UPDATE on Franciscans Friar of the Immaculate

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 letterProt. 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 2012Prot. 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

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27 Responses to UPDATE on Franciscans Friar of the Immaculate

  1. Legisperitus says:

    I had something to say, but should I in the face of an appeal for silence?

  2. mamajen says:

    Only slightly on topic, but I really really hate it when people refer to Pope Francis as Pope Bergoglio (or worse, just Bergoglio). It strikes me as very disrespectful, and I tend not to trust the motives of people who do so.

    [What you may not know is that in Italian it is normal to refer to Papa Roncalli, Papa Montini, Papa Luciani, Papa Wojtyla, Papa Ratzinger…. It isn’t as disrespectful as you might imagine.]

  3. James C says:

    If it wasn’t clear already, this shows how the FFI is an order as loyal to the pope as any, which makes the iron hammer which so swiftly came down upon them (instead of, say, LCWR orders or the Jesuits!) particularly ironic.

  4. Patrick-K says:

    It seems like the only people complaining about this are people who don’t actually belong to the order.

  5. James C says:

    Mamajen,

    In Italian parlance, it means no disrespect. There was “Papa Ratzinger” and “Papa Wojtyla” and “Papa Luciani” and “Papa Montini” and “Papa Roncalli” and “Papa Pacelli”, etc.

    But you’re right, be more wary if a non-Italian routinely refers to the Holy Father as “Bergoglio”.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    Papa Bergoglio, etc., is fine in Italian, but it does sound disrespectful in English. Translators should just retain the Italian in such cases.

  7. mamajen says:

    Okay, I stand corrected. I am not at all familiar with Italian culture, so thank you Father Z, and everyone else who chimed in.

  8. robtbrown says:

    Geoffrey says:

    Papa Bergoglio, etc., is fine in Italian, bu,.t it does sound disrespectful in English.

    I don’t think it sounds disrespectful.

  9. I say this cautiously, considering the Franciscans asked for less boisterous complains, but I’m honestly baffled by the decree. In matters of complex theology you always have to look behind to curtain at the underlying theological views that inform such documents. If you do that with Summorum Pontificum, and compare it to Cardinal Ratzinger’s writings prior to his pontificate, I think it becomes pretty apparent that the reasoning behind his so-called ‘liberality’ of allowing Priests to make use of the Missal of John XXIII whenever they wish when laymen are absent has less to do with a legal provision and more to do with the internal logic of the teaching that the two Missals form one Roman Rite. Similar reasoning has been advanced by Fr. Z here on this blog before, with which I whole-heartedly agree. Essentially, Benedictine theology is as follows:

    1) The two Missals of necessity are each Forms of one Roman Rite, or else the Apostolic See has replaced an organically-developed Rite with a constructed one and mandated it for the Western Church while simultaneously interdicting the organic Rite, which would be unthinkable.

    2) If the two Missals are each Forms of the Roman Rite, and if all Priests of the Western Church have the duty and obligation to offer Mass according to the Roman Rite while promoting and preserving it whole and inviolate, then it follows moreover that both Missals must never be the subject of interdiction at all. If one or the other were interdicted while remaining Forms of the Roman Rite, that would in effect be interdicting the Roman Rite, and preventing Priests of the Western Church from praying their proper Rite, which is unreasonable and unjust.

    Based on this reasoning and these principles, which seem obvious in Benedict’s thought, both as Cardinal Ratzinger and as the Supreme Pontiff, how can we make sense of the decree from Pope Francis? The very act of interdicting *a Form of the Roman Rite* seems completely incongruous with the Benedictine thought laid out above, and seems to return to an ‘Ecclesia Dei mentality’ proper to John Paul II’s pontificate which views the Missal of John XXIII as something to be allowed provisionally and by permission only. It would seem that this logic is flatly contradictory to the reasoning that underlies Summorum Pontificum; namely, that the Roman Rite should be available to all Priests of the Western Church, period, and which may not be taken away from them without injustice.

    Bottom line: one should never need permission to say the traditional Latin Mass, or else the idea of it as the Roman Rite and proper to the West has been lost.

  10. Chrissin says:

    Can I say- Let’s make A MESS!!!
    Francis provoked the crowds at WYD with the call to “make a mess”. Letters, protests, witness, stand up and speak out and make a mess- for the FFI and the Mass of Ages, for what we love, and profess, and live.
    Why now silence?

  11. Fool_for_Christ says:

    Chrissin – Yes, the Pope commanded the youth to shake things up (for Christ and His Church, of course), even if it is displeasing to the local Bishops. Many of the folks going to the Vetus Ordo Mass are young. Ergo…

    I believe that the FFI’s, if they are going to be able to celebrate the EF in full communion with the Church have to pass through this hurdle and have to dissociate from petitions, etc. because it might be construed as something coming from their initiative or with their support. Obviously we the faithful are in a different position and can rightly (IMHO) petition (after saying a couple of Rosaries, of course).

    I posted this elsewhere, but thought it might be of interest here as well. I found this link with a chronology useful: Before the Decree…. This is coming from the contemplative branch of the FFI which has been peacefully using the Vetus Ordo for both the Mass and chanting the Vetus Ordo Breviary basically since the Summorum pontificum.

    The big question is if the obedient friars who request the EF will be readily granted it or not. If not, that is a very bad sign (both for them, as this will not help their situation at all, and more importantly for the Church). Time will tell and our prayers must continue.

  12. Phil_NL says:

    This shows how hard it is to comment on matters monastic. By the very nature of the communities, it’s highly unlikely that all relevant information comes out in the open, especially if many feel this is an internal matter. And you can’t blame them for that.

    That said, it would be ironic indeed if the Vatican would have used heavy artillery (and they did, so much we know) if this was merely about the form of Mass. As James C says, there would be other battles where you’d sooner expect that.
    However, looking at this article, and especially the line “Some Friars, however, contested the aforesaid letter. ” It might very well have been a matter of hierarchy or obedience that lies at the root of the problem, especially if the latter, as the statement says, did not prescribe anything. And from the perspective of internal rumblings over authority (and again, we have no real way of knowing what’s going on) it all – including the Pope’s swift action, as well as an appeal for outsiders to to interfere – would suddenly make a lot more sense.

    Which is not to say that everything coming from Rome has to make sense all the time, but I rather labor under the assumption that it does untill proven otherwise.

  13. Phil_NL says:

    letter, not latter in the sixth line from the bottom….

  14. Fool_for_Christ says:

    My link to the chronology didn’t work :-(

    Let me try again: Before the Decree…

  15. anilwang says:

    “…REJECTS any attempt to use a matter internal to the Institute to attack the Pope and the Catholic Hierarchy”

    I haven’t read the survey, but petitioning to reinstate TLM an an option according to UE and SP is so far from being an attack as to be laughable. The “remedy” to the “conflict” is so out of proportion as to be an injustice, especially as a first attempt at resolution. The comments about about insisting that both Ordos only reinforces the injustice. There needs to be respectful push back, expecially given the mandate by the Pope to make a mess.

    If the Vatican II generation had pushed back, TLM would still be common, even as the NO was rolled out, as was the case with the Agatha Christie exception. And if there was such a pushback and Pope Paul VI still insisted that NO be the main mass everywhere, that pushback would have ensured that Vatican II abuses would not have been tolerated, and the typical NO would have been as reverent as Vatican II called for (with altar rails, Gregorian Chant, communion on the tongue, ad orientum, etc).

    I say press on with the petition. We would be negligent not to.

  16. paulbailes says:

    Dear Anilwang

    Re the Vatican II “pushback” you wanted, there was and remains one – called the “SSPX”. If more people supported the SSPX and its aims (including by priests not offering the NOM and laity not assisting at the NOM), the world would now be the much better place you envision

    Cheers
    Paul.

  17. sw85 says:

    @Phil_NL,

    “This shows how hard it is to comment on matters monastic. By the very nature of the communities, it’s highly unlikely that all relevant information comes out in the open, especially if many feel this is an internal matter. And you can’t blame them for that.”

    Bingo. More importantly, religious priests don’t operate the same way secular ones do, and religious brothers have different spiritual needs than do laity. We do wrong by attempting to understand all this in the paradigm of our experience as lay Catholics.

    I’m a big, big fan of the TLM, but let’s keep a few things in perspective:

    1) These guys are FRANCISCANS. Fraternity is their charism. Whatever threatens fraternity threatens their integrity as Franciscans. If “NO vs. TLM” is a point of friction than jettisoning the TLM, even temporarily, is a logical solution. Because the TLM is “extraordinary” and the NO is “ordinary.”

    2) Why might the TLM provoke friction among Franciscans? Recall that the TLM as we see it celebrated is alien to the Franciscan patrimony. The TLM itself is based on the old Franciscan Seraphic Missal but the Franciscans themselves never, to my knowledge, widely celebrated it, instead celebrating the Seraphic Mass until 1970 and the NO thereafter. The Seraphic Mass was a lot like the TLM but “watered down,” in a sense, to promote fraternity. E.g., the chants and hymns I’m given to understand were much simpler, communion was normatively given on the hand, etc. In other words, it was less rigorously clerical than the TLM.

    Now I happen to think the “clericalism” of the TLM (such as it is) is a good thing insofar as it represents very forcefully the ontological value of the priesthood. But can you see how this would be a bad thing for Franciscans whose main value is fraternity, and who value it to such an extent that their priests are “Brothers” before they are “Fathers”?

    3) The actual solution given by the Vatican seems to me pretty mild, essentially forcing a “reboot” to day 1 of Summorum Pontificum. Which is to say, I think it’s reasonable that permission will be given for FFI priests to continue celebrating the TLM *for the laity* in those parishes where they have been asked to do so. What will change is that the TLM will no longer be (widely) celebrated *for conventual Masses.* We have no business intruding in how Franciscans celebrate their conventual Masses, do we?

  18. greasemonkey says:

    I think if one starts making a “Holy Stir / Ruckus” regarding the liturgy, one may find themselves limited to “one missal” rather than the other!

  19. sw85 says:

    @anilwang,

    “The “remedy” to the “conflict” is so out of proportion as to be an injustice, especially as a first attempt at resolution.”

    An injustice to whom? Franciscans themselves are sworn to obedience, so it cannot possibly be unjust to expect them to abide by that vow, is it? I can agree that it’s maybe imprudent to make the laity who depend on the FFI for the satisfaction of their “legitimate aspirations” to see the TLM celebrated the victim of a solution to an internecine squabble, but on the other hand, the FFI doesn’t exist primarily to serve the laity. The fraternity of their order comes first. And whenever religious are allowed to serve a parish, there is an at-least implicit agreement that the parish and bishop both will respect the terms on which the order has “lent” them that religious.

  20. wolfeken says:

    sw85 concluded his 9:24 post with: “We have no business intruding in how Franciscans celebrate their conventual Masses, do we?”

    No. That is the job of the superior general. Or, in this case, if the superior general favors the traditional Latin Mass, apparently someone else who is sent in to effectively replace the superior general.

    The good news is that if the Franciscans can split off a zillion times since 1209, they can split off a zillion and one times. (Well, unless there is a new special rule that says out of the entire Catholic Church only this particular order cannot split off.)

  21. LeighAnna says:

    I’m with JonathanCatholic: “Bottom line: one should never need permission to say the traditional Latin Mass, or else the idea of it as the Roman Rite and proper to the West has been lost.”

  22. The Masked Chicken says:

    “These guys are FRANCISCANS. Fraternity is their charism. Whatever threatens fraternity threatens their integrity as Franciscans. If “NO vs. TLM” is a point of friction than jettisoning the TLM, even temporarily, is a logical solution. Because the TLM is “extraordinary” and the NO is “ordinary.”

    All of the Franciscans took a vow of obedience. What the heck good is the vow if you just complain up the chain-of-command if you don’t like an order? As St. Teresa of Avila said in the Way of Perfection, chapter 18, “It is into this obedience that you must put the most effort; and, in my opinion, where there is no obedience there are no nuns.”

    “In obedience a Franciscan not only promises to obey his legitimate superiors in the Order in everything that is explicitly contained in the Rule and Norms of the community, but also obliges himself to do whatsoever the superior might command him so long as it is something good and licit. By this vow, the Franciscan religious obtains a childlike purity of heart which makes him pleasing to God and offers God the greatest of all sacrifices, that of his entire free will.”

    http://www.franciscan-archive.org/franciscana/franvoc.html

    Make no mistake, I think this is a misstep by the Vatican, if I under stand the situation correctly (but, given all of the soft-peddling, who can say). The superior issued a lawful order, which wasn’t even prescriptive, merely suggestive. It should have been obeyed, since it did not counsel something immoral. The adage is, as St. Teresa told her nuns, “obey, and if God doesn’t like it, he’ll change the mind of the legislator.” I am very angry at the blog-posters who instigated this. It was uncharitable and, in my opinion, an implicit violation of their vow of obedience. St. Francis would not have been pleased. He expected his monks to obey.

    [Caveat: I only know what I read about the situation, so, there is a possibility that you just wasted your time reading this comment, but, at least I kept you away from the jelly donuts for five minutes :)]

    The Chicken

  23. anilwang says:

    paulbailes says: “the Vatican II ‘pushback’ you wanted, there was and remains one – called the ‘SSPX'”

    Sorry but the SSPX is no solution. Leaving the wolves to attack the flock and then giving credence to the liberals by agreeing that Vatican II mandated rupture, only legitimizes the “Spirit of Vatican II”. A true Catholic stays within the Church to fix the Church.

    sw85 says: “An injustice to whom? Franciscans themselves are sworn to obedience”

    Of course they would have to submit. They would have to submit even if all priests celibrating TLM were required to sleep in pig dung and all NO priests were required to sleep in luxury beds. That’s not the point.

    There are at least three injustices.
    (1) The priests celibrating TLM have been defamed and punished, even though as the above states, both ordos were celibrated in accordance to UE and SP. They were not even given a warning to “make peace” or “ordered to celibrate both ordos”.
    (2) The faithful at their masses no longer have access to TLM.
    (3) There are no private judgements. This has a chilling effect on all other TLM masses and we are aleady seeing propaganda that TLM is only for reconciled SSPX communities like the FSSP and propaganda that anyone celibrating TLM can lose their “privileges” with no warning and no appeal.

  24. Fool_for_Christ says:

    This just posted on the Vatican Insider. It is an interview with the FFI’s official spokesperson (I’m sure Fr. Z will post it, but until then…):

    Minority within Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate wanted to scrap the Old Mass

    andrea tornielli
    vatican city

    The decision to appoint a commissioner to oversee the Congregation of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the need for the order to obtain authorisation before it can celebrate Mass according to the Old Rite has sparked a heated debate. Traditionalist blogs and websites have voiced disagreements over this. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi says the decision does not go against Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio but is exclusively to do with existing tensions within the Institute. Vatican Insider asked Fr. Alessandro Apollonio, the Procurator General of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to answer some questions regarding the decision.

    Why did the Vatican decide to send an apostolic visitor to your Institute?

    “Because a few of the friars who don’t agree with the founding Father and Minister general’s style asked for it. They also disagree with his eagerness to promote the Vetus Ordo within the Institute, alongside the Novus Ordo, in accordance with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.”

    To what extent did the issue of the use of the old missal influence the decision to send an apostolic visitor?

    “It had a big influence on the decision because the group of friars I mentioned before accused the founding Father of imposing the Vetus Ordo on the whole Institute. Although the accusation is completely unfounded, people believed it and our attempts to prove it was false proved futile. This false accusation has spread like an oil slick, with various newspapers and news agencies passing it on. This has seriously harmed the good name of the Institute’s founding Father.”

    Traditionalist blogs and websites have reacted to this news – and to the decision that prior authorisation will have to be obtained before the Institute can celebrate Mass according to the Old Rite – by saying that these decisions disavow Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio. Do you agree with this interpretation? What can you say about these decisions?

    “Fr. Lombardi has clearly stated that the decisions taken regarding our Institute are not a disavowal of the Motu Proprio. However, we are still waiting for an authentic interpretation of the Holy See’s liturgical provisions for our Institute. For example, it is still unclear who exactly the “competent authorities” who will give the aforementioned authorization, are. Will it be the commissioner, the Congregation for Religious, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the local ordinary, one of these or all of these? We hope this is just a temporary disciplinary provision and that we will soon be given authorisation to celebrate according to the Vetus Ordo also, as we have always done. Without all the current restrictions which – unless a better reason can be given – deprive us of the universal right granted to us in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.”

    Have any members of your Institute played a role in spreading the above interpretation?

    “No.”

    When you have asked for clarifications regarding some of our articles, you have always stressed that you did not only use the old missal and that all decisions were taken bearing in mind the provisions of the Motu Proprio. Is it true that before the apostolic visit, the “Ecclesia Dei” commission had cautioned the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to be prudent in their use of the old missal?

    “Yes, we tried to be as prudent and discreet as possible in exercising our special right which gives the General Chapter in session “supreme authority in the Institute”, in accordance with the Constitutions (§ 81). The last General Chapter held in 2008, established that the General Council (that is, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli and his five advisors) was to draft a protocol for the Vetus Ordo to be introduced in our communities. This was done in the form of a letter sent on 21 November 2011. The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” considered this letter carefully, taking account Benedict XVI’s thinking, but this official judgement was not taken into consideration during the developments in our case. We do not understand why and are greatly saddened by this. We entrust our cause to Our Lady Queen of the Seraphic Order.”

  25. norancor says:

    I’m sure I will be accused of temerity, but matters internal to the FFI should have been handled internally to the FFI. Overzealous attitudes, Office in common or the conventual Masses, and methods or norms of leadership of the founder are all matters that can be dealt with without resorting to interdict, and would not have involved the provisions of Summorum Pontificum. Logic dictates that the protocol is an act of the Papal and Curial will, was decided upon with due regard for consequences and effects, and had a desired goal.

    That said, we can think of this situation in two ways, and neither way is good:

    PERSPECTIVE 1 – NAIVETE OR ILL-CONCEPTION: the Holy Father and his curial agents did not think through the canonical implications of undermining Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, by striking at them ontologically. As it is now, even if by accident, the TLM is by indulgence again. This perspective includes a temporary interdict, because that which was free is now by indulgence. This perspective also includes “don’t get out of hand or that which you have been given can be taken away” because that too makes that which required no permission contingent upon not upsetting the relevant superior, who can appeal to Rome for the need to circumscribe use of the EF.

    PERSPECTIVE 2 – MALA FIDE: Either the Holy Father or the relevant curial underlings have had, since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, a desire to have the proper conditions arise to thwart the will of the legislator, and make that which explicitly required no permission by indulgence once again. This could be from tepidity of soul, pragmatism, utilitarianism, spite, or downright evil. It’s hard to tell.

    I have thought of numerous other scenarios, but they all devolve back to one of these two. Either way, the die is cast, and Summorum Pontificum is, in all respects, a dead letter. It was always implicit that permission such as Summorum Pontificum could be taken away. Father Z has said so. It is just that now, with this Protocol, it’s official. Summorum Pontificum should be revised to read:

    Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary, unless the competent ordinary deems it necessary to impose norms for requisite permission.

    Art. 3. Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or “community” celebration in their oratories, may do so, by permission from the ordinary or norms established by the relevant bishop’s conference. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues. Such decisions are subject to review of the competent ordinary or relevant Curial dicasteries..

    Art. 4. Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may – observing all the norms of law – also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted unless the competent authority renders the determination that requisite permission has not been obtained per art. 2.

    The lack of abrogation of the old Mass, something actually impossible to do; the right of immemorial custom; and the canons of Trent (Sess. 7, Canon 13) …. these used to be taboo topics. No longer. It is inconceivable to me, as a Catholic layman, that superiors in the order of things are allowed canonically or morally to openly vie against the desires of the laity and matters of immemorial custom. It is a far cry from the days of the laity threatening the life of Pope Saint Gregory the Great for adding a phrase to a prayer of the Roman Canon.

    Franciscans clergy are Roman Catholic priests, and as such, by S.P. art. 2, by the right of immemoral custom, and perhaps even according to the anathemas of Trent, there seems to be no logical and canonical way that they can be deprived of the ability to offer Sacrifice to God and administer His graces in the traditional Sacramental forms.

  26. BLB Oregon says:

    The estimates for the crowd size are being adjusted by some Brazilian statisticians from 3.7 million down to around 1.2-1.5 million, or roughly 1/3 of the entire population of Ireland. If the lowest figure were accurate, that would still be roughly a crowd equal to seventeen Super Bowl crowds. It would be hard enough to arrange it so that 1.2 million could listen to the same homily at the same time, let alone that all could receive Holy Communion simultaneously, reverently, and while everyone was still relatively young. It would seem much easier to select certain people to attend the Mass at a distance close enough to receive Holy Communion, while the rest could hear the homily and be given an opportunity to attend smaller-group Masses before or after the main event took place.

    Just think of what it would take to make it possible to hear all those confessions! Yet I bet there would be a very big demand. It makes you want it to be possible.

  27. I could not agree more, norancor. You have said succinctly and eloquently that which I have been trying to express, here and elsewhere, for many days now. Thank you for clearly outlining the consequences of such a decree, and how unreasonable and unthinkable it really is.