Thursday, 12 December 2013
The Situation of the Franciscans of the Immaculate
The saga of the Franciscans of the Immaculate continues, and the latest developments (which I’m sure all will have seen on the ever-vigilant and well-informed Rorate Caeli).
Upon reading the latest developments one cannot help but ask but what is happening in Rome since the election of Pope Francis: are those with an aversion to Tradition taking advantage of his liberal public image to attack and destroy Tradition? One may legitimately ask from where such aversion to Tradition arises: is it from lack of love for the Church; from a fear of (or an actual abhorrence of) Tradition, or from a disordered loyalty to Vatican II in which there is a simple inability to read the said Council in the light of all previous Councils?
Whatever the cause, anyone seeking to suppress Tradition is by that very fact seeking to establish a new Church cut off from Her past; a Church with its own (new) form of worship, its own (new) doctrine and its own (new) disciplines. Such folk may think they are developing ancient worship and doctrine, but they can only make such a claim if the said developments are in harmony with what has gone before. If they are not in harmony with what has gone before they are not developments but distortions; they are errors inspired by the father of lies.
Certainly it might be good to know the names of anyone directing, facilitating and approving attacks against Tradition, but names or no names I feel sure Rome will want to found bearing in mind the words spoken by Gamaliel and which can be profitably applied by Rome to her relationship with all the Traditional Communities:
"...take care what you do to these men. Some time ago, there was a rebellion under Theudas who became notorious. He claimed to be someone important, and even collected about four hundred followers; but when he was killed all his followers dispersed. And then there was Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also attracted crowds of supporters, but he too was killed, and all his followers dispersed. What I suggest therefore is this: that you not to interfere with these men but let them go. If this movement of theirs is of human origin it will break up of its own accord, but if it is from God you will not only be unable to stop them, you might find yourselves fighting God." cf Acts 5v34-39.
At the end of the day, since the Traditional communities are doing and teaching nothing that the Church has not done and taught for centuries they are doing what has always been regarded as holy, and the Church has no authority to suppress what is holy. Indeed those with authority will surely be taking into account the words of St Paul too: “Maybe I have taken rather too much pride in our authority, but the Lord gave us that authority for building you up, not for knocking you down” (2 Cor,10v8) and “That is why I am writing this while still far away, when I am with you I shall not have to be harsh, with the authority that the Lord has given me, an authority that is for building up and not for breaking down” (2 Cor, 13v10).