(Rome) The measures against the Franciscans of the Immaculate have caused trouble and lively discussions. Katholisches.info is publishing a discussion contribution. The first will be the well-known historian Roberto de Mattei. The March for Life , which was took place with 40,000 participants in Rome in May is largely due to his initiative. On the march, numerous Franciscans of the Immaculate participated, an Order with an apostolate which also includes particularly the defense of unborn life.
The "Causa" Franciscans of the Immaculate
by Roberto de Mattei
The "case" of the Franciscans of the Immaculata is a very serious episode, which is intended to have an effect in the Church that is maybe not anticipated by those who have set about to act imprudently.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life (better known as the Congregation for Religious) by Rodriguez Carballo OFM has overthrown the General Superior of the Franciscans of the Immaculata, and have handed over leadership to an "Apostolic Commissioner," Father Fidenzio Volpi, Capuchin, with its decree of the 11th of July, 2013, signed by Cardinal Prefect Joao Braz de Aviz and Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo.
In order to "cement" the decree, said Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, it received the approbation ex auditu from Pope Francis, to which the brothers have taken every opportunity to appeal to the Apostolic Signatura. [++Burke] The reasons for this condemnation which has its origin in the instigation of a group of dissident brothers to the religious congregation, remains mysterious. According to the decree from the Congregation and the letter of the new Commissioner of the Franciscans, the only charges appear to be a lack of sentire cum Ecclesia and an excessive attachment to the Traditional Roman Rite.
Injustice Against Franciscans of the Immaculate -- Order Surrendered to Progressive Minority
In reality we are faced with a manifest injustice which is being done to the Franciscans of the Immaculate. The Religious Institute founded by Father Stefano Maria Manelli and Father Gabriele Maria Pellettieri is one of the most flourishing that has been established in the Church, both because of the number of vocations and the authenticity of the spiritual life as well as because of the fidelity to doctrine and to Rome. In the situation of liturgical, theological and moral anarchy in which we find ourselves today, the Franciscans of the Immaculate should serve as a model for religious life. The Pope often refers to the need for a simpler and more spartan religious life.
The Franciscans of the Immaculate distinguish themselves just by the rigor and evangelical poverty in which they live, by their Franciscan charism since its inception. Instead of this, the Congregation of Religious is directing in the name of the Pope, to transfer the General Government of management to a minority of rebellious, progressive brothers, to which the neo-Commissioner will rely upon to "normalize" the Order, or in other words, to lead it into that disaster which it has so far escaped, thanks to its loyalty to Church order and the Magisterium.
Cardinal Aviz: Harshness Against Faithful Franciscans - Understanding Heretical Religious Women
But today the bad is rewarded and the good is punished. It is not surprising that it is the same Cardinal, who is taking action against the Franciscans of the Immaculata with an iron fist, who at the same time pleads understanding and dialogue for the heretical and schismatic American Women Religious. Those nuns preach and practice the gender ideology and therefore naturally a dialog must be maintained with them. The Franciscans of the Immaculate preach and practice chastity, penance, and therefore there should be no sympathy for them. This is the sad conclusion which must force itself upon a sober observer.
One of the charges is to be very attached the traditional Mass. But the accusation is just an excuse, because the Franciscans of the Immaculate namely, as the saying goes, are "bi-ritual", that is, they celebrate both the New and the Old Mass, as permitted them by applicable ecclesiastical laws. Given an unjust command, there are some, as you can imagine, who won't refrain from celebrating the traditional Mass, and they do well at this point to resist, because it is not a gesture of rebellion but of obedience. The indults and privileges in favor of the traditional Mass were not abolished and have greater legal force than the decree of a Congregation and even the intentions of a Pope, if they do not find expression in a definite act.
Cardinal Braz de Aviz seems to ignore the existence of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of 7 July 2007, its implementing provisions of the instruction Universae Ecclesiae of 30 April 2011 and which is connected to the CDF Commission Ecclesia Dei entering into their areas of competence by the Congregation of Religious.
Tradition is Increasing in Strength: the Main Reason for Hostility
What is the intention of the highest ecclesiastical authority? Abolish Ecclesia Dei and eliminate the Motu proprio of Benedict XVI.? Then can you say it openly, so that the appropriate conclusions can be drawn. And if it is not so, why will a decree be adopted, which is for the Catholic world, which refers to the tradition of the Church, and is only unnecessarily provocative? This world is in a period of great expansion, especially among the youth, and this is perhaps the main cause for the hostility that is beating upon her today.
And finally, the decree constitutes an abuse of power not only against the Franciscans of the Immaculate and those who are wrongly referred to as Traditionalists, but against every Catholic. Namely, it represents a worrying symptom that loss of legal certainty, which is takes place today within the Church.
The Church is a visible society in which the "force of law and the law" applies (Pius XII., In his speech Dans notre souhait 15 July, 1950). The law defines right and wrong and, as the canonists say, "must be justified in the potestas of the Church, and that is the very being of the Church requires that determines the purposes and limits the scope of action of the hierarchy. Not every act of holy shepherds is, simply because it comes from them, correct. "(Carlos J. Errazuriz, Il diritto e la giustizia nella Chiesa, Giuffré, Milano 2008, p 157).
If the legal certainty is lost, the arbitrariness and the will of the stronger gains the upper hand. So it often happens in society, it can also be done in the church, when the human dimension penetrates in it against the supernatural. But if there is no legal certainty, there is no safe rule of conduct. Everything is left to the discretion of the individual or groups of power and the force with which these lobbies are able to impose their will. Separate from the legal force of presumption and arrogance.
Summorum Pontificum has Greater Legal force Than the Decree of a Congregation
The Church, the mystical body of Christ, is a legal device that is based on the divine law, the trustees and not the creator or men, are the men of the Church. The Church is not Soviet, but a building donated by Jesus Christ, in which the power of the pope and the bishops is exercised in accordance with the traditional laws and forms, all rooted in divine revelation. Today we speak of a more equal and democratic Church, but the power is often exercised in violation of the laws and customs of thousands of years in a very selfish way. If universal laws of the Church exist, such as the Bull of St. Pius V, Quo Primum (1570) and the Motu proprio of Benedict XVI. Summorum Pontificum, there is, in order to change them, a legal act of the same rank is necessary. You can not just look at an older law as waived, except with expressed abrogating document of equivalent scope.
Appeal to Francis: Undo Measures - Dramatic hour, New Storms Are Coming On
To defend justice and truth in the Church, we rely on the voices of jurists, among which there are also some eminent Cardinals,who have ordained Franciscans of the Immaculate to the priesthood in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and know their exemplary life and their apostolic zeal. We appeal especially to Pope Francis, that he may withdraw the action against the Franciscans of the Immaculate and for their lawful use of the Old Roman Rite.
Whatever decision should ever be made, we can not deny that the hour, in the Church lives today, is dramatic. New storms are on the horizon, and these storms will certainly not be conjured up by neither the Brothers or the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. The love of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church has always driven and drives us to take their defense. The Mother of God, Virgo Fidelis, will show the right way to the conscience of every individual in this difficult situation.
Text: Corrispondenza Romana
translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Corrispondenza Romana
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org