Showing posts with label Franciscans of the Immaculate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Franciscans of the Immaculate. Show all posts

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Traditional Friendly Archbishop Dismissed in Filippines

Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Arguelles of Lipa was prematurely retired from his office yesteday, clearly because of his position on a non-approved "Marian Apparition"

(Manila) Pope Francis received the resignation yesterday of Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Argüelles of Lipa in the Philippines as it is revealed in the daily bulletin of the Vatican. At the same time, he appointed a successor, the Monsignor Gilbert Garcera, whom he transferred from the bishop's seat from Daet to Lipa.
The retirement of Archbishop Argüelles took place prematurely. The Archbishop is only 72 years old. The reference to Canon 401.2 does not provide any information as to whether he has resigned due to health problems or because of serious misconduct. A corresponding clarification of the Code of Canon Law has been suggested several times in recent years.

A Non-Approved "Marian Apparition" of Lipa

Archbishop Ramon Argüelles gained international fame in the past when, in 2015, he declared the authenticity of Lipa's alleged Marian credentials as "believable" and announced that he was convinced of the "supernatural" nature of the phenomenon.

The Archbishop, with a Marienstatue, who was supposed to haveappeared  in 1948 to the Carmelite, Teresita Castillo.

Already in 2009, the Archbishop had abrogated the negative judgment of a commission of bishops. At the beginning of the 1950s several Philippine bishops had been charged with the study of the phenomenon. On 11 April 1951, the Commission concluded that the alleged phenomena were "not of a supernatural origin". A decision which had been approbated by Pope Pius XII.
On August 18, 1948 in the Carmelite convent of Lipa the novice Teresita Castillo was supposed to have received an apparition of the Mother of God. According to Teresita, there were a total of 19 "apparitions" in which the monastic garden was showered with rose petals from the sky, each bearing sacred images. The images on the rose petals, which are kept in Lipa, were the Jesus Child, St. Joseph, the blessing Jesus, the Holy Family, the Holy Spirit, the Crucified, the Last Supper and other motifs were to be seen. In the last apparition, Mary had presented herself as the "Mediator of all Graces".

Phenomena only "feigned" -- bishop who believes in authenticity, dismissed

The then Bishop of Lipa, Monsignor Alfredo Verzosa y Florentin, was convinced of the authenticity after having been shown a desired miracle. Rome, however, was skeptical and established a theological commission, which in 1949 made a negative judgment. The phenomenon of Lipa is only "feigned" by Teresita and was nevertheless "supported" by the prioress.
Bishop Verzosa was deposed from Rome. The Apostolic Administrator, who was, among several other  Filipino bishops under the commission established by Pius XII,, also came to a negative conclusion.

Bishop Verzosa, behind him the Superior, on the left stand Teresita Castillo (Lipa 1948)

However, the fact that there were conversions and healings in Lipa was interpreted by the Commission with the awakened expectations that people were open for God's work.
Bishop Verzosa was prematurely made emeritus, while his auxiliary bishop, the prioress and the subprioress of the monastery were transferred. The statue of the "appeared" could no longer be shown publicly. The Carmelite convent was dissolved, but the monastery later resettled.

Recognition by the Archbishop -- Intervention of Rome

The pilgrim's stream to Lipa did not abate despite the prohibitions but increased over the years. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the "apparitions," Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the then Philippine President of the Republic had also pilgrimaged to Lipa.
The diocese of Lipa was raised to an archdiocese in 1972. Archbishop Mariano Gaviola, the predecessor of Monsignor Argüelles, reopened the public exhibition of the statue in 1992 and initiated new investigations into the phenomenon. This led Archbishop Argüelles to annul the negative verdict of 1951. In 2013 the beatification procedure for Bishop Verzosa was initiated. In 2015, Archbishop Argüelles declared the phenomenon to be "credible" and "supernatural".
In the same year, however, the Roman Congregation for Congregation intervened and declared on 15 September 2015 the decision of the Archbishop "null and void". The decision of 1951 was definitive. The Archbishop was no longer empowered. The corresponding Roman document was handed over to the Archbishop on May 30, On 16 November 2016 the Carmelite and "Seer" Teresita Castillo died at the age of 89 years. Yesterday, Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Arguelles was made emeritus.

[Update] Franciscans of the Immaculata

Archbishop Arguelles, who in the wake of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum celebrated in the traditional form of the Roman Rite was still "negatively" apprized in another part in Rome. In July 2013, the traditional young order, Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate was placed under the provisional administration of the Congregation of Religious with the approval of Pope Francis. One reason for this compulsion has not been mentioned to this day. Because of the direct attack against the religious charism, tradition and the traditional Rite, members of the Order tried to find ways out of the constraint. What was contemplated, among other things, was the new foundation as an old ritual Order, which would no longer be subordinated to the Congregation of Religious, but the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei . The Vatican, however, refused and forbade any to leave the Order.
A total of six priests of the Order were also suspended in the Philippines because they tried to reestablish the Order. On June 28, 2014 in the Archdiocese of Lipa, the recognition of a public association of the faithful had taken place, as then Riposte Catholique reported. The recognition was thought of as a precursor to a new foundation test of maltreated Order of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate . Accordingly, the Apostolic Commissioner, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, reacted sharply, suspending the priests involved in the Order. When the matter became public, the commissioner made a public statement that spoke in a mocking tone of "ultra-traditionalist" circles, but only vaguely about the alleged "misconduct" of the priests which would justify their suspension.
Archbishop Arguelles offered the five Philippine Franciscans of the Immaculate, who had been suspended, a celebret in his archdiocese. He was by no means popular in certain Roman circles. Shortly after the incident in the Philippines Commissioner Volpi threatened Italian bishops,  if they should dare to establish Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in their dioceses. At the same time, the Commissioner asserted in all seriousness that the Franciscans of the Immaculate wanted to "overthrow" Pope Francis.
The premature end of his term of office is seen in the Philippines in the context of his attitude to the events of Lipa. A connection with the Franciscans of the Immaculate is not excluded. The Archbishop had not been popular in Rome.
According to reports from Messa in Latino, Archbishop Arguelles learned from the Internet of his dismissal. There would be no question of a resignation which the pope had "accepted."  In Daily Bulletin there is an official version that says nothing about the background. Archbishop Arguelles would thus feel the "merciful" arm of Pope Francis get as Bishop Rogelio Livieres of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay experienced it. Under a pretext, Msgr. Livieres had been lured to Rome, where Pope Francis let him stand in front of closed doors, while at home the locks of the bishop's residence were changed. In spite of the bishop's insistence, Francis refused to listen to the bishop who had been deposed. Bishop Livieres was neither given "dialogue" nor "mercy". The "guilt" of Bishop Livieres was that he was too traditional and had succeeded with his priestly seminary, which had almost three times as many seminarians as all the other dioceses of the country together. He had become the "trouble maker" in a   bishop's conference riddled indifferentism and liberation theology.
There is also a shadow over the retirement of Archbishop Argüelles.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: PCN /
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Alleged Possession of the Truth?" -- The Easter Greeting of the Commissioners of the Franciscans of the Immaculate

The Three Commissars who succeeded the late Father Fidenzio Volpi.
 (r. P. Sabino Ardito)
(Rome)  Apostolic Commissioner, assigned by the Congregation of Religious, and his two assistants have published "strange" Easter greeting on the website of the Franciscans of the Immaculate,  says Messa in Latino.
After the first Apostolic Commissioner, the Capuchin, Father Fidenzio Volpi, who died in June 2015, the Congregation of Religious assigned a new Commissioner, the Salesian, Sabino Ardito.  Unlike Volpi he was assigned two assistants.  They are the Capuchin, Carlo Calloni and the Jesuit, Gianfranco Ghirlanda.
Ardito, Calloni and Ghirlanda have together signed the Easter congratulations and their words have triggered some astonishment:   
So that faith can exist, it needs the evidence of the empty tomb.
It is necessary, like Peter and John, to lose one's own artificial certainties:
then you will have the courage to enter into the void.
It is necessary that we find the courage to enter into the "grave of God," which we built as the alleged possession of the truth.
The faith in the resurrection  in and with Christ is the basis for the emptiness of ourselves.

The Gospels not about "emptiness"

Cryptic Easter message from commissioners to all convents and institutions of the Order
"The link established with the entrance of the Apostles Peter and John to Christ's grave can not convince them," says Messa in Latino . There is never any mention in gospels of "emptiness", not even an "empty grave". Going  to the grave, they found there an "angel of the Lord" who descended from heaven, approached the grave and moved the stone. "His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment was white as snow" (Mt 28.2 to 3); "Two angels in white" (Jn 20:12). Whoever enters the grave, "looked to the right to see a young man sitting, who was dressed in a white robe" (Mk 16.5); "Two men in dazzling garments" (Lk 24,4). 
The women had gone to the grave early in the morning, "but the body of the Lord Jesus, they found it not" (Lk 24:3). They reported to the apostles that "angels appeared who said that he was alive" (Lk 24:23).The apostles thought it was "nonsense and did not believe them" (Luke 24:11). Peter hurried himself to the grave and "saw only the linen cloths" laying there (Lk 24:12). John reported that he was with Peter there, "leaned forward and saw the linen cloths lying," but initially did not go into the grave, while Peter went in and "saw the linen cloths lying and  the cloth that had been around Jesus' head but it was not with the linen cloths but wrapped up in a place by itself "(Jn 20: 5 to 7). Then John entered the grave and "saw and believed" (Jn 20:8).
The evangelists all testify that Christ was no longer among the dead, but is risen. But why we can not speak of "emptiness", because the resurrection means well, materially speaking, an empty grave, but no "void," because of the Evangelists "mentioned  a scene full of light, angels and divine presence," said Messa in Latino .

The disciples and the women had to lose any "certainties"

The talk of "certainties" may not convince what according to the Commissioners how "Peter and John" must "lose."
From the Gospels it shows that neither the disciples nor the women had any certainty, neither a natural nor an "artificial" one. As Saint Mary Magdalene  first went to the grave was "it was still dark" (Jn 20:1). Nobody thought of the resurrection. The Gospels speak of no certainty, but of darkness, doubt, fear, which are reconciled only by going to the grave. You will not find there the body of the Lord, but they do not find there a "void," but a light, an angel, a divine presence and as a sign,  the folded linen cloths. You will find the exact opposite of "emptiness" for they saw, and believed even  if they did not quite understand. Mary Magdalene even met  Jesus at the grave. 
As women and disciples went for the grave, they were full of doubt, emptiness and anxiety, but no longer, as they came to the grave. At the grave the doubts were  transformed into certainty. Before they came to the grave, they had no certainty, not even a "human", which they could give up. 
"This is the question in the room, what induced the  honorable fathers commissioners to formulate this strange Easter congratulation," said Messa in Latino . Their message is also hardly comprehensible as the "emptiness" as "nothing" in the sense of St. John of the Cross.
Did the commissioners  want to convey to the brothers and sisters of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a message which purports to be a swipe at their charism, the Founder, fidelity to the Franciscan rule and against their consecration to the Immaculata? Is that all "artificial certainty" meant that you must "lose?"
The allusion about the "alleged possession of the truth" remains completely cryptic. "Naturally," the Easter message only makes sense  when when it is read as an Easter admonition, which is directed against the monks and nuns who wanted to maintain fidelity to the founding charism of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, to a monastic rule, which is linked to the original rule of St. Francis of Assisi, to the rediscovery of the two thousand year old tradition of the Church, and therefore, also the traditional form of the Rite. It's a message that is directed against the efforts of the Order, to resist those forces and that spirit in the Church, who do homage to some concept of hermeneutics of rupture, because they want this break and approve of it.
"The only emptiness', which can therefore be seen in conjunction with the Franciscans of the Immaculate,  is a deflated Order, drained of its charism, the brothers and sisters deprived of their founder, of the founder robbed of his spiritual sons and daughters, an Order, which was made ​​defenseless. The only emptiness, "is therefore, the one that is produced by the commissioners on behalf of the religious congregation and with the approval of Pope Francis," said Messa in Latino .
Text: Giuseppe Nardi 
Image: verità sul commissariamento OFFI / Messa in Latino (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Tonight I Could Not Sleep" -- The "Yoke of the New Mercy"

Troika Against the Franciscans of the Immaculate
A Pope, an Archbishop and a Cardinal.
(Rome) "How can you speculate with the legacy of St. Francis of Assisi? That is the question that currently preoccupies people in Assisi. The Franciscans have pulled a fast one with bankruptcy and have gone into the net of the Swiss prosecutor's office, freezing numerous accounts worth many tens of millions of euros. The reason causes one to shudder: some of the confiscated deposits which are from the General Curia of the Order in Rome were invested in companies under investigation for illegal trade. There are almost unspeakable things mentioned: weapons and drugs. Investments go back to the period in which the Superior General of the Franciscans was  José Rodriguez Carballo, who is now Secretary of the Congregation for Religious," writes   the Vatican expert Giacomo Galeazzi in the daily newspaper La Stampa of 19 December 2014. The occasion was the announcement of shady financial operations by  the former General Treasurer and the de facto bankruptcy of the General Administration of the Franciscan Order.
Tonight I could not sleep. The blame was not the comings and goings of the helicopter which brought the Pope to Prato  (yes, it's true, Francis doesn't always travel   on foot or in the FIAT 500 ...), but the relentless repression of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Christ has thus reminds us in the Beatitudes: "Blessed are those who sorrow, for they shall be comforted; Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Promised Land; Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God; Blessed are the innocent persecuted, because God will grant   them his kingdom of heaven." Therefore, dear mothers in blue habits, I am convinced that you will be blessed, because "others have insulted, persecuted and slandered, because you belong to me."
Me on the other hand, it is difficult simply to accept this willful abuse, which reeks of such a doggedness and bitterness  against almost he only truly authentic and exemplary Franciscan form in our time, as the brothers and sisters of the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate,
I find it  also so difficult because the authors of this persecution are two Church representatives, about whom could be said a lot.  One is a Cardinal [Braz de Aviz]. And even though he lives in the house of the Vatican, where Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Grocholewski live, his name miraculously as strangely does not appear  in the list of petty vanity complex sheets about those Vatican prelates who were  allegedly living  in "scandalous" (pronounced luxurious ) homes. 
The other is Archbishop [Rodriguez Carballo], the former Minister General of the Franciscan Order. He is involved in a real scandal that unites all of the religious sins that Pope Francis denounces every day in his sermons. However nothing happens to him. And now that he can be certain to go unpunished, he throws himself so doggedly against  his Franciscan confreres of the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Its existence reminds him daily of  the holy life which he was supposed to lead.
O Blessed Virgin and Knots, I beg you, prepare an end of this diabolical provisional administration of the brothers and sisters of the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and  resolve this matter, as only you can solve it. For while the brothers and sisters of the Order  obtain eternity by patiently enduring the yoke of false mercy, we run,  we who  have to watch the injustice of this unworthy persecution, are in danger of losing the faith.
Your Dismas Romanus
Image: Mil
Trasns: Tancred

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Animus Delendi Against the Franciscans of the Immaculate Continues -- Obsessive Micromanaging by Bergoglian Bureaucracy

(Rome) The battle against the  Franciscans of the Immaculata continues. Hardly had Pope Francis mounted the throne of Peter, than the opponents of the traditional rite in the Order felt themselves strong enough, with his agreement, to place the once thriving men's branch of the order under a provisional administration.  The women's branch "only" received an apostolic delegate as an overseer, but was still drawn in sympathy with the men's Order because of its close spiritual and institutional connectedness. With a confidential decree of 19. October 2015, the Roman Congregation for Religious reinforced its resolve to proceed further against the men's and women's branches of the Order. In his decree Pope Francis is obliging the women's order to avoid a "special vow" or "solemn promise." What this involves can be read herein.  

The New Decree

"Because of credible information about a private vow (or promise) of special obedience, which is reserved to some male and female religious to the founder, which has been placed above the general vows of obedience owed to the superior, has prompted this dicastry to bring this problem to the attention of the Holy Father, who has given a special mandate to deal specifically with this problem.

Therefore, the Congregation for the Institute of Consecrated Life and for the Societies of Apostolic Life in enforcing this mandate for the good of the souls of all members of the Franciscans of the Immaculata, and all eventually bound to these institutions, by private vows (or promises) of a special nature to founders or foundresses.

In consequence it will be necessary that in future this vow or promise in future is not practiced either in its current or any future form.

With that this annuls any document, should such exist,  in its value, such that it involves in any way the vow (or promise) named here.  

It is the obligation of responsible authority in both institutes to make these stipulations known in a measured and discrete way to all members belonging currently to the institutes so that they can know how they are to respond if any have been placed under such a vow.

Superiors will be instructed by the Dicastry about the times and modalities for the introduction of this decree.
Released against anything to the contrary, from the Vatican, on 19th of October 2015.
Joao Braz Card. de Aviz
+ José Rodriguez Carballo OFM
Erzbischof Sekretär

The Accompanying Music by  Corriere della Sera

Dekret der Ordenskongregation vom 19. Oktober 2015
Decree From the Congregation of Religious on  vom 19. Oktober 2015

The desired musical accompaniment by the Corriere della Sera

Decree of the Congregation of the Order of 19 October 2015
Decree of the Congregation of the Order of 19 October 2015
The Corriere della Sera gave on  a backgroundn report Thursday for   for the unusual decree. It  took great pains  to make the desired background music in support of the Decree. The Order is made ​​by blending diverse elements under general suspicion. But telling signs can be seen Interspersed between.  
The article refers back to a Franciscan  of the Immaculate, who wanted neither to be named  or photographed. He had stated:  without giving any reasons, that there are new efforts around the deposed Founder  Fr Stefano Maria Manelli and the Vatican in 2013,  to establish a new  Old Rite Order. "They do not want to acknowledge the Modern",  the anonymous brother  who is against these efforts, allegedly told Corriere della SeraThe special vow (or promise) was linked to these aspirations for a new foundation and concerns those men and women religious, who have remained faithful to the Founder.

Aspirations for a New Old Rite Establishment

The Decree by the Congregation of Religious which was in turn adopted with papal approval, says at the outset that there were "credible" reports. The decree itself reveals, however, that the Vatican has adopted it on the basis of conjecture, without having any concrete evidence. The decree thus sounds like a new shot across the bow, which clarifies that the religious congregation remains determined to disrupt  order from recognition and to subject it to re-education.  Anyway, nothing should be remain of  the actual charisma of the Order.
The fact is that there are, since the Autumn of 2013, efforts of monks and nuns to found a new religious in which the true charism lives. That charism of fidelity to tradition and the rediscovery of the traditional rite, which had led the Order to its heyday and was shattered by the raging, appointed in 2013 and now deceased Apostolic Commissar, the Capuchin Fidenzio Volpi.  So far, however, nothing is known about a "special vow." 

Congregation of Religious Unwilling to Allow Reestablishment

The Congregation appointed a new Commissar last June with  Salesians Sabino Ardito, and there was hope that he would lead the Order with a calmer hand. However, the Congregation of Religious does not seem willing to grant such a rest. Above all, it seems to want to prevent the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate from carrying out a new religious foundation. Commissar Volpi had warned  Italian Bishops during the General Assembly of the Italian Bishops' Conference not to take Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in their dioceses.
As early as autumn 2013. dozens brothers had applied to the Congregation of Religious to be released from their religious vows. The canonically compliant departure from  the altered Order should have given them the opportunity to ask for incardination in dioceses and free them up for the path to reestablishment of an Order. The Congregation has refused until today, however, such a dispensation. Cardinal Braz de Aviz and Pope Francis do not want the Order of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate 2, since the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate 1 have placed under provisional control ​​and broken. 
Thus, the brothers are forced by the Congregation to remain in the Order, although this is no longer the same Oder since the provisional administration than the one which they were originally committed to.  Should they leave without a dispensation of the Order, which have a number of well done, this puts them canonically in the wrong.  Each Bishop, or superior of another order, and especially by the Vatican could go against them in the field, since they are not in a canonically regular position. In short their lives would be  on end of a  rope indefinitely. It's a situation that brings brothers and sisters into a fitful moral dilemma. Above all, one does not change an order like a shirt.

What is at stake in the matter: A brief review

The ordeal of  Father Manelli's order, who was ousted from the Order until the summer of 2013, so continues. Reminder: The Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate was created after the Second Vatican Council. While other orders over abruptly "modernized", Father Manelli went the opposite way and wanted to return to the roots of the Minorite Order, to which he belonged at the time. He joined an increasing number of young men and women, so in 1990 a new foundation was necessary for religious revival of the Order of Friars Minor of St. Francis of Assisi.
Under Pope Benedict XVI.   the young discovered, with the blessing of numerous vocations,  the traditional rite. The priests concelebrated in for reasons of pastoral care in both forms of the Roman Rite. Internally the Order underwent the change from the new rite to the traditional rite. The result was an even more rapid growth of the Order, which would then set up a number of new monasteries and take over  pastoral care in parishes and sanctuaries.
The Order did not belong, because of its development, to the old ritual Ecclesia Dei -communities but was under the Congregation of Religious like all new rite communities.  That made ​​it an anomaly that was before 2013, an example to all th other new rite orders.
Thus arose also a violent resistance within the Order. The resistance of a small internal minority, who would not  tolerate the traditional rite. For the same reason there was also resistance from among other church circles who believed they recognized a hazard in the Order. The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate had a thriving community, and were viewed enviously by the other orders. Above all, it seemed to be the living proof that the often prostrate  nature of religious orders can be revived even in Europe through the stern austerity, tradition and the traditional rite. The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate were on the way under Pope Benedict XVI. to becoming a potential model for other orders. It was an idea that came not with undivided joy.

With the papal election of 2013, the problems started

Under Pope Benedict XVI. no one dared openly to oppose the Order. The German Pope had returned the traditional rite with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum to the universal Church. In implementation of this Motu Proprio, the Order had returned to the traditional rite. The German pope was especially closely connected with the Franciscans of the Immaculate, too closely, so that the envious and chief opponents of the traditional rite would never have dared to lay hands.
With the unexpected resignation of Benedict and the election of Pope Francis, the situation had changed radically in one fell swoop. The Argentinian Pope was soon repeatedly recognized for his dislike of the representatives of tradition and also that he retained the traditional rite as  a passing "fad." Now it happened in quick succession.Citing and in cooperation with the small band of five brothers who complained to the Congregation of Religious, Father Manelli and the entire Order leadership were deposed and replaced by an Apostolic Commissar, the said Father Volpi, and he also no friend of the traditional rite. The Order now lacked the protection afforded by the Ecclesia Dei 's own communities.

The Imposition of the "new Mercy"

To this day, the Vatican has offered no reasons for this serious interference. Only unofficial hints by Commissioner Volpi and the Curial Archbishop Carballo, who has been appointed by Pope Francis secretary of the Congregation for Religious could show that it comes to an ideological struggle against tradition and the traditional rite. This is suggested, since celebration of the old rite was banned for all  priests  by decree of the provisional administration. In open opposition to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum every priest of the Order had to individually apply for a special permission to celebrate the old rite again. It was a demonstrative act of reducing and downgrading of the traditional rite, with which the Order members  were   shown what is now required under the new conditions in the Vatican and what is not.
Pope Francis withdrew the possibility from the astonished friars the right to appeal against the decree in opposition to the Congregation of Religious. The case would have ultimately landed before the judgment seat of Cardinal Raymond Burke, the then Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, an incorruptible Canon Law expert and declared friend of the traditional rite. This should be avoided. Basically, as well as the  aforementioned rejection of dispensation, shows that Order members should be compelled for re-education.
Pope Francis has dedicated his pontificate to the theme of mercy. Yet he has showed the Franciscans of the Immaculate anything but mercy.
 Text: Giuseppe Nardi 
Image: Mil
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Commissar of the Franciscans of the Immaculate: Father Sabino Ardito SDB

(Rome) Fr. Sabino Ardito is the new Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. He belongs to the Salesian Order of Don Bosco and is a well-known canon lawyer. He teaches at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome and has been employed in various departments of the Roman Curia.
Father Ardito succeeds  Father Fidenzio Volpi OFM Cap.  who was deceased on 7 June at the age of 75.  Father Volpi had died as a result of a brain hemorrhage suffered on 29 April. The Capuchin had been appointed in July 2013 as the Apostolic Commissioner of the Order, which he left in a disastrous state.
Unlike Volpi, who was the sole Commissioner, Father Ardito is supported by two coadjutors, a Jesuit and a Capuchin. They, too, were chosen from among canonists, that canon law, "which was little respected by the previous provisional administration," said Corrispondenza Romana .
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Chiesa e postcincilio
Trans: Tancred

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Commissar Volpi's Credibility --- Judicial Agreement With Manelli Family Burst

(Rome) Father Fidenzio Volpi, with the approval of Pope Francis in July 2013, has surprised again and again as Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, although rarely in a positive way. The Apostolic Commissioner has changed his mind and withdrew his signature on the agreement with the family of FFI Founder Father Stefano Maria Manelli.
This past February 12 Commissioner Volpi and the family Manelli had agreed following a mediation in civil matters (mediazione civile). The blog Le pagine di Don Camillo, who first reported on the agreement, falsely wrote about a "patteggiamento", a specialized institution of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure, and has since apologized.  Since 2010, Italy has recognized in implementation of an EU directive mediation in civil matters, which serves to resolve disputes wherever possible on a voluntary basis, without letting it come to a trial. The mediation takes place before court-appointed mediators at the registered office of the competent court.

FEBRUARY 12: The Admission of Guilt by the Commissar

This past February 12  at 11 clock before the Court Mediator at the District Court of Rome, the family members of Father Manelli and their lawyer Davide Perrotta as plaintiff on the one side and on the other side the Apostolic Commissioner Fidenzio Volpi and his lawyers Alessandra Böcklin and Edoardo Boitani as defendant. The mediation took place in the proceedings pending before the District Court of Rome, First Civil Chamber of litigation for defamation of Manelli family by Commissioner Volpi (see Commissioner Volpi admits a slander ).
At the end of the mediation, both parties signed an agreement with  Commissar Volpi who apologized and explained that with respect to the family Manelli  nothing applied to what he had written in his circular letter dated 8 December-2013. The Manelli family had "absolutely nothing to do with any unlawful act."

The obligations of the Commissar

This public apology would have until March 3rd according the agreement, to be published on the message news agency AGI and on the website of the Order On the website it would have to be visible for at least three consecutive months in a clear presentation as other published notices on the issue.   In addition, the Commissar was to have informed all monks and nuns, with his apology in a circular. Volpi undertook all attorneys' fees and agreed to pay the family Manelli a compensation of 20,000 euros. Everything by 3rd March. "Can there be even more guilt?" Said Riscossa Cristiana.
Volpi's admission is legally and morally significant. In addition to the legal question before a court of law, the Commissar admitted with having violated the Eighth Commandment. Thus, the credibility of the Apostolic Commissioner is badly hit. Many blogs have pointed this out following the mediation agreement.

February 18: The anger of the Commissioner and an incendiary  letter

But that seems to have so annoyed the Apostolic Commissioner because of the damage to his image that is  now breaking like  porcelain. Referring to the report, he has withdrawn his signature to the agreement again. Instead of writing the court warranted apology, Commissar Volpi has sent  an new urgent letter on the 18th February  to all members of the religious order.
In the newsletter, he withdrew his admission and told the brothers and sisters of his "will" that he would  "not to comply with the signed statement" because he "no longer considers it valid because of serious non-compliance by the other party."  But Volpi  does not say just what the "serious non-compliance" with the family Manelli happens to be. In the written mediation agreement (copy of the original document 1 )) of 12 February 2015, there is no statement obliging the family Manelli as the complainant in the proceedings. Unlike in the mediation agreement, the Commissar has now returned to his initial allegations and is shooting fire arrows at the family Manelli.

"Little credible" Justification of the Commissioner

The Commissar, as is evident from his incendiary letter, is incensed  because the matter became public. "The fact that the news of the agreement signed by Commissioner Volpi would reach the public, was easily foreseeable," said Corrispondenza Romana. However, Volpi may have hoped that certain details, such as the payment of € 20,000 to the family Manelli, would not become known. In addition, the Commissioner was faced with new demands for his resignation. In the circular letter of 18 February he writes now that he has always been considered "innocent". He only agreed "pro bono Pacis" and  "in a spirit of brotherhood seraphic" the agreement of 12 February, which was just for the sake of peace. "A statement of little credibility," said Riscossa Cristiana, given the clear and unilateral commitments into which he entered.
The fact is that Commissar Volpi has not been convicted by any court. The mediation was voluntary. "However, the agreement of 12 February exists and is signed by Father Volpi. The signature may indeed be withdrawn, so is no longer in effect," said Cristiana Riscossa.
Commissioner Volpi is receiving a monthly € 5,000 allowance for his provisional activity, according to Italian media. A message that has never been disowned. The sum is to be paid by the Order of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  Soon, the Commissioner will have to stand trial. With his circular letter, he made it clear that he wants it to come to a trial in this dispute. There, too, the mediation agreement will play a role. The legal costs of the Commissioner shall be borne by the Order.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Corrispondenza Romana
Trans: Tancred

Monday, February 9, 2015

Commissar Closes the Cloister of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in Teramo

(Teramo) The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are leaving Teramo, the capital city of the Italian region of Abruzzo. As the religious house of Teramo announced in a statement, the closing on February 11th of the Monastery of Teramo is "based on a decision of the Apostolic Commissioner," Father Fidenzio Volpi.
As a reason, a "decline of Brothers" and the "departure of some religious" were mentioned. In both cases, these were direct consequences of the provisional administration of the Order which had been blooming till July 2013.  The "decline" is due to resignations, which were triggered by the radical intervention of members appointed by the Commissar appointed by the Roman Congregation of Religious because the original charism of the Order was destroyed. The "departure" means forced displacements and exile of the friars by the Commissar.
On October 6, 2007 Bishop Michele Seccia of Teramo had entrusted the parish and convent of San Domenico to the young Franciscans.  In 2008 the  Marian lay community of Missione Immacolata Media Trice and the Third Order were established. Since the same year, the Fathers have celebrated the Traditional Rite since the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, not only the convent's, but public worship, such as the  Office and Vespers. In a pastoral concern for the parish,  the Mass was celebrated in both the traditional and the new Rites.

In 2005, the Dominicans had Abandoned the Monastery for Lack of Vocations 

In 1287  the Dominicans in Teramo established  the church and convent of San Domenico. After a long flowering, the Dominican convent was dissolved in 1809 by the Napoleonic storm, the church  was converted into a stall and the monastery into barracks. After the Congress of Vienna, the Confraternity of the Rosary, founded in 1556 by the Dominicans in Teramo for the care of the restoration of the Church. Because of the anticlerical attitude of 1860 by the newly created Italian state, it would take 130 years for the Dominicans were to return to Teramo. Only the Lateran Treaty made it possible that in 1939, the church was adopted by the Dominicans and the monastery was repopulated.
The Dominican church "experienced then in 1969-1971 as part of the post-conciliar liturgical reform, interventions in the design of the presbytery," as it states on the remaining website of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Teramo. In 2005, the Dominicans had to abandon the monastery Teramo "for lack of vocations."
Soon the monastery was empty, then the Bishop of Teramo summoned  the Franciscans of the Immaculate summoned a young  Order, which had no staffing problems and had thus guaranteed the safe continuation of the monastery and pastoral care. Less than seven years later, the tide has turned dramatically through papal intervention. In two days, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate will leave Teramo, but for very different reasons than the Dominicans.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Wikicommons
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Commissar Volpi Threatens Bishops -- Franciscans of the Immaculate Are Trying to Overthrow Pope Francis

The Commissar and the Franciscans of the Immaculate
(Rome) The Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate urges the Italian bishops not to incardinate priests who want to leave the maltreated Order. It even comes to threats. The background is an alleged "conspiracy" by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate for the "downfall of Pope Francis," from which the Commissar wanted to save the Church leader. What followed was a written slugfest between Father Volpi and a leading bishop.
For the last 16 months the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate  was among  the most flourishing religious orders of the Catholic Church. The young Order, canonically erected in 1990 , was astonishing in its completely opposite trend.  While other orders bemoaned a shortage of young people, the Order grew up in the West at an impressive pace. In an effort to return to the roots of the Franciscan Order and to follow the original rule of the order, the Order discovered the treasures of the Church, went to the traditional rite the tradition of the Church on its own. With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. its fate was thus sealed. The visible figurehead of the Benedictine reform of the reform, which had become an Old Ritual Order, had lost his patron.

Commissioner Volpi invited by Pope Confidant Galatino to Bishops' Conference

Since July 2013 provided the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception has been provided with a provisional administration. The religious congregation continued with the approval of Pope Francis under a Capuchin Father Fidenzio Volpi. The Apostolic Commissioner  came to enforce his policy sanctions  in the autumn General Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference in part, after some bishops had shown willingness to include the brothers and priests of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate i in their dioceses.
After this provisional procedure became known there was a written exchange between the website Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (NBQ) and Commissioner Volpi.
We initiated  a report by Matteo Matzuzzi last 25 November. Matzuzzi is Vaticanist the daily newspaper Il Foglio .

Episcopal Head Shaking Morning "Pope \ earl"

Commissar  Volpi with Pope Francis
Matzuzzi reported on the "orientation" of many bishops around the world for the morning sermon by Pope Francis on 21 November in Santa Marta. It was the "Pearl of the Day" that triggered the helpless shaking of the head among the bishops.  Pope Francis accused  priests and parish secretaries who were supposed to have   published price lists for the sacraments on church doors. According to Vatican Radio , the "pearl" spread, and made ​​more than one bishop a squirm in his chair. "So it gives the impression as if we were only baptize when we see a donation in an envelope," said Matzuzzi quoting an Italian bishop.
There may be black sheep   everywhere, but the reality in the Church from Cape Town to Svalbard, from Vladivostok to Porto is clear. The fees are minimal and are entirely subsided in case of need. In many parts of the world where there is no government-driven church tax as in the Federal Republic of Germany, the clergy is even denied their  livelihood from these offerings.
In the afternoon of the same day there was a public clarification by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the President of the Italian Bishops' Conference: "The sacraments are to be paid in any way. The duties of the faithful are a form of contributing to the material needs of the Church."  The statement was immediately read by observers as a response to the Pope's  morning talks if Cardinal Bagnasco did not mention the pope by name.
Who would not have understood it, was better taught contrario by the speaker of the Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Domenico Pompili as  he briefly stated:  "Each statement made by   the President of the Episcopal Conference as a counter to Pope Francis are misleading ".

Episcopal Anger at Argentine Pope

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
That something is not working in the relationship between the center and the edges,  is but certain. This was evident a few weeks ago, when the Pope confidante, Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, who wrote, as the synods' Special Secretary, the controversial gay passages of the interim report for the Synod of Bishops,  who  resoundingly trumpeted Bishop Mario Marini of Fielsole at the election of the Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference.  The only 30 percent of the vote against 70 percent of Bishop Maini in the decisive second round wasn't even close, not even  for an honorable defeat, but for a man like Msgr. Forte, who feels called for higher things, it was a crushing rebuff.
The situation was very embarrassing for some, was why yet begun during the bishops' meeting, the play down "incident"."You wanted new faces precedence," was the embarrassment formula.
Anyway: One possible promotion for Fortes is one of the great Archdiocesan chairs with the dignity of Cardinal, which are open in 2015, namely Florence and Bologna, is a bar quite high. In 2011, Forte was discussed for the  Archdiocese  of Milan. Benedict XVI., however, appointed the then Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Angelo Scola.  Forte was discussed as a possible Patriarch of Venice, but Benedict XVI, which not only was Benedict irritated by Fortes fierce opposition to the corrected translation of the words of consecration in the vernacular. (Pro multis - for many), so Francesco Moraglia was chosen instead, who himself chose a meaningfully strong coat of arms, which is virtually identical to that of St. Pius X, who himself was also Patriarch of Venice. Pope Francis has not created Patriarch Moraglia  a cardinal yet, although traditionally  the Patriarchal chair is connected to the cardinalate. It's a set back that has been associated with Moraglia's understanding of the Church.
Not enough: in the first round by the way, Bishop Mariano Crociata of Latina received 27 votes. Crociata, who in 2013 was Secretary of the Bishops' Conference  was then replaced by Pope Francis overnight by Bishop Nunzio Galatino Cassano all'Jonio. Bishop Crociata asked his brother Bishops, not to give him any more votes, because that could be interpreted as an affront to Pope Francis. But  some of the bishops intended to be demonstrative with their vote.

Galatinos Franciscan Officiate and the Invitation to Commissioner Volpi

Bishop Galatino with Pope Francis
The newly appointe, without consultation with Cardinal Bagnasco, Secretary General Galatino, fills his office so that he could be imposed as the President of the Bishops' Conference and immediately maintains contact with the Vatican. Exactly, in the opinion of observers, this was whatthe Pope wanted with Galatino's appointment: A major reorganization of the Episcopal Conference, without dismissing its president, and thus attracting too much attention. Galatino is the bishop who snidely commented on the Pro-Lifers  who work against the outrageousness of the mass murder of unborn children at abortion clinics and hospitals and pray the rosary for the right to life of every human being.
The Pope's confidant, Galatino, was also appointed by Rome as the Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate has invited Father Fidenzio Volpi for Autumn Plenary Assembly of Bishops. The real purpose of the bishop's invitation was more apparent during the breaks.  Commissioner Volpi approached  and targeted certain bishops and urged them not to incardinate brothers of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in their diocese who want to leave the Order because of radical upheaval. The procedure of the Commissioner is very unusual because incardination is constantly taking place in many dioceses around the world. The Commissioner's foray is therefore aimed specifically against the priests entrusted to him. They have been  denied in Rome for more than a year, the new foundation as an Old Rite Order. Commissioner Volpi will prevent the brothers leaving the Order or from being incardinated into dioceses. In other words, the impression that arises is that Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate should be forced to remain in the Order, to force them to accept the realignment.
The intention becomes clearer, if one takes into account that Bishop Galatino as Secretary of the Bishops' Conference called upon the Bishops of Italy with an official letter, that no Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are to be incardinated. If appropriate requests are made, the bishops should immediately inform Commissioner Volpi Commissioner of it. 
Commissioner Volpi's "Clarification" That Explained Nothing
Founder Manelli celebrated in the Lateran Basilica St.Sacrifice of the Mass in the traditional rite
Matzuzzi's article drew a counter notification by the Commissioner himself, who relied on the press law.  Participation in the conference of bishops  was justified by the Commissioner with his role as General Secretary of the Superior Conference of male religious orders in Italy.  He says he did not speak to the bishops in order to address the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate addressed, but he had raised that subject on this occasion to the bishops. It belongs to the "wise practice" of the Church that a responsible  religious  will be contacted by the bishops   before incardinating former members of religious orders, especially when it comes to a priest. If Bishop Galatino is to have asked the bishops, says Volpi, to align themselves with this practice, then it would fall to his responsibilities as General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference.
Thus Commissioner Volpi  gave an unsolicited clarification, however, without clarifying anything. It was replicated by the chief editor of NBQ, Riccardo Cascioli.
Cascioli wrote to the Commissioner that no one had doubted that he was invited to the General Assembly of the Bishops' Conference, but that it posed questions about  the reasons for the referral, "especially regarding your behavior towards some bishops".
Cascioli opposed the spread of Volpi's impression that he belonged, as General Secretary of the Superiors Conference, of his own motion for the Episcopal Conference or that such participation is an established practice. But neither the one nor the other is true. "That explains," said the NBQ-Editor in Chief, "which is why many bishops were amazed when they had to take notice of your presence at the meeting  without having it exlained to them beforehand. I am sure that there was a justified reason for your presence, but unfortunately your writing does not clarify on this."

Not "wise practice", but "hard pressure"

Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate under the aegis of a Visitrix
Cascioli continues: "It may be that the bishops will be approached to you as well (I have no reason to doubt it, of which we have not spoken). We have criticized, however, that you have approached with intimidating demeanor and talk to bishops, to cause them to reject requests for incardination by the Franciscans of the Immaculate. It's a statement that you do not deny in your reply. Apart from that, it is  apparent now by  several witnesses. That raises the question of the extent  the powers of the Commissioner of an Order actually reach. We know of no case that is comparable. "
Cascioli then shredded Volpis assertion that it is a "wise practice" of the Church, to contact the appropriate religious superiors before incardinating a former religious. Be that as confirms the NBQ-editor, but what Volpi and Galatino in the case of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate do have nothing to do with the consultations of the Church's practice, but is exercising "hard pressure",  to extend  "threats against bishops" in order  "to prevent some brothers from finding refuge in a diocese or other religious order."   There is no alternative, that Volpi's motto is,  "either by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, according to  Commissar Volpi or nothing." Also it was "an unprecedented procedure that even according to the canon law, it contradicts the basic right to freedom of conscience,"  says Cascioli.

 Dogged Action Against the Order and the "Plans" to Overthrow Pope Francis

Commissar Volpi with Pope Francis (7 November 2014)
This exacerbates the issues that have already found no satisfactory answer: "Why this harshness up to this day, that  neither the reasons for the provisional administration were explained about this blooming Order in the Summer of 2013, nor a time frame for the provisional government."
The official internet site which is controlled by the Commissioner of the Order  offers no help to find answers to the open questions. Helpful on the other hand, is a blog that says of himself, is close to Commissioner Volpi.  The blog describes itself "in accordance with the provisional administration of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate" and published an arid  invective against the article by Matteo Matzuzzi.
In another entry from November 17, however, the anonymous blogger explained why Commissioner Volpi is so "concerned" that no Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate be incardinated in dioceses: "The very purpose of seeking incardination seems clear: it is about the creation of a platform, perhaps off shore, like the Archdiocese of Lipa in the Philippines and a Catholic minority diocese as in England, for the consecrated priests  and former seminarians of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to newly gather in the hope of a revolution against the current management of the universal Church."
To this Cascioli's response to Commissioner Volpi was: "In other words, the blog says, you would act in concert with whom you were  invited to the meeting of the Episcopal Conference to Assisi, because a plot to overthrow Pope Francis was in progress, whom the clerics and former seminarians of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, were  together with some bishops, who were to include in their dioceses. However, this would be really laughable, if it were not someone close to you  who has spread an unofficial declaration of your whole approach. I hope, therefore, that you will want to clarify this account and also the blog that speaks on your behalf ". Signed, Riccardo Cascioli.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: MiL / CR / Chiesa e Postconcilio / Osservatore Romano