Disparity: LCWR v. FFI

I direct the readership’s attention to a post by my friend Fr. Ray Blake, the great PP of Brighton.  He makes a great point about the Holy See’s treatment of the LCWR and treatment given to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

Here is an excerpt, and you can read the whole thing there. We enter in medias res with my “art”:


Perhaps it is best illustrated by the different responses to LCWR and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the former initiated under Benedict and the latter under Francis.
The action against the LCWR has been one of ongoing dialogue, a clear statement of the problems, a firm but patient determination on the part of the Vatican to draw the American religious back into the life of the Church, even if the sisters flail around refusing to dialogue the Holy See still continues making its requests, gently increasing pressure on them, whilst ast the same time leaving them, the Leadership Conference free to do what it wants, whilst the vast majority of American women religious are completely unaffected.

The way in which the Franciscans of the Immaculate are being dealt with is in complete contrast, the Vatican Commissar has taken complete control over every aspect of the lives of individuals from novices to the founder. No one actually seems to know quite what the problem is, there are no clear complaints, except for ‘tendencies’ which frankly could mean anything. Their problems after all these months seem to be ‘thought crimes’. In contrast to Fr Volpi’s declining Capuchins or the LCWR the FFI’s were growing, were young, were faithful. Now the same terror is being applied to their female branch, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate.

The LCWR have ‘moved beyond Jesus’, the FFI seem just be marginally a little too trad , yet the velvet Benedictine glove is applied to the former and the iron fist of Francis to the latter. The way in which the LCWR is being dealt with promotes growth and inclusion whereas the way Fr Volpi is dealing with the FFIs seems destructive and violent. Whilst Francis continues to grow in popularity in the secular media I detect growing fears amongst many that the hand on the tiller of the bark of Peter is just too firm, too South American, with too much determination for change for the sake of change. Far from a papacy that is small poor and humble Francis’ is as big as any of the past.


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  1. OrthodoxChick says:

    I think Fr. Blake’s assessment is correct. I’ll still choose the FFI any day (even while under siege by the Vatican), rather than be subjected to any more LCWR. There’s simply no comparison in terms of piety, or any other Catholic measuring stick. I received all but 4 years of my K-12 education at two schools run by an LCWR order. My children and I spent this past Easter Vigil with the FFI for a Novus Ordo Mass. The FFI are Catholic. Even my 5 year old was mesmerized by how they offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – and the Easter Vigil is not exactly a brief Mass for a young child to get through. The LCWR are (barely) Protestant. The Vatican can clamp down on the FFI all they want to but it hasn’t, and won’t, destroy the holiness and devotion of these fine young men. Not by a long shot. They’ve transcended Church politics. The LCWR, on the other hand…

  2. Gratias says:

    Cardinal Braz de Aviz had the express authorization of Pope Francis to place the poor Franciscans of the Immaculate under Commissar Volpi. It seems that hard times are ahead for neo-Pelagians, those that pray by rote, Rosary counters, old maids, smiling air hostesses, and traditional Catholics sure of their Faith. Balloon masses and line dancing bishops are OK.

    Yes, some of us have growing fears about this papacy.

  3. americangirl says:

    Father Z, if the Franciscans of the Immaculate are men and women living out their life in Christ in prayer and sacrifice and they are being unjustly persecuted… then let us pray for those who are persecuting them. The order shall be tested but in the end woo to those in authority who have decided to use them as an example of what they will no longer want or will tolerate in our Church. Our God never desserts his faithful and while these Franciscans may be experiencing their Good Friday be assured their Resurrection will occur. God pity those (if unjustified and unrepentant) who torment and persecute these good and holy souls. The Lord is with them but the question must be rendered, who is with those who seek their demise? I cannot help but fear our Church is growing closer to a schism. God help us!

  4. Traductora says:

    I don’t know whether Francis himself is too dictatorial, or if he has just handed things off to the radical crowd surrounding him and doesn’t intervene. It’s true that he takes it upon himself to intervene in all sorts of other things that a pope has never or rarely engaged with before (such as the phone call to the woman in Latin America who had a disagreement with her pastor over Communion for the divorced and remarried). But he never seems to interfere in any way with these almost out of control prelates and functionaries who are seeing this as their opportunity, at last, to crush anything and anyone that reminds them of the 2000 years of Christianity before Vatican II.

    An occasional mild contradiction of some rash thing they’ve said, perhaps, but nothing that indicates that he really opposes their actions or even cares about them. And perhaps he really is behind them; after all, he appointed them.

    I really don’t understand Francis at all. But the spectacle of these people carrying out this vicious and vindictive campaign, against which there seems to be no recourse, is very disturbing, to say the least.

  5. mamajen says:

    …the former initiated under Benedict and the latter under Francis.

    Is he speaking about the Franciscans of the Immaculate sisters, or the FFI as a whole? He seems to refer to both, so I’m not sure. The process with the FFI began under Benedict as well.

    The way in which the LCWR is being dealt with promotes growth and inclusion…

    I don’t know about that. Their numbers are dwindling. Personal growth? They seem to be as bold and non-Catholic as ever. Where is the growth?

    It goes without saying that these two groups are being dealt with differently. Are either of them being handled well? I have my doubts.

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  7. vandalia says:

    I think you are missing the core distinction. [I don’t know who the “you” is to whom you refer. Around here we address ourselves to people directly, as the first thing you write.]

    The FFI went to the Holy See and REQUESTED intervention. [No. Some of the FFI’s wrote to the Congregation. Not all.] The LCWR has obviously not done so.

    Permit me to make an analogy. If I call the police and tell them that my daughter is out of control and is using drugs, the police have the ability to come into the house immediately, search her room, remove any illegal drugs, and arrest her.

    On the other hand, if I do not do that, and my neighbor complains to the police, then they must go through the process of gathering evidence to establish probable cause, go to a judge to obtain a search warrant, consult with the prosecuting attorney, etc., etc.

    THAT is the core distinction. I am convinced that if the LCWR contacted the appropriate dicastery and REQUESTED an intervention, you would see an even more rapid and thorough intervention into the LCWR. [Based on my experience, I doubt it.]

  8. Choirmaster says:

    @vandalia: That is a very, very interesting take on it. In theory, I believe you are correct in your analogy. However, in reality—and, as Fr. Z interjected: based on experience—it simply would not be the case.

    Under the reign of Francis, for better or worse, be it by design or accident, the enemies of the lovers of Tradition, and its shibboleth the so-called Extraordinary Form, feel themselves justified and emboldened, and appear to be protected, encouraged, and promoted.

    Those of us who perceive ourselves to be on the soiled end of that stick need to remember that it has ever been so, and will be until the prince of this world is cast from his throne. That is the part of “ride the damn bike” that I agree with: shake it off and continue on! God values the free will of evil bishops more than the rights and comfort of pious and innocent believers. That’s what we’re working with here, folks. We can’t stop and stare incredulously every time this little bit of truth manifests itself.

    Still, the FFI have a raw deal! My sympathy for them stings me enough; I can’t imagine what they must be going through. (Don’t even get me started on China or the Saudis!)

    St. Catherine of Sienna, pray for us!

  9. NBW says:

    I wish Pope Francis would start heavily monitoring and regulating the LCWR. Leave the FFI orders alone and let them do their job! It does seem as though Traditional orders are getting the raw deal for doing the right thing. Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis!

  10. Lavrans says:

    Unless things settle down with His Holiness’ papacy (and that could certainly happen), perhaps at the next conclave there will be a strong urge to return to a pope hailing from a more traditional part of the world. If the Germans and Latins can be effectively neutralized by the conservative cardinals of North America, Africa, and parts of Europe, that is. One thing that is certain is that the next conclave will not feature His eminence Cardinal Mahoney spiking a football in the face of Pope Benedict XVI.

    But that may be a long way off at this point. For now, it is best to pray for His Holiness Francis to learn how to “pope” more effectively and efficiently. Clearly leading as Christ’s Vicar on earth. Shepherding, not experimenting. Leading, not forming committees.

  11. Robbie says:

    I think Volpi’s action have been destructive, mean spirited, and completely out of line. That’s especially true when compared to the way the LCWR has been treated. We can only assume he’s acting with the approval of Cardinal Aviz so this doesn’t reflect well on him either, at least in my opinion. And given how many things Francis seems to be tackling at the same time, it’s unclear whether he’s completely aware of or informed of these actions. If he were, would these actions match his message of inclusion and mercy?

    As it pertains to the FFI, I really wish we could get a definitive reason why they’re being destroyed by Volpi. At first, we were told a few were upset about the use of the TLM, but we soon learned the TLM was never forced on any priest. Then came a new explanation. The FFI were crypto-Lefebvrians. I don’t know exactly what that means, but the net result was the FFI were forced to swear allegiance to VII and no longer allowed to say the TLM as allowed by SP.

    I’m sure there’s some information we’ve not be told, but, from what we have learned, it’s not a big stretch to believe this was simply about suppressing an order than was moving back to tradition. If there was outright rejection of VII, well I guess that needed to be addressed, but I hope those acting in this way realize they’re doing much to hurt the Pope’s reputation with those on his right flank.

  12. Joseph-Mary says:

    I have encountered the sisters a number of times–twice on pilgrimages and also at other times. They are wonderful! Smiling, happy, holy, reverent, self-sacrificing, sing like angels, obedient, prayerful, smart, joy-filled, and again, HOLY.

    When Orders are attacked from the outside like by a hostile government it is a sad thing to be sure but when it comes from within, the pain is exponentially worse.

    Why very public dissenters can call themselves ‘nuns’ are treated with velvet gloves or allowed to carry on and true ones are persecuted….well, it makes no sense. If truly the ‘powers that be’ want holy consecrated life then why persecute an Institute that lives such a life? When I have visited friaries, the holiness of the place is so wonderful that a person can feel that it is a ‘pushback’ to the evils in the world. The devil hates this Order with an unfathomable hate. And he finds minions and specious reasons to push it back and, better yet, destroy it if possible. Have we not lost so much with the loss of holy Orders since the 1960s? And their lost has affected not only the Church but the world. So many praying souls are no longer in existence. But the dissenters, the new-agers, the abortion supporters, the wiccans and more continue with impunity. It is a travesty.

    May the Immaculate protect her daughters and sons in this Franciscan Order and may they emerge completely exonerated (of what?) and stronger than ever to prayerfully and with penance combat the darkness of evil.

  13. jray says:

    The ratzingerforum link above links to an old Catholic World Repost article from Dec . 13. Many things have been clarified since then in favor of the FFI – for one, the property transfer issue. This is pure and simple persecution, and it is time we realized that.

  14. marcelus says:

    Sorry but exactly what do you supponse Fr. Blake means by “too southamerican?” I’m from Argentina and it’d help to know.

    “I detect growing fears amongst many that the hand on the tiller of the bark of Peter is just too firm, too South American, with too much determination for change for the sake of change. Far from a papacy that is small poor and humble Francis’ is as big as any of the past.”

    In terms of sanctions, I do not agree a persecution has started against the Traditionlist FFI in this case. Definately, no matter what source you pick, some or all the friars, callled upon Rome and if I’m not mistaken it was during BVXI, One thing is clear, their house was not in order. THe FSP priests were a few months back, congratulated by Francison their anyversary and made an example of, in terms of how they came to be at a critical time in the life of the Holy Church.

    If that be the case, Traditionalist orders would be hunted down. This is not the case. It is one case.

  15. Joseph-Mary says:

    Here is a 3 minute video showing the life of a Franciscan Sister of the Immaculate. Is this not wanted in the heart of the Church?

  16. GSocds says:

    My understanding is that the Intervention was made on the basis of some complaints from a minority of the members of the community objecting to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass ebbing offered at the principal Mass. Angelo’s Blog, http://maryvictrix.com/2013/07/29/the-fis-and-pope-francis/ will help to clarify. I am especially grateful to Fr. Angelo for the encouragement shared with humility and Catholic witness, as illustrated in the excerpt from his July 29, 2013 Blog below.

    “The restrictions on our community are specific to us and have been put in place for reasons specific to us. Pope Francis has not contradicted Pope Benedict. The visitation of our community began under Pope Benedict and the Commission was recommended by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz who was appointed to the Congregation by Pope Benedict.

    “What is being reported in the press and what has actually transpired within our community over the course of a number of years are two different things.

    “Many of us—I would hope most of us—Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, welcome the Holy Father’s intervention into our life and trust fully that Holy Mother Church knows exactly what she is doing, even when the journalists do not. We entrust ourselves to her care, just as we do to the Immaculate.

    Please pray for our Institute.

    Update 1:

    “Many of the comments in the blogosphere about Pope Francis concerning his decision in regard to our Institute are simply disgraceful, and “justified” by the most tenuous rationalizations. He is the Vicar of Christ. It is less than twenty-four hours since this hit the Internet and so many think they have got it all figured out. I have also seen sheer fabrications about the situation in our Institute within some of these comments. May God have mercy on us. Thank God for all the holy popes we have had for the past fifty years, who all have had much to suffer.”

    Update 2:

    “I am closing down the comments now on these posts concerning the situation in the Institute. I left comments open to make a point, which the some of the commenters have made for me. Either you get the point or you don’t. There is no point in trying to explain it.

    The contempt, disrespect and spirit of disobedience shown toward the Vicar of Christ, I repudiate. May God have mercy on us.”

  17. Supertradmum says:

    The Jesuits were suppressed because of the Masonic influences in Europe and by monied interests. Sadly, popes have made mistakes by listening to less than perfect advisors.

    We all need to pray more for the pope.

  18. excalibur says:

    Ah, well……

    …… too South American

    From the era of liberation theology.

  19. Did you ever consider that the Vatican knows the FFI will obey no matter what is asked of them – so the Vatican can move forward very quickly and directly – while the LCWR will have a hard time obeying so the Vatican has to do round about maneuvers to get them moving the right way.
    The same way a good superior will treat an individual religious different if obedience is tough or easy for him.
    (I’m not aware of all going on with the FFI but I suspect it will be similar to the recent intervention of the Holy See in my community, the Legionaries of Christ, and iron out the relatively small number of practices that are improper.)

  20. Cordelio says:

    Dear Mr. Schneider,

    So because the Vatican knew that the FFI would obey Vatican commands, it immediately stripped all power to obey such commands from its superiors? And because the Vatican knew the LCWR would not obey, it left virtually all practical authority in the hands of its leaders?

    I’m sorry, but that makes no sense. It is also ironic in the extreme, because all we have heard against the FFI are some vague accusations of a spirit of disobedience (which is what I assume is meant by crypto-Lefebvrism), whereas the LCWR are concretely guilty of favoring heresy.

  21. Ignatius says:

    Fr. Blake says: “I detect growing fears amongst many that the hand on the tiller of the bark of Peter is just too firm, too South American…”

    Too South American? What dos this mean? I resent this smug and dismissive generalization.

    Pope Francis is what he is, not because he is vaguely “South American” (“those little brown people down south, you know…”) but because of his own personality and tendencies.

    Best regards,

  22. JKnott says:

    Cordelio: You make some good points but so does Father Matthew.

    With all due respect to both of you:
    Cordelio, you may not be aware that Matthew P. Schenider, LC
    is a priest. As Catholics and on this blog most readers refer to our dear clergy appropriately, or at least without the “Mr.”.

  23. Supertradmum says:

    The English have trouble with this New World pope. I have had discussions ad nauseam about this. Of course, not all cardinals are European. And, some of the English friends of mine have said an African pope would have been ok, but not one for South America. Remember, the English never conquered South America, only the Spanish and Portuguese, so anything or anyone out of the old empire or old commonwealth is suspicious.

    As to the Pope’s actions, of course, he is a product of Argentina, just as I am of Iowa and others are of China or Japan. However, I think the decisions of this pope can be seen more in light of what happens in the Vatican than what has happened politically or culturally in Argentina.

  24. robtbrown says:

    marcelus says:

    Sorry but exactly what do you supponse Fr. Blake means by “too southamerican?” I’m from Argentina and it’d help to know.

    We both known that Argentinians are almost never considered “too South American”.

  25. Joe in Canada says:

    I have to wonder that “We commit ourselves to work for the full equality of women and men in all aspects of ecclesial life, including full access to all sacramental ministries,” “We support women as ultimate agents of moral decision-making in matters of reproduction,” and “We actively oppose all forms of discrimination, including … heterosexism” aren’t considered “distorted tendencies”. They all come from the Loretto Sisters statement of identity.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Ignatius says:

    Fr. Blake says: “I detect growing fears amongst many that the hand on the tiller of the bark of Peter is just too firm, too South American…”

    Too South American? What dos this mean? I resent this smug and dismissive generalization.

    Pope Francis is what he is, not because he is vaguely “South American” (“those little brown people down south, you know…”) but because of his own personality and tendencies.

    Your racist accusation is dumb.

    1. The Pope has Italian parents from the Piedmont, the northernmost area of Italy.

    2. I knew many South Americans in Rome. All except one were priests or going to be priests. At least two are now bishops. One, from Bolivia, was black (good guy–had the next room). None were little brown people.

    3. IMHO, the “too South American” comment is probably a reference to the very indirect way that is usually the typical Vatican MO. Even more significant is the fact that this pope is a Jesuit.

  27. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I wonder to what extent the Pope is the product of a father with staunch left-wing views? We know that Mario Bergoglio (an accountant) emigrated from Italy in 1929 not (as previously stated) for economic motives, but (as the Pope’s sister has emphatically stated) for political reasons. This was quite soon after Gramsci was tried and sentenced to twenty years’ jail, at a time when Mussolini’s police had started to arrest many socialists. Piedmont (particularly Turin) was a centre of trades union and revolutionary socialist activity aimed at the factories and their owners.
    Non-political Italians were at that time in no danger from Mussolini, whatever their privately-held views, and leaving the country and going to the other side of the world to ‘escape from fascism’ was not quite such an obvious move in 1929 as our clichéd post 1945 view of Italian politics might seem to make it appear.
    It would be interesting to know more about Bergoglio senior’s political background and tenets. Was he a believing and practising Catholic, or did he share the anti-clerical (often atheistic) attitudes of the Italian left of the time? Was he an ideological follower of Gramsci? and did he maintain his political stance in his new country?
    At the time Mario emigrated to Argentina, President Hipólito Yrigoyen was still in power: the social reformer and freedom activist, head of the revolutionary Radical Civic Union party. His biography states: ‘Yrigoyen presided over a rise in the standard of living of Argentina’s working class together with the passage of a number of progressive social reforms, including improvements in factory conditions, regulation of working hours, compulsory pensions, and the introduction of a universally accessible public education system.’
    In 1930, a few months after Mario Bergoglio arrived in Argentina, much of that social reform was swept away when President Yrigoyen was overthrown by a military coup that perpetuated a right-wing dictatorship; then in 1943 came the Peronist military coup, and Peron was in turn replaced by another military coup in 1955. And so on.
    The Holy Father, who was born in 1936, must surely have heard his father’s life story and political opinions, and they must have had at least some influence on his own political views. One does not need a lively imagination to figure out what they were, and presumably still are.

  28. Gratias says:

    Marcelus, who is Argentinian, would like to know what did Father Blake mean by “too South American”. He was touched by a profound post in another blog by Mancunius, which read:

    Last time I looked, neither mourning, nor penitence, nor devoutness was a sin. Sadness is an occasion for sympathy, not a condition to be mocked.
    Father, I have a distinct feeling that in these rather bitter personal attacks on characters who really don’t exist except in his imagination or memory, Papa Bergoglio is referring back to aspects of middle-class Argentina in the peronist postwar period. The rooms curtained against the summer sun, the whispered prayers, the family pressures, the overwhelming almost airless atmosphere of personal sin. Rather like scenes from a film.
    There is some autobiography here that we can only half-glimpse, some personal complex. We’ve already seen it in his strangely mocking remarks about those who offered him a spiritual bouquet, and his rather strange view of the Traditional form of the Rite as the ‘personal taste’ of a small clique – which of course it is not.
    Perhaps he needs to set up the ‘clericalist church’ bogeyman to defend the change of heart (and lurch towards the left) that he made (or felt forced to make) in the 1980s after the (according to his early friends) extremely conservative and orthodox provincial was demoted and exiled by the Jesuit order, and left to ‘reflect’ – ie to fall into line with the new revolutionary clerical politics reacting against the changing landscape of military dictatorship in Buenos Aires.
    Not a coincidence, surely, that his spokesman Cardinal Maradiaga recently (April 8th, at the meeting of Franciscan provincials in Florida) asserted that Francis “feels called to construct” a church “free from all mundane spirituality” and “free from the risk of being concerned about itself, of becoming middle-class, of closing in on self, of being a clerical church.” For like Maradiaga (though perhaps not as openly) has the Holy Father perhaps rather a complex about the middle classes and their desire for social and ideological order? a complex about not being one of them, feeling snubbed and attacked by them, needing to defeat them to survive…it’s a very Latin American thing.
    But if it has potential liturgical, theological and pastoral consequences for the Universal Church, then Houston, we definitely have a problem.

  29. Gratias says:

    Understanding South America is pertinent. The sub-continent is in my view some 20 years ( one might argue for less given the Internet ) behind the developed world. At 78 years of age, Pope Francis seems fixed in the seventies when Argentina was locked in a civil war between the Montonero Peronists and the military/oligarchy. The latter were mostly Catholic and the former Marxists.

    General Juan Domingo Perón was a populist/fascist who started the recurrent nightmare that got Argentina where it is. Last thing we need is to enact his politics on a world-wide scale.

  30. Salvelinus says:

    I’m so confused about all of this.
    It’s surreal that traditional Catholic ideals are being crushed, not by the secular athiests (as expected) but instead, by the curia…


  31. Urs says:

    “It is as if from some mysterious crack, no, it is not mysterious, from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.”
    Pope Paul VI

    Quotes from Pope Paul VI taken from

    On the failure of Vatican II

    “We believed that after the Council would come a day of sunshine in the history of the Church. But instead there has come a day of clouds and storms, and of darkness of searching and uncertainties…And how did this come about? We will confide to you the thought that may be, we ourselves admit in free discussion, that may be unfounded, and that is that there has been a power, an adversary power. Let us call him by his name: the devil. It is as if from some mysterious crack, no, it is not mysterious, from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” 1

    “The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called self- destruction. It is an interior upheaval, acute and complicated, which nobody expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking itself. We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of conceptions which matured in the great sessions of the council. But … one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect. It is as if the Church were destroying herself.” 2

    On the devil

    “Don’t be surprised at Our answer and don’t write it off as simplistic or even superstitious: one of the Church’s greatest needs is to be defended against the evil we call the Devil.” 3

    On These Times being the End Days

    “There is a great uneasiness, at this time, in the world and in the Church, and that which is in question is the faith. It so happens now that I repeat to myself the obscure phrase of Jesus in the Gospel of Saint Luke: “When the Son of man returns, will He still find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). It so happens that there are books coming out in which the faith is in retreat on some important points. The episcopates are remaining silent and these books are not looked upon as strange. This to me is strange. I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging. Are we close to the end? This we will never know. We must always hold ourselves in readiness, but everything could last a very long time yet. What strikes me when I think of the Catholic world is that within Catholicism there seems sometimes to predominate a non-Catholic way of thinking, and it can happen that this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism will tomorrow become the stronger. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be” 4

    “The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic World. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church” 5


    1. Pope Paul VI, June 29, 1972, Sermon during the Mass for Sts. Peter & Paul, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of his coronation as quoted by IX Anniversario Dell’incoronazione Di Sua Santità Omelia Di Paolo Vi Solennità Dei Santi Apostoli Pietro E Paolo Giovedì, 29 Giugno 1972 (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/homilies/1972/documents/hf_p-vi_hom_19720629_it.html)

    2. Pope Paul VI, December 7, 1968, Address to the Lombard Seminary at Rome

    3. Pope Paul VI, November 15, 1972, General Audience

    4. Jean Guitton The Private life of Pope Paul VI p 152 as quoted by Ted and Maureen Flynn Thunder of Justice: The Miracle, The Warning, The Chastisement, The Era of Peace (Maxkol Communications 1993) p 9

    5. Pope Paul VI’s October 13, 1977 address on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions

  32. Athelstan says:

    Hello Gratias,

    Father, I have a distinct feeling that in these rather bitter personal attacks on characters who really don’t exist except in his imagination or memory, Papa Bergoglio is referring back to aspects of middle-class Argentina in the peronist postwar period. The rooms curtained against the summer sun, the whispered prayers, the family pressures, the overwhelming almost airless atmosphere of personal sin. Rather like scenes from a film…Perhaps he needs to set up the ‘clericalist church’ bogeyman to defend the change of heart (and lurch towards the left) that he made (or felt forced to make)…

    This is an interesting theory, and it accords with suspicions I have had for some time now – that these comments have very specific referents in the Pope’s past, ones obscure to us (since they long ago ceased to exist), but perhaps very real, long ago; and that they are bundled up in a rupture of sorts in his own career (subsequent to the collapse of the military regime) in the Church.

  33. Glennonite says:

    Sorry Father, sorry folks; I still cannot get a grasp on the situation with the Franciscans. Could someone give a recap? The LCRW is apparent and obvious. Thanks!

  34. zama202 says:

    I guess the Society of St. Pius X knew what they were doing when they decided to avoid the Vatican’s “loving” embrace for now.


  35. Nicholas says:

    Ironically, I find myself wishing that the LCWR get more of the treatment the FFI have, and the FFI get what the LCWR got…

  36. j says:

    The difference is much more striking. The LCWr is NOT anyone’s primary Religious Community, it does no charitable work, says no Office, no Mass, operates no schools, feeds no hungry, evangelizes no-one, but is instead something of a club for the Hierarchy of Nuns. It could be done away with, with no great Canonical implications, and could be placed under strict supervision without any ill effects or side-issues.

    The FFI, on the other hand, IS all of the things the LCWr is NOT. It DOES do works of charity, operates, evangelizes, says the Office and Mass, and provides it for the people. It DOES Evangelize and IS the Religious Life of many. Canonical Supervision IS impeding the work of the Church as a whole.

  37. I love the FFI and I support them here in our community, and I’m hugely edified by their example of obedience and submission during this process. Ditto the Sisters, who I remember as being joyful and outgoing when they first came to our part of the world.

    Having said that, I saw the Sisters’ community gradually change to one that came across as tense, sad and suspicious. I thought it was just my imagination, but there was a real change in the community, and it related to the difficulties that led to the investigation.

    I don’t know any more about the situation, and I don’t want to, but I was saddened about the change in the Sisters’ community, and I hope they sort things out and are able to return to that joy and openness that I remember seeing in them some years ago.

  38. PS Oh man, that top photo. There’s nothing so excruciating as When Nuns Go Wrong. It takes me right back to my high school days of liturgical dancing and feminist paraliturgies.

    A word of advice to Sister: if you want to look barefoot, skip the pantyhose. It completely ruins the effect of free-spirit-woman.

  39. marcelus says:

    Gratias: where are you going? ? Mixing you history on Argentina like I’ve not seen on years. Maybe using words and concepts you may not be familiar with. Never mind. The comment on too south American is not a happy one.The good father is mistaken. S America stands for 50% of Catholicism worldwide .so. I don’t know. Maybe they are right

  40. marcelus says:

    I’m sure Fr. Blake did not mean it the way it sounded, but in case of doubt he may do well to try and experience some of the thing Francis did and said in SA people eating out of garbage bags. Mountains of it. Living in cardboard boxes , sick and rotting..So this is Peter. stand by him . Sorry these are my first 2 posts on Fr
    Z’ BLOG and it turned out this way. With I could have commented on something else and not on an anti S American post or article. Sorry

  41. Cordelio says:

    Dear JKnott (and Father Schneider):

    I was not aware of that Father Schneider was a priest. Thank you for the correction, and I apologize for the seeming (but unintended) disrespect.

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