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The complaints of less than 1% of Franciscans of the Immaculate led to the disciplinary action? July 30, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, martyrdom, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return, Tradition.

Eponymous Flower is written by a Tancred I’ve never met and know nothing about, save that he is apparently proficient in German. As such, he frequently translates and posts articles from the German-Catholic press which are otherwise unavailable in English.  Tancred has a blockbuster translation today from the German site Katholisches, which claims that only 6, out of over 800, members of the Franciscans of the Immaculate are at the source of this conflict, and that some of those 6 have already left the order:

Six out of 800 members of the order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FI) have made a submission to the Roman Congregation for Religious. A small minority. Thus, they protested against the decision of the Order’s leadership, to use the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and to remain bi-ritual for the pastoral care of the faithful. Some of the six dissidents are now no longer in the Order, they were excluded because of disobedience and indiscipline.  [We need to understand that there is no English attribution here, so it’s not a substantiated claim, and it’s not likely it will be] It may be argued that only a pretext was sought for the Congregation of Religious to take action against the exemplary order. The radical intervention erschereckenden [looks like some German slipped through…..] shows a lack of liturgical sensibility. Only such a deficiency may explain a ham fisted methods of this magnitude, which deprives the heart of religious life for four branches with more than 100 monasteries and houses and it seems to be the opinion that the Old Rite being simply replaced by the new is desirable. Upon the disempowerment of the Founder and the imposition of a Commission is expected to prevent a reaction to this by  the Order.

If the numbers above are correct, it is amazing – and highly disturbing – that such a tiny minority (less than 1%) could cause such suffering and disruption in their own religious order. Again, the specificity and totality of the injunction made against the FFI’s ability to offer the TLM is truly unprecedented. I think Tancred makes another valid point, the FFI, always truly faithful and imminently successful, without the slightest taint of scandal, are being treated much more severely than the Legionaires of Christ, whose founder was an utter disgrace not only to the Church, but to every human virtue!  Amazing.  The highly distinguished Italian Church historian Romano Amerio points out, in Italian only, unfortunately, that this latest act is something outside the Church’s Canon Law and normal operation, and speaks to a mode of operation based not on justice and rights, but on will to power.  That might be going a bit far, but Amerio is quite close to Italian FFIs, and so may know of what he speaks.

Certainly, we don’t have many details regarding what has occurred to all the FFI’s leadership.  We know the founder and superior has been removed, but the same occurred to the FSSP and they managed to carry on rather well. In fact, the parallel’s to the infamous Protocol 1411 with regard to the FSSP are too obvious to ignore, as Tancred points out in another post (I had to switch the quoted text to italics, I am still having technical problems with this blog):


Secondly, this is the result of a small clique of embittered hostiles who’ve been given an ear in Rome, which has provoked this shakeup.  It brings to mind another shakeup more than a decade ago with Protocal 1411, which many predicted back then, would be the end of the FSSP.  Some will remember that a letter was sent from a small number of society members accusing it of being divisive, rigid and so forth[in point of fact, it was sent by 12 French priests of the Fraternity who felt the Fraternity could better serve souls by offering the Novus Ordo.  The Fraternity was, at that time, being denied the ability to operate in many French Dioceses because of their unwillingness to offer the Novus Ordo. These French members thus thought that, by offering the Novus Ordo in direct contravention of the Fraternity’s founding orientation and charism, they would win over the reluctant/hostile French bishops and be able to serve more souls.  The rest of the Fraternity strongly disagreed and the disaffected priests sought a sympathetic ear in Rome, which they found. Even though the disaffected priests “won” their case in Rome, the Fraternity hasn’t been particularly more welcomed in French dioceses, and most all of those 12 who brought this great “division” on the Fraternity – really, a division of their own making – subsequently left the Fraternity.]  which provoked a ruling down from Rome that despite the Society’s original founding charter, that its priests would only say the Mass of All Ages, that this would be overruled and priests of the Society would therto be permitted to say the Bugninine Liturgy. [At that time, the 12 priests represented about 5% of the Fraternity’s ordained priests, but they fired off a letter to Rome and that’s about all it took to have the Fraternity’s founder, Fr. Josef Bisig, removed, and a technicality added that could, potentially, require Fraternity priests to offer the Novus Ordo.  Thankfully, this potentiality has never been much tested, at least outside France.  The similarities to the FFI case are eerie, but the details are much worse.  Never was there even a threat that the Fraternity would be denied its right to offer the TLM.  But, at present, it is unclear when, if ever, the FFI will be able to regularly offer the TLM again, without special permission from possibly hostile superiors.]


At present, Father Stefano Maria Manelli, the 80 year old Franciscans of the Immaculate founder, is currently being replaced along with his board while a Capuchin visitor.  [I briefly mentioned yesterday that Capuchins are, by and large, strong supporters of the “spirit of Vatican II” and hostile towards traditional practice of the Faith.  I cannot overestimate this point, the one Capuchin I know who loves Tradition and the TLM has been all but hounded out of the order and is treated as an outcast.]


The troublemakers are said by a source known to us as being Americans who’ve been vocally critical of the “Gheradini line” of loyal criticism engaged upon by Immaculate members. [I should add that in both cases, FFI and FSSP, the mere existence of the TLM and strong adherence to Tradition was claimed by the disaffected members to be “divisive.”  That is a fascinating claim, which perhaps reveals a subtle (or overt) bias against the TLM and Tradition in general, as if such are incompatible with the “new Church.”]


———————-End Quote————————–

This last quote would appear to be a direct reference to Fr. Angelo Geiger. Certainly, he has waged a war of words against the views of Msgr. Gherardini, Dr. Romano Amerio, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and others who, in a spirit of faithful obedience, question aspects of Vatican II. It appears Fr. Geiger, if he is truly involved, has been successful in his attempts to change the direction of his religious order. Maybe, perhaps, more “successful” than was intended.








1. Marie Dean (@supertradmum) - July 30, 2013

The world is going to hell in a handbasket because of the lack of the TLM and this is allowed to happen? It is hard to be stay positive..

2. Martina - July 30, 2013

The German that slipped through is wrongly spelled (maybe it was an translation programm and this is the reason it slipped through). It is the adverb to “Mangel an” that ist “lack of” . The correct spelling in the German original is “erschreckenden”.

terrifying {adj}
alarming {adj} {pres-p}
scary {adj} [coll.]
frightening {adj}
appalling {adj}
horrifying {adj}
startling {adj}
dismaying {adj}
frighteningly {adv}
horrific {adj}
alarmingly {adv}
dismayingly {adv}
horrifyingly {adv}

3. brad - July 30, 2013

Well after Vatican II, Its was a lot worst. Suppose one day when the church removed the new mass of 1969. How many priests will leave? Would it be better allowing the priests do the TLM daily than to lose off the Mass and priests. Priests need other priests and all Masses of rites union of Vatican II. Are we going to get vocations to the priesthood by scary off the ones who have vocation? They will not join Because they did not want to change anything or go into something they dont care for. There is no reason for this.

4. JLM - July 31, 2013

Romano Amerio is the great Catholic thinker who was a peritus at the Council and wrote the masterpiece, Iota Unum. He died in the 1990’s.

You intended to refer to Roberto de Mattei, who is truly a great historian and author of the The Second Vatican Council, A Story Never Written.

5. Tancred (@sedgladium) - July 31, 2013

Thanks for the correction. I translated it as “dreadful”.

6. Tancred (@sedgladium) - July 31, 2013

A priest who claims to be a spokesman for the FI is denying the claim that only a small number of individuals were objecting. Of course, he claims he is concerned about “obedience” and “heresy” within the order as well as “Lefebvrist” sympathies, so he doesn’t sound credible to me.


tantamergo - July 31, 2013

Tancred, any spokesman is going to be part of the canonically appointed interim leadership. I remain skeptical.

Friar Roderic, FI - July 31, 2013

The spokesman is named in the article. Fr. Alfonso Bruno. He is a member of the general council and has been since at least 2009. It is time for this nonsense to stop.

7. Friar Tuck - July 31, 2013

Tancred does not have his facts straight. There are not 800 friars in the FI. There were more than six who were not happy with the manner which was used to implement the E.F. The implementation of the E.F. was done in an manner that was not in accord with the proper governance of the order. I would say that Tancred is being treated by his sources like a mushroom. They are keeping him in the dark and feeding him B.S.

tantamergo - July 31, 2013

I don’t know about that. He just translated an article from a German Catholic news site. That site is not official, as in part of the bishop’s conference or anything, but it’s sort of analagous to CNA. Probably a bit less mainstream, however. That’s what I can glean from metadata and the little German I know.

Good comments. The truth will out.

8. Friar Roderic, FI - July 31, 2013

I have an FI Annuario from 2011 in my hands, official document. There are only 350 friars, professed friars and novices. Do not trust the numbers from Tancred’s dubious sources. Why he believes his numbers are accurate and that of the spokesman from FI are not is beyond me. What are his sources?

Tancred (@sedgladium) - August 1, 2013

I trust Giuseppi Nardi and his sources, and I don’t know who you are.

I was also told by a source independently of GN that the FI has a small group of American progressivists who are the problem.

Also, Dr. Roberto Mattei, who works closely with the FI’s pro-life apostolate, also maintains that the problems is a “small group of progressive clergy”.

Yes, let the non-sense stop, by all means, but I suspect that there are far greater problems in the Church than a lack of “sentire cum ecclesia” and an attachment to the Immemorial Mass of All Ages.

LCWR, for example.

Friar Roderic, FI - August 1, 2013

The problem with the FFI and the center of the whole storm is the fact that the FFI are following Dr. Robert Mattei and Mons Gherardini. He is not at all an unbiased source, but precisely the one person who is the *most* biased on this issue. Now i see the source of your errors

9. Tancred (@sedgladium) - August 1, 2013

I think you conveniently forgot to count the Sisters, Brother….

If you bother to count the female religious, there are 800.

Thanks for playing.

Friar Roderic, FI - August 1, 2013

It is the Friars who complained and asked for intervention in the Franciscan *Friars* of the Immaculate. The sisters are a separate order with their own hierarchy and would require an entirely separate visitation to address any issues. Why not include the whole Church then your numbers will really look good. Please!! Some times it is just better to admit and retract.

tantamergo - August 1, 2013

Then why did the FFI spokesman speak of a Mother Superior as being a big part of the problem? If she’s outside the order, who cares?

I’m not trying to be dumb, or argumentative, I’m trying to understand.

You seem to follow Tancred. Just sayin.

Friar Roderic, FI - August 1, 2013

*Former* Mother Superior, but yes if someone outside your order is having too much influence then that is a problem in its self. The sisters are related, of course, as bother and sister orders, but two orders not one, different superiors, seperate decrees erecting them as pontifical institutes and with different dates than ours… and it would require different visitations and decrees of remedy.

tantamergo - August 1, 2013

Thanks for the update, Tancred!

10. Tancred (@sedgladium) - August 1, 2013

Thanks for the opportunity to address this. I think it’s clear that the Sisters are part of the same order and the intervention was directed at them as well.

I also question whether posters on the internet are really who they claim to be.

tantamergo - August 1, 2013

No, I think he’s genuine. E-mail and IP check out and make sense.

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