It was reported in the Catholic online press today that our religious community, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, has been assigned an Apostolic Commissioner by the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated life. Pope Francis has ordered the decree which goes into effect on August 12.
Pope Francis has also severely restricted our use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and this has been reported by a major italian journalist as a “contradiction” of Pope Benedict’s permission granted in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. This is an unfortunate instance of an overeager journalist sensationalizing something he can only speculate about.
The restrictions on our community are specific to us and have been put in place for reasons specific to us. Pope Francis has not contradicted Pope Benedict. The visitation of our community began under Pope Benedict and the Commission was recommended by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz who was appointed to the Congregation by Pope Benedict.
What is being reported in the press and what has actually transpired within our community over the course of a number of years are two different things.
Many of us—I would hope most of us—Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, welcome the Holy Father’s intervention into our life and trust fully that Holy Mother Church knows exactly what she is doing, even when the journalists do not. We entrust ourselves to her care, just as we do to the Immaculate.
Please pray for our Institute.
Many of the comments in the blogosphere about Pope Francis concerning his decision in regard to our Institute are simply disgraceful, and “justified” by the most tenuous rationalizations. He is the Vicar of Christ. It is less than twenty-four hours since this hit the Internet and so many think they have got it all figured out. I have also seen sheer fabrications about the situation in our Institute within some of these comments. May God have mercy on us. Thank God for all the holy popes we have had for the past fifty years, who all have had much to suffer.
I am closing down the comments now on these posts concerning the situation in the Institute. I left comments open to make a point, which the some of the commenters have made for me. Either you get the point or you don’t. There is no point in trying to explain it.
The contempt, disrespect and spirit of disobedience shown toward the Vicar of Christ, I repudiate. May God have mercy on us.