Here is an update about the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. As you know, the Holy See engaged in a “take over” of the group after there was some division over liturgical matters. HERE
At a site of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, HERE.
Here is the first part:
On 02 August 2013, the website vaticaninsider.lastampa.it published an article entitled «Lombardi: “Sulla Messa in latino il Papa non contraddice Ratzinger“» (Lombardi: on the Latin Mass the Pope does not contradict Ratzinger), signed “editorial staff”. [translator's note: since this Italian article was not published with an English translation, the translations of it are ours.]
This article, after reporting the statements of Fr. Lombardi, who takes the same line we already had, contains calumnious statements against our Founder, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, statements that we feel the duty to reject. In the same article there is also untrue or imprecise information to which we wish to draw attention.
1) In regard to the assignment of a Commissioner for our Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the anonymous journalist writes (our bold):
“The decision of Pope Bergoglio—against which some traditionalist groups rose up, and which the religious instead immediately accepted—was motivated by the fact that the founder and general superior, Fr. Stefano Manelli, had imposed on all the communities of the Franciscans of the Immaculate the exclusive use of the extraordinary form of the liturgy, i.e., the old rite.”
The phrase we have highlighted in bold does not at all correspond to the truth.
It is our duty to respond, with knowledge and in conscience, that in reality, Fr. Stefano not only has never imposed on all the F.I. communities the use—much less the exclusive use—of the Vetus Ordo, but he does not even want it to become the exclusive use, and he has personally given the example, celebrating everywhere according to the one and the other Ordo.
It is well to know that before, during, and after the Apostolic Visit (July 2012–July 2013), as well as at present, the exclusive orprioritized use of the greater part of the F.F.I. Communities is the Novus Ordo (Holy Mass and Breviary).
Fr. Stefano Manelli, as Minister General, together with his General Council, legitimately undertook an effort to promote the Vetus Ordo, respecting the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007), respecting the decisions of our General Chapter of 2008, and respecting the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (2011).
With a letter, Prot. 77/2011, dated 21 Nov 2011, our General Secretary, in the name of our General Council, sent all the F.F.I. Marian Houses (Friaries), some indicative (not preceptive!) norms regarding the use of the Vetus Ordo and the harmony between the Vetus Ordo and the Novus Ordo in our Communities and our Institute.
After this letter, various communities peacefully continued to give pride of place to the Vetus or the Novus Ordo. So there was no imposition on the part of Fr. Manelli.
Some Friars, however, contested the aforesaid letter. Therefore, we consulted the Pontificial Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, which with a R e s c r i p t of 14 Apr 2012, Prot. 39/2011L, found conformity between this letter (Prot. 77/2011) and the “mens” of Holy Father Benedict XVI, expressed in the already-mentioned Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n° 8a.
And there is this from Mary Victrix:
Having learned of the online petition organized by the website of the Association “Corrispondenza Romana” in order to gather signatures to be presented to the Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life against the Decree of 11 July 2013 (Prot. 52741/2012), after having already expressed its position several times and after having released the official communication of its Father Founder, the Religious Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate REAFFIRMS its obedience to the dispositions of the Holy Father, DECLARES that it will have NOTHING TO DO with the initiative of the aforesaid website or any like initiative, past or future, REJECTS any attempt to use a matter internal to the Institute to attack the Pope and the Catholic Hierarchy, and APPEALS TO ALL to maintain SILENCE, RESPECT AND PRAYER regarding the matter, in order to allow the competent authorities to carry out their task in peace for the good of the Church and of the Institute.
In Corde Matris
Fr. Rosario M. Sammarco, fi
Encharged of the Institutional Website of the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate