Showing posts with label FFI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FFI. Show all posts

Friday, September 16, 2016

15 Cloisters Dissolved: What Remains of the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate?

What Remains of the Franciscans of the Immaculate?
(Rome) How far has the destruction of the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate progressed? This is the updating of a chapter that is like a dark shadow on the pontificate of Pope Francis.
In 1969 two Fathers Minor, Stefano Maria Manelli and Gabriele Maria Pellettieri, asked the Father General of the Order, after a thorough study of Fontes Franciscani, to be allowed to start a "new experience of Franciscan life" back to its original rigor. In 1970 an abandoned monastery of the Order was made ​​available to them where they gathered more men over time, and with the establishment of a female branch, women also joined. In 1990, the Community was canonically recognized as a separate order.

The Peculiarity of the Young Order

The Order represented an anomaly of Catholic orders until July 2013. While the old religious orders steeped in tradition suffer decline and waste away, the young Franciscan Order saw a veritable blooming of vocations.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Franciscans of the Immaculate: Father Manelli Initiates Criminal Complaint For Slander

Father Alfonso Bruno

(Rome) The Congregation for Religious' struggle against the   Franciscans of the Immaculata  is going into a new round On March 2nd, the  legal representatives of the founder and General Superior dismissed by the Vatican, Father Stefano Manelli, has issued a complaint to the state prosecutor of Avellino. 
He founded the Order in the 1970s, it was recognized by the Holy See in 1990, returned to the original Franciscan Rule and also followed Pope Benedict liturgically.   After the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum  he implemented the traditional liturgy internally, while offering the Sacraments in both forms of the Roman Rite for pastoral reasons. Thus the Order was an absolute exception, because it was the only Old Rite religious order of the Congregation for Religious, and not under the Papal Commission of Ecclesia Dei. What appeared to be taken in a special dynamic under Pope Benedict XVI., because the Franciscans of the Immaculata, in contrast to other new ritual orders, was an attractive example of an Old Rite Order  that was also missionary in character, became under Pope Francis, the complete opposite. Now the protective umbrella  of the  Ecclesia-Dei Communities is completely absent.

Slander Campaign Against the Franciscans of the Immaculata

Attorney Enrico Tuccillo lodged a complaint two weeks ago, of slander, and the formation of a criminal organization. In this way the founder is defending himself, in the name of his brothers and sisters against the ongoing "slander campaign," which was directed initially against the men's and subsequently against the women's branch of the order.  On November 4.  2015 the  Corriere della Sera  made an appeal from direct or indirect statements by  "concerned parties" in an article series with various horror  stories about the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Similar slander campaigns have happened in the past already against other religious communities and have mostly had their origins in inner-ecclesiastical conflicts. The mass media has likewise been ever ready themselves  to assist progressive circles.  
The Congregation of Religious reacted with the introduction of an  Apostolic Commissar  to the female order and justified this step just as they did the Commisarate administration of the male branch in July of 2013. The sisters were accused that they  "did not succeed in assimilating the riches of Concilar doctrine and the subsequent papal magisterium in their consecrated life in a reasonable way and to use it in the context of their apostolic life and mission."

The Rebellious Within the Order Against  Pater Manelli are Given a Name 

With the charge,  now the opposition within the Order who have triggered and expedited in collaboration with the Roman Congregation of Religious, against the  Franciscans of the Immaculata, have a name. Rome has not named till today any reasons for the radical clampdown on the blooming religious order,  which from many points of view represent an anomaly among Catholic religious communities. It has been maintained from different sides, that the Congregation for Religious have only reacted based on a petition from members to this Congregation.  The internal opponents of the founder, Father Manelli, have never been officially identified. The letter actually does this. Less believable is that it was the catalyst for the various interventions of the Congregation.  The Order was a thorn in the side of the Congregation and other heads of religious communities for a long time.  Under  Benedict  XVI., who stood fully behind the Franciscans  of the  Immaculata, Cardinal Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Religious, dared not move against the young order. Under  Pope Francis, who makes no bones about his antipathy to the traditional Rite, the playing field was  fundamentally altered.
With Pater Manelli's legal conplaint, the names now lay on the table. That is, "not an easily introduced step, which has become necessary for the protection of many of the Order's brothers and sisters," said Manelli's attorney.

Three Sisters, Six Priests and Two Laity Cited

The complaint is against the three religious sisters or former sisters,  Lattanzi, Turturiello und Lovine, against six priests and two laymen.  Among the priests there is  Pater Alfonso Bruno, who is considered the actual instigator and leader of the uprising against the founder. Father Bruno already belongs to the leadership imposed by the Vatican and was, under the late Apostolic Commissar, Father  Fidenzio Volpi, who as his right hand as General Secretary, actually became the new highest ranking member  of the Order. Also mentioned in the complaint is  Father Alessandro Calloni, who has been the General Delegate of the Order for Italy.
The two laymen are alleged to be guilty of have disseminating  an "anonymous dossier with false contents," to discredit the former leadership, who have a severe vow of poverty,  among the brothers and sisters, the faithful, the Church authorities and especially the media. "It is no accident that the same subjects now have leading positions within the Order," says the complaint.  

"Indeed Impressive and  Striking, but False Evidence"

For example,   Ilaria Turturiello (formerly  Sister Maria Letizia), because she made, "Indeed Impressive and Striking, but False Evidence," alleging abuse she is supposed to have suffered.  She was, according to her, forced by her superior, a niece of the founder, to sexually gratify the owner of a supermarket. The women's superior has in the meantime, filed a counter-complaint for defamation and slander.
The former sister also offered the media the story of a "poor fellow sister", who likewise, she said, knew to tell the questionable horror story, which was gleefully broadcast by some of the media. This "fellow sister" was approached by the media for a quote but she denied Turturiello's claims.
The founder, Manelli, must lay his cards before the judge's table.  
The smear campaign of Corriere della Sera and other media was commented upon then by  Messa in Latino. The traditional  site opposed the harsh and unjust attacks against this Order, "which wasn't guilty of anything" compared to the shortcomings and defects of other orders, where the Congregation for Religious sees  no impulse to intervene:
"The moral of the story? The new message of Rome to Religious Orders appears to say: if you give in to your sexual desires, lie, steal, betray, deny doctrinal truths and dogmas, disturb ecclesiastical order and promote liturgical abuse, it doesn't matter, the main thing is that you do not hit out at the Vatican Council II and the achievements of the post-conciliar epoch."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: Airmaria (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Highest Court Confirms Judgment in the Case of the Franciscans of the Immaculata

Franciscans of he Immaculata Before the Commissar Came:
Ordination of Nine Deacons in 2010
(Rome) The Supreme Court in Rome has confirmed that the founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the lay organizations related to the Order are guilty of doing nothing wrong.  The confiscated real estate property must be returned to the lay organizations.
In late June, the rumored reason for the provisional administration of the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate had dissolved into nothingness."Rumored" because was no reason was named for appointing an apostolic commissioner by the Vatican until today. Behind closed doors rumors were spread that it had allegedly been an irregular shifts of assets, including the suggestion that it might be someone who was enriched. It was a slander  which was directed against Founder Manelli to discredit him. A court sentenced Commissioner Volpi to pay 20,000 euros compensation for the false claims.

When the Commissioner Came with the Prosecutor

After the first Commissioner, Father Fidenzio Volpi from the Capuchin Order, could not lay his hands on the real estate owned by the lay organizations affiliated with the Order, he  summarily confiscated the real estate ownership by the public prosecutor. In June  the competent Judicial Senate of Avellino  established that no irregularities were present and ordered the release of the seized property.
Shortly before the verdict of Avellino, Commissioner Volpi had died and been replaced by the canon lawyer Fr Sabino Ardito from the Salesian Order. It  had been hoped there would be a relaxation. But Father Alfonso Bruno was still a driving force in the conflict applies Father Alfonso Bruno in the Franciscans of the Immaculate, who had rebelled against Founder Father Stefano Maria Manelli. After the dismissal of the General Government under the Superior General, Father Manelli,  Pater Bruno then became the Secretary-General and therefore became the right hand of the Commissioner.

Return of property ownership is legally binding

In any case an appeal was filed against the judgment of Avellino, on behalf of the Commissioner. The Second Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court in Rome has rejected the appeal, thus confirming the judgment of Avellino. The release and return of the seized property ownership to the lay organizations of the Order is now final.
Part of this property is also that of the religious house in Rome, where Father Alfonso Bruno is domiciled. "With the decision of the Supreme Court the last word in the matter,"  said Alfonso Rocco, the legal counsel of the Lay Association Mission of the Immaculate Heart.

A thriving religious order of tradition was unbearable to the Congregation of Religious

The order launched in 1970 by Father Stefano Maria Manelli  is committed to tradition. Under Benedict XVI. the Order became, according to the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum was pastorally birituell and internally old ritual. Since the Order was not under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei for old rite communities, the Congregation of Religious  made it ​​an exception in the Church. Under Benedict XVI. it was regarded as an attractive model, which aroused the interest of young members of other religious orders, since the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, despite their strict habit, had a large following.
This combination of factors is thought to be in close religious circles  as the real reason for the provisional administration.  A thriving, tradition related Order, which grew in the midst of widespread vocations crisis,  had become unbearable for many.  But Pope Benedict XVI. held his protective hand over the young religious. Under Pope Francis and his declared aversion to tradition,  the conditions were established to take action against the Order. Four months after taking office, the Order was placed under provisional administration.
The parents of the Founder are recognized as a servants of God. The beatification process is running.The Order was gagged by the provisional government, but not the lay organizations related to the Order.  They continue to see in Founder Manelli their reference point. With the court ruling, their position relative to the Commissioner has been significantly strengthened.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Mil
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Franciscans of the Immaculate: Will the New Commissar Also Bring the New Spirit?

(Rome) Since last June, the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have been assigned  the Salesian priest Sabino Ardito, a canon lawyer, as the new Apostolic Commissioner. Yet there is still a demon in the Order, says Messa in Latino.  Father Alfonso Bruno was responsible and  the ultimate beneficiary of the palace coup against Founder Manelli.
Alfonso Bruno, the father with a penchant for self-expression, already belonged to the old leadership the order, where he was responsible for its media presence. At that time he was only one among several. Then came the dismissal of Minister General Father Stefano Maria Manelli and the whole Order leadership by the Vatican. Alfonso Bruno was the one who made the news public through his media contacts and thus - at least initially - of the urgency  of a  radical intervention.

Press Releases, Legal Letters and Ads

Apostolic Commissioner Father Fidenzio Volpi was then appointed, who was ran like a bulldozer over the Order. The first official act of the Commissioner was the appointment of Father Alfonso Bruno as Secretary General of the Order and thus his right hand.  Excepting the Commissioner, who belongs to the Capuchin Order, Father Alfonso Bruno has since been at the top of the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and completely alone.
The decisions by which the clear-cutting was done were signed by Commissioner Volpi. Partially also by the Secretary General, in part he remained in the background, as he had done well in advance of the palace coup against the Founder, who embodied the Order's charism  and the Old Rite. But his handwriting appears on the endless flood of corrections, warnings, notifications, which were all issued  since the coup in July 2013,  against those who expressed criticism  of the actions of the Holy See and the Commissioner.

"Disinformation on the Internet"

The most recent example is the correspondence of a lawyer, which the Catholic website  Riscossa Cristiana received by electronic mail on August 4th. In the letter, the editor  and writer are required to   delete  two articles. The lawyer acts in the name of Father Giulio Maria Scozzaro. Both articles dealt with the issue, as well as the title of the second article: "The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the Disinformation on the Internet".
The items were manifestly defamatory and would severely damage the honor of his clients.
The first article reported the facts about the dismissal of Giulio Maria Scozzaro on 4 October 2007 from the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate by the then General Superior Father Manelli. It was a decision that was confirmed by the Congregation of Religious on 8 April 2008 after Scozzaro raised opposition  against it. "Facts can not be libelous," said Cristiana Riscossa in response to the lawyer.
In the same article, Scozzaro's publication on his internet blog was criticized, which  can also be read there as before. Therein Scozzaro vehemently attacked Order's founder and his now deposed Superior General, Manelli.

Volpi's Reintroduction of Dismissed Manelli Brother

However there is something now new that has became public, it was at the time of publication unknown.   Initially in the context of the contested articles the lawyer submitted, was a decision of 11 February 2015 where the late Commissioner Volpi annulled  the  Scozzaro's dismissal from the Order and has readmitted him into the Order.
Volpi's amazing justification, which made Manelli's decision null and void  from formal legal reasons, is that  the dismissal is supposed to have  never been legal. Amazing because Scozzaro had lodged an appeal against his dismissal to the Congregation of Religious and  confirmed this after examining the case of   dismissal. Volpi's decision bears his signature and that of Alfonso Bruno. "Does  Commissioner Volpi, have the right or the authority to annul an order  whose validity has been confirmed by the religious congregation?" Asked Riscossa Cristiana .
As an aside  it should be recalled that Father Scozzaro could appeal against his dismissal appeal to the Congregation of Religious. Founder Manelli and the deposed general leadership could not have prevented it by  objecting to the provisional administration. Pope Francis had approved the drastic intervention in a form that made any appeal impossible.
The second article referred to the  collected signatures at that time in support of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and of the Roman Rite. "A report on a petition is also hardly libelous," said Cristiana Riscossa.  Also in this article, the facts of the early dismissal of Father Scozzaro was also reported.
"What can you say about the behavior of a priest and religious who don't directly seek contact and  admonishes  by using worldly means and threatening legal action? For this I will ask the new Apostolic Commissioner for clarification, as well as the bishop of the diocese where  P. Scozzaro is still incardinated. "
The corresponding letter was sent on August 10 to the Apostolic Commissioner and to the Congregation of Religious. The Commissioner immediately acknowledged receipt.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Corrispondenza Romana

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Exile of Father Lanzetta of Franciscans of Immaculate At End

(London) Father Serafino Lanzetta, one of the most brilliant minds of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, has been appointed the parish priest of Saint Mary in Gosport, England. For the last few weeks he has been already in place and has begun to make a biritual of a  New Rite parish. The end of his exile coincided with the agony and  death of Commissioner Volpi.[God rest his soul]
Father Lanzetta was among the first victims of the provisional administration of the until recently thriving Order. By August 11, 2013 he and all the priests of the Order had been banned from celebration of  the traditional rite  of the Holy Mass by  the Congregation for Religious. At the same time the Capuchin Father Fidenzio Volpi took control as Apostolic Commissioner of the Order.

Florence Tyrol to England

With the beginning of autumn 2013, all the leading figures of the Order were dismissed from  their offices  and relieved of their duties. Father Lanzetta, then pastor of Ognissanti in Florence had to leave his parish on 4 October.  Due to bureaucratic difficulties he received a grace period  until October 21. While others were exiled to Latin America, Africa or Asia, his place of exile was the only monastery of the Order in the German-speaking world.
Since then, he had  lead a reclusive life in the monastery Kitzbühel in Tyrol. He took advantage of this time to complete his doctoral studies.  His thesis was supervised by the famous German dogmatist and Mariologist Manfred Hauke  "Il Vaticano II, un Concilio Pastoral" (Vatican II, a Pastoral Council. Hermeneutics of Council Teachings) was approved at theTheological Faculty of Lugano  in Switzerland.
How it is this religious priest, who worked in Italy, is led to England to say the traditional Rite,  is not known, but the news gratifying yet in any case.
Parish journal of St. Mary, Gosport from June 28, 2015

Building a Biritual Parish 

According to website of the Diocese of Portsmouth in southern England, Father Lanzetta is to officially assume his pastorate on  September 8  on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. In fact, it has been already since the feast of Corpus Christi that he is already filling his new place of work and the duties of the parish priest. In parish journal of Gosport he is already listed as such.
The parish of Gosport is run by Franciscans of the Immaculate under the guidance of Father Lanzetta since  a few weeks ago. The parish also hosts a branch of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate.
The current parish journal informs that starting next week at the St. Mary's Church, Holy Mass will be celebrated from Monday to Friday at 7 o'clock in the morning and on Saturday at 9:30 o'clock in the extraordinary [sic] form of the Roman Rite: "All are invited to attend".  A Sunday Mass in the old rite is not provided, but that seems to be only be a matter of time.
Father Lanzetta also offers a weekly introduction to the traditional form of the Mass, which intends to make a transiction of the birituelle parish to the neurituellen parish.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Rorate Caeli / Gosport Parish Newsletter (Screenshot)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Franciscans of the Immaculate: Court Releases Estate Holdings -- Finds No Irregularities

Founder Father Manelli at the Sacrifice of the Mass
(Naples) The Court of Avellino has ordered the release of the property that belongs to the lay associations  that are close to the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the ImmaculateThus, another of the accusations bandied about dissolves into nothingness  that have been spread in recent years, spread against the founder and Superior General, Father Stefano Manelli  who was deposed by the Vatican.
The property had been seized at the direction of the late Apostolic Commissioner, Father Fidenzio Volpi. by the district attorney of Avellino. As the traditional Order was placed under provisional administration in Summer 2013, the Commissioner and the leadership of the rebels  realized that the  properties are not in the direct possession of the Order, but belong to the lay associations connected to the Order.

The Ad Hoc Reason for Provisional Administration Dissolves into Nothingness

In this, however, the Apostolic Commissioner did not have access and thus, neither to the property. Nevertheless, in order to lay hands, there were accusations of alleged  irregular transfers of assets. Alleged irregularities have been named in the past two years as the reason why the provisional administration was ordered by Rome. Officially there are no grounds for radical intervention in the life of the Order were announced by the Vatican to this day.
The  judicial panel has now established that there were no irregularities  present and ordered the release of the seized real estate assets worth around 30 million euros.

New Apostolic Commissioner Appointed

Commissioner Volpi's actions were directed against the  lay organizations related to the Order, against the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (MIM) and the Third Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (TOFI). There are thousands of believers organized in these these worldwide and connected to the Order.
Just yesterday the appointment of a new Apostolic Commissioner for the Order became known. With the approval of Pope Francis the Congregation of Religious appointed the Salesian, Fr Sabino Ardito, to succeed Father Volpi. The canonist Ardito will lead the fortunes of the Order for the time being until the summer of 2016. Then the three-year period of a regular provisional administration will be finished. The provisional administration could then, however, be extended on a proposal from the Commissioner.
It is not yet known whether the new commissioner is to continue the dismantling of his predecessor or another line will follow.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Mil
Trans: Tancred

Monday, June 8, 2015

What Now? After the Death of Commissar Volpi?

(Rome) After the announcement of the death of Father Fidenzio Volpi,Vaticanista Marco Tosatti  asks "What now?"
The Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Capuchin Volpi had suffered a serious stroke at the end of April.  His health has since been very critical, so that the news of his death was wrongly been spread a month ago.
From anonymous websites who were close to the Apostolic Commissioner, or rather the small group of rebels within the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate , who support the provisional government, the false death report was polemically denied. The Secretary-General of the Order, Father Alfonso Bruno said on May 15  no less falsely, Father Volpi stands directly in the forefront of the government of the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the ImmaculateBut  his health never permitted it at any time following the stroke.  Especially Father Alfonso Bruno, the big winner of the provisional administration, became increasingly nervous since the stroke.

Naming of a new commissioner is likely, but  there is also an opportunity for a change of course

The  death of the Apostolic Commissioner has changed the situation abruptly. Therefore, Tossati's question: "What now?" What is the Holy See's reaction? If the provisional administration is to end or will there be a new commissioner? Anyway: Father Bruno can not be certain of his his leading role. An end of the provisional administration seems unlikely. A provisional administration usually lasts at least three years. The religious congregation should appoint a new Commissioner for the remaining time and the final report out in the summer of 2016 to decide whether a General Chapter of the Order can choose a new head of the order.
The naming of  a new Commissioner, however, also makes a change of course in dealing with the Order possible. Had Father Volpi pursued a course of radical devastation, a new commissioner could be benevolent to the Order. Still, however, everything is open.

Commissioner Volpi leaves a field of desolation

Father Volpi leaves the once blooming Order of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate since July 2013 after only 22 months of provisional administration as a field of desolation. Vocations have plummeted, friars who leave the Order, monasteries have been closed down, the order's own seminary was shut down and the first measure at all, the celebration of the traditional rite has been met  with prohibitions.
While many Catholic orders  in Europe cite a lack of vocations, the Congregation of the Religious have suppressed under the leadership of Cardinal Prefect João Braz de Aviz, one of the most flourishing Orders. Reasons for radical intervention of the young Order is still not known. Behind closed doors were sown notions that  in the Order there were  "crypto lefebvrian" tendencies. See Commissioner Volpi, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the SSPX under Pope Francis .
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Osservatore Romano (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

A Scourge of Resurgent Catholicism is Dead

Father Fidenzio Volpi, who was charged with liquidating a resurgent Catholic order, the Franciscans of the Immaculate, is dead. The FFI was, unlike Volpi's own order and practically all others, was growing and Catholic.

We have noticed that despite real financial and theological scandals, no Apostolic Commissar has been appointed at Sant'Eggidio.

This was reported today by his province, the Lombardy Capuchins.

How long will God allow this to go in, and will He have mercy on this incorrigible Friar? How long will those who continue to support this charade, continue to support it by their negligence, indifference and collaboration?

May he rest in peace, but God will be just, and his deeds be undone.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Apostolic Conmissar Says He's Been Libeled, Threatens to Sue

Edit: contrary to what we've been told, (and found entirely credible) we have been alerted to the following letter in which Father Volpi, if it is he, has explained on the Franciscans of the Immaculate website that he was unjustly maligned and never lied about the Manelli's when he accused them of receiving property of the order being signed over to them by Father Manelli, basically accusing him of stealing. As far as we can tell he doesn't address that allegation and insists he has done nothing wrong.

So he's not going to apologize?

He claims that the sole source of the accusation is a "Don Camillo", but Rorate insists its seen the court order.

Moreover, Volpi, or whomever penned the letter is threatening to sue.

Here's the letter, as it appears on their website:

Letter of the Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to All the Religious of the Institute

Object: Clarification concerning the civil lawsuit brought against the Apostolic Commissioner and some comments published on the subject

Dear Confreres

Pax et Bonum!

I wish to address you paternally, aware of the concerns that the dissemination of news concerning me may have aroused in your minds. This information has been spread with the clear purpose of harming fraternal communion in the Institute—a communion that distinguishes our common, united effort to restore among the Franciscans of the Immaculate the original charism that has characterised the service the Institute has rendered to the Church.

I ask you, therefore, to give your careful attention to the following account of events in which I have been involved, and in respect of which there is a malicious attempt to generate scandal.

The divine Master said: “Oportet ut eveniant scandala—It must needs be that scandals come”; this principle certainly applies to us all, so long as we are capable of discerning the truth from falsehood, and we know how to draw the correct lesson from the events we encounter.

On the occasion of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 2013, celebrating our Heavenly Patroness, I wrote a circular letter to all of you, summarizing the events that had taken place since my appointment as Apostolic Commissioner.

In that letter I could not fail to address one of the more difficult trials that, together, we have tackled and overcome, in a Franciscan spirit and with the heavenly protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary: I refer to the subtraction from the Institute of the capacity to use the temporal goods conferred upon it that are necessary for the accomplishment of our mission.

Referring to changes made to the Statutes of the two Associations with legal personality under civil law which own the physical assets of the Institute, I stated that these goods had been placed under the control of persons that include some family members of Fr. Manelli. This statement was no lie, and could easily be verified.

However, the brothers and sisters of the Founder (I mean, brothers and sisters according to flesh and blood), together with a brother-in-law, considering themselves offended by what I asserted in my circular letter, took up a civil action against me to obtain compensation for the damage which they had allegedly suffered.

According to current civil procedural regulations, any action may give rise to a judgement only after mediation between the parties has been attempted.

In these circumstances, on February 12 this year, “pro bono pacis” and in the fraternal spirit of our Seraphic Father, I reached for a settlement agreement with the opposite party which did not involve any acknowledgment on my part except by way of a clarification, and which had the sole purpose of avoiding further civil proceedings before the Court of Rome, with consequent additional costs to the Institute.

On the basis of this agreement, I committed myself, among other things, to publish on the official website of the Institute a clarification, agreed with the counterparty.

I was about to do what had been agreed, when, on 15 February, an article appeared in an electronic publication, whose “sole source”—in the words of its editor—was a certain “don Camillo”, qualified as “close to the Manelli family”.

In this text, it was stated verbatim as follows:

“Padre Volpi, dopo avere ammesso il suo reato di calunnie e menzogne, il 12 febbraio è stato condannato… — Father Volpi, after having admitted his crime of slander and lies, was sentenced on the 12 February...”

The intention of the author, identified expressly as linked to the family of Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, seems clear enough: to diminish my prestige and the authority conferred upon me in the sight of you all, dear Confreres.

I have not, in fact, been convicted of any offence, nor subjected to any criminal proceedings; nor have I ever—in court or outside—admitted committing a crime, or uttering slander or lies.

I have therefore instructed my lawyers to prepare a lawsuit for the crime of defamation through the press against those responsible, and I have made known to the members of Fr. Manelli’s family my intention to no longer comply with the terms of the agreement signed on February 12, 2015, which I consider no longer valid on account of a severe failure of compliance by the counterparty.

Dear Confreres,

I know I rely on your “sapientia cordis” in considering you partakers of the sentiment that makes me regard the campaign of defamation waged against me once again—taking advantage of the Franciscan spirit with which I had resolved to put an end to the dispute with certain relations of Fr. Manelli—as an attempt to undermine the harmony which, until now, has animated all of us in promoting the good of the Institute and the Church.

I invite you therefore to strengthen further the bond of solidarity that unites us with the Holy Father and with the whole Church militant, just as it unites us among ourselves, under the mantle of the Virgin, Mother and Patroness of the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Let us raise to Her our united prayer for heavenly grace in a particularly difficult moment in our history.

I embrace you all, reminding you of the saying in the Gospel: “NON PREVALEBUNT!”—and I bless you.

Rome, February 18, 2015

Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, OFM Cap

Apostolic Commissioner


Monday, February 9, 2015

Commissar Closes the Cloister of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in Teramo

(Teramo) The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are leaving Teramo, the capital city of the Italian region of Abruzzo. As the religious house of Teramo announced in a statement, the closing on February 11th of the Monastery of Teramo is "based on a decision of the Apostolic Commissioner," Father Fidenzio Volpi.
As a reason, a "decline of Brothers" and the "departure of some religious" were mentioned. In both cases, these were direct consequences of the provisional administration of the Order which had been blooming till July 2013.  The "decline" is due to resignations, which were triggered by the radical intervention of members appointed by the Commissar appointed by the Roman Congregation of Religious because the original charism of the Order was destroyed. The "departure" means forced displacements and exile of the friars by the Commissar.
On October 6, 2007 Bishop Michele Seccia of Teramo had entrusted the parish and convent of San Domenico to the young Franciscans.  In 2008 the  Marian lay community of Missione Immacolata Media Trice and the Third Order were established. Since the same year, the Fathers have celebrated the Traditional Rite since the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, not only the convent's, but public worship, such as the  Office and Vespers. In a pastoral concern for the parish,  the Mass was celebrated in both the traditional and the new Rites.

In 2005, the Dominicans had Abandoned the Monastery for Lack of Vocations 

In 1287  the Dominicans in Teramo established  the church and convent of San Domenico. After a long flowering, the Dominican convent was dissolved in 1809 by the Napoleonic storm, the church  was converted into a stall and the monastery into barracks. After the Congress of Vienna, the Confraternity of the Rosary, founded in 1556 by the Dominicans in Teramo for the care of the restoration of the Church. Because of the anticlerical attitude of 1860 by the newly created Italian state, it would take 130 years for the Dominicans were to return to Teramo. Only the Lateran Treaty made it possible that in 1939, the church was adopted by the Dominicans and the monastery was repopulated.
The Dominican church "experienced then in 1969-1971 as part of the post-conciliar liturgical reform, interventions in the design of the presbytery," as it states on the remaining website of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Teramo. In 2005, the Dominicans had to abandon the monastery Teramo "for lack of vocations."
Soon the monastery was empty, then the Bishop of Teramo summoned  the Franciscans of the Immaculate summoned a young  Order, which had no staffing problems and had thus guaranteed the safe continuation of the monastery and pastoral care. Less than seven years later, the tide has turned dramatically through papal intervention. In two days, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate will leave Teramo, but for very different reasons than the Dominicans.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Wikicommons
Trans: Tancred

Monday, October 6, 2014

Curial Archbishop Carballo Immortalized in a Church -- "Concerned About Pre-Conciliar Deviations"

(Madrid), José Rodriguez Carballo Archbishop Curia has been immortalized in a church of Santiago de Compostela. "Is this appropriate in the 21st century?" Asks Francisco de la Cigoña of La Gaceta .
Rodriguez Carballo is from Galicia and belongs to the Franciscan Order. The Spaniard was the first major personnel decision of the current pontificate. A few days after his election,  Pope Francis called the Franciscan at the beginning of April 2013 as Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Roman Curia. Previously, Father Rodriguez Carballo from 2003-2013  was the119th General Minister of the Franciscan Order.
The Catholic journalist Francisco de la Cigoña was content to ask questions: "Is  that not too early? Is that excessive?"  The presentation in the church shows Father Rodriguez Carballo with crosier and pectoral cross as a bishop. His episcopal ordination took place on 13 May 2013.
Curial Archbishop Rodriguez Carballo, Titular Archbishop per hac vice of Bellicastrum is, with João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Religious, responsible for the  restrictive measures against the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. The appointment of the Apostolic Commissioner, Father Fidenzio Volpi from the Capuchin Order, took place a few months after Carballos took office on 13 July-2013.
Last May, the Curial Archbishop said in a speech to the Association of Catalan religious (URC): "For religious, the Council is a point that is not negotiable."   "Whoever sees in the "reforms" of Vatican II all the bad things of the religious life, denies the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church ". The Congregation for Religious   is  "very concerned" about this phenomenon: "We see real deviations" because "not a few institutes" have their growth "there is not just  a pre-conciliar, but even an anti-conciliar formation"... "not a few institutions" says Rodriguez Carballo. "This is not allowed, that is, to stand outside of history. This is something that has us very worried  in the Congregation. "
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: La Gaceta / de la Cigoña
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cardinal Betori Forbids Immemorial Mass -- The Dilemma of the "Conservatives" Under Pope Francis

Franciscans of the Immaculate, Photo From Better Times:
1st Row in the middle are the two founders (Father Pellettieri,
Father Manelli). 2nd Row, 2nd from the right, Father
Serafino Lanzetta
(Florence) The "tragedy" of so-called "conservatives" in the Church under Pope Francis is currently being revealed emblematically  in Florence, says lawyer Carlo Manetti. This coming September 25, Father Serafino Lanzetta of the "Commissariat" oppressed Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in Florence will his announce his latest book: "The Second Vatican Council: a Pastoral Council" arranged to be introduced in the context of this conference. Cardinal Archbishop of Florence Betori has prohibited the public celebration of Holy Mass in the traditional Rite by Father Lanzetta.
Father Lanzetta had been the Prior of the Order,  since the provisional administration, at its convent in Florence.  Since then he lives in "exile" in the monastery of Kitzbühel.
It was not only he and his brothers were forced to leave the city by the Apostolic Commissar Father Fidenzio Volpi.  Meanwhile, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Florence  must vacate, who are currently affected by Apostolic Visitrix.

The Archbishop, the Old Mass and "Reasons of Expediency"

These days one of the decisions of the Archbishop of Florence has caused a stir. Because of the abnegation of Pope Benedict XVI's Moto Proprio by the Congregation of Religious,  the organizers presented Archbishop Giuseppe Cardinal Betori  the request for Father Lanzetta  to celebrate on the occasion of the meeting and for the participants in Florence, a Holy Mass in the traditional rite. The request was rejected by the cardinal.
In the book, which is at the same time a Doctoral thesis, Father Lanzetta outlined and analyzed, based on meticulous documentation of the main currents of the Second Vatican Council and its work in bringing about the conciliar documents (see separate report Mental Power of an Exile - Habilitation Thesis of Father Lanzetta Presented on Second Vatican Council ). The preface is by the famous theologian Manfred Hauke, who supervised Lanzetta's habilitation. A book of "incontrovertible orthodoxy," said Carlo Manetti in an interview. Manetti is the editor of the book:Un caso che fa discutere: i Franciscan of the Immaculate (Franciscans of the Immaculate: One Case that Provides Discussions, Fede & Cultura, Verona).
The lecturer in International Relations is one of the speakers at the conference, to be held in the ballroom of the Regional Parliament of Tuscany. Among others, the historian Roberto de Mattei (European University of Rome) and Pietro De Marco (University of Florence) will speak, as well as representatives of Catholic media, Guido Scatizzi (Riscossa Christiana) and Pucci Cipriani ( Controrivoluzione ). The organizer of the conference is traditional  association Communion Tradizionale of Florence, under its president, Ascanio Ruschi. Ruschi it was who put the motion to the Archbishop and received the written rejection from  him. The interview was conducted by Domenico Rosa for Il Sito di Firenze .

The No of Cardinal Betori to Father Lanzetta and Traditional Rite

Carlo Manetti on the "conservatives" in the new "climate" of Pope Francis
And yet seems Cardinal Betori, who is counted among the "conservative" bishops, does not consider the book by Father Lanzetta as "orthodox" ...
Manetti: Judging by the letter his lawyer Ruschi, President of the association Communion Tradizione has sent, in which he expressly forbids Father Serafino public celebration of the traditional Mass, one can see no doctrinal condemnation of the book content, but - if one may say  - it is a "political" condemnation of the text. It is said that a Bishop can not approve the theses contained there, without claiming that we are dealing with heresies, whereby the doubt arises that this impossibility is not caused by the thesis itself, but the position of the bishop; in other words. that it is not about doctrinal reasons, but "pastoral" considerations that cause the head of a Catholic diocese, to not comment positively in public on the great work of Father Serafino.
If you allow, I would like to extend the question still to the drama, not to say, tragedy, to present the situation in which the so-called "conservative" Catholics are: they would like,perhaps to return to the truth in their hearts, but  reasons of practical expediency, which are called "pastoral" today ," compels them to accept this and to confess as always, they are valid and immutable. So, to avoid the current widespread accusations of "traditionalism" or more recently even the "crypto-Lefebvrianism", they are forced to represent opinions and to put actions that actually represent the progressive Catholic extremism.
How do you explain the ban in the Church of San Gaetano to celebrate a Holy Mass in the traditional rite ... the church which is supervised by the Old Rite  Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest? How do you see this "turnaround" of the Archbishop of Florence, who generously supported the traditional Mass until recently and the Old Ritual community churches entrusted to his care?
Manetti: As the Cardinal himself stated in his letter, the reasons are not doctrinal, but pastoral, political, ideological. Today, after the accession of Pope Francis, the "most endangered" prelates, the so-called "conservatives" are exactly like that. case of Cardinal Piacenza example showed: the first defenestrated  by the new Pope. They are forced to show themselves as far more progressive than their colleagues to provide evidence of their loyalty to the "new course". For the progressives whose resistance acted against Benedict XVI., is today, however, like a life insurance policy, a guarantee certificate for the future that they believe in the so-called new "Church of Mercy". The Conservatives, however, who, offered assistance to Benedict XVI have aroused ​​"suspicions",  and are forced today, but also in the future, to provide evidence of their "reliability".  In particular, they may not afford the slightest relapse and that includes any concession to the "Traditionalists."

So you are, in a humanly speaking, very difficult situation from which there is a solution only if  they recognized the priority fully for themselves of the truth about the practice, recognize and accept the primacy of faith over the pastoral, the primacy of Jesus Christ through the hierarchy. This is not just a question of courage. After decades of the devaluation of truth in favor of the tactical achievement of practical results, it is hard to sacrifice everything you have built up personally and intellectually appropriated. Often it is difficult to be conscious of this necessity.
Father Serafino Lanzetta is not a dangerous heretic?
Manetti: Of course not. Father Serafino Lanzetta is not only not a dangerous heretic, but - despite his young age - one of the greatest living theologians, brilliant and profound at the same time, capable, as I said, to the depths of the errors, but also he has gathered the reasons and presented the actors of the Council.
How is the provisional administration of the Franciscans of the Immaculate to end, after most of the brothers have unsuccessfully made ​​the request to be allowed to leave the Order?
Manetti: Everything happening so far suggests that the deliberate intention is to "liquidate"  the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, both the male and the female branch. All measures, sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowed down, aim at that. It can be seen plainly that the case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate reveal the violent face of modernism and show the way postulated by Gramsci of the primacy of practice leads over theory. 
I would therefore like to take the opportunity of this interview to prompt all, in the defense the truth about the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate founded by Father Manelli and Father Pellettieri, to persevere so that the silence about this sad state of affairs can  be spread, because of the silence can make profit only the persecutors.
Introduction / Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Messa in Latino / Carlo Manetti
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Commissar Closes Another Friary of the Franciscans of the Immaculata

Church of San Pasquale in Benevento
Friary of the Franciscans of the
Immaculate Heart Closed
(Rome) The Apostolic Commissar Father Fidenzio Volpi is closing,  with the Secretary General, Father Alfonso Bruno, another friary of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FI). In the Italian town of Benevento, just 40 kilometers away from the mother house of the Order in Frigento (Diocese of Avellino). The monastery of San Pasquale is closed.
The decision is symbolic. In Benevento (1915-1996) a decree was signed on June 22, 1990 on the eve of the feast of the Sacred Heart, by Archbishop Carlo Minchiatti for the establishment of the Order by diocesan right. The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is thus the canonical founding of the Franciscans of the Immaculate . On that Sunday, in 1990  the first 30 monks professed their vows.
The Monastery of San Pasquale has existed for many years. The pastoral care of the faithful was initially in the new Rite, but with entry into force of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum a parallel was established in the traditional rite. In addition to daily Mass in the Immemorial Rite, daily Eucharistic Adoration was held.
The presence of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and their pastoral care were all the more precious because otherwise, no other priests or religious celebrate the Immemorial Rite in the Archdiocese of Benevento. 
With the provisional administration, the Beneventese believers were deprived of all the traditional Rites, as the priest of the Order were prohibited from  the celebration of the Immemorial Mass. Now they are also deprived of the Order, where it has its canonical origin.
A faithful of the Archdiocese of Benevento wrote  a letter to the website Messa in Latino : "It raises the question: Is the reform, which the commissioner has boasted, to restore the Order back to its 'original'  spirit, that is to say, where  the monasteries are closed and the faithful are deprived through the widespread doctrinal confusion in the Diocese where today people are more in need of pastoral care for  salvation?"
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Wikicommons
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More “Reforms”: Will Ecclesia Dei Be Devoured By The Congregation of Religious Too?

(Rome) The well-known website Rorate Caeli wrote that in 1988,  the Pontifial Commission Ecclesia Dei established by  Pope John Paul II could be dissolved in the course of reform of the Curia taking place under Pope Francis.   It’s a message that caused some excitement in the communities  faithful to tradition. The background forms the distance of the Argentine pope to tradition. Since taking office, Pope Francis has made gestures in a variety of directions, most recently in the Vatican Gardens  towards Judaism and Islam, in his discussions with Eugenio Scalfari also towards atheists, agnostics and Freemasons, while Catholic tradition has he largely ignored.

Papal Astonishment that Catholic Youth is Attracted to the Old Rite

Some cryptic formulations were even interpreted as a swipe against tradition. A general lack of liturgical sensibility seems in addition to hinder Pope Francis’  access to the Old Rite. Compared to the Apulian bishops, he reaffirmed last year, however, that the two forms of the rite should co-exist and be mutually reinforcing. Speaking to the Czech bishops, the head of the Church expressed surprise in the spring of 2014 expressed surprise that  Catholic youth are attracted to the Old Rite.
The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei was created in 1988 to accommodate parts of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X. catch who did not want to go with “State of Emergency" illicit episcopal ordinations. Since then, the Commission is responsible for all old ritual Communities and orders in the Catholic Church. They thus have direct contact to the Roman Curia.

CDF: Does Lack of Agreement with the SSPX to Decoupling From Ecclesia Dei?

Pope Benedict XVI.  created a Pontifical Council with Ecclesia Dei.  In 2009, the Pontifical Commission of the Congregation and their prefect was automatically a President of the Commission. The President of the Commission has always been a cardinal. From 1988 to 2009 former or partly reigning Prefects of the different Roman Congregations have been incorporated without it.  From 1988-1991 Paul Augustin Cardinal Mayer OSB, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Antonio Cardinal Innocenti 1991-1995, former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Angelo Felici 1995-2000, former prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, 2000-2009, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the same was also Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy till 2006. Since 2009, the respective Prefect of the CDF is Commission Chairman, 2009-2012 was  William Joseph Cardinal Levada, since then  the German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller has officiated.

Congregation of Religious - “Worst of the Worst" Variants

Since the news broke, that Pope Francis is  going  to dissolve a number  of papal councils, merge, or incorporate others, there is concern that   on this occasion they could be manually applied to those facilities in which tradition is of an institutional and therefore recognized framework in the Church. This makes especially the "worst of the worst" variants (Messa in Latino) in the traditional circles, namely the decoupling  of Ecclesia Dei from the CDF and the integration into the Congregation for Religious.  The dissolution of  the Commission is considered unlikely. The question of integration is seen as an indicator of "benevolence".
The presentiment that the leadership will go to  Cardinal Prefect Joao Braz de Aviz, a remaining appointment  from the time of Benedict XVI. (2011),  and Secretary, Curia, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM,   an equally unfortunate appointment by Pope Francis (2013), has left  traditional Catholics who are certainly not Cassandras, but have a high threshold of pain, in some anxiety, because of the unspeakable dealing with the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

The Amazing Zeal of an Inertial Congregation

The Franciscan religious order founded by Father Stefano Manelli  broke two taboos. It changed from the New Order, as such, ( he is subject to the Congregation of Religious and not Ecclesia Dei), from the New to the Old Rite. A step that it also associated with an in-depth engagement and public confrontation with the Church crisis, its causes and in this context with the Second Vatican Council. The male branch of the order was placed  under provisional administration in July of 2013, and a a Visitator for the female branch was appointed in May 2014 and the lay community affiliated with the Order was also suspended. In contrary to the existing Church law the Order of the Old Rite was banned. The priest must individually apply for a permission to celebrate the traditional Mass. To ensure that the female branch of the order was severely impaired, although initially excluded from direct action because the Franciscan Franciscan Sisters are no longer allowed to participate Holy Mass in the Old Rite. The fact that the sisters wanted to maintain the Old Rite, did not move  the leadership of the Congregation at all. 
However, Rome is not only this variant of the inclusion in the conversation. There is the inclusion of  the CDF in that. Pope Benedict XVI explicitly employed it with a view to a return of the SSPX into unity with Rome.  Yet this seems to have exhausted itself where the talks between the Holy See and the SSPX remain inconclusive.

The Congregation for Divine Worship - “Liturgical Sensibility"

Besides the possible "worst" variant, the inclusion in the Congregation of Religious,  there is also discussion of integration into the Congregation for Divine Worship. There since 2008, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera has officiated in the  Curia. It’s an office which could still be exercised for some years by the 68 year old Spaniard. However, there have been persistent rumors  since the election of Pope Francis   of his dismissal.  Indeed, Cardinal Cañizares is the only one of nine prefects of the Congregation, about whom Francis has still taken no decision. Originally, should he be sent back to Spain,  and according to his rank it would only be possible to appointment him as Archbishop of Madrid.  In contrast, there are again some reservations in Spain, where with such an option which no one had anticipated, where an internal succession and local solutions are under discussion.
Regardless of the unresolved question of the Prefect, the annexation of the Commission Ecclesia Dei to the Congregation for Divine Worship would be a  feasible and acceptable solution for traditional circles. The Congregation has very well trained staff with "high liturgical sensibility" (Messa in Latino) and excelled in the past few years mainly due to the sound and quick response to pending questions. Compared to the Congregation for Divine Worship all other congregations act cumbersomely. The special zeal of the Congregation of Religious in the damage of the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate represents a marked exception, which makes matters even more difficult.

How is Pope Francis decide?

How is Pope Francis decide? What his C8 Kardinalsrat recommend? Pope Benedict XVI. aimed to lead the two forms of the Roman Rite to actual equality in the Church. A counter-revolutionary act of the first order, the scope of which, few are aware of in the Church  today, however, some high-ranking enemy was aware of it and it has been  counteracted by Francis Pope personally. In his understanding is Summorum Pontificum and following the instruction Universae Ecclesiae it is only as a gesture of paternal accommodation to a small minority in the Church.  No less, but no more. As such, he sees and accepts the step of Benedict XVI. The question of whether he would ever take such a step himself, is ultimately a useless intellectual exercise.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Accion Liturgica
TransL Tancred
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