jump to navigation

Italian court orders release of $45 million worth of assets back to lay association of Franciscans of the Immaculate July 2, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, It's all about the $$$, Papa, persecution, religious, scandals, shocking, Spiritual Warfare, the return, the struggle for the Church.

Well…….yet another of the alleged justifications for the deliberate, premeditated destruction of this order has evaporated into the ether.  The only vague accusation still standing was the ostensible “drift” towards a too close embrace of the traditional Mass and the traditional practice of religious life. That’s what this brutal intervention has been about all along.

An Italian court has ordered the assets of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate stripped from the lay association that administered them restored to the group, after finding claims of financial irregularities were patently false (and if that happens in Italy, where “justice” is heavily biased in favor of the prosecution, you know there was really nothing to these baseless accusations):

The Court of Avellino has ordered the release of the property that belongs to the lay associations  that are close to the Order of the Franciscan Friars of the ImmaculateThus, another of the accusations bandied about in recent years dissolves into nothingness, spread against the founder and Superior General, Father Stefano Manelli  who was deposed by the Vatican.

The property had been seized at the direction of the late Apostolic Commissioner, Father Fidenzio Volpi, by the district attorney of Avellino. As the traditional Order was placed under provisional administration in Summer 2013, the Commissioner and the leadership of the rebels  realized that the  properties are not in the direct possession of the Order, but belong to the lay associations connected to the Order.

Thus, the Apostolic Commissioner did not have direct access to the property. Nevertheless, in order to lay hands on it, there were accusations of alleged  irregular transfers of assets. Alleged irregularities have been named in the past two years as the reason why the provisional administration was ordered by Rome. Officially there are no grounds for radical intervention in the life of the Order were announced by the Vatican to this day. [That’s true, Rome hasn’t ever stated why this draconian intervention was necessary, all justifications have come from Fr. Volpi or his hand-picked man drawn from among the handful of disaffected friars, Fr. Angelo Bruno]

The  judicial panel has now established that there were no irregularities  present and ordered the release of the seized real estate assets worth around 30 million euros. [Now that the damage has been done. How do they get their good names back?]

Commissioner Volpi’s actions were directed against the  lay organizations related to the Order, the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (MIM) and the Third Order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (TOFI). There are thousands of believers organized in these these worldwide and connected to the Order.

Just yesterday the appointment of a new Apostolic Commissioner for the Order became known. With the approval of Pope Francis the Congregation of Religious appointed the Salesian, Fr Sabino Ardito, to succeed Father Volpi. [Anyone know anything about him?  I’d say as an Italian Salesian, it’s not a terribly reassuring sign, but both he and the two coadjutors appointed are canon lawyers, which may help prevent the lawlessness of the previous administrator?]  The canonist Ardito will lead the fortunes of the Order for the time being until the summer of 2016. Then the three-year period of a regular provisional administration will be finished. The provisional administration could then, however, be extended on a proposal from the Commissioner.

Lord I pray not. May this poor tortured order be freed!  But what happens to Fr. Manelli if the apostolic intervention is allowed to expire?  I imagine it will be felt that cannot be allowed to happen, and there will be attempts to extend the intervention at least until his death.  He is in his mid-80s and not in the best of health, but I hope our Lord keeps him around for many years to come.

Why has all this happened, now that all the justifications have fallen away?  There was never rife division in the order, the vast majority were fully in favor of the order’s somewhat traditional turn.  I have always felt this brutal breaking of the order stems from their having the temerity to hold conferences and publish books asking uncomfortable questions of Vatican II.  The American friar who certainly seemed to be the intellectual leader of the small group of disaffected friars made that much clear – his own book was more or less a polemical attack on those questioning efforts.  Ultimately, though, I have a hard time seeing this much hostility being just about questioning the Council.  It’s long seemed to me there is something a bit deeper, a bit uglier in the brutality we’ve seen against an order of unimpeachable integrity.  This is, and always has been, personal.

Of course, to the progressive, the personal is the political and deviating from their sacred shibboleths is taken as a personal attack.  So maybe that’s just how things roll in the merciful Church of today.


1. S. Armaticus - July 2, 2015

Man oh man, the Order of Friars Minor could have used that cash.


And on an aside, I am certain that Abp. José (“Call me Pepe”) Rodríguez Carballo is relieved that justice has been done.

2. Magdalen - July 2, 2015

There never was any legitimate accusation at all. The disaffected friars did not leave the Institute and, like ‘liberal’ ‘c’atholics, preferred to stay within causing division and trouble because they wanted things their own way. They were and are disobedient to their vows. The HOLY founder will yet be exonerated. And that holy one knew who his judases were but, like Christ, continued to love them as sons. They betrayed their father founder. And now they can see if they can get the canonists to take their side; it may not be so easy as with the former commissar. ONE DAY all will be restored but it may not be under this pontificate but in the renewal of the Church in the time to come.

3. TG - July 2, 2015

In St. Padre Pio’s day when he was persecuted, the laity came to his defense. May St. Pio intercede for them.

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: