Vatican Insider Interview with FI Spokesman

Unofficial translation of the Italian original follows:

Vatican City
In an order whose predominant attention is to the traditional liturgy. A decree of the Pope appoints an apostolic commissioner

Alessandro Speciale
Vatican City

The Congregation for Religious, with the approval of Pope Francis, decided last July 11 to appoint a commissioner to the Congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a religious order in which the spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi had, in recent years, been combined with a predominant attention given to the traditional liturgy.

The appointing of a commissioner, one reads in the decree of the vatican ‘ministry’ for religious orders, aims to “protect and promote the internal unity of religious institutes and their fraternal communion, their adequate formation in religious and consecrated life, the organization of apostolic activities “and” the proper management of temporal goods. “

The decision comes after the apostolic visitation began in July a year ago, conducted by Monsignor Vito Angelo Todisco. Leading the order temporarily, with the role of “apostolic commissioner,” will be the Capuchin friar Fidenzio Volpi.

The decree also indicates that Pope Francis has ordered that the friars must henceforth “celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary form”, or the post-conciliar Mass in the local vernacular, while the celebration of the Mass in Latin, the Tridentine rite – liberalized by Benedict XVI in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum – “must be explicitly authorized by the competent authority for each religious and or community who requests it”

After the Motu Proprio of Pope Ratzinger in 2007, the Franciscans of the Immaculate had decided infact to adopt the “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite, or Tridentine Mass, as their predominant rite; for their sisters, its use was even exclusive.

Doing so, however, they were exposed to the “instrumentalization” of some traditionalist groups, explained to Vatican Insider, the spokesman of the order, Father Alfonso Maria Bruno. This instrumentalization was then followed by an attempt to act as mediators in negotiations, which later failed, between the Vatican and Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X.

According to Father Bruno, in a survey conducted during the apostolic visitation, the vast majority of the members of the order said they were not in aggreement with the exclusive celebration of the old Mass, “especially in the pastoral care of parishes in Italy and in the missions”.

In some cases, in fact, the old rite “had not been well received.” Despite the value of the Tridentine Mass, the spokesman of the Franciscans of the Immaculate noted, “if people do not understand, the message does not get through.” “The brothers greet with respectful obedience and a supernatural spirit the providential dispositions of the Apostolic See and, as sons of the Church, they offer their total cooperation,” concluded Father Bruno.

7 thoughts on “Vatican Insider Interview with FI Spokesman

  1. In Western Australia the friars often supply for the Latin Mass Community and the Sisters attend the Sunday Latin Mass, even singing the Mass once a month. They have a great apostolate and I think some of their vocations are young people seeking a traditional religious life and the Latin Mass. We must pray for the friars and for ourselves. May the Lord protect us from the attacks of the evil one. St Michael pray for us

  2. I wonder if those who fomented all this are pleased with the results? If the permissions for the EF are not given, will that not split the order? To have the founder deposed is a serious thing. Will the order survive? The FI offered a safe refuge from the craziness that infects so many other orders and parishes and the EF, or at least the mix of the EF and OF, offered a safe haven where one could worship in peace. Now is that being taken?

  3. This is the result of doing things without permission from the Holy See, all I know, the FFI swifts to Tridentine Mass as well as praying the Breviary in Latin without mandate from the Holy See. May St. Francis pray for them.

  4. Dear Fr. Angelo, many thanks for this very helpful posting on this subject. I would also note that Dr. Taylor Marshall has a very helpful and calming posting on it at his site:
    Of interest to me especially was his comment about his association with MIM. I did not know that it could be possible for us in Texas to have such an association and would be very interested in pursuing it further myself if that would be OK. Is there someone I should contact? Keep up all the good work.

  5. @Alpha Cage, according to Summorum Pontificum, they did not require a mandate from the holy see to utilize the latin breviary or the extraordinary form of the mass, rather the action to do so is determined as a community. what we are seeing currently i believe is the external side of an internal issue within the community which seems to have come to an impasse regarding this question. it is a sign of obedience that the FI’s are working with the Holy See so closely to resolve this. When I was discerning with them a couple years back at one of their formation houses we used both forms of the mass, and our breviaries were in english, though I have heard in Rome and other places since many different houses from differing countries gather it was not unusual to pray in Italian or latin for the sake of continuity of prayer. Though I have discerned out of the community, they still hold much respect from me and I pray Our Lady pray for and guide them through this in accordance with God’s will.

  6. The Franciscans of the Immaculate are now forbidden from celebrating the same liturgy that St. Francis of Assisi himself celebrated and loved. This is just sad and unjust. Surely some remedy short of this could have been found?

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