Defending Fr. Volpi Against Another Calumny

The blog Rorate Caeli has leveled a new accusation against the authority of the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  In a recent post there, the blogger makes the accusation that the Apostolic Commissioner, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, with the approval of Pope Francis, has engaged in the purposeful destruction of the Institute.

The latest “evidence” shown for this is Fr. Volpi’s alleged prohibition of a yearly Christmas Novena of Masses that had been offered in one of our contemplative houses for some time previously.  The blogger quotes an unnamed source, which he claims to be one of our former seminarians.

Furthermore, according to this unnamed source the alleged prohibition of the novena has placed a financial burden on the community that threatens its very survival.  The blogger then is careful to end the piece by exhorting his readers to pray for the poor friars, especially those in this isolated friary that has been allegedly deprived of this financial help.

Please note the following facts:

Novena of Masses

The Apostolic Commissioner of the FI has never prohibited the celebration of novenas of Holy Masses because he has never questioned the merits of the practice.  Only after the departure of the previous superior in Amandola, who initiated the practice, did the new superior of the house question the Institute’s curia about the legality of the stipends collected, as to the manner of applying masses to groups of persons.  The curia quite simply indicated the general rules by which the Code of Canon Law and the decree Mos iugiter regulate the matter.

One also must take note of the manner in which the novena of Masses has been advertised on the Internet, and of the Church’s canonical norms that are designed to avoid even the slightest appearance of profit or simony.  The superior judged within his competence that it was best to discontinue the collection of stipends.  This is not an accusation against anyone else, but simply a statement as to the true reason why the practice was discontinued.

No seminarian of our Institute, as suggested by the post of Rorate Caeli, would be in a position to be aware of the details of the history of the actual deliberation of the curia.

Current Situation

The community of Amandola in the Sibillini Mountains is not “isolated,” if by this one understands that it has been marginalized or neglected by the authority of the Institute.  The Commissioner is always quite prompt in action and solicitous in regard to both material and the spiritual needs of each friar and community of the Institute.

Amandola is only isolated in the sense that such a thing would be desirable.  It is a contemplative house of the Institute and its location has been chosen for its support of a solitary life.  Those who are assigned to any of our contemplative houses are so assigned by their own request.

The members of our Institute are poor by choice, and those in contemplative communities are isolated by the nature of the contemplative vocation, but none of them are financially neglected by their superiors.

The current superior of Amandala has confirmed as of two days ago the following: “We have no material difficulties given the three confrere priests who are able provide support through the stipends they receive.”


The accusation leveled against Fr. Volpi, and by implication, against Pope Francis is a very good example of what I believe is wrong with the Catholic Internet.  This is not news.  It is gossip and calumny.  And the fact that it is gossip about very serious issues pertaining to the salvation of souls and the immediate personal welfare of persons does not make it newsworthy.  It just makes the excuse to engage in gossip more tempting.

In certain circles the reputations of Pope Francis, the Commissioner and anyone obedient to them have been destroyed by means of a concerted public campaign.  So at this point any accusation seems to have a measure of plausibility, even if it is made without tested evidence.  This is truly unfortunate and unjust.

9 thoughts on “Defending Fr. Volpi Against Another Calumny

  1. But all of this is gravely wrong and defense of the Traditional Latin Mass and Tradition do not justify it. Nothing can.

  2. Pingback: Blog dei blogs: breve rassegna web – 29 | Croce-Via

  3. I used to be part of the “Catholic” internet via an e-zine and saw clearly/fell victim to its spiritual pitfalls, especially if the venue/blog posts daily (or even more often). Some editors can justify anything at all to themselves — especially in the name of “news.”. I left it and told a few of these “faithful” around the ‘net — who so blindly border on true heresy (“Judas, do you betray Me with a kiss?”) — that they may actually be in grave spiritual danger. I hardly ever look in on the “Catholic” internet anymore, except for clergy and religious, because when some bloggers suddenly get religion, they want to veil up or fedora down. Hence, I am too tempted to say, “You’re supposed to do that in your heart for the Lord’s sake, not dress up respectfully to tear down the Church.” It’s worse than gossip, though gossip would be bad enough. It’s slander. The (especially) lay Catholic internet for the most part teaches, shares, administers very little.

  4. On behalf of the faithful who remain loyal to the church through tradition they have been treated at times unjustly and scornfully, this does not justify however some who claim to be traditionalist who behave in like manner back to the whole of the church with slanderous accusations. The only one who benefits from such a lack of charity is Satan, whose desire is division. There is a saying that states a house divided against itself can not stand, let us pray for our Church and for our brothers and sisters in the faith that we may embrace one another in Charity, Clarity,, and most of all the Truth of our Faith.

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  6. The founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, Fr. Manelli, has been vindicated. Fr. Volpi is in disgrace. The ‘rebel’ members of this traditionally Catholic order have been revealed as the true loyal sons of the Church, and the rebels are those who betrayed them and complained to Rome. Deo gratias.

    “He who laughs last…etc.”

  7. Pingback: Concerning Recent Reports from the Blogosphere on the State of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate | Mary Victrix

  8. Pingback: I FRANCESCANI DELL’IMMACOLATA E LA BLOGOSFERA « La verità sul Commissariamento dei Frati Francescani dell'Immacolata

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