|St Francis: Sadly, he never experienced the riches of the Novus Ordo|
I am even more disturbed by reports on The Eponymous Flower on the matter here and here. I must confess that it is since this time that I have found it incredibly difficult to 'read Francis through Benedict'. Francis, in the context of Benedict XVI, is something altogether new, but that's just my opinion.
At the time when news of this violent encroachment upon the Order took place, I recall vividly now, fears immediately surfaced that under the Papacy of Pope Francis we would see the total over-riding of Summorum Pontificum. Thankfully, this has not come to pass and, please God, may it never come to pass. Yet, this has come to pass for some; those men and women, loyal followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ and lovers of the Immaculate who must be suffering from this most harrowing situation for them in Holy Mother Church, since they have been deprived of the Mass with which the vast majority had fallen in love. The Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate was thriving and growing under Fr Stefano Manelli and especially because of the Order's devotion to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. To banish this form of the Mass from the Order of the Immaculate seems to be akin to the totalitarian vision of 'assisted suicide' upon which the Western world is doubtless about to embark.
Following last night's procession in honour of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, it suddenly dawned on me that there now exists no Franciscan order on the face of the Earth (correct me if I am wrong) in which the Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated without severe restriction. The celebration of this Mass, where it is wanted and desired, is not, at the time of writing, a problem for other Orders such as the Dominicans or for Canonical Orders such as the Norbertines or for the Oratorians around the World or other particular Orders, yet it is for the Franciscans of the Immaculate. How much pain this situation, which Pope Emeritus Benedict is said to have called a 'wound' in the Church, must cause for those mostly young men and women who have been caught into the depths and riches of God to be discovered in the traditional form of the Mass!
What sorrow for them! What suffering they must be enduring interiorly and spiritually to have been able to attend this form of the Mass for a good few years (for many it will be the reason they joined) and only then to have had their founder removed and sent away and the Mass of Ages removed and sent away with him! Throughout the painful process of restriction and the changing of personnel imposed forcefully from above, the Franciscans of the Immaculate have remained obedient and gracious in what must for them have felt and still feel like unjust and undeserved persecution. Why is acceptance and love of holy doctrine and holy tradition, as well as the Mass in the Extraordinary Form deemed to be such a threat to the Church of Rome by those of high rank? It is unfathomable. In a time of 'diversity' within the Church lauded by the Successor of St Peter, why are some manifestations of diversity deemed to be scandalous or in some way damaging to the life of the Church?
|Brothers in alms: Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate|
How can this happen when it is this particular Mass which was the Divine Engine which drew men and women into devotion and love of God, to leave everything and plunge their lives, hearts, souls and minds into rendering the Most High Lord Jesus Christ reverence, praise and the offering of their very beings? Stand by, watch and pray is seemingly all we can do, for who can question the governmental decisions of the Supreme Pontiff of the Barque of Peter? We can implore in writing, but we must surely bombard Heaven for them with our prayers. The Church, through Peter, has spoken, so who can do anything but submit as the Franciscans of the Immaculate themselves have done?
Since the throttling of this thriving Order has taken place in what appears to be a most ungracious and unmerciful manner - a manner that seems to contradict nearly everything for which this Papacy stands, where do young men and women who wish to dedicate their lives to Jesus and Mary Immaculate in holy poverty, chastity and obedience and with great love for traditional devotion have to go? Let's be frank. Traditional Catholicism and the Mass of Ages was THE main attraction to this wonderful Order. Who would join them now that for them the Extraordinary Form has been particularly abrogated, despite the gross illegality of this particular decision?
There now exists a spiritual vacuum where before Summorum Pontificum there had been none. By all accounts, this is a vacuum that contradicts the law of the Church. There now exists a need in the Franciscan Orders that was created by the dedication and love for Jesus and Mary of the founders of this particular Order. There now exists a need for a new Franciscan Order which from its outset is dedicated to Mary Immaculate and to the praise, service and worship of the Most Holy Trinity in the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. If ever there was a need for a new St Francis and a new Order modelled on his, exemplified so well by the Franciscans of the Immaculate, that moment is now.
Yet one thing is clear, anyone who founds a new Order dedicated to the Latin Mass will never be the Pope, since whether the Supreme Pontiff held the 'Vetus Ordo' in high esteem or not, only one of lower rank within the Church can found a new Order of the Franciscans. Presumably - though it seems wrong to take anything for granted in terms of the life of the Church now - a new Order of the Franciscans, once it had recognition from the Church, under the Church's own law, could not be touched if they, without exception, wished to have preference for the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
Oremus! Be of little doubt. The battle for the Church against Freemasonry is now reaching a crescendo. Let us pray for this Order and their many friars, nuns and tertiaries who now exist in several countries, that Heaven will send reconciliation, peace, concord and justice to those now separated from Mass in the Extraordinary Form - the Mass which so many of us have come to treasure fervently. Pray for the Supreme Pontiff and pray, pray, pray for the Franciscans of the Immaculate.
"The conflict with Hell cannot be maintained by men, even the most clever. The Immaculata alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan." ~ St.Maximilian Kolbe