The FI’s and Pope Francis: Two Updates

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.

Update 1:

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.

Update 2:

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.

Advertisements

The Franciscan Papacy: Rebuilding or Demolition?

The life of St. Francis is subject to much sentimental hype because of his love for creation and his identification with the poor.  The saccharine images on holy cards and sculptures in gardens don’t help the matter.  And Zeffirelli’s hippie-revolutionary film version of the saint is positively infuriating.  Pope Francis seems be subject to the same kind of misinterpretaion.

The media and the Catholic propagandists on the left and the right will continue to mythologize about St. Francis and Pope Francis’ selection of the name.  The pope himself has said the reason for the choice of name has to do with “peace” and “poverty.”  Oh, those two words: two little threads out of which the propagandists will weave a rope to hang us all with.  Sandro Magister puts it well:

In the pseudo-Franciscan and pauperist mythology that in these days so many are applying to the new pope, imagination runs to a Church that would renounce power, structures, and wealth and make itself purely spiritual.

But it is not for this that the saint of Assisi lived. In the dream of Pope Innocent III painted by Giotto, Francis is not  demolishing the Church, but carrying it on his shoulders. And it is the Church of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the bishop of Rome, at that time recently restored and decorated lavishly, but made ugly by the sins of its men, who had to be purified. It was a few followers of Francis who fell into spiritualism and heresy. Continue reading

A Time for Faith

With the stunning announcement of the Holy Father’s resignation to take place on February 28, the speculation will begin as to his successor will be and as to the direction the new pontificate will take.  Of particular interest to me is the “hermeneutic of continuity” of Pope Benedict in respect to the Second Vatican Council.  This is a hot issue at the very moment the Holy Father announces his resignation.

The Holy Father’s appeal to a renewal of faith based on the proper assimilation of the texts of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church is being rejected, in very the name of the faith, in favor of some “more faithful” and “holier” version of Catholicism.   In fact, this is the appeal of traditionalism:  it represents a more vital commitment to the faith than can even be mustered by the Vicar of Christ.  I am sure we will witness from the traditionalists the hope and prophecy of a more “dogmatic” papacy.

Wait for a much louder drum beating.  It is coming. Continue reading