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Rorate has more information on the FFIs December 19, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, horror, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, shocking, the return, Tradition.

Rorate Caeli has a long post written by what they are claiming is a very inside,or well-informed, source, regarding some of the calumnious charges being made against the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and their founder, Fr. Stefano Manelli.

The post is largely in response to an article on Catholic World Report which was purported to try to “set the case straight” for English-speaking Catholics.  I did not read this article. I rarely read Catholic World Report, or any other Ignatius publication, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which, I don’t like most of their authors, aside from Anne Hendershott. But another reason is that I suspect some of the articles at CWR have an agenda aside from giving the straight facts. I have gotten the impression they frequently act as voices for various interested parties in controversial matters, but without saying so.

The Rorate piece would seem to confirm this. I’m not going to copy and paste any of the post – you can read it there, and I suggest you do. The CWR piece apparently contained, or repeated, a number of accusations made against the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate and their prior, historic administration.  This post on Rorate refutes all these allegations, drawing on materials already released in the press, but mostly from Italian sources.  It’s a lot of inside baseball, but it’s important, because the justification for the subjugation of the Franciscans hinges on these allegations against the FFIs and their previous administration.

I don’t think there is really much that is new here, other than that it is good to have confirmation of the following, for me, pretty well established facts:

  1. The amount of dissent in the order was really very small.  Even that which existed has been manipulated to appear larger than it really was.  But it appears the dissidents were very vocal and had some very influential friends.
  2. All charges of wrongdoing on the part of the prior administration appear trumped up and have been refuted already in Italian sources. Even those charges were trivial compared to what goes on in numerous other orders on a daily basis.
  3. This order is being completely crushed, and about half – or more – of the FFIs would like out of the order to try to found a new one based on the direction the order had previously taken.
  4. While there is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on, the reason the FFIs are being treated so severely has to do with their being a formerly “regular,” Novus Ordo type order which is growing and openly embracing Tradition.  I am certain their involvement in publications and conferences questioning aspects of Vatican II had much to do with the actions taken against them.

Even if one accepts all the allegations as true – and again, they have been pretty much entirely refuted, already – that doesn’t change the fact that the treatment the FFIs are receiving is unprecedented in the post-conciliar Church.  For instance, there was far, FAR more corruption, financial and moral, at the Legionnaires  of Christ than has been claimed against the FFIs, and there wasn’t even remotely the same degree of really vicious punishment administered.  But, then again, the Legionnaires had spread a lot of cash around to many influential prelates – Cardinal Sodan0 was infamous both for his refusal to acknowledge how broken Fr. Maciel’s group was, and for taking huge gobs of cash from them.  These Franciscans, truly adhering to their charism of poverty, did not have such monies to spread around, buying friends.  That could – potentially – be playing a role in this debacle.

But I think it’s mostly ideological.  The FFIs were a rebuke to many a progressive comfortably ensconced in dying religious orders.  They were openly embracing Tradition, in fits and starts.  They were growing and young.  They were…….a threat?  I hate to say it, but I have to wonder if that’s how they were perceived in certain circles.

I also wonder if Fr. Geiger is satisfied with what’s going on in his order.  I wonder if he knew how severe the – punishment? – meted out would be, or if he’s fully on board with what’s happening, now. Judging from his blog, he would seem to be.


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