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Of a Phantom Confirmation and a Double-Barreled Question

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

In my last post, I quoted Fr. Volpi response to the claim that he is no longer able to carry out the function given to him by the Holy See to govern our Institute as the Apostolic Commissioner. He effectively denied it. Since then a further claim has been made that in spite of Fr. Volpi’s attestation to the contrary, “he is unable to carry out, both physically and mentally,” his duties.

The source for this report professes to “confirm” (without providing evidence) that the “Volpi era” is effectively over. So the source pretends to both know and at the same time “respect” Fr. Volpi’s his privacy concerning personal medical status, which certainly is the business of the Capuchins and the Holy See, but not that of a blogger or the general public.

The source is unable and unwilling to prove the assertion, because either 1) it is false, as Fr. Volpi himself claims it is, which is what I believe, or 2) the information was obtained in a way that precisely does not respect Fr. Volpi’s privacy. Thus, the source, driven by his explicit desire to undermine Fr. Vopli’s work, has decided to use information to which he has no right, and still pretends that he is shielding Fr. Volpi’s privacy.

Furthermore, under the circumstances he is compelled to protect his source and assumes that his target audience will give him a pass and believe him, though he provides no evidence and yet proves himself not credible because of his methods.

Still, even if his source has “leaked” to him information to the effect that Fr. Volpi is incapacitated that does not make it true, and there is no reason to believe it is, since runs counter to Fr. Volpi’s own claim and the contrary is asserted gratuitously and discreditably.

But the posts to which I refer are simply addenda to the propaganda campaign waged by the source in question and might as well be attached to this petition to have Fr. Volpi removed. This “breaking story” is not information but manipulation.

I would like to comment directly on one statement made by the source:

But most of all: will the Franciscan Friars and the Sisters of the Immaculate realize that the point of cohesion in a spiritual family, beyond the transient figure of the Founder, can be nothing other than a complex of unrenounceable, theological, spiritual and liturgical principles and that one of the causes of the present crumbling [of the order] is precisely the weakness of their reaction on this point?

Those principles are made clear in our ecclesiastically approved legislation, which we are following, as we have since the beginning. That would include the liturgical. We are observing the liturgical norms the Church has approved for our Institute—again—as we always have. As for the “crumbling” of our Institute, the source, ought not to waste any crocodile tears on the matter because 1) the Institute is not crumbling and 2) because it is disingenuous to complain about a crisis one has intentionally helped to cause.

Why don’t we all attend to our own business, allow the Church to work, and continue to pray.

Comments are closed.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Liturgy, Media, News, Religion Tagged: Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, Franciscan Friars the Immaculate, Franciscans of the Immaculate
From MaryVictrix.com

Wishful Blogging

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

I already have reassumed the full excercize of the functions of government and am about to resume normal work.

—Fr. Fidenzio   Volpi, May 15, 2015

Fr. Volpi thanks everyone for their prayers and wishes to confirm that reports of his death  have been greatly exaggerated.

If there ever were a major change in the government of the Institute or any other important news, one should expect to hear it from the Holy See or the Institute itself.

I cannot stress too much what ought by now to be apparent to all, namely, that blogs are not news outlets and bloggers are not disinterested reporters or journalists.  When they do “break stories” their work ought to be checked against how self-serving the stories are, and whether or not they are willing to post alternative positions.

Furthermore, just because a web site aggregates the work of many writers does not mean that it is anything more than an aggregated blog.  One-sidedness is a dead give away that you have a blog and not a serious news source.  Even when scholars and journalist blog, they are, believe it or not, blogging and not performing the work of a scholar or journalist.

All this being said, I still don’t see why so many Catholic bloggers have such a hard time telling the truth, instead of just pushing their agenda.

Comments are closed.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, News, Religion Tagged: Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, Franciscans of the Immaculate
From MaryVictrix.com

Dawn Eden in L’Osservatore Romano

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Congratulations, Dawn!

A tremendous honor.

See page 4.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, News, Religion Tagged: Dawn Eden, My Peace I Give You
From MaryVictrix.com

The Good Shepherd

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

My latest essay for Spiritualdirection.com can be found here. It is fourth in the series: “Mysticism and Magisterium.”

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, Religion, Spirituality Tagged: Good Shepherd, Mysticism and Magisterium, Spiritual Direction
From MaryVictrix.com

Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner: Sanctifying the Intellect

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

On June 8th and 9th of this year, Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, FI, will have his lifetime of theological work honored by a large number of scholars in a symposium, entitled:  Sursum ActioSymposium in Honor of Peter Damian Mary Fehlner, FI.  The event will be conducted at Notre Dame University.  Please click here for more information about the speakers and venue.

Father Peter is a native of Dolgeville, New York. He was ordained in Rome in 1957, and received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Seraphicum in Rome in 1959. For over 40 years he has taught dogmatic theology in various seminaries and university faculties. He has written and lectured extensively, especially on things Marian and Franciscan, in North America and Europe; for five years, he was editor of the magazine Miles Immaculatae founded by Saint Maximilian Kolbe and has been featured on EWTN. He was a past member of the general council of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and was the first rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, Wisconsin where he continues to reside and work.

Most recently Fr. Peter has been accorded the prestigious Cardinal John J. Wright Award of the Mariological Society of America for his outstanding contributions to Mariology.  Past honorees include, Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., William G. Most, Edward D. O’Connor, C.S.C., and Luigi Gambero.

At the symposium, I will be reading a minor paper entitled: “‘In the Counsels of the Immaculate': Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner’s Contribution to the Renewal of Franciscan Immaculatism.”

In 1985, when I was investigating the possibility of joining our observance of the Franciscan Conventual tradition (in the light of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Marian consecration), I was given a copy of one of his essays on the contribution of St. Maximilian to the Franciscan tradition and its relation to St. Francis: “Mary in the Franciscan Tradition: ‘The Virgin Made Church.’” That essay and a meeting with him in Rome right before I visited our mother house were determinative for me.  I have always remembered this satement of his:

It is not so much a question of what place Mary has in our lives, as what place we occupy in hers that is the starting point of any discussion. Only when the correct starting point from which to begin any study of the distinctive relations between Mary and our Order has clearly been identified, do we find ourselves in a position to assess the claims and implications of the Militia Movement within the Order.

At the time when our particular observance was in question, Fr. Peter provided the intellectual defense and the Franciscan-Marian metaphysics for St. Maximilian’s establishment of the City of the Immaculate, and the reason why this contribution to the Order was a true and permanently valid gift from the Immaculate.  Fr. Peter’s own personal commitment to this ideal has been an inspiration for many of us.

I can never be grateful enough to Fr. Peter, who through the years has been a source of inspiration, strength and enlightenment to me to persevere in this Franciscan vocation.  I know he has influenced and inspired many other friars, priests, religious and laypeople.  I am very thankful that the importance of his work is being acknowledged in this way.  Hopefully, it will inspire others to learn from this great Marian scholar.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Religion, Theology Tagged: Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, Mariology, Metaphysics, Notre Dame, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Sursum Corda, Symposium, Theology
From MaryVictrix.com

Alice von Hildebrand on Moral Courage

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

This perverse view has been carefully prepared by a so called “education,” aiming at convincing us that there are no absolute moral truths: they are all relative and depend upon the time and the culture that one happens to live it. It was declared to be “high time” to liberate ourselves from paralyzing taboos which have kept us in bondage. This view also justifies “same sex marriage” – a moral abomination that threatens the very fabric of society and that a no- nonsense Italian peasant would condemn on the ground that “no door can be opened if lock and key are identical.” From time immemorial – starting with Genesis – marriage has been declared to be the union of a man and a woman – whose spiritual, intellectual, affective and biological structures are so admirably complementary. Today in our morally decadent world, it is neither prudent nor politically correct to proclaim clearly and loudly that the natural moral law is as valid today as it was when given to Moses on Mount Sinai. It is a risky affair to proclaim the objectivity of truth and of moral values in our society seeped in “dictatorial relativism.”

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Knights, Manliness, Marian Chivalry Tagged: Alice Von Hildebrand, Moral Courage
From MaryVictrix.com

Shades of 50 Shades of Grey

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Report: outbreak of debilitated judgment, commonly diagnosed as Missing Conclusion Syndrome, frequently occurring in Catholic journalists, but more often in clerics and academics. Also known as the “Do Not Judge” fallacy.  Reduced to its elemental components it looks something like this:
Watching pornography is a mortal sin.
But, 50 Shades of gray is pornography.
Therefore, it depends on stuff; maybe if you have a bad intention; just be careful.
Response: avoid exposure and do the math.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Jocular, News Tagged: 50 Shades of Grey
From MaryVictrix.com

The Alleluia Battle Anthem

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

A blessed Easter to all.  I remembered all my readers this evening at the Easter Vigil at St. Mary Majors.

This is a repost from several years ago.

Crucem Sanctam subiit

A military chant from the Knights Templars (the real ones) in honor of the Resurrection and Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

Latin and English Lyrics

He bore the holy cross
who shattered hell
He was girded with power
He rose on the third day. Alleluia!

This Easter anthem is the work of the Knights Templar who were closely associated with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  I call it an “anthem” because it truly has a military ring. The “Alleluia” refrain sounds like it could just as likely come from a column of mounted knights as from a choir of monks.  Of course, the Templars were both.

Each one of the verses begins: “Christ is risen . . .” and then identifies the effects of the Resurrection on the Lord as well as on us:  His rejection is His victory; He will die no more; His Blood has bought the fruit of Easter for us.

He who bore the weapon of the Cross and went into battle in order to liberate His people, has destroyed the very gates of death and hell by his sacrificial death.  When the battle is over and the smoke clears there is silence over the whole earth—an apocalyptic silence that might be misconstrued for the end of all things.  But it is exactly the opposite.  After a moment, from the smoke and ashes the One who is called Faithful and True  in a garment sprinkled with His own blood rides forth on a white horse (Rev 19:11).  His word is as a sword that forever separates the light from the darkness and his livery proclaims His identity:  He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (16).

The faith of the Templars led them to face death for the sake of Christ, the Holy Sepulcher and for the People of God who travelled to the holy places.  We talk a great deal about a “Resurrection Faith.”  Sometimes what we mean is too fluffy to be real.  To live in the light of the Resurrection is to face death with one’s face set like flint, and to do so in joy and hope (cf. Is 30:7).

Several years ago, shortly before Easter, I had the blessing of celebrating Mass inside the tomb of Our Lord and then of spending the whole night locked in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with other pilgrims.  We were able to spend as much time as we wanted praying inside the tomb.  I was kneeling at Ground Zero.  The tomb is dead center in the charola of the Church, the rotunda that marks the center of the world.  All Templar churches were modeled after the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, with round sanctuaries and an altar in the middle, to commemorate the miracle of the Resurrection.  All roads lead to Jerusalem.

Inside the enclosed space of the tomb is another hidden space, like a Holy Grail.  There is an icon of Our Lady on the marble wall of the tomb that just looks like it is hung there.  But it is actually a door that reveals the rock wall of the original tomb.  The stone is worn away polished from the uncounted pilgrims who touched and kissed it.

In the icon, Our Lady holds the Holy Grail.  Actually, what is depicted is a ciborium. Grail means “dish” and the legends regarding the Holy Grail vary as to whether the object was a cup or a dish.  In any case, the Eucharistic and Marian significance remains the same.

These are enclosed spaces within spaces—places of worship, sanctuaries in which we find meaning, refuge, hope and ultimate victory.  Like concentric circles, these spaces lead us deeper within the mystery of faith in order to be liberated and break out from the narrowness the ego.  We go in to get out.

He was girded with power.  And so are we.  This is the Easter proclamation of “Alleluia! Praise the Lord!”  The chant of the Templars sets the cadence to our march forward toward the light of the new dawn and to eternity.  But we do not need to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem in order to benefit from the Resurrection, though I cannot recommend making such a pilgrimage enough.  Our altars and sanctuaries, our sacred vessels, indeed, the very bodies of those who have become temples of the Holy Spirit, all lead us to Jerusalem. Our love for all that is true, good and beautiful, preeminently represented by the Resurrected body of Christ made present in the Eucharist and by the Immaculate and pierced Heart of the Coredemptrix, anchors us to Ground Zero.  The power that singed our Lord’s image onto the shroud at the moment of His resurrection burst outwards like a shock wave that continues to reverberate through time and space.  May we be singed with the image of Christ by the same Easter sunburst.

Christ has risen
and shone upon his people
whom he redeemed
with his blood.  Alleluia!

Filed under: Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholicism, Liturgy, Religion, Spirituality, Templars Tagged: Crucem Sanctum Subiit, Easter, Easter Sunday, Easter Triduum, Knights Templar
From MaryVictrix.com

John Allen on the SSPX

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

John Allen on the SSPX

I think he overlooks a few of the complexities, but agree with him on the three points as to why reunion was not going to happen.  It seems Pope Benedict counted on an outpouring of grace through the lifting of the excommunications and the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum.  As Universal Shepherd he did his job.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, News, Religion Tagged: Benedict XVI, John Allen, Society of St. Pius X, Summorum Pontificum
From MaryVictrix.com

Internet False Prophet

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Over the last year or so I have been receiving regular emails from adjuncts of thewarningsecondcoming.com, the front for the self-styled seer, Maria Divine Mercy. I assume the messages I am receiving are from robots, since I never get a response to my pleas to stop sending me emails.

I believe the phenomenon of the virtual visionary is another symptom of the sickness of the Catholic Internet. There are always those who will be easily duped by scams. All an unscrupulous chiseler has to do is promise something too good to be true, or propose an arch-villain to explain every woe, or fix a doomsday on the calendar, and those who suffer will empty their pockets to have their empty cup filled with snake oil.

But this. This is almost too much to believe except that I have learned not to be surprised by anything. We are largely blind to the fact the increase in the amount of information we have access to only requires us to have new much larger sewers and leach fields installed to process all the discharge.

Internet Prophetess?

Anyone can play peekaboo gossip on the Internet and win a virtual crown of laurel for their anonymous heroism because this is the new information age in which the downtrodden now have a voice and can hide at the same time from Big Brother. But this? (more…)

Snowboard Tribute

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

 

Via Fra Didacus, Maine New York

Filed under: Catholicism, News, Religion, Video Tagged: Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, Fra Didacus, Franciscans of the Immaculate, Snowboard
From MaryVictrix.com

Concerning Recent Reports from the Blogosphere on the State of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The first point to be made is that the sources for recent the “reports,” are not responsible news outlets but bloggers, all of them, except one, are pseudonymous or anonymous. They have provided no evidence, that is, they have made purely hearsay allegations, or otherwise claimed to have “evidence” from which they have quoted excerpts without producing the document or its context. All the sources for these reports are clearly biased against the Commissioner and the Holy See and the bloggers in question are working in concert (Rorate Caeli and Correspondenza Romana, for example, regularly repeat and support each other’s reports).

Again, no reputable news outlet has taken responsibility for such “reports.” As far as I know—at least in the English-speaking world—no responsible news outlet has even repeated these stories emerging from the blogosphere. Please consider that when real journalists publish information from anonymous sources, the reporter takes personal responsibility with his real name, and the organization attempts to confirm the information by evidential reporting of independent sources. Nothing like this has ever been attempted by these bloggers. On the contrary, as already mentioned, there is an incestuous relationship between the various bloggers and their sources, and there has also been the habitual refusal to accept personal accountability for the damaging information that has been released.

Some Examples

During the recent Advent season one such “report” was made by Rorate Caeli about the Commissioner forbidding a novena of Masses and preventing one of our contemplative communities from providing itself financially. (more…)

Guest Post by Fra José Maria Barbin, FI: The Beautiful Struggle

Friday, February 13th, 2015

I am pleased to post here an essay of one of our friars, Fra José Maria Barbin on the subject of the imagination and Marian Chivalry.  I am thoroughly in accord with his insights and am grateful for his contribution.

In conjunction with I can heartily recommend also the teaser videos of Kevin O’Brien and Joseph Pearce on Tolkien. The ETWN production, and the talents of Kevin and Mr. Pearce, make looks the $10 that they are asking look like robbery.

And now. . . 

The Beautiful Struggle: “Sanctifying the Imagination”

All things come from God; and above all, reason and imagination and the great gifts of the mind. They are good in themselves; and we must not altogether forget their origin even in their perversion.

G.K. Chesterton puts these words on the lips of Father Brown in the detective story The Dagger with Wings. Truly, the priest-investigator was on to something. Benedict XVI denounced what he dubbed the “dictatorship of relativism.” Pope Francis warns us not to fall into the pit of “aesthetic relativism” (Evangelii Gaudium 167). We must never allow the abuse of reason and imagination to make us “forget their origin.” Father Brown was truly on to something—perhaps on to something mysteriously deeper than anything we imagine.

It is crucial to examine the indispensable role (more…)

My Reality, Your Reality

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

No not relativism.  Just an update 1.) to apprise the reader of my status, namely, that I did not fall off the face of the earth. and 2.) to disabuse whoever has eyes to see of the unreality of the latest “news” or “reporting” on the status of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  Just because people say things does not make it true.

First, thanks to all those who have been praying for me. I made it to the end of the semester at the Angelicum still standing.  I have one more final, but most of the stress is now behind me.  I hope to blog at least a couple of times during the break.

Second, Rorate Caeli has posted a video by one of our former friars, which by all accounts is a fairly nice vocation video for the Institute as it stands now, but it has been posted with a predictable interpretation and broadcasted further by others.

Several clarifications:

  1. At least 90% of the footage was taken by a seminarian who remains in the community and is quite happy to do so. Some of his footage was used for a 2013 vocation video which is was used by the producer of the new video without permission.  The parts of the new video that are not in the 2013 vocation video were shot for the vocation video and archived.  I have checked all my facts here from the seminarian in question, who watched the video in its entirety. RC says that the “footage was then kept in secret, witness of something no longer tolerable to those in power, unseen until now.”  This is simply false, as is evidenced by the video on YouTube.
  2. About half of the seminarians who are in the video are no longer in the Institute, but to them others have been added who have passed through the novitiate.  When the seminary closed there were 51 seminarians.  Today there are 28.  The same pattern is true of the schola that sang in the video.  It still exists and the members sing regularly at our liturgy.  We continue, for example, to use the Liber Usualis every day for various parts of the liturgy.  Please keep in mind that for those who have orchestrated the exodus, with outside from help from willing collaborators like those at RC, this is exactly what they wanted.  Seminarians were being contacted clandestinely, and encouraged as well as pressured by both former friars and those still in the Institute to leave.  This planned and well-orchestrated effort, unfortunately, was highly successful (and contrary to the explicit will of Pope Francis, BTW).
  3. Everything that is witnessed in the video, with the exception of the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy—a temporary restriction contingent on the temporary Commission—and the year long night rising for Matins we still do.  The Holy Father told us face to face that his intention was not to permanently forbid its celebration, but solely to see to it that the liturgy was not a source of division within the community.  Furthermore, the horarium has not changed, except for the continuous night rising, which was never part of our legislation anyway, and was only introduced in the seminary in November of 2011.  (We still rise at night for Matins during Lent—a practice mandated by our ecclesiastically approved Constitutions. Prior to the change in 2011, this had been the practice since 1990 and it remains in force.).
  4. Thus, the quotations in the video from our legislation are norms still in force which we continue to observe.
  5. The statement of RC that there now exists within the Institute “a new atmosphere of doctrinal corruption and moral relaxation, of the disintegration of the religious observance” is gratuitous, offered without evidence because there is none.
  6. This is a fine example of a propaganda piece which says little in terms of facts, but effectively conveys an conclusion necessary to a world-view.  It is called: “painting the target around the arrow.”  For example, RC claims that the video was shot on the very day the seminary closed, in order to achieve a maximum sympathetic response.  But in fact, the friar who shot the material, who was able to identify all the various elements, and who was present when the seminary closed, did not see anything that was shot on the day the seminary closed.

RC writes:

But perhaps our Lady, on her feastday, is offering a vision very different to that which seems to dominate presently in the Church — a vision of the consecrated life which is, as Simeon says of Christ, a sign of contradiction.

Indeed, I couldn’t agree more.  May we have the grace to correspond to our vocation.  But I don’t think any of the friars, including most who would like to see things the way RC wants to see them, would presume they are the ideal, or that the Church is without many other fine religious communities and holy religious.

After all is said and done, after everyone has had their say and shouted from the rooftops what they speculate might be reality—though they are convinced that their opinion is more than that—there remains only one thing to do, especially for vowed religious: obey the Church.  Anything else would be a patent absurdity—a contradiction for sure, but not the sign of contradiction.

I kindly ask Rorate Caeli to link to this post, in the interests of truth, and also out of justice, since the footage does not belong to Rorate Caeli, but has its origin in the Institute and was the work of a friar still present in the community.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, News, Religion Tagged: Extraordinary Form, Franciscans of the Immaculate, Rorate Caeli, Traditionalism
From MaryVictrix.com

Narratives of Dubious Provenance

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Clarity.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, News, Religion Tagged: Benedict XVI, Holy Communion, Marriage, Pope Francis
From MaryVictrix.com