Franciscans of the Immaculate Win Important Legal Battle

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

 

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

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

Old Rite and missionary – and a thorn in the eye

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

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

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

The Commissar

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

Order’s founder, Father Manelli

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

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

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

No reason

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

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

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

The Book of Slander

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

The book by Loredana Volpi

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

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

“While the Acting Administration of the Franciscans of the Immaculate continues in its sixth (!) year, without for the time being, foreseeing a possible solution to this unusual affair, which together with other actions bordering on arbitrariness (see the Order of Malta) like a blemish on this pontificate, has been a important manner of procedure in the indictment and slander-construct that has poisoned this story,” said Vatican Marco Tosatti.

Mario Castellano, the co-author with Loredana Volpi, was a consultant to Commissar Volpi. Numerous hints, tips and “recommendations” from Fr. Alfonso Bruno, the main opponent of Fr. Manelli, who became the main beneficiary of the provisional administration of the Order, were probably included in the book.

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

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

 The Apology

The founders Manelli and Pellettieri

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

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

Tosatti published excerpts from the letter of apology:

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

In return, those affected withdrew their ad.

The one most principally responsible is Pope Francis

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

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

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

Text: Giuseppe Nardi at Katholisches Info

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

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41 Responses to Franciscans of the Immaculate Win Important Legal Battle

  1. JabbaPapa says:

    The Franciscan Friars themselves (not just these or those hierarchs, but the most Faithful of the Brothers) have expressly requested of Catholics outside their Order to try and cease commenting on their situation in public, for the reason that doing so seems to do more harm than good.

    This whole business started however, as a dutiful and yet benevolent reponse to this narrative which is mostly true but I’m afraid NOT exhaustively so — after some tiny group of FFI friars and sisters of the associated women’s Order decided to take it upon themselves to abuse the Traditional Latin Mass as a vehicle to provide some objectively heretical teachings against the doctrines of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

    These sorts of abuses are BTW directly and explicitly condemned by Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, and its later accompanying doctrinal clarification.

    Now — it is absolutely true that the vast majority of the friars in the Order have precisely nothing whatsoever to do with any of these heresies nor scandals, neither the abuses of that original tiny sub-group among them, nor the obviously exaggerated reaction from some in the Vatican …

    And it is also absolutely true that the MANY friars of the FFI are suffering from some politically motivated, and mostly unjustifiable, religious sanctions that instead should have remained strictly targeted towards that very tiny minority within the Order who may have been tempted into formal & constituted heterodoxy.

    But if we do not take care to avoid giving credence to the heterodox opinions of that tiny minority within the FFI, by for example abusing the situation of the FFI as a means to attack the Ordinary Magisterium, then we are doing nothing other than perpetuating, deepening, and worsening the original abuses and objective heresies of that same tiny minority.

  2. Magdalene P says:

    The persecution came quickly with the present pontificate. Now other Orders are also in the crosshairs, especially contemplative nuns. It is holiness that is hated and the “reforms” of Paul VI did not quite wipe them out. Now to complete the job.

  3. Crow says:

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Pope is effecting an ideological agenda. Magdalene P has pretty much summed it up…

  4. Toad says:

    ”…some tiny group of FFI friars and sisters of the associated women’s Order decided to take it upon themselves to abuse the Traditional Latin Mass..”

    Can you briefly enumerate the abuses in question, Jabba?
    Give the dispute some substance?

  5. mmvc says:

    The problem was quite another ‘tiny group of FFI friars’: the one that kick-started the monstrous dismantling of this once thriving, traditional Catholic Order. If there were any genuine issues, they could and should have been dealt with internally. Instead, that ‘tiny’ number of eight (some sources refer to five rebels) disgruntled friars sufficed for the adversary to ensure that his bidding would be done.

  6. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 18:50 yesterday

    I disagree with a number of baseless facts you have come up with in your comment!

    Every year we are blessed to have at least three Franciscan friars of the Immaculate walking with us on the Chartres pilgrimage, and we get to know them well. Although they are discreet and do not announce out loud the sorry state of their once thriving Order, when questioned personally about their situation they will explain the very many unjustified restrictions placed upon them and their deep sadness at the continuing Via Crucis of their Order.

    First of all, the FFI requested the general public should not “intervene”, nor “comment” on their situation, ONLY AT THE VERY BEGINNING, in 2013, when Pope Francis first sent Fr Fidenzio Volpi in as Commissioner of their Order. Having broken no rules nor doctrines of the Church, they believed the unjust accusations of the handful of rebel friars who had complained to Rome would soon be cleared up, and they would be able to resume their good work once again. At that time they were confident it was only a misunderstanding, and that there was no need for alarm from their many friends and followers in the Church. Tragically, they were wrong!

    As we now know in hindsight, that was never the intention of Pope Francis in sending Volpi into the FFI as Commissioner. Francis had been given a golden opportunity to destroy a thoroughly Catholic Order of traditional friars that preferred to celebrate the TLM, and was attracting numerous vocations (at a time when vocations was at an all time low in Western nations), and he took it!!

    some tiny group of FFI friars and sisters of the associated women’s Order decided to take it upon themselves to abuse the Traditional Latin Mass as a vehicle to provide some objectively heretical teachings against the doctrines of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.“

    This is an unfounded and ridiculous statement!
    Not only is the Traditional Latin Mass the perfect re-enactment of Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary, His Death and Resurrection, but in no way can it be used as a “vehicle” for any “heretical teachings”. Besides, the Second Vatican Council itself, purely pastoral, proclaimed that no new “doctrines” would be made… although a few of its documents are indeed troublesome in places. (Vatican Two became the catalyst for an unprecedented destruction of so much of the Church’s teachings and practice, due in part to these ambiguous passages that the Modernists honed in on, but there were NO new “doctrines”.)

    So really, I do not know what, nor who of the FFI, you are referring to when you talk of “heterodox opinions” of a “tiny minority”! Certainly none of the good and humble friars we have met and talked to over the years on the Chartres pilgrimage have mentioned any such thing. Are you listening to rumours?

    Also, not only has Loredana Volpi “admitted to accusing the Order of unproven things” in her book in her fevered desire to vindicate her uncle, the Commissary, but she sums up saying the accusations there against the FFI were “untrue”, “baseless” and “unjustified”!

    So why do you continue to imply otherwise?

  7. mmvc says:

    Thank you for setting the record straight again, Kathleen.

    Our hope must be that Justice will be done and that the Immaculate Heart will triumph.

  8. JabbaPapa says:

    I disagree with a number of baseless facts you have come up with in your comment!

    kathleen, you seem, once again, to have taken from my comments several things that were not at all intended in them.

    Not only is the Traditional Latin Mass the perfect re-enactment of Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary, His Death and Resurrection, but in no way can it be used as a “vehicle” for any “heretical teachings”.

    Everything before your “but” is most certainly true, however not that which follows — whereas in fact multiple heretical priests in the long history of our Church have abused the Mass as a means of spreading heresies. Your opinion that no heretical abuses are possible in Masses following the 1962 Missal, or earlier ones, makes no sense, given that multiple such abuses have been directly condemned as being heretical over the centuries.

    mmvc is quite right BTW in her point that a larger group of more modernising friars within the FFI has turned what should have been a private, internal matter of discipline concerning the tiny minority that I mentioned into a public scandal.

    And of course, the great majority of the friars who were/are giving the TLM had no involvement whatsoever with the abuses in question, which from all that I have heard were limited to a small area in northern Italy, and nowhere else.

    So why do you continue to imply otherwise?

    A better question might be why do you continue to infer all sorts of stuff from my posts that has nothing to do with them ?

    I cannot recall ever having suggested any agreement whatsoever with any of Loredana Volpi’s claims.

    the Second Vatican Council itself, purely pastoral, proclaimed that no new “doctrines” would be made

    This is not true.

    Not only because not every doctrine is a dogmatic doctrine (there are disciplinary doctrines as well as pastoral doctrines) ; but also because, whatever the intent of Pope John XXIII for the work of the Council, the Council did in fact define a small number of doctrines that are dogmatic in purpose. All of which as far as I know are to be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  9. pearl87 says:

    Jabbapapa:
    You claim that the FFI have requested their Catholic supporters not comment, and then proceed to bash them shamelessly. Your motives would appear to be most cynical, evil, and deceitful. Since you are clearly a modernist heretic who places no value on truth, please take your own advice and refrain from commenting.

  10. Leo Bass says:

    Jabbapapa,

    ‘…the Council did in fact define a small number of doctrines that are dogmatic in purpose.’

    Please, elucidate **exactly** which doctrines you are talking about. And what exactly are doctrines that are ‘dogmatic in purpose’? Are those dogmas?

    And what about Paul VI himself saying:
    ‘There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions engaging the infallibility of the ecclesiastical Magisterium. The answer is known by whoever remembers the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964: given the Council’s pastoral character, it avoided pronouncing, in an extraordinary manner, dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility.’

  11. kathleen says:

    Jabba, please come clean and do not now try to distort your earlier defamatory accusations aimed at a different imaginary “tiny group” of Friars of the Immaculate that you pointed to in your initial comment.

    Of course mmvc was right… but, as you well know, she was referring to the:
    “tiny group of FFI friars’: the one that kick-started the monstrous dismantling of this once thriving, traditional Catholic Order“,
    and NOT the supposedly:
    tiny group of FFI friars and sisters of the associated women’s Order [who] decided to take it upon themselves to abuse the Traditional Latin Mass as a vehicle to provide some objectively heretical teachings…“ etc.

    This is a lie. There was no such “tiny group” of supposedly ultra conservative members of the sisters or friars of the Franciscans of the Immaculate abusing the TLM as you say, only those few disgruntled first group mmvc mentions above. To suggest otherwise, as Loredana Volpi did in her book (that she has since then rectified) is a libellous claim.

    The Traditional Latin Mass has to follow a strict and limited set of rubrics that safeguards it from the multiple abuses (presumably) permitted in the Novus Ordo Mass. That is why there are so many variations of the NOM, and one has to search around to find a parish that celebrates it properly and with reverence.
    OTOH, if a priest were to commit real heretical “abuses” or changes to the TLM, he would be inventing a cult of his own making, a different thing altogether, and it would no longer be the Mass of the Ages. In this way the TLM is protected from any major “abuses”.

    This is not the time to go into a complicated discussion on Vatican Two, and I know that there are many in the Church who are of the opinion that V2 did indeed attempt to redefine certain doctrines. But the truth is the Church claims to have done no more than to bring Her ancient teachings into a clearer perspective for the 20th Century. I believe that is called (by Blessed J.H. Card. Newman, for example) as “Development Of Doctrine”. Doctrine itself cannot be changed!

    The greatest dilemma for all true Catholics nowadays is how to confront the Modernists and Freemasons who have infiltrated into “the uppermost echelons of the Church”* who are attempting to literally change doctrinal teachings by subtle evil means!

    * Bishop Schneider looked up from the text of his great talk after the Pontificial High Mass last Thursday evening to warn us of this diabolical infiltration of the Church. I was very blessed to have been present there that day.

  12. JabbaPapa says:

    @ pearl87

    Since you are clearly a modernist heretic who places no value on truth

    oh deary me, and here we go again …

    That is an utterly false statement.

    BTW — THAT is what a defamatory comment looks like.

  13. JabbaPapa says:

    @ Leo Bass

    what exactly are doctrines that are ‘dogmatic in purpose’? Are those dogmas?

    Not every dogmatic doctrine is a dogma.

    The doctrine that the Church has no power to ordain women into the priesthood is dogmatic in purpose, but it is not technically “a dogma” as such, nor is it in one sense a “new doctrine”, given that Pope John Paul II essentially clarified the nature of a teaching of Pope Saint Gelasius I.

    But it is nevertheless a doctrinal teaching of the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II.

    Which is an easier example to understand than the Vatican II doctrines.

    The tripartite nature of the priesthood for example — the deacon, priest, Bishop structure — isn’t really “new” either, but it was only formally established as a specific doctrine by Vatican II, whereas its previous status was as a part of Sacramental theology.

  14. JabbaPapa says:

    @ kathleen

    a different imaginary “tiny group” of Friars of the Immaculate that you pointed to in your initial comment

    Your notion that I had anybody in mind than the tiny group that I have referred to, is unfounded — your suggestion that I am trying to shift my statements into something else as some sort of defensive tactic or whatever is most certainly a figment of imagination, however.

    This is a lie

    And now I’m being accused of “lying”.

    How wonderful !!

    There’s an account of the business that started all of this HERE (in Italian) – http://www.unavox.it/ArtDiversi/div026.htm ; BTW, you might very well be sympathetic to the views expressed therein, which are unconditionally supportive of those Italian FFI friars.

    You can see that this all started as some acts of disobedience to the local Episcopal Authority (Cardinal Martini) from 2005 onwards, but as is evident from this web article of late 2005, there is a clear desire to set up some sort of “traditional doctrine” and “traditional pastoral” in a manner opposed to the Universal Church, calumnied as being “postmodernist” and seeking to actively attack the Catholic Church as being some sort of “NuChurch” (or rather the Italian equivalent of that extraordinarily abusive expression) and so on and &c.

    The desire in these particular FFI and their supporters to abuse the practice of the traditional Liturgy as a means of attacking the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is blatant.

    But :

    Universae Ecclesiae :

    13. Diocesan Bishops, according to Canon Law, are to monitor liturgical matters in order to guarantee the common good and to ensure that everything is proceeding in peace and serenity in their Dioceses, always in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father clearly expressed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. In cases of controversy or well-founded doubt about the celebration in the forma extraordinaria, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will adjudicate.

    But it would be far more constructive to look at some far more sensible opinions on the relationship between the Traditional Catholicism and Summorum Pontificum and the Holy Mass and the Orthodoxy of the doctrinal teaching of the Church, for example in this article by Fr. Angelo M. Geiger : https://maryvictrix.com/2012/03/11/the-spirit-of-summorum-pontificum/

    Fr Geiger quotes a 1998 lecture given by Cardinal Ratzinger :

    The Council did not itself reform the liturgical books but it offered their revision, and to this end, it established certain fundamental rules. Before anything else, the Council gave a definition of what liturgy is, and this definition gives a valuable yardstick for every liturgical celebration. Were one to shun these essential rules and put to one side the normae generales which one finds in numbers 34-36 of the Constitution De Sacra Liturgia (SL), in that case one would indeed be guilty of disobedience to the Council! It is in the light of these criteria that liturgical celebrations must be evaluated, whether they be according to the old books or the new.

    To actively deny, therefore, that it might be legitimate to provide the Mass in the vernacular, as some traditionalists go so far as to claim, is to deny a specific doctrine of Vatican II. A disciplinary doctrine perhaps, it could be argued, but a doctrine of the Council nonetheless.

    Again, Cardinal Ratzinger : This schematism of a before and after in the history of the Church, wholly unjustified by the documents of Vatican II, which do nothing but reaffirm the continuity of Catholicism, must be decidedly opposed. There is no ‘pre-‘ or ‘post-‘ conciliar Church: there is but one, unique Church that walks the path toward the Lord, ever deepening and ever better understanding the treasure of faith that he himself has entrusted to her. There are no leaps in this history, there are no fractures, and there is no break in continuity. In no wise did the Council intend to introduce a temporal dichotomy in the Church.

    Then, Fr Geiger himself :

    Of course the fact that neither side is willing to admit the existence of continuity, and that, therefore, unity is impossible, is largely due to the liturgical abuses that have run rampant for fifty years. But note that Benedict’s acknowledgement of this problem has not only led him to issue the Motu Proprio, but to continue to argue for the existence of continuity. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest obstacles to unity on this matter is continued modernist insistence on fooling with the liturgy and traditionalist harping on the problem and blaming the Council for it. I admit, this is a real problem for my argument, and I suspect will constitute the bulk of responses to this post from those who are sympathetic to traditionalism. It seems plausible that the habitual abuses of the liturgy are linked to the form of the rite itself. My short and anticipatory response is “I am not the pope, and the conciliar and postconciliar popes deny that the abuses are linked to a defective rite.” The longer answer is this post itself. I hope it is read in context, and reread, if necessary.

    But if, as Cardinal Ratzinger has said, this dichotomization and loss of unity has been occasioned by “two spiritual attitudes” rooted in externals, then we are dealing with a rather materialistic kind of spirituality.

  15. JabbaPapa says:

    In this way the TLM is protected from any major “abuses”

    A blatantly false claim.

    Else, why would the Council Fathers of Trent declare the following ?

    Whereas, therefore, either through the wickedness of the times, or through the carelessness and Corruption of men, many things seem already to have crept in, which are alien from the dignity of so great a sacrifice; to the end that the honour and cult due thereunto may, for the glory of God and the edification of the faithful people, be restored; the holy Synod decrees, that the ordinary bishops of places shall take diligent care, and be bound to prohibit and abolish all those things which either covetousness, which is a serving of idols, or irreverence, which can hardly be separated from impiety; or superstition, which is a false imitation of true piety, may have introduced. And that many things may be comprised in a few words: first, as relates to covetousness:–they shall wholly prohibit all manner of conditions and bargains for recompenses, and whatsoever is given for the celebration of new masses; as also those importunate and illiberal demands, rather than requests, for alms, and other things of the like sort, which are but little removed from a simonical taint, or at all events, from filthy lucre.

  16. geoffkiernan says:

    Thank you Kathleen (and others) for your clarity in thought and expression, elements that are sadly lacking in most/all of Jabba’ comments. He seems to delight in speaking half truths,rendered so by his inability or reluctance to speak with clarity. More often than not he is a victim of his own supposed erudition.

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    he is a victim of his own supposed erudition

    At least he tries not to spend all of his life trying to second-guess what other people think, and guessing completely wrong every single time.

  18. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 06:29 & 06:38

    I apologise if I have offended you by saying your accusation towards ”some tiny group of FFI friars and sisters of the associated women’s Order decided to take it upon themselves to abuse the Traditional Latin Mass, etc.” was a lie, but I didn’t know how else to word it! Would it have been less offensive if I had said it was an untruth? Or a gross exaggeration?

    Have you now shot yourself in the foot? I read your Italian link (with the help of Google translate) and I can only wonder if your Italian is as good as you pretend! The accusations included there are towards some “ultra-progressive” elements in this one Order of the FFI trying to alter the Liturgy, and not the vast majority of these good, traditional and holy friars living at this Sanctuary!

    Your quoting of the Council of Trent to me that took place over 550 years ago to defend the Church against the Protestants’ blatant and real abuses of the Mass, only serves to reaffirm my words that the Traditional Latin Mass (if followed according to the rubrics set out in Canon Law) is safeguarded from the widespread abuses one finds too often in the celebrations of the Novus Ordo Mass.

    And please do not quote Fr Geiger to me! He is the leader of that handful of rebel FI friars who betrayed his brothers by complaining to Rome that the Order was becoming too traditional and asking Pope Francis to intervene!! Now, as he smugly contemplates the ruin of his once flourishing Order that was producing such amazing good fruit for the Church, he shows no shame, no regret nor compassion.

    However, where Geiger quotes Cardinal Ratzinger’s words on the Second Vatican Council, everything is perfectly correct of course. It was that diabolical “spirit” of V2 (which he refrains from mentioning) that the Modernists used to destroy* so much of the Church’s traditional beauty, reverence, piety and practices.

    * they were not able to “destroy” them forever though; and one of the most positive realities of our times is the reawakening for so many of the Church’s hidden treasures of the Faith!

  19. Toad says:

    ” would it have been less offensive if I had said it was an untruth? ”
    Yes, very slightly. But still highly offensive.

    ”Or a gross exaggeration?”
    Yes, considerably less. Exaggerations are not lies. Not even gross ones.

    You (we) may disagree with Jabba. But he does not lie.
    Holding different opinions about issues is not lying.
    Believe it or not.

    (I’d be obliged if you run this, for Jabba’s sake. Not mine.)

  20. mmvc says:

    According to this report from Gloria TV, after the massive damage was done, the leading rebels Fr Geiger and Fr Fehlner left the FFI to join another Franciscan Order:

    Scorched Earth: Francis’ action against the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate has generated disastrous results, writes Riposte-catholique. Fifteen monasteries and three missions of the friars have been closed down. In Italy there are no novices left. The order is deeply divided. Two American friars, Angelo Geiger and Peter-Damian Fehlner, who belonged to the group of five rebels who triggered the Vatican’s intervention, returned to the their old order, the Conventual Franciscans.

  21. kathleen says:

    Thank you for this, mmvc.

    Why did Fr Geiger ever enter the FFI in the first place? He must have been aware from the start that it was a traditional order of friars, faithful to the beautiful ancient Liturgy and practices of the Church.

    One could even wonder if he had it in mind all along to break up the Order one day when a suitable moment arose! (Which it did of course, once Pope Francis arrived on the Chair of Saint Peter!) Modernists truly loathe anything that sniffs of sacredness or tradition.

  22. JabbaPapa says:

    Would it have been less offensive if I had said it was an untruth? Or a gross exaggeration?

    Yes and yes.

    Lies are necessarily deliberate ; those not necessarily so, and especially they leave open the possibility of ordinary errors from various ordinary causes of such things (lack of or even bad information, misunderstandings or misapprehensions, mistaking ideology for truth, and etc etc) that can involve all of those that are party to some disagreement, rather than trying to single out one particular person to blame for all of it.

    The word “untruth” is the more neutral of the two, as there is at least the suggestion of a degree of ill will in the word “exaggeration”.

    Whereas I have no ill will at all, not to the vast number of the FFI friars and sisters who have been subjected to this whole sorry business from no actions of their own (and regardless BTW of whether in their individual monastic communities, they practice the TLM or the NO), and certainly not to any authors and other contributors to this blog.

    Have you now shot yourself in the foot?

    No.

    I deliberately and specifically pointed out to you that you would be likely to agree with the contents of that article, and it is not at all by either accident or mistake that I have linked to it as a description of the initial incidents that have led to this mess.

    It remains directly abusive for a group of friars, of whichever Order, to seek to extract themselves from the Authority of their Diocesan Ordinary, as was established in the Canon Law if I remember correctly roughly in the period of the Council of Trent (and for nuns, since the Middle Ages).

    Your quoting of the Council of Trent to me that took place over 550 years ago to defend the Church against the Protestants’ blatant and real abuses of the Mass

    So, massive abuses of the Traditional Latin Mass are then possible, following your own words. (and BTW, before you start jumping to conclusions again, I am aware of not a single FFI priest guilty of such horrendous apostasies, and please do try and NOT read into anything that I might write any “suggestions” not contained therein)

    Crikey, one need look no further than the claim by the English Bishops, in their Apostasy, that the Sacrifice of the Eucharist might somehow be merely “symbolic” to see an example of the TLM (until they decided to invent their own artificial rites instead) being directly abused for heretical, blasphemous, and sacrilegious purposes.

    But, really kathleen — this is a side issue and a tangent.

    The Mass is the Mass is the Mass.

    However, where Geiger quotes Cardinal Ratzinger’s words on the Second Vatican Council, everything is perfectly correct of course. It was that diabolical “spirit” of V2 (which he refrains from mentioning) that the Modernists used to destroy* so much of the Church’s traditional beauty, reverence, piety and practices.

    Had the article that I referred to been doctrinally, or in any other way, heterodox, I would most certainly NOT have referred to that article.

    But far from “refraining” to mention the so-called “spirit of Vatican II” — “Hence, we understand why “the Spirit of Vatican II” becomes the necessary obscurantism to throw over every novelty dreamt up by progressives. The conciliar documents do not give the real story. It is the spirit by which it became necessary to create a compromise that shows us the true way. Of course, Pope Benedict completely rejects this interpretation of the Council. — and &c.

    Are you attacking an article that you haven’t read ?

  23. JabbaPapa says:

    from the start that it was a traditional order of friars, faithful to the beautiful ancient Liturgy and practices of the Church

    In fact, the Order in its local chapters practices either the TLM or the NO or both as the case may be.

  24. JabbaPapa says:

    On the other hand, it is hardly surprising when statements by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI are of higher general and particular qualities than those of Fr Geiger.

  25. JabbaPapa says:

    geoff kiernan :

    (btw kiernan etmologically means “son of a Lord”, my name is just “Lord” ; so there’s your pedantry du jour, matey)

    He seems to delight in speaking half truths,rendered so by his inability or reluctance to speak with clarity

    I do not apologise for my expectation that people should think for themselves, including on the basis of potentially contradictory information, rather than desiring to be spoon-fed nothing but what they already think.

  26. geoffkiernan says:

    Dear Jabba, I make no attempt to second guess what you think. However with your inability/reluctance to speak with clarity, I and others have no option but to try and unravel your double speak and sometime muddled utterances. (born I suggest from the lack of an historical insight into the Church and subsequent inability to discern)
    The historical insight of which I speak is not a bar to understanding the Bride of Christ and this is demonstrated by young people who are now flocking to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Latin/Tridentine Rite. Those young people and not so young, who have had no experience of the Church pre Vat II, have arrived at their conclusions by the extraordinary fruits of God’ Grace. There is no other explanation for it.

  27. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 14:26

    “So, massive abuses of the Traditional Latin Mass are then possible, following your own words.”

    You will recall that I mentioned the Council of Trent was condemning abuses made by Protestants at the time of the Protestant Reformation over 500 years ago; evil men who were trying to make a mockery of the Mass… and that is why I should have put the word Protestant in bold! They had abandoned the Catholic Faith and the strict rubrics set out by the Church that protect the TLM from being abused. (Yes, Protestants could indeed “abuse” what they think is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but it would not be a valid Mass!)
    But what I was also teasingly pointing out to you was that going back 550 years to find a document condemning abuses in the heretics’ mockery of the Traditional Latin Mass is quite a long time 😉. Whereas, sadly, almost wherever one looks today one can find abuses – sometimes even blatant heresies – being committed in the Novus Ordo Mass.

    Anyway, it was your original accusation saying that certain Franciscans of the Immaculate were using the TLM “as a vehicle to provide some objectively heretical teachings against the doctrines of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council” that I took issue with.

    In the Italian article you linked me to, it condemned an “ultra-progressive” element in that one community, not an ultra-traditional one! (You missed that important point too, which I did put in bold.) IOW, a few other progressives of the Fr Geiger type!
    The rest of the article proves exactly that point when it talks of the loyal, traditional leaning of the rest of the Order of the FFI.

    No, I did not read the rest of Fr Geiger’s article you linked to, nor do I intend to – I only read your extract. It is exceedingly hypocritical of him to condemn the “Spirit of Vatican II” here, when it was precisely that same “spirit” he accused his fellow friars of forsaking when he took his angry complaints to Rome, seeking to destroy the Order!

  28. JabbaPapa says:

    @ geoffkiernan

    born I suggest from the lack of an historical insight into the Church and subsequent inability to discern

    Directly contradicting your claim not to engage in second-guessing what people think, then.

    And never mind the atrociously offensive attempt to posit yourself as being in some manner of superiority, eh ?

    PS thank you for “explaining” things that one is already perfectly aware of, how “helpful” !!!

  29. JabbaPapa says:

    You missed that important point

    No kathleen, I didn’t.

    One does not completely disagree with points that one has “missed”.

    The claim that the Church is somehow “postmodernist” is perfectly grotesque, no matter the particular abuses of these or those, here or there.

    the article proves

    No — the article claims.

    I did not read the rest of Fr Geiger’s article you linked to, nor do I intend to

    So, play not the ball, but the man ?

  30. kathleen says:

    ”So, play not the ball, but the man ?”

    Was it really necessary to read the whole article of this former FFI traitor that succeeded in practically destroying the whole of this beautiful, expanding, traditional Catholic Order? What could I gain by that?
    For, “even the devil can cite Scripture to his purposes”, (as quoted by Antonio in ‘The Merchant of Venice’).

    What remains of the FFI – an Order, that as you well know, brought so much good to the Church at a time of tremendous battles against Modernists and Secularists – is in absolute disarray! The humble Friars at Gosport, England, manage to survive only thanks to the goodness of a sympathetic bishop. What would happen to them if the good bishop died, or was transferred elsewhere?

    Those who know Fr Geiger well have admitted that, despite seeing the tragedy and suffering of his former fellow friars and the destruction of so many houses of their Order, he has never shown even a shred of remorse for being the catalyst that started it all off !

  31. geoffkiernan says:

    “And never mind the atrociously offensive attempt to posit yourself as being in some manner of superiority…”
    What a stupid conclusion you draw. Is there any wonder your thought processes are under scrutiny? I deem myself fortunate to have been given that insight into things, pre and post V II. I had no say in that. Still I persisted for over 40 odd years with the new,nice Church. It needed a sledge hammer of Graces to convince me otherwise. How can I or anyone else conclude or derive from that experience a sense or feeling of superiority?… You slay me!
    And what of the many, many that had no experience whatsoever of the Church pre Vat II…..? “Blessed are they that have not seen, yet believe”

  32. Kathleen,

    Those who know Fr Geiger well have admitted that, despite seeing the tragedy and suffering of his former fellow friars and the destruction of so many houses of their Order, he has never shown even a shred of remorse for being the catalyst that started it all off !

    And the irony is, having gotten his way with the order, he then chose to leave it anyway.

  33. kathleen says:

    @ Richard Malcolm

    And the irony is, having gotten his way with the order, he then chose to leave it anyway.

    Yes – incredible, isn’t it!
    If one had a suspicious mind (😉) one could even wonder if it all formed part of a malicious plan to first undermine, and then destroy, a very successful traditional Catholic community of religious friars.
    Job completed… he left!

  34. geoffkiernan says:

    He could not have accomplished that without, one complicit Pontiff

  35. JabbaPapa says:

    And the irony is, having gotten his way with the order, he then chose to leave it anyway

    Another interesting irony is that certain people having spent months demanding that he leave because of his “treason”, are now blaming him with just as much energy for having done so.

  36. Another interesting irony is that certain people having spent months demanding that he leave because of his “treason”, are now blaming him with just as much energy for having done so.

    Actually, I had a number of conversations with Fr Geiger back in the day (2013-15), and they were reasonably respectful on both sides. I never suggested he was a “traitor,” but I did suggest that since it was obvious that there was a serious and apparently irreconcilable cleavage in the order over certain questions (like the conventual liturgy), the best solution really would seem to be to what Franciscans often do, and split the order. According to Fr Geiger, such a proposal was made back before the imposition of the commission, but rejected by Fr Manelli and his allies. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the details of that proposal really were.

    But if (say) the departure of Fr Geiger and his allies for a new order along the lines they desired might have made made sense pre-2013, it does seem odd that, having essentially gotten the intervention and changes they desired, he and a few of his fellow objecting friars decided to depart anyway. Perhaps he was just exhausted by it all and needed to leave for his own spiritual welfare, which might be understandable. But one could perhaps also understand that this might generate some bitterness among some of his former brethren.

  37. rob says:

    Jabba’s use of sarcasm and impression of superiority (as well as the habit of rambling) is not appropriate for a Catholic discussion, let’s pray for the poor Friars and Sisters being persecuted by Francis (for being Catholic) and also for ‘Jabba’. May Our Lady pray for us all!

  38. JabbaPapa says:

    Thank you for your lovely attack, which doubtless constitutes Catholic perfection.

  39. geoffkiernan says:

    Jabba, Jabba, Jabba….. Somethings just never change. Chin up mate things can only get better😒

  40. JabbaPapa says:

    Hopefully I’ll get back onto the Way to Fatima, Compostela, and Lourdes in about 10 days — there’s not much like a long foot pilgrimage to get your ideas straight again.

  41. mmvc says:

    Thanks for the update, Jabba and Godspeed on your continued travels!

    Could I ask you, please, to take an added prayer intention to the wonderful shrines you will visit in the course of your foot pilgrimage: the conversion of my lapsed, atheist son, Adam (33)? I’ve been storming heaven and requesting prayers for him for 17 long years and he still seems so very lost…

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