Showing posts with label UK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UK. Show all posts

Friday, July 19, 2019

The New Franciscans of the Immaculata

(London) On July 5, 2019, the southern English city of Portsmouth was without its knowledge,
 for a brief but important moment, something of the center of the Catholic world. The coastal city is the birthplace of Charles Dickens and was the starting point of the Allied landing in Normandy. It has also been the seat of a bishop since 1882, after over 300 years of prohibition,
the Catholic hierarchy could be rebuilt in England.

Since 2012, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, Msgr. Philip Anthony Egan heads the diocese with around 250,000 Catholics (eight percent of the population). Bishop Egan consecrated four Franciscans to priests in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist last July 5 - in the traditional rite.

The brothers of St. Francis of Assisi are former Franciscans of the Immaculata, who were incardinated by Bishop Egan into his diocese of Portsmouth.

The four candidates

The Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculata, founded by Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, has been suffering a great ordeal since the summer of 2013. The still young order, which looked back to the original charism of the order’s founder, was followed by Pope Benedict XVI. in the Motu proprio Summorum pontificum, and was transformed from a New Mass-religious order to an Old Rite order, since he was committed in his charism to tradition. But he remained subordinate, a complete exception, in the  Roman Congregation of Religious. In pastoral care the Order was bi-ritual, in-house old-ritual. The canonical community, first established in 1990, grew rapidly and received considerable appointments from Europe as well. Towards the end of the pontificate of Benedict XVI, it seemed that the Franciscans of the Immaculata could even become a role model for other new rite-religious orders. It was especially the  young members of other orders were interested in their way.

A few months after the papal change, however, came the turn. The protective hand of Benedict XVI. was replaced by the punitive hand of Francis. In July 2013, the Order's leadership was deposed by the Order's Congregation and the Order was placed under the administration of a Commissar without any reason. This raged in the Order and smashed much of what had been built. With the decree of the Commissar by Rome, the Order had been forbidden to perform the traditional Rite. This left no doubt against whom and what the hard measure was directed. All relevant decisions were declared null and void. Each priest had to apply individually for a special permit if he wanted to continue to celebrate in the traditional Rite. Monasteries were abolished, the internal seminary was closed  and pilgrimage sites and churches entrusted to it were removed from the Order.

Against the founders of the Order and Superior General until the Commissar  came, a slander campaign was carried out, which was also carried out in court. The Commissar embarrassingly failed and reinforced the impression of arbitrary and ideologically motivated persecution. Not only the vocations collapsed, even the friars themselves were urged to leave the Order because the original religious charisma was eliminated. At this point all the harshness became apparent, some even reveal the persecutor’s ugliness. The friars, who reconstituted the Order as an Old Rite order and thereby wanted to submit to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (now a division of the Congregation of the Faith), this was denied. The friars, who wanted to leave the Order and ask for release from their vows to found a new order, were forbidden to do so. The then Commissar even threatened Italian bishops who would allow Franciscans of Immaculata in their dioceses admission. The bishop of Albenga-Imperia, who had promoted the Order particularly, gave him three settlements there,
entrusted pilgrimage churches and dared to defend the Order against unjustified persecution, was made emeritus by Pope Francis.

The same happened to a Filipino bishop, who received the former Franciscan Immaculata in his diocese and helped to found a new order there.

Others found refuge in England, which was previously tolerated by Rome, because they live their charism without a stir. Bishop Egan granted a new home to one of the Order's brilliant heads, Father Serafino M. Lanzetta. In 2015, he entrusted him with the parish of St. Mary in Gosport and appointed him pastor. P. Lanzetta made the New-Parish a bi-ritual one. The change that became possible coincided with the death of the first Roman Commissar, Capuchin Fidenzio Volpi.

Fr. Lanzetta enabled the other brothers of his order to settle in Gosport. Thus the exile of the
seminarians, who were in the middle of their studies, came to an end when the storm broke over the Order. A few days ago they were consecrated by Bishop Egan, according to their sensitivity, in the traditional form of the Roman Rite.

In the diocese of Portsmouth the former Franciscans of Immaculata can live. Their community is called the Family of the Immaculate Virgin and Saint Francis. It already has nine priests, brothers and seminarians. So far, two other priests have worked together with Fr. Lanzetta in Gosport, who are now strengthened by the four new priests Fra Philemon, Fra Rosario, Fra Faustinus and Fra Michael. Thus, the number of Mass sites reached can be expanded. Wherever the priests of the new community come, they also bring the traditional Rite and tradition.

In recent years Bishop Egan has been particularly sensitive to the priests and the faithful who are associated with the traditional Rite. In September 2018, he established a personal parish of the traditional Rite in Reading, which he entrusted to the FSPC. In March 2019, he paid a visit to St. Michael's School in Burghclere, which is located in his diocese and run by the Society of Saint Pius X  (FSSPX).

In Gosport, a seed has become a small plant.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: MiL / MyAlbum / Saint Marys
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Satan's Navy: UK Ship on Last Rescue Mission Before Scrapping

No, it's not the Black Pearl, it's not Charon's barge, it's a relatively modern ship of the Royal Navy, cruising to the aid of British nationals in Benghazi Libya. MI-6 Agent Aleistar Crowley would have been so pleased, but what would Nelson have thought? Here's the story as told by the 'American Spectator.'

[American Spectator] The present Cumberland also made the headlines when, in obedience to the diktats of political correctness, a Satanist chapel was installed to accommodate the proclivities of a Satanist crewmember. No, I am not making this up -- it is not exactly a cheerful thought that in the new, non-discriminatory Royal Navy a Satanist might get his finger on a certain red button. (By way of contrast, I toured one of the last British cruisers, HMS Tiger, some years ago. The sentence in polished brass letters on the ceremonial rum-cask: FEAR GOD; HONOUR THE QUEEN, stuck in my mind.) The phrase "What would Nelson have said?" has been used in so many headlines to stories about Naval cuts and other scandals that it has become a cliché, but in this particular case it seems a reasonable question.

H/t: Pewsitter

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Magic Circle Bishop Burns of Swansea Attacks Immemorial Mass of All Ages

...That clericalism risks raising its head today among those who again are looking for identity in status, not service. They want to be treated differently. There are those who set high standards of morality for lay people, while they blatantly violate those same standards themselves. There are those who go to extremes to express the Mass in a particular way, whether it is in the Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form, in a so-called VAT II rite or Tridentine Rile, through the "People's Mass" or the . "Priest's Mass". Some want to put the priest on a pedestal, whilst the people are consigned to be privileged spectators outside the rails. Flamboyant modes of liturgical vestments and rubrical gestures abound. Women are denied all ministries at Mass: doing the Readings, the serving, the Bidding Prayers, and taking Communion to the Sick. To many in our Church and beyond, this comes across as triumphalism and male domination.

Link to Ignis Ardens site, here.

Entire Address available at Catholic Church Conservation, here.

Image stolen from BBC, here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Wanderer Says Pope's Visit Transforming England

Pope Makes Astounding Impact On Britain


LONDON — The papal visit to four British cities has proved an unexpected triumph, amazing even Benedict XVI himself who had been aware that the schedule faced both problems and protests.

Although the turnout, which was always going to be lower than that for John Paul II in 1982, was needlessly curtailed, this was compensated for by extensive reporting in the secular media, especially the television channels whose live coverage was almost continuous.

The biggest achievement of His Holiness over four days was in calling the nation back to ancient,Christian values and in reminding ecumenical enthusiasts that he headed the one, true Church that could not abandon disputed doctrine.

For all Catholics, whom he asked to defend their faith, therewere six defining occasions. The very first was when he met the British sovereign in Scotland rather than as Elizabeth II in London where she also heads the Church of England. They met at Holyroodhouse, which was once the palace of Mary Stuart, the last Catholic monarch of Scotland, later executed by Elizabeth I, the first Protestant queen of England.

The next two occasions were in London on September 17. Benedict XVI addressed 1,800 politicians and other civic leaders at the Houses of Parliament, standing at the very spot in Westminster Hall where Sir Thomas More and others were condemned to death for not acknowledging Henry VIII as national head of the Church. Reminding his audience of the famous statesman’s conscience, he outlined “ the proper place of religious belief in the political process.”

The Pope then went across the way to Westminster Abbey, a church nationalized during the Reformation, where he made a point of incensing the tomb of its founder, King Edward the Confessor, and mentioning Archbishop Thomas à Becket who was slain for opposing royal encroachment. This time, His Holiness was exemplifying English champions of the faith to 2,000 churchmen and churchwomen from various Protestant denominations, largely Anglicans led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, whom he had met privately earlier in the day.

Read further...

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Going to Get Ugly: UK Pope's Visit

Pope to Brave Persecution in UK

Hostility Intensifies With Trip 18 Days Away

By Father John Flynn, LC

ROME, AUG. 29, 2010 ( As the date for Benedict XVI’s mid-September trip to Scotland and England draws closer, the anti-religious hostility is becoming more intense.

Peter Tatchell, a well-known critic of the Catholic Church, penned an opinion article published Aug. 13 in the Independent newspaper. “Most Catholics oppose many of his teachings,” he claimed in regard to the Pope.

In his role as a spokesperson for the Protest the Pope Campaign, Tatchell then went on with a long laundry-list of Church teachings, which he described as harsh and extreme.

Tatchell has also been chosen by the television station Channel 4 to front a 60-minute program on the Pope, which will be broadcast around the time of the papal visit, the Telegraph newspaper reported on June 4.

It won't be the only television special critical of the Catholic Church. The BBC is working on an hour-long documentary on the clerical abuse scandals, the Guardian newspaper reported Aug. 3.

Along with the unsurprising opposition to the visit from the Orange Order of Ireland and Protestant preacher Ian Paisley, the British government also got caught up in an embarrassing instance of anti-Catholic prejudice.

The Foreign Office had to issue an official apology after a government paper on the visit became public, the Sunday Times reported on April 25. A document that was part of a briefing packet sent to government officials suggested that the Pope should sack “dodgy bishops," apologize for the Spanish Armada, and open an abortion clinic.


The attacks have not gone unanswered. Although not official representatives of the Church, a group of Catholic speakers was set up under the name of Catholic Voices. Under the leadership of Jack Valero, who is a director of Opus Dei in the United Kingdom, the team of speakers are offering themselves to defend the Church’s teachings.

Support is also coming from secular sources. Self-declared atheist Padraig Reidy criticized the extreme nature of the anti-Catholic rhetoric in an article published by the Observer newspaper on Aug. 22.

On July 28, Kevin Rooney, also an atheist, writing for the online site Spiked, described the attacks on the Church as “illiberal, censorious and ignorant.”

Rooney, who grew up as a socialist republican in Belfast, said that not only do the critics oppose the teachings of the Church, but they also want to prevent it from speaking out at all. Moreover, he noted, any accusations made against the Church are immediately taken as being true, without any need for proof.

“As with the right to free speech, it seems the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty does not extend to the Catholic Church,” he observed.

The problems faced by the Church are far from being limited to verbal hostility. A raft of laws on so-called hate crimes and anti-discrimination create a continual series of legal challenges for Christians in the United Kingdom.

According to a booklet just published on this topic by Jon Gower Davies, there are more than 35 Acts of Parliament, 52 Statutory Instruments, 13 Codes of Practice, three Codes of Guidance, and 16 European Commission Directives that bear on discrimination.

In "A New Inquisition: religious persecution in Britain today," (Civitas) he outlined a number of recent cases where Christians have suffered from these laws.


The latest example of this was the loss by Leeds-based Catholic Care in a High Court appeal on the issue of whether they could continue to deny placing adopted children with same-sex couples.

The origin of the case was a 2007 sexual orientation regulation, which outlawed adoption agencies from such "discrimination."

According to an article published Aug. 19 by the Telegraph newspaper, Catholic Care is the last remaining Catholic adoption agency to resist the regulations. Since the law came into effect in January 2009, the other 11 Catholic adoption agencies have had to either shut down or sever their ties with the Church.

There have been numerous other cases in past months where Christians have faced legal battles.

-- A foster carer won her struggle to continue fostering children, after she had been banned by Gateshead Council. The ban was due to the fact that a girl aged 16 that she was caring for decided to convert from Islam to Christianity. The carer, who remained anonymous in order to protect the identity of the girl, had fostered more than 45 other children. Although the matter was righted in the end, the woman suffered considerable financial losses due to the ban. (The Christian Institute, July 11)

-- A Christian preacher was arrested for publicly saying that homosexuality is a sin. Dale McAlpine was locked up in a cell for seven hours and subsequently charged with "causing harassment, alarm or distress” (The Telegraph, May 2). After widespread protests the charges were dropped. (The Christian Post, May 18)

-- A Christian relationship counselor was denied the opportunity to go to the Court of Appeal regarding his dismissal by Relate Avon after he admitted he could not advise same-sex couples because of his beliefs. Gary McFarlane lost his claim of unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal and at a subsequent tribunal appeals hearing. (Christian Today, April 29)

-- Shirley Chaplin, a Christian nurse, lost a claim for discrimination after she was moved to desk duties following her refusal to remove a crucifix on a necklace. Even though John Hollow, the chairman of the employment tribunal panel, admitted that Chaplin had worn the crucifix for 30 years as a nurse, he said that wearing it was not a requirement of the Christian faith. The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, mentioned the case in his Easter sermon. He said there was a ''strange mixture of contempt and fear'' toward Christianity. (The Telegraph, April 6)

Earlier this year the situation reached the point where the former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, together with six other Anglican bishops, wrote a letter to the Sunday Telegraph complaining that Christians in Britain are being persecuted and treated with disrespect.

As an article on the letter in the March 28 edition of the Sunday Telegraph explained, the bishops argued that, while believers of other religions are shown sensitive treatment, Christians are punished.

"There have been numerous dismissals of practicing Christians from employment for reasons that are unacceptable in a civilized country," the letter declaimed.

Right to be heard

The notoriety of restrictions on Christians reached the point where the Pope publicly intervened. During his speech on Feb. 1 to the bishops of England and Wales, present in Rome for their five-yearly visit, he commented on the topic.

Benedict XVI observed that their country was noted for its equality of opportunity to all members of society. He then urged the bishops to stand up when legislation infringed on the freedom of religious communities.

"In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed. I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church’s moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended," the Pope said.

"Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others -- on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth," he added.

Given the Pope's concern over this matter, and the continuing cases of Christian persecution, we may well expect him to speak out on it during his visit next month.