State of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

BREAKING NEWS published on Air Maria (of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate)

By Father Angelo Mary Geiger

“In this post I am publishing two documents. First, there is an unsigned piece written by a friar of the Immaculate, which has been distributed in the form of a Word document named “State of the FFI.docx”. Whether this document has been received by a small number of friars only or has had a wider distribution I do not know. Clearly, however, the document is a concise set of talking points defending the former superiors of the FFI against the Apostolic Commissioner, Most Reverend Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, and the Prefect for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, His Eminence Cardinal João Braz de Aviz. I certainly do not agree with what is said in this document. It is is reproduced here in its complete unedited form.

The second document is my commentary on “State of the FFI,” which I wrote with assistance of Fr. Agnellus Maria Murphy and am publishing with the approval of Fr. Alfonso Maria Bruno. Please read both documents and simply do not bother to comment unless you have read both in their entirety. Please also bear with my use of emphasis, as from experience I know that points get glossed over or ignored in the heat of the reading.

I am one of the original five friars who appealed to the Holy See concerning the problems within our Institute. I mention this in the interests of full disclosure.”

Continue reading

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31 Responses to State of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

  1. 000rjbennett says:

    When I try to access the “Continue reading” link in Father Geiger’s post, I get this message:

    Google Chrome could not find http
    http airmaria 2014 state franciscan

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  2. kathleen says:

    Yes, I am so sorry Robert – it was my fault. I have since fixed the link. Try again. 🙂

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  3. Mimi says:

    Ditto.

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  4. Mimi says:

    Safari cannot find the server, apparently.

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  5. kathleen says:

    Mimi, I have just tried it and I think it works now.

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  6. Mimi says:

    Hurray! Yes. Thanks, Kathleen!

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  7. 000rjbennett says:

    Yes, the link works now. Thank you, Kathleen!
    Robert Bennett

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  8. piliersdelaterre says:

    ..”traditionalist ideology” !! Only a jaundiced leftwing historicist could interpret the Magisterium as a mere Ideology. The modernists have fabricated a quasi-marxist church and are now full of consternation to find themselves rumbled! So they scream- “you radicals” are hatching “autocratic, arbitrary directives” indespite of the overarching Ideal of Obedience to Mary. Since when did Mary surreptitiously implement the systematic demolition of the Liturgy, grown up to express the highest reverence for the Incarnation!
    Everything is in the language…once you’ve been soused in marxist jargon, you can smell it a mile away.

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  9. mkenny114 says:

    Piliersdelaterre,

    I thought the point of the article was that the author of ‘The State of the FFI’ was cultivating a spirit opposed to the Magisterium, and that this was done according to a sectarian ideology (and therefore not in the true spirit of Tradition), not that the Magisterium was ‘a mere Ideology’.

    I agree with you about the fact that a lot of Modernist/Marxist ideologues still exist within the Church, but I think the author of the article (who provides a fuller analysis of the picture given in ‘The State of the FFI’) is drawing attention to a different sort of problem here.

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  10. piliersdelaterre says:

    Tradition v. Traditionalist; Islam v. Islamist (?)
    Except that the plaint of the first article was that there was only cursory consultation, and a lack of courtesy and transparency shown towards those who had sincerely embraced tradition in the spirit of Summorum Pontificum.
    Essentially, obedience to the current Magisterium can only make sense if it does not depart too greatly from Tradition (I referred to the Magisterium as though it and Tradition were interchangeable, hence my confusion, above).
    Maybe (as with the European experiment) there is the gross irony of there now being more ‘autocracy’, ‘illiberalism’, secrecy and demands for unquestioning obedience than were found before.
    I can’t see that the Holy Spirit would work in such a distressing way.

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  11. mkenny114 says:

    Yes, the first part of the article (The State of the FFI) does say these things, but the concluding part (which is a commentary on the veracity of ‘The State…’) and the article overall is making the case that these claims are misleading and disingenuous, and that what is being presented as traditionalism and a simple promotion of the extraordinary form is actually cover for a deeply sectarian spirited movement which seeks to drive a wedge between Tradition and Magisterium.

    If the claims made in ‘The State of the FFI’ piece are correct, then you are right, it is very distressing. But, if the points made by the author of the article (i.e.; the critique of ‘The State…’) are correct, then we are being misled by those who seek to create division in the Church. I guess it comes down to who you believe in this particular case (and why).

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  12. Frere Rabit says:

    My self-imposed reduction in comment on matters religious was partly kicked off by the bullying of the FFI, and then confirmed by later events such as the suppression of the “Protect the Pope” blog. I still keep an eye on what is going on but I have a profoundly changed view of the Church we are now living in and I wonder whether there is any point in my commenting on it any longer. I watch as a spectator, and my only experience of parish life now is in a place where nobody even knows about these matters nor even begins to examine them.

    Maybe this is the desert. So be it.

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  13. piliersdelaterre says:

    There are holy, heroic people alive and well in the Church, constant in prayer. I am grateful to have stayed with some recently. If one has the joy of attending the offices it is easier to hope that “all shall be well”, however, the poverty of some ordinary church liturgies (where e.g. people are discouraged from remaining reverent before and after Mass) make me wonder if the New Church just ends up patronizing the laity.

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  14. Madeline says:

    Fr. Geiger states he is one of the 5 who has brought about the demolition of the Institute. He mentions (what seems to be a criminal accusation these days ) a “traditional drift”. Even worse was some ‘associating’ with ‘sympathizers’ of traditional movements. My goodness! Get the chains! A meeting was called behind the founder’s back and an appeal made to sympathetic ears in the Vatican. The fact that some lay person makes some claims is a totally moot point and does NOT justify what the disobedient friars, as Father mentioned had taken a vow of obedience, did.

    He writes that the upset of various superiors was unfounded, in essence, because they and the founder are ‘unscrupulous’. But meeting behind closed doors to orchestrate a rebellion is not???
    The so called open rebellion against the hostile takeover meant the closing of 9 friaries, 2 Marian shrines, the stopping of the distribution of holy books, the suppression of the lay members even to blocking their annual Marian pilgrimage and the closing of the seminary because those ‘rebellious’ seminarians wanted to follow the charisms as set by the founders. Right. There are no more Days with Mary in Italy so all this is also a slap in the face of the Blessed Lady. The ones who acknowledge meeting behind closed doors, at the expense of the Institute no doubt, are the ones, it is claimed, who are totally right and everyone else is wrong. Those unscrupulous founders! Here they led thousands of souls to holier lives but we cannot have that! The greater embracing of the traditions of the Church is so dangerous! Yes, to the evil one, it is and I grant you that.

    So the founders were part of the spread of the traditional movement in Italy. That is a bad thing? Prayer and penance and beautiful liturgy is a problem now. I have news for Father, the traditional movement WITHIN the Church is totally legitimate and will not be stopped.

    Father writes: the arbitrary rule of a small group of friars who abused their authority and then have used every Machiavellian tactic to protect it. Whatever that legitimate authority did does NOT compare to what the hostile takeover has done…it is ‘Machiavellian’ on steroids!

    The dissenters are the ones who have brought about the almost total suppression of a wonderful Order, present on many continents and who have brought a holy way of life to many. Was there ever any talk of going against the Pope or did they support him. They supported him. The dissenters spoke against the founders such that there is even a great dislike and libel against them. And they hold their ground as, it is said, a new constitution is being formed. That will not be the FFI. I do not buy the view of Fr. Gaiger.

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  15. kathleen says:

    Well said Madeline (and apologies for your comment being held up in ‘Moderation’ for so long.) I agree with everything you have so succinctly laid out here.
    _____________

    I have been wary of commenting on this contentious subject up till now, but after reading the spiteful accusations towards Traditionalists in some of the comments on the Maria Viltrix blog (from where Air Maria reposted the above article), and where the couple of commenters who attempted to make a justification for the blogs that defend Tradition and orthodoxy were beaten down, I feel I must plunge in as one of those “Trads” (their words) they so maliciously attack.

    After all, our whole Glorious Faith is based precisely on Tradition: “By which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain” (1 Cor 15:2). Whether these accusers like it or not, that includes the unsurpassable Traditional Latin Mass. If we do indeed “test them all; holding on to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21), that can be no other than a beautiful liturgy with which to raise our prayers to God, and preaching the fullness of Catholic Doctrine. This is not done in the majority of liberal-leaning parishes and religious congregations – this is a fact, not just a personal opinion – and Fr. Geiger fails to address this point. The abundant fruitfulness of the FFI, prior to the intervention of the Apostolic Commisioner, has proved without a shadow of doubt, that true Catholicism is the path that leads Man to God.

    Naturally, without being an ‘insider’ we cannot know whether some of his original reasons for appealing to the Holy See to intervene might possibly have some valid basis for concern or not, but his no.1, “the authoritarian implementation of Summorum Pontificum” and no.3, “the traditionalist drift in the seminary and apostolic work” we could most certainly question!
    It has been said all along that “the Extraordinary Form can be used alongside the Ordinary Form in the Institute’s life of prayer”, i.e. or in other words: the friars could choose which form of Mass to celebrate, and were not obliged to use the EF if they preferred not to. What is clear here is an underlying rejection per se of the EF on the part of this tiny element within the FFI who formed the list of complaints.
    To the second point it seems he is falling into his own trap in using the word “traditionalist” here as though it were a dirty word, rather than a faithfulness to all that is holy, pure and obedient to Our Catholic Church.

    There is much more I would like to say but I’ll leave it at that for now, only adding that criticising what any of us (baptised Catholics) see as wrong in the Church and saying so on our Catholic blogs they blast so strongly, should not brand us disparagingly as “Trads”, “dissenters” or “schismatics” (all these things we have been called) but as FAITHFUL CATHOLICS who do not want to lose what our holy saints and martyrs of past centuries fought so hard to preserve, but to “hold on to what is GOOD”.

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  16. mmvc says:

    I noticed some time ago that Father Geiger’s blog title “Maria Victrix” was changed to “Mary Victrix”.
    I wonder why?

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  17. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    When I select the ‘continue reading’ I am unable to access the article Can someone help…

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  18. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Thank You. I can now access

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  19. Frere Rabit says:

    Kathleen, that is an admirable and spirited comment. It prompted me to re-read my own poor comment above and see if I still stand by it: and somewhat miserably, yes I do. So much seems to have changed in the space of just one year! The problem is, no matter how many contrary voices speak sense from traditional blogs, the liberals now have the Pope and the hierarchy giving them their full attention and encouragement.

    That simple squib Pope Francis let off at the start of all this, “The carnival is over,” can now be read in retrospect as the official end of the hermeneutic of continuity. Years of painstaking work have been reversed overnight by a hierarchy now more in tune with the Reformation than the Church of Catholic Tradition. The FFI fiasco is a painful reminder that the Pope who bears the name of Francis recognises none of that saint’s desire to hold fast to the tradition of the Church (which was precisely what Pope Innocent III recognised when reflecting on the poor vagabond who had petitioned him at the Lateran).

    A gave of smoke and shadows is being played out, with many people pretending that the present Pope is not as liberal as we feared. From my point of view, the fact that the FFI could be so outrageously attacked, without provoking a massive grass roots reaction, says everything. The man who headed OFM and who once sent me messages of encouragement on a winter pilgrimage in the bitterly cold snows of O Cebreiro on the way to Compostela in December 2007 – José Carballo – is now the prime mover in the persecution of an order whose success the OFMs always resented. Now he has the power to pull the wheels off their cart. I wrote to him six months ago to ask why he was persecuting them, but he never replied.

    I always give thanks for my rather curious journey through the Church, and my wrecked vocation, for the journey taught me through wide experience – particularly in the power centre of Rome – that the Church owes too much to human manipulation. I still believe in the Church as a Divine institution. Nevertheless we need to remember that when the Borgias were running the show, it was not exactly reflecting Divine attributes. And nor is it today, in my opinion. The FFI are on the receiving end of the devil’s pitchfork.

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  20. kathleen says:

    Thanks Frere Rabit for your interesting comment.

    The Catholic Church is indeed a “Divine institution”, and for this we should never allow her enemies within to silence our voices when we see Her being attacked. For this is what an attack on such a wholly faithful Catholic congregation as the FFI really is – an attack on the whole Catholic Church and all her Divinely-inspired Teachings (Doctrine and Dogma)… and Tradition -(capital ‘T’)! I do not believe the whole of the hierarchy agrees with the treatment being meted out to the FFI – of course not – but many of the friends of the FFI in the hierarchy (and this includes the great Cardinal Burke with whom we enjoyed such a wonderful pilgrimage in Lourdes recently) can do or say much to help when they are not directly involved in the matter. Pope Francis has not (as far as I know) given a statement of his own opinion on all this upheaval, so really we can’t say anything there except that he sent in the Apostolic Commissioner to, er, investigate!

    Like you, where I live not many of the Catholics even know about the problem with the FFI, and the small minority that do, do not want to get involved in any discussion on this topic. Some people I know (members of Opus Dei) who are a bit more aware of what’s going on, refuse to ever criticise anything the Pope does or says – although we all know that a Pope, who though certainly deserving of our respect and loyalty, is not infallible on every utterance – so this cannot be discussed with them either.
    However I was able to discuss the subject with a few members of the ICKSP with whom I went on pilgrimage to Lourdes. They are naturally distressed about the ruin of this once-flourishing order of the FFI, and uneasy in the possibility that the same could happen to them! (You should have seen the long long line of young seminarians and novices in this orthodox order filing into the Pontifical Mass with Card. Burke!) Will the “spirit of Vatican II” crowd with their ageing congregations single them out for the next onslaught?? I pray and sincerely hope they will not.

    Even from your “desert” you can still help by offering prayer and sacrifices for the FFI… and all suffering faithful Catholics fighting against modernism and for the unadulterated purity of our Faith. 🙂 That’s all that most of us can do anyway.
    But don’t let’s allow anyone to make us lose hope that Our Holy Catholic Church will not pull through this and all the other crisis She is facing right now. I think Madeline has it right when she says that: “the traditional movement WITHIN the Church is totally legitimate and will not be stopped.”
    It won’t because it is the fullness of Truth the Church has always preached and the Holy Spirit will protect Her.

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  21. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Recently Our Lord gifted our Family,8 adults and 17 children with consecration to the immaculate Heart of His Mother (5/4/14) The consecration was performed by retired Archbishop Barry Hickey of Perth. Because of the particular charism of the FFI it was our intent to have one of the Friars celebrate the H/S of the Mass (EF) and perform the Consecration, however because of their Obedience to all thing Vatican and the Vicar of Christ, the Friars had to decline. They choose the Friars to admonish because, for no other reason, THEY CAN. They know that the Friar will accept, in humility, these impositions. If one ounce of their vigour, expended in the maltreatment of the Friars, was expended on the real dissidents in the Church things would improve out of sight.
    I take great comfort in the knowledge that in the end Her immaculate will prevail.

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  22. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    LAST LINE……HER IMMACULATE HEART WILL PREVAIL

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  23. mkenny114 says:

    Thank you Kathleen for drawing attention to the comments on the MV blog – it has certainly helped shift my opinion on this a little. When I first read the article at Air Maria, I was willing to give Fr. Geiger the benefit of the doubt (and still am to a certain extent, in the name of charity and prudence) but after reading his comments on the original post at MV in response to another priest:

    http://maryvictrix.com/2014/05/25/state-of-the-franciscan-friars-of-the-immaculate/#comment-30711

    I am inclined to read his article in a different light. He gives a definition of what he means by ‘traditionalism’ here:

    http://maryvictrix.com/2012/03/05/traditionalism-and-liturgy/

    which softens the edges of his comment slightly, but I still get the impression that he is lumping all traditionalists into the one group, and definitely seems to have something against the Extraordinary Form per se (and seems to be justifying that prejudice by grouping everyone who wants to promote the EF into one easy target).

    Also, where you say that ‘This is not done in the majority of liberal-leaning parishes and religious congregations – this is a fact, not just a personal opinion – and Fr. Geiger fails to address this point.’ you make an excellent point, and this has also made me think again as to Fr. Geiger’s bias in this area, as he seems to emphasise the fact that the NO Mass can be done reverently (which is not in question) in lieu of addressing the fact that in most instances this is very much not the case. It does seem like he is either addressing the issue of liturgical reverence from a rather narrow perspective here, or is trying to paper over the obvious fact that many many parishes do not encourage reverence and devotion during Mass anymore, and that these parishes are more often than not very much anti-Summorum Pontificum. A good example of this ‘anti’ attitude is here:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100091019/archbishop-conti-tells-clergy-do-not-promote-the-extraordinary-form-of-the-mass-there-is-no-call-for-it/

    This article is from a few years back, but seeing as in Glasgow (for example) there is only one parish in the whole of the city that offers Mass in the Extraordinary Form, I have a sneaking suspicion that there is still great resistance to Pope Benedict’s initiative from within the Scottish hierarchy.

    I’m still not sure what I think about all this, as there is so much that we do not know, and I sincerely hope it is not as bad as it sounds/looks, but your excellent points here have certainly made me a lot more wary of anything Fr. Geiger might write in the future 🙂

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  24. kathleen says:

    Thank you Michael – that’s a very well-balanced and charitable comment. (To tell you the truth I was a bit worried that having called some of the comments on the MV blog against traditional Catholics “spiteful”, I was in turn being a bit spiteful myself! A bit of the pot calling the kettle black perhaps? 😦 )

    Yes, Fr. Geiger’s post on traditionalism and liturgy that I noticed yesterday, does not look too bad at a first reading, but it seems he is unable to hide the fact that he does not like the Tridentine Mass. Amazing! How any priest, who admits that reverence is important in the celebration of Mass, could not like a Mass that is the epitome of holiness and reverence – the true re-enactment of Our Blessed Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary – is just incomprehensible to me!
    Yet there are indeed many (not Fr. Geiger himself I presume) who seem dead set against allowing Mass in the Extraordinary Form to be celebrated at all… not simply saying that the NO Mass is more up their street, but determined to do away with the EF Mass at all costs. I am still trying to work out what the implications of such an attitude could mean!!

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  25. mkenny114 says:

    No Kathleen, not at all! Your comments have been impassioned, and have shown great concern for the issue at hand (and understandably so!) but not one ounce of spite 🙂

    Fr. Geiger’s comment and post however, whilst making some good points, cannot (as you rightly point out) seem to hide the fact that he has a real disdain for the TLM. This is something I cannot quite understand either, other than perhaps he is just part of that generation who still see it as more important that the liturgy be ‘relevant’ and ‘accessible’ than it embody and display the sacrifices and worship we offer up and unite to Christ’s in the Mass.

    One hopeful sign though is that this particular generation, which has supplied many bishops still enamoured of relevance and accessibility, are being replaced by a younger generation (many who were galvanised by Saint John Paul II and his commitment to life in all forms, and more who found a strong anchor of truth in Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) who are fed up with the diluted versions of the Faith that they keep being fed. It will require patience, but change always starts small, and there are some clear signs that orthodoxy and reverence for Tradition are drawing many more in than the bland generalities offered by many prelates over the last few decades.

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  26. kathleen says:

    Thanks again Michael. Yes, although there are still quite a lot around in the Church of a wishy-washy ‘Catholic-light’ leaning, they are practically all members of the ‘older’ generations as you say, whereas the orthodox Catholics, growing in numbers, are mostly among the younger generations… And it doesn’t take too much out of one to work out [I believe even Toad could do it] that the future of the Church is among this vibrant expanding latter group… and that includes you! 🙂

    Talking about the FFI, Fr. Ray Blake on the Mary Magdalen blogspot tells us that a friend of his had this to say on the subject:
    “There really is nothing here to justify the drastic action taken. Since it would appear that the overwhelming number of friars supported the direction the institute was taking, surely it was for the five to ask to be transferred to an institute more to their taste; there is no lack of non-traddy Franciscan congregations, most of whom are desperate for vocations. In fact, this response confirms my view that the action taken by Aviz, Volpi and others is disproportionate, scandalous and downright cruel. His entire defence is simply a more elaborate way of saying that the Friars were getting too traditional for his taste.”

    http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/im-praying-for-sisters-of-immaculate.html?m=1

    If I were Fr. Geiger looking around at the breaking apart and destruction wrought upon my once-thriving community, I would be DEVASTATED, appalled, bitterly ashamed and repentant that all this was my own doing, my very own fault! But he really doesn’t seem to care in the least, only worried that he personally should not be criticised, and trying to justify his actions (going behind his superiors’ backs to take his complaints to Rome) that IMO are unjustifiable.

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  27. madeleine says:

    Fr. Geiger has been known to speak against so called ‘rad trads’ for some time. He has been known to want his way on more than one arena.

    This is a good article: http://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/italian-report-new-apostolic-overseer-of-fsi-nuns-a-dissatisfied-liberal-feminist/

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  28. kathleen says:

    Thank you so much for that link Madeline. I would recommend everyone read it, and the very revealing conclusions in the comment section too. Yes, I think by now most people are aware of what is in store for the poor sisters of the FFI.

    Are they crazy, or just out to destroy the faithful, holy lives of the sisters? Apart from his (and Rorate’s) complaint of the scandalous decision at putting such a totally unsuitable person in charge of “overseeing” the sisters of the FFI, the blog writer also identifies where the real problem lies with the friar in question who started the whole debacle! As one commenter states: “he is so convinced of his righteousness, that he’d rather see his own order destroyed than to admit being wrong”. Talk about hitting the nail on the head!!

    Just in case there are those who haven’t the time to read through the whole thing, this excerpt from a comment of Tantumblogo pretty well sums it up:

    “I think there is one jarring factor that really drives much of the angst among those who love the TLM regarding this situation, and it is this: we have seen thousands of religious orders around the world embrace and proclaim every possible error imaginable, work incredible destruction on souls, and in general wreck consecrated life, and they have gotten away totally scot free, at least as regards any kind of formal response from the Church. And now this one order starts to “drift” always a certain direction, and they are being utterly crushed, the founder kept under lock and key, and even minimal rights of many of its members seeming violated left and right.

    How in heavens can we reconcile this? What are we to think? And if you have been a Catholic who loves the Faith as it has been practiced for centuries, if you love the TLM, and have patiently and meekly requested maybe a Mass here, or a dispensation there, only to meet stone cold rebukes, to see your hopes dashed, to feel outright hostility directed at you from many corners of authority….can you see how folks who may have been treated roughly for years, even decades, might feel this FI matter is rather closely related to how they’ve been treated?

    And that’s a big thing I see missing on Fr. Geiger’s site. He has no sympathy for trads. They are really bad people. Some of the worst, if not the worst. I might be picking up some of the vitriol from the comments there in this assessment, but where is his charity for his brethren who are suffering so terribly in this ordeal? He hasn’t given much indication he’s very concerned about that. It all seems very much about winning his case. I was stunned when he said “I realize we are losing the PR war.” Is that what this is about? Do you know how utterly crushed some of these FFI folks are, and now the FSI, and how really amazingly good they are? I do. I’ve been blessed to know a few. What they are going through, it’s like having a parent or child die, every day, for over a year. If they weren’t so devout, so, I pray, blessed with abundant Grace, they would be lost…”

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  29. mkenny114 says:

    That comment about Fr. Geiger being so convinced of his own righteousness that he’d rather see the order destroyed than be proved wrong really does hit the nail on the head! Another pertinent comment, from the article at Veneremurcernui is this:

    ‘That statement “The life she spoke of was one of alienation, frustration, and unsatisfied desires….” is a brilliant summation of so much of what is wrong with religious life today. So many religious, women religious in particular, are horribly confused as to what their vocation is. They are lost, really. They have been sold a false and wicked bill of goods regarding radical, worldly theories of “empowerment” and what service means, and their orders have suffered death and destruction as a result.’

    So often when following this case, I keep asking myself why these people don’t just leave the Church – when there is so much that seems out of step with what they see as ‘true religion’, why don’t they just jump ship? The Episcopalians are always looking for new members! But the above statement shows why – there has been so much intrusion of secular ideologies (in this case, radical feminism) into the life of the Church that these people have actually forgotten what the Church is and what Catholicism is really about.

    What is really frustrating though, is the extent to which (as the comment Kathleen has quoted above points out) dissident groups have had their error-spreading ways overlooked. Whilst the world still sees the Church as it always has – overly authoritarian and intolerant – the reality is that the Church has manifestly not exercised its authority when it could and should have. I don’t propose a drastic re-centralisation of power or anything like that, but simply the Vatican (and local bishops) exercising the authority due to them, in the name of guiding the faithful and protecting souls from error.

    Again, I do hope and pray that (as there seem to be signs of already) this secularising influence in the Church has had its day and is slowly dying out, but in the meantime I sometimes think we could do with seeing a bit more of this sort of thing from our bishops:

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  30. kathleen says:

    Whilst the world still sees the Church as it always has – overly authoritarian and intolerant – the reality is that the Church has manifestly not exercised its authority when it could and should have.”

    I wholly agree! We could do with a few more brave holy bishops of ‘true grit’ like St. Thomas a Becket and St. John Fisher.

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  31. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    The Sisters of Mercy were once a great religious order of Teaching Nuns here in West Australia. Almost every Catholic School was staffed exclusively by them. Sorry, but that was the case some 40-50 years ago. A handful are still here, only a shadow of their former selves. Now they can be seen dressed in their Power dress suits having a night out at the Local Casino. They have no Postulants/Novices and all of them are older than 65-70 years of age. Sad old women.
    Gee I wonder what happened 40-50 years ago?

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