Sacred Heart", whose author is Father Manelli. Also, I wanted to read it and asked my father about it. The book impressed me deeply. It addresses the key question of the eternal salvation of the soul, of mortal sin, the existence of the devil, the concrete possibility to end, because of a mortal sin, in  eternal damnation, of the apparitions of Fatima. The reading of this document caused a spiritual sensation in me because I was until then, used to the usual shallow sermons and religious instruction, which were focused on a kind of life advice entirely on people and their daily lives, which are as sweet as sugar and serve only to stun souls. Of the last things , nothing  was never spoken, because God is so infinitely merciful, that he has actually long since abolished hell,  would  not even be limited to very bad villains as Adolf Hitler, who would otherwise not be so accommodated. If minds differ about Joseph Stalin. 
For the good people who actually all go to heaven, it is completely pointless to seek a spiritual life, because at the end of both a penitent souls like St. Francis of Assisi and the souls of those who spent a lifetime wallowing in numerous vices and abominations, experience the same promotion.
At that time I was a boy, but by the writings of Father Manelli it was clear to me that this patronizing view of religion is just a scam. It is quite true that God is infinitely merciful and can forgive any sin, but he is also infinitely just,  so the forgiveness of sins requires sincere repentance.
This booklet did my soul so much good. I wanted this instruction to deepen, but was convinced that the author must be dead long ago. And anyway, that priests like him had died out long ago. Only years later did I learn that this zealous servant of God lived and worked and was the founder of a religious community, who had enjoyed a good reputation and whose brothers  thought of him as their religious father.
I sat down at the desk and wrote a letter to one of the monasteries of this order, I basically addressed it to the brothers.To my great surprise, I received a reply, not from anyone, but a handwritten letter from Father Stefano Maria Manelli personally. It was not just a courtesy reply with the usual friendly phrases. It was a letter of great spirituality with numerous spiritual references, recommendations and instructions. A letter which comparable those those which   St. Francis de Sales wrote, whom I got to know later.
Some time ago I finally had the chance to meet Father Manelli personally and exchange a few words with him.
The Franciscans of the Immaculate were thrilled with the  2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, I was excited about their joy and their decision a year later,  internally to fully adopt the traditional Rite. I was then convinced then   that the faithful who came to the Masses of the brothers in the Old Rite, did not only for aesthetic reasons, but the Mass locations entrusted to the Order’s Mass\developed an intense spiritual direction themselves. Today you can see in not a few churches, the faithful after Mass stampede even before the priest has left the sanctuary. The Franciscans of the Immaculate stopped the faithful to persevere a little after Mass and give thanks to God, as the fine manual of asceticism, as well as Pope Pius XII., recommend. And so it embraced the faithful also. Much misery lies in the widespread error even  among priests  that believers of this and that "today" would no longer accept. Not infrequently,  it is concealed behind a  lack of willingness to give instruction. The fact is that the faithful may be instructed willingly and gratefully, often eagerly if this instruction attended by their shepherds.
So we pray to Mary Mediatrix Gratiarum, the Mediatrix of All Graces, to assist Father Stefano Maria Manelli  in this crucial hour of his life. The Founder understood his life as a life of penance, he offered to accelerate the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In this spirit, a loyal and faithful heart, he will sacrifice the recent adversity. The world does not like to understand. Let us pray for him and for his spiritual sons.
Introduction / Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Cordialiter
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmailcom