Francis appointed a “Special Delegate” to take complete control of the group “Memores Domini”. They take care of Benedict XVI. – UPDATED


And… the traditional Carmelites in Pennsylvania are being investigated with an “Apostolic Visitation”, 25-28 September.  The nuns have been served by a priest who was a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  Remember them?

The sisters are in the middle of a building project… because they have vocations.

Obviously, there must be a Visitation to see what they are doing so that….

…. they can tell all the women religious in the world to do the same thing.


In the Bolletino we read today that Francis has appointed the Archbishop of Taranto as “Special Delegate” to take control of the group called “Memores Domini” (“Mindful of the Lord”).  All of its governance has been suspended and the Delegate has control.  The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life appointed Jesuit Fr, Gianfranco Ghirlanda as an “Pontifical Assistant” for canonical issues related to the group.

Memores Domini is tied to Communion and Liberation.  It is an association with both religious and lay members.  It was under the Diocese of Piacenza.  It has some 1600 members in 32 countries.

Sisters of Memores Domini take care of Benedict XVI.

They’ve been scrutinized by Francis before.  There is a summary of their tale at Eponymous Flower, I think perhaps originally in Italian at Messa in Latino.  MiL also had THIS.

The EpFlower piece … I’ll share one bit:

The leadership of the community, elected for a five-year term in 2018, was summoned to read the papal decree on June 26 in the presence of Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Roman Dicastery. Present were Antonella Frongillo, the President of Memores Domini and board members and managers of some houses of the same. Father Ghirlanda was also present, outlining the line of his action.

As is customary in such cases, the reason for the papal intervention can only be guessed at. Cardinal Farrell said in the summons that some of the statutes had to be changed, but despite a corresponding announcement by the chair in May 2018, the Vatican had no concrete proposal. For this reason, the dicastery decided “in agreement with the Pope” to appoint P. Ghirlanda as papal delegate, so that he would “lead the revision process of the directorate and the statutes”. The cardinal let something through: Part of the duties of the de facto Commissar was also to “fix some problems that were reported to the dicastery”.The decree criticizes the dual function of Don Carrón as superior of CL, who is also the spiritual assistant of Memores Domini. There is a lack of the necessary separation between the leadership function and spiritual guidance, which affects the conscience and freedom of the individual.
On June 2, Pope Francis wrote a letter to the chairwoman, according to Cardinal Farrell, to “keep watch over the good practice of the charisms.” Almost identical words had taken the Pope on March 7, 2015 when he received the whole of the community leadership Communion and Liberation (CL) and tens of thousands of its members on the occasion of its 60th founding anniversary on St. Peter’s Square. At that time, the choice of words was a reproachful reference to the “danger of self-centeredness”. It was previously known that the conservative community was not among the Argentine Pope’s preferred groups. “Francis did not approve of the founding charism of CL, but put it on the index,” said Vaticanist Sandro Magister at the time.

Only as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires did he maintain close contacts with the so-called Roman Community. Andrea Tornielli, the house and court Vaticanista and now editor-in-chief with coordination and guidelines for all Vatican media, comes from this circle of just six people. Nevertheless, the harshness with which Francis admonished the community in March 2015 was surprising. He literally accused CL of stifling the fire and extinguishing the embers:

“Don Giussani would never forgive you if you lost your freedom and turned into a museum guide or admirer of the ashes.”


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Benedict XVI, What are they REALLY saying? and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Gaetano says:

    Pope Benedict expressed legitimate concerns that women’s religious orders in the U.S. were teaching heterodoxy & engaging in terrible acts.

    He ordered an Apostolic Visitation and liberals had a collective meltdown. The sisters announced their opposition.

    A resistance campaign was organized: Save Our Sisters. No action was taken. But these groups really were off the rails, and continue to hurtle towards demographic oblivion.

    Where is the outrage when sincere, orthodox groups are singled out?

  2. kurtmasur says:

    Just another example of the persecution the Church is suffering from within :-/ Lord Jesus, come to our rescue!

  3. Grant M says:

    So you’re living and praying peacefully on a little island of orthodoxy…
    Suddenly the dictator on the mainland sends his planes and ships to occupy your land.
    Still, you have an Iron Lady in Our Lady of Victories, whose forces are immeasurably greater.

  4. Chrisc says:

    The de-institutionalization of some religious communities is soon coming. There is nothing to prevent lay Catholics from living together under a certain shared, vowed way of life. They could be monastic or service oriented but they will have to be ok with being outside. Lateran IV put an end to independent monasteries- but you can’t be an ‘independent monastery’ if you don’t seek recognition as a monastery in the first place.

  5. Son of Saint Alphonsus says:

    God forgive me. I’m finding it very difficult to even pray for Bergoglio. The best I can do is a general remembrance for the pope and what is required in the Canon of the Mass.

    [It is precisely when it is really hard to pray for someone that you should strive to do it more perfectly.]

  6. Pingback: Francis appointed a “Special Delegate” to take complete control of the group “Memores Domini”. They take care of Benedict XVI. – UPDATED | Fr. Z’s Blog – The Old Roman

  7. Jones says:

    If I were these ladies I’d have a 24 hour rosary going stat. From the time he arrived up to a week after he left.

    [The Visitator might have a violent reaction to that.]

  8. donato2 says:

    I had been thinking that for the period of the visitation the Sisters should ditch the habits and don grey pantsuits. I realized though that that probably wouldn’t work — they are probably too young for that to fool anyone.

  9. Lurker 59 says:

    The Father’s active will is not for His children to have malicious superiors, “husbands” (spiritual or corporal) who beat their wives and give the children scorpions to eat as some sort of means to holiness or sign of election, as if He were the cause of having malicious superiors and He was being the impetitious to their actions. This would make the Father the author of evil. Now the Father might permit, passively will, these malicious superiors as a means for holiness and making the crooked straight. An while it can be a means to holiness to suffer the unjust actions of malicious men for one’s own self personally, it is not an act of holiness but of cowardice to permit malicious men to act their evil against your spouse, your children, your neighbor.

    Freedom, especially for the religious, or quazi-religious ascetic, exists in obedience to those who have come before them. All that one can hope for is to obtain that which those who have come before have obtained. One hopes by trodding the path that those who have finished the race and have obtained. The way of life is the way that has already been marked, transversed, and accomplished. One strays from the path of religious life, from the goal, when they head in a new direction on an unworn path. Perhaps then, they are to be the founders of a new order, but they are no longer of the same order. But this is also doubtful and very rare when true for stability and consistency are hallmarks of healthy spirituality.

    Now it should be pointed out that the religious life/ascetical life / hermetic life is not part of the corporate public life of the Church but rather the private life. The life of Mary as opposed to Martha. It existed before magisterial and ecclesial acceptance of it. It truly is a flower that grew in the desert — where no one expected life to grow grew the proto-monastic and proto-convents. At most, a malicious hierarchy can do is to withdraw support and relegate the religious life to the desert. But this is where it flourished the most. Religious/ascetical/hermetic life should never withdraw its support of the public life of the Church (for it exists to support and pray for the public life) but at the end of the day, contemporary authority in the Church is not fundamental to the existence of the rose of the desert. Follow the path of those that have obtained the prize and the life in common will lead to obtaining for oneself that which is held in hope.

    So what if religious life is reduced to a private life of the laity who fled the world? That is where it started. In the quiet of the desert it attracted people to it, even bishops who came to “taste and see”, to help tend the gardens of the desert and bring rose cuttings back to their own dioceses. So much of what the Western Church is in terms of her ecclesiology is from the desert for it is the desert that has renewed, through her prayers and example, the hierarchy. Not the other way around. That is what they are afraid of. Same fear that possessed those Protestant archheritics who went after religious life — fear of the knowledge that it is religious life that is the anchor and reformer of the public magisterium of the Church.

  10. chantgirl says:

    There is a metastasizing cancer which is invading the body of Christ, attempting to occupy the space where the healthy cells live by killing them or squeezing them out.

    If the healthy cells resist and survive, we win.

    If the healthy cells are martyred for their belief, we win.

    If the healthy cells are pushed out of their spaces but keep their faith, we win.

    There is no scenario in which the faithful do not win in the end unless they give up their faith. That doesn’t mean we won’t suffer severely, or lose much of what we’ve worked for, but no one can come between us and Christ in our soul unless we let them. They can literally take everything we have but the faith in our heart.

  11. TonyO says:

    but you can’t be an ‘independent monastery’ if you don’t seek recognition as a monastery in the first place.

    I like what Chrisc is saying here. It’s one thing to take a chance at organizing a new order or society officially recognized by the upper levels of machinery, when there is a chance that the upper levels of machinery will then try to get you for being orthodox and trying to become holy. It’s another thing to take that “chance” when it is all but CERTAIN that the upper levels of machinery will come for you. So, why bother: organize but stay at a “grass roots” level that doesn’t even attempt to get recognition as an “official” group. Stay out of their hair. Try to find and take in a canceled priest to get your daily sacraments, and for spiritual guidance and support.

    There is, at this point, no plausible way for those who love standard, ordinary Catholicism as it was known even as recently as at the election of Karol Wojtyla to the papal chair to have a shot at electing a pope with their own views in any foreseeable future. JPII and Benedict were TERRIBLE at finding and elevating solid priests to the bishopric, and Francis (unlike the other two) has been making a point of re-making the college of cardinals in his own image. Francis has now appointed over 66% of the voting cardinals, and by next year it will probably be over 75%. Given that at least 1/2 of the cardinals he did not appoint must be presumed to be more or less in his camp, that gives his sort such a complete lock on the future prospects that it is impossible to foresee how this can be undone, (other than by some extraordinary divine intervention, which of course is always possible). So, until that divine intervention occurs, things are likely to continue getting worse, not better.

  12. pcg says:

    “You have to suffer as much from the Church as for the Church”- Flannery O’Connor. Never more true than this time-

  13. Chrisc says:


    Cancelled priest or not. Ultimately, we may be seeing an emergence of a new kind of spring, though not the one anticipated by JP2. The official church may not recognize, so then things aren’t to be done officially. Fulfill the precepts, tithe in some way to the official church, go to valid masses whenever. Then simply live your life in constant dialogue with the Lord.

    As Lurker points out, the desert is where the renewal comes from, and is always available to us. We need religious in the wilderness. And we need families who sanctify the temporal order precisely through the wilderness in their hearts. In fact, this may be far easier for families in this generation. The goal for families is not to be the domestic church with it’s necessary institutionalization, but also the domestic hermitage.

  14. MaterDeicolumbae says:

    Flannery O’Connor raised peacocks.
    Per my Google search:
    “The peacock represents immortality, resurrection, and the spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ and the christian (sic) church” and:
    “Early Christians saw the peacock as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection.
    Although mentioned only once in the Bible—when King Solomon acquires the wealth of Tarshish: “gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks”…
    Being a birder, I see Flannery as a fellow bird lover. I think she and I would have been friends…
    pcg’s quoting Flannery “You have to suffer as much from the Church as for the Church” is much appreciated!

  15. Pingback: Zap Big Pulpit – Big Pulpit

  16. Pingback: MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  17. robtbrown says:

    The irony of Francis is that the only move he has made that encourages vocations to the priesthood is clearing up the question of the validity of SSPX Confessions and Marriages.

    Re Amoris Laetitia: In addition to its p-poor theological method (cf Josef Fuchs SJ), it de-emphasizes marriage and having children because it ignores the concrete ends of marriage. Consequently, the moral difference between heterosexuality and homosexuality is blurred.

    This pope is an ideologue, suffering from the confused intellectual formation he received as a Jesuit. And he wants to impose that confusion on the Church. Thanks, but no thanks.

    One thnig is certain:Sin ce leaving the hospital, he has been a man in a great hurry.

  18. Ama MacArthur says:

    How very reassuring! “The man of God welcomes the light that all may see that his works are done in God.” St. Teresa laughed at the thought that she was being investigated by the Inquisition for she knew she had nothing to fear. I am sure that the Nuns are rejoicing that their love of the Church will be made manifest, and they are laughing at the thought that they have anything to hide!

Comments are closed.