The Nameless Darkness and the FI

From the usual suspect:

If, as Tosatti clearly implies it is, this information is true (which would not be shocking considering the evolution of current events), the situation of the former Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is even more suffocating than before, on a level never before seen in the Church in recent centuries (for instance, there certainly was no blacklist of dioceses incardinating as secular priests the former Jesuits after the suppression of the order in the 18th century, and in similar cases). These poor priest-friars will simply remain with no way out, other than completely abandoning the priesthood, if even the bishops willing to welcome those who want to leave the modified order are blacklisted by the highest levels in the Vatican. (Of course, if true, the bishops can still incardinate them, but are aware that they may suffer consequences) [emphasis mine].

Of course, it doesn’t matter one jot whether any of this is true because the medium by which it is delivered is the Internet.  In the brave new virtual world, it is perfectly acceptable to publish whatever comes into ones head, or to repeat whatever has bubbled over from another’s into the digital network.

The narrative is just assumed to be true and New Catholic, whoever he is, without any way of holding him accountable, will just say:  “don’t shoot the messanger.”

Yet, riding the wave of the cutting edge “reporting” of Rorate Caeli, even a “real” journalist fails to do even the least amount of due diligence before tweeting the following:

This is from someone who writes for The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal and The Spectator.  But he is just “repeating” what he read on Rorate Caeli.  Now, of course, New Catholic will deny he called the FI under commission a heretical order, but that is clearly what he meant.  Why else would a friar otherwise have no way out but to abandon the priesthood?  In fact, Rorate Caeli retweeted Schulman’s smear.

But be sure, no one will take responsibility for spreading the lie that the friars who support the Apostolic Commission are heretics, nor will anyone take responsibility for having sowed the seed of dissension and despair by suggesting that friars confronted with the duty to obey the Church in difficult circumstances will have no choice but to leave the priesthood.

The “facts” “reported” by blogs and Twitter accounts are not all the facts, my Catholic friends.  Rather, these are the “facts” that are fit to print because they fit the tint.  And this is precisely the problem that many of us have had with our Institute’s past association with groups like Rorate Caeli.

And many traditionalists wonder why their cause is not more popular today among those who have to make policy decisions.

The Internet is more often the near occasion of mortal sin (objectively speaking) than many care to admit.

Behold, brethren, the Internet beast.  We thank God for the free exchange of information, and well we should.  But here gossip becomes fact, and such a “fact” becomes a tweetable factoid, a virtual torpedo of falsehood that will continue to damage the reputation of decent people as it ripples across the twitterverse.

This kind of dissension and division within the Church, which is the fruit of falsehood and gossip, is satanic.  Tosatti blames this on those around the Holy Father, but I know for a fact, that many of these rumors originate elsewhere. Romanità knows no ideological boundaries.

This is a plague upon the Church and the Internet is its delivery system.  The Catholic blogosphere needs a purge.  We need to stop the rumor-mongering and vicious gossip.

23 thoughts on “The Nameless Darkness and the FI

  1. Ave Maria!

    Thanks Father for telling it like it is. You never fail to point out the truth. God love you for that, and may Our Lady grant you many graces!

    satan (I never capitalize him) hates the FI Friar’s mission, and will do anything to steer their beautiful family off course. It is so like him to cause such deep suspicion and trouble, within such a saintly brotherhood.

    Many FI Friars, on the outskirts, are weary of this trial, but stay prayerful and faithful to the Pope, as they should, hoping this horrible storm will pass. Pass, it shall, dear brothers…….these things are only ever caused by one source, and he is weak and a coward. Your comportment, prayers, and daily sacrifice are tested, but they will defeat him. Your winning hearts will be assured by Our good Mother’s sweet caress. She is watching, and whispering… repeating your good deeds to the close ear of her Precious Son, who knows the truth when He hears it!

    Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…


    Ave Maria!

  2. Padre, May Our Lady always smile at your Soul… Amen. I’m with the Institute in Prayer. I have gained so much from the Institute through the Spiritual Guidance of My Spiritual Father; immediate past Superior Delegate to Nigeria. As a Spiritual Son of St. Padre Pio I have being reflecting on what is Happening to Our Founding Father in similarities to What Happened to St. Padre Pio in His Life time and going by the Facts available that St. Padre Pio had Predicted this event at the Baptism of Fr. Stefano. I can only but continually entrust Him to Our Lady.
    Stefano-Mario(Pio) Adeoye

  3. I gave up Catholic blogs for Lent and am sorry I’ve fallen back into the habit of reading them again.. I check them out while drinking my morning coffee and am embarrassed to say I am not so faithful with my morning prayers. So I need to stop. Thank you for your post and God bless.

    • Your interpretation fails to take account of the context, in which RC has already many times called the appellants dissidents, progressives and judases. New Catholic believes that short of incardination in dioceses, the “refugees” will be forced to leave the priesthood, meaning that they will have no other moral choice but to leave the priesthood because a continued presence within the Institute is not an acceptable moral option.

      You impose a logic on the Schulman tweet that is contrary to textual couplet (heretical order/non-heretics): heretical why? Non-heretics why? Heretic(al) has the same logical object in both cases. They are refugees why? Because they are attempting to escape heresy-free from a heretical order. These friars attain the status of refuge precisely because they must escape a heretical order, or otherwise leave the priesthood. Logically and grammatically, the same heresy must be involved at both ends of the couplet. I am just assuming that Schulman writes at the standard that allows him to publish at The Wall Street Journal.

      I say white you say black without a logical reason why and then you drag out “cognitive dissonance” and psychological projection to distract from the lack of contextual logic.

      But hey, the tweet might be read both ways, depending arbitrary one is. I am all eyes to see a clarification from the sources.

  4. Father I have said this in the past, and I will say it again

    Whilst the affairs of the FFI are their own business, you cannot but accept that for good or ill your Congregation has become embriolled in a struggle between Traditionalists and the so called progressives.

    There are large numbers of people who given events in the Universal Church are worried that under Pope Francis the bad old days of the 70’s are coming back, there are others such as myself for whom his recent actions have caused great scandal to our Faith.

    Why not give full and unfettered access to the FFI from reliable reporters such as Fr Roderick Voughagan (SQPN network), Fr Zulsdorf (WDTPRS) and John Allen ? You would doing a great act of charity to many worried Catholics and you would not force them to rely on endevours such as Rorate for news of what is happening in the FFI.

    • Jack,

      Why would I not accept such a thing? Why would you even ask that? This is what I have been saying all along. We have become someone else’s banner and we are being waved in the wind by others who haven’t a lick to count for their investment in our lives and vocations. It is a fundamental injustice to our Institute that belongs to the Church and not to any individual or group.

      To what extent there are legitimate objective grounds for scandal can be debated and is. There is the sin of giving scandal and there is also the sin of taking scandal (Summa Theologiae II-II.43.5). Nothing is going to be resolved definitively regarding this matter short of entrusting the outcome to the Lord.

      Regardless of that, however, nothing justifies the gossip, innuendo, and sabotage against the Supreme Magisterium of the Church, especially as regards the situation of religious who have both a vow of obedience and our particular Marian Vow.

      However significant our situation seems to be for you personally that does not give you a right to be informed on the matter. It very well may be that if there was a way to open our situation to everyone, it would be evident that it really was none of anyones business in the first place.

      Unfettered access? would you give that to a set of journalists in order to investigate the inside workings of your family because some crowd thought they had a right to know what goes on? No, you would not. Furthermore, the set of journalists you mention could very well come to three very different conclusions, which would solve nothing.

      Charity for your worries? You don’t think the friars on both sides of the issue are worried—that it has not been an agony for everyone in the Institute? Why don’t you all mind your own business—at least as much as it regards gossip, unconfirmed allegations and private communications.

      RC, Magister, and de Mattei keep saying the Institute has been destroyed. They don’t know what they are talking about. We are living the same life we have been for more than twenty-five years, in terms of the legislation for our Institute that has been approved by the Church. The only things that are in play are those that have never been ecclesiastically approved.

      I repeat, these people simply do not know what thy are talking about, and their clear motives have nothing to do essentially with our welfare. Before the TLM became an issue within our Institute 99% percent of those who are now jumping up and down would not have given us the time of day.

      This is not about you. Please, mind your own business.

      • Instead of deleting what I wrote in the comment immediately above, which is already out there, I apologize for my tone. There is a great deal of anguish in the Institute for many reasons. The agitators are not helping. Either a religious institute resolves it problems in a fully ecclesial manner or it does not resolve it problems at all. The Church belongs to Christ.

  5. Dear Father Angelo

    Allow me to make a secular analogy (however flawed)

    A Business is set up to cater to a market that is rapidly diminishing and the companies operating in that market are in financial decline due to not meeting the needs of consumers, That business is wildley sucessful and grows exponentially, hires many more employees (read this as the founding and growth of the FI, in an increasingly secular environment, where and the vocations to it whilst other congregations are dissapearing).

    Then after 40 years the head of the businesses parent company without any apparent reason sacks the CEO, legally silences him and installs a new CEO who closes profitable branches, puts on hold promotions and turfs out good and loyal employees before their contacts are due to become perminant (read this is the dismissal and house arrest of your Founder, the installation of Father Fidenzio Volpi O.F.M, the supresssion of the Traditional Latin Mass, the Closure of FI religious houses, the suspension of ordinations and members of the FI in temporary vows being sumerially dismissed ).

    Now all of this is within the rights of the Holy Father and his appointned Commsissionr, however the question inevitiably arrises why? the FI are known internationally for their Orhtodoxy, their adherence to the Faith of the Church and the sanctity of their founder. The only case in the last 20 years (at least) where the founder of a Religious Congregation has been dethroned by the See of Peter is Fr. Marciel, Marciel when it become apparent that he had lead a double life and had used his congregation’s constitutions and money to hide said double life from the rest of the word, including the Pope.

    As you will no doubt have noticed there are many people who are dissatisfied with the official version of events and are worried that Fr. Volpi is abusing the vow of obedience in order to silence anyone who disents from the mondernist agenda that has seen congregation after congregation ‘re-educated’ into dissolution, especially since reports have surfaced of Firars who are uncomfortable, to say the least with the Commisionor’s actions.

    Now you have accused Rorate amongst others of being rumor mongers and publishing unsubstantiated claims, As someone with a professional background in public relations let me give a lesson; to quash a rumor, especially one where there is the potential involement of the skullduggery of internal pollitics; you need an investigation by a TRUSTED independent source, and with all due respect the trad community at large regards any un/official FI News source as tainted. I suggested that two Priests and one laymen who are both Orthordox and trusted amongst the Orthodox / Traditional Catholic community as fair and objective reporters be given free reign to conduct inteviews with the Friars without oversight by their superiors which could be published in their respective forums (Fr Voughagen’s Podcast network, Fr Zulsdorf’s blog and the Catholic newspapers that Mr Allen writes for).

    I appreciate that this is a sensitive time for the community and that you don’t want any dirty laundrey that may exist to be aired in public, unfortunately whatever the circumstances, and whoever’s fault it is; the genie is out of the bottle, the horse has well and truely bolted, large sections of the Ecchlesial family are worried that a conspiracy exists and that they will be its next victims, simply becuase they give a damm about being faithful to the Church, they might not have the ‘right’ to be informed of the facts, but what sort of person puts his brother thorugh needless worry when he has the means to allivieate it? why not show that there is nothing untoward ? Show yourself to be above the ‘rumor mongers’ at Rorate and allow objective outsiders in to report.

    How do you show that no conspiracy exists? Easy you let people whom the conspiracy theorists (for want of a better term) trust to go in and show that there is no conspiracy,

    I will part by adapting a quote from the Return of the King, “Not until now have I understood the tragedy of the SSPX, The Sedevacantists and the Conclavists, as wicked fools I scorned them, but now I pity them at last.

    • [Now all of this is within the rights of the Holy Father and his appointned Commsissionr, ]

      Absolutely correct.

      Here’s another ‘conspiracy theory…A very old one at that….

      “Did God really tell you……?” (Genesis 3:1)

      What’s the difference between succumbing to the cunning tactics of the devil then and now? Nothing. Distrust in lawful authority, lack of love for Fathers, fear of not having (lust of material goods; spiritual and temporal).
      It all comes down to self-will.

      Those who do not place their complete, COMPLETE!, trust in what God ordains is doomed to fall and separate themselves from the love of God.

      Jesus gives the keys of heaven to Peter and says, “he who hears you hears Me.”
      Listen to the Pope!

      [There is no self-will in heaven. Practice self-abandonment now.] 🙂

      Ave Maria!

      • Well you astound me with your amazing ability to read my soul from ‘wherever you reside’

        Well I guess I get my distrust of authority / father figures / God from my dad……………. ya see he was never around, even before he decided he liked an agency nurse more than me mam, also the fact that God made me autistic …………. not so big on the whole ‘abandonment’ theory. I’ll reconsider if / when he starts giving me hugs instead of ignoring me

        and no I will not listen to a Pope who invites our sworn enemies (muslims) into the vatican and seems to go around destroying the faith with every prenouncement he makes. I hate to break it to the ultramontanists amongt us; but the pope can screw up, not every proenouncement / action he makes cometh from the Holy Spirit


  6. Pingback: Naught for Your Comfort | Mary Victrix

  7. Jack…

    My comment was merely to show the relationship between the workings of Satan, the first ‘Conspirator’, in Genesis and the response the traditionalists (and modernists, if I might add) are engaging in at present.

    Satan’s tactics are the same in either case…In all cases….He casts doubt in the hearts and minds of God’s children. That doubt, if embraced turns into fear, disobedience, self-will, loss of God!!

    If you would like to see a New Testament example:
    St. Peter’said doubt and St. Jude”s doubt. They both experience fear, loss of love for Jesus; but Peter runs into the arms of the Holy Mother and repents. Judea runs away into the desert, has no repentance (like Adam and Eve) loses his life, spiritually and temporally. Pay attention to the gardens and the deserts in the bible.

    Jack….finally, I might add, that your response was entirely inappropriate, and does the traditionalits you represent a great discredit.

    God bless!

  8. I meant to type: “St. Peter’s doubt and Judas’ doubt…” (above)
    (Samsung Androids have awful spellcheck!)

    Addendum to my last post:

    For some time now I have been reading trad posts on Facebook, and watching the news media post outlandish ‘facts’, (propaganda soundbites), about how the upcoming Family Synod is going to change Church’s doctrines on marriage, divorce, who can receive Holy Communion. I believed what I heard and fear has most definitely entered my soul, heart, mind. Both my husband and I said we’d leave the Church if this nonsense does prevail. And no sooner did I express my intent to do this I felt a great negativity pervade my soul. I have become bitter, doubtful, resentful of my Shepherds not taking more of a stand to deny these fallacies…This feeling has not gone away,…
    Someone I know told me, “this preoccupation of yours is unhealthy”. He is right to say so.
    I was prepared to leave the Garden for the desert!!!! There’s only temptation and death in the desert….unless, and only unless, in the desert there is union with God in prayer, like Christ before us.

    In the Garden of Paradise:
    “Satan the most cunning of all God’s creatures said, “Did God really say?”……”

    Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane:
    “Watch and pray that you may not fall into temptation.”

    There is chaos and great pain in Holy Mother Church because we are listening to Satan’s words I stead of Christ’s!!!

    I’m saying this as a Catholic friend. No polemics intended. Please pray for me…


  9. Ave Maria
    dont want to say much… but ave been reading and following Fr Angelo… to be honest,, as a catholic am scandalized at what’s happening in the F.F.I… those priest or friars who complained, or went to the Holy see.. to me.. am disappointed in them. i remember when St Fransis started the O.F.M..some friars who wanted to live lax life in the friary also didn’t want the hard life and complained to St Francis…… remember our Lord said in the Gospel.. before you build a house its better you check the cost and know if you can finish the building lest people will say you started building and cannot finish…. truth is truth and like St Augustine said.. Truth is like a lion.. you don’t need to defend it, just release it and it will defend itself. time will reveal the truth…We live in a generation were there is no more faith but sentiments and passion…. remember the two children of Noah.. one who revealed the fathers nakedness and the other who respectfully hid and covered it.. the other was coursed,while the one who covered it was blessed… so be it
    The holy mother church is suffering so much from the pains her own children inflict on her… priest. bishops. laity.. l weep almost every time for her.
    The Gospel says that every thing that is hidden will be open and every secret will be exposed..Amen. so be it.

  10. +JMJ+
    Ave Maria!
    Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
    Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
    God Bless!

  11. Letting reporters in to cover the FFI “from within” for transparency’s sake is ultimately a selfish request, regardless of whatever higher purpose that might be attached to it. What business is it of ours, really? Is the tussel within really a scandal to you… you personally? The history of the Church is rife with worse, and yet we are all still here huddling faithfully around Her. There is a process underway. Exercise some more patience– that forgotten virtue in this ridiculous, moment-to-moment age of information and blather– and wait for the bottom line to be reached and revealed in good time.At that juncture if some discussion ensues, then sobeit. However, skirmish lines and engagements over this in the cyberzone along the way only make things worse. There is scandal in that. Pray God’s Will is done and just stand down till the process runs its course.

    God save us from ourselves.

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