Skip to comments.Major rally for Franciscans of the Immaculate held in Rome
Posted on 06/16/2014 7:10:24 PM PDT by ebb tide
A significant rally in defense of the Franciscans of the Immaculate was held in Rome over the weekend. The effort was basically an appeal by the laity formerly attached to the FIs (their association being terminated by the direct order of the apostolic overseer Fr. Volpi) to Pope Francis to have mercy on the Immaculates and stop the severe intervention in the order, which many insiders report as dying as a result of the draconian actions taken against both the male and female sides over the past year. The rally was attended by hundreds (it could have been more, but only select delegates were sent) and emphasized filial loyalty and submission to the Holy Father. The group released a statement of their concern and objectives (I add emphasis and comments):
We as laity are broken-hearted for the suspension of the activities of the circles where we were spiritually trained by religious loyal to the Seraphic Marian charism.10438344_10202401399420683_7873712333577280061_n
Against the words of the few that inconsistently allege Fr. Manelli to be mentally ill and weak while at the same time skillful in maneuvering furtive schisms in lefebvrist disguise, lots of people like us witness his unswerving loyalty to the Church and Holy Father, as it is possible to check by reading his copious writings. [I have read some of Fr. Manelli's writings. Not much, but two books. In those books, I found a modern writer who comes closest to approaching the style and content of the inestimably great Saint Alphonsus. That is high praise, but I do not mean it to be excessive. Fr. Manelli has never in his writings promoted or condoned any error, dissent, or undermining of Church Authority, which is a very far cry from the tack taken by the vast majority of religious today. But his order, in charity and in complete line with Tradition and the tradition of Catholic discourse, examined Vatican II in a somewhat critical light, and that, it seems, is utterly, completely forbidden. They also had that drift, which, you know, just trumps everything.] In response to the thin group that self-anointedly wore the clothes of saviours of Holy Mother Church from imaginary schisms, building contradictory theories to support their allegations, we answer back with this prayer event, relying on mercy and openness to dialogue of Pope Francis.
The real issue at stake is not just to shut down a religious institute, it is to forbid religious and lay to continue to live their spiritual life according to the specificity of the Franciscan Marian Charism. Therefore we cant stand aside and watch, and we appeal to the Holy Father to beg Him to give back to the people of God Fr. Stefano M. Manelli and Fr. Gabriele M. Pellettieri, so that they can offer their ministerial service, freely from the influence of those that dont identify with their founders. [That's a perfectly reasonable request, but I think it would be a miracle at this point for Manelli or any of the former leadership to be reinstated. I think the best that can be hoped for is that the apostolic intervention end and the order go back to governing its own affairs, but I would say even the outlook for that is bleak.]
The male branch of the Institute has been affected by an unabridgeable gap. [That is, as best I understand it, there is a small group of members who were perhaps always less than fully satisfied with the nature of the Franciscan Friars and who certainly came to be violently opposed to the direction the order took in recent years towards a more traditional practice of the Faith. None of this applied to the Franciscan Sisters! There is no reported division there! But this very small group had the ear of a powerful cardinal, and faithful Catholics must suffer the weight of obedience.] We are far from any judgement on personal choices, and with this prayer demonstration we ask the beloved Pope Francis to grant us His Holy Blessing to keep on in the line traced by the Seraphic Marian Path and publicly profess the Marian Vow, with approval and in perfect communion with Holy Roman Church, allowing everybody to follow the charism he prefers.
We trust in the Holy Fathers intervention, in His courage and wisdom coming from His ministry, placed in defense of the Truth. The very Truth we want to pursue constantly no matter what risks and renunciations well have to face. With confidence we put the hope of our hearts in the hands of the Pontiff.
I have prayed for a positive resolution to this most disquieting intervention for months. But the crisis has only continued and deepened.
I do strongly believe Fr. Manelli and the order he founded will eventually be vindicated. It is simply of how much of the order will be left when God, in His good time, allows this persecution to end.
What did they do exactly to get suspended.
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