(Rome), a new blow by the Commission set upon the Franciscans of the Immaculate by the Congregation for Religious. The lay association Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (MIM) was denied the Marian Sanctuary of Pompeii. Since the year 2004, MM brought believers together to take a pilgrimage from Naples and Campania to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii, the most famous Marian shrine in this part of southern Italy. Yesterday, on Divine Mercy Sunday, however, the faithful were denied access to the holy image
Prohibition of Commissar Volpi Led Prelate of Pompeii to Ban
On 10 April, when everything was already organized, the faithful were informed by the rector of the Basilica, Monsignor Salvatore Acampora, the use and access ban without notice. Pilgrimage, Holy Mass, Rosary and Marian songs had to be canceled. On request of the disappointed believers, Msgr Acampora declared the following day that the Church has the status of a Pontifical Basilica Cathedral and was erected as a Territorial Prelature in 1926. So it stands under papal law, which is why the responsible Prelate and Pontifical Delegate for the Shrine, Titular Archbishop Tommaso Caputo currently could not ignore the measures of the Apostolic Commissar of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, Fr Fidenzio Volpi.
"Tell us What We Have Done Wrong?"
Commissioner Volpi had in the course of the destruction of the Franciscan Order, which the Congregation of Religious calls "normalization", forbid on 27 November, 2013, the ecclesiastically recognized lay association from any activity. "A radical intervention, which took place without any justification. Tell us what we've done wrong: If it is a sin, an act against the Gospel or a violation of canon law" demanded Claudio Circelli, one of MIM leaders of Naples, for the last ten years, who organized the annual pilgrimage to the Queen of the Rosary.
Unfounded Prohibitions: "So They Don't Apply to Believers"
The ban on the pilgrimage's access at the basilica of Pompeii can be justified formally, with the activity ban on the MIM. "A ban in reference to the unjustified ban of the Commissioner, and one washes the other's hands. That's arbitrariness. So it doesn't apply to the faithful," wrote the newspaper which quoted Il Mattino di Napoli, an indignant member of the MIM. In fact, a Commissioner Volpi has not justified that the prohibition will result in further bans after themselves without ever explaining in order to punish the lay organization.
Old Mass, Promoting Tradition, Criticism of the Second Vatican Council - For Some Unbearable
The provisional administration of the Franciscans of the Immaculate was arranged by the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, João de Aviz Cardinal Bráz in July 2013. A step that also took place with the express approval of Pope Francis in a form that the Order took every opportunity to appeal.
The crackdown is connected with that of the hitherto flourishing religious order under Benedict XVI. which changed internally to the old rite and intellectually took a very active part in the debate initiated by the German theologian Pope on the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council. It undertook a defense of Catholic tradition against modernist tendencies in the Church and especially in the training of theologians and priests, which to some was unbearable in the Church, but under Benedict XVI. they could not take action against the Order. However, due to the pontificate change to Pope Francis, they were active immediately and with the utmost severity against the Order. The arbitrary act against the Order has overshadowed the current pontificate.
MIM - Marian and Missionary
The MIM was established in 1990 by the founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in 2013, the deposed Superior General Father Stefano Maria Manelli in the Marian shrine of Loreto. The MIM align themselves with lay people who try to live in their respective state of the charism of the Order. They vow to be Marian and missionary and to promote the devotion to Mary and to promote the mission ad gentes, particularly "where the struggle for the salvation of souls and the edification of the Church is particularly fierce."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi