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Vatican Rejects Calls for Removal of “Apostolic Commissioner” Tyrannizing the Franciscans of the Immaculate

Two Peas in a Pod: “Fr.” Fidenzio Volpi with “Pope” Francis

UPDATE 12/19/13: Deep Dive into the Vatican Crackdown (click here)

Pope’s Crackdown on Order Alarms Traditionalists
By Nicole Winfield (AP)

[Excerpts taken from ]

 — Pope Francis may have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, but he has come under scathing criticism from a growing number of traditionalist Catholics for cracking down on a religious order that celebrates the old Latin Mass. The case has become a flashpoint in the ideological tug-of-war going on in the Catholic Church over Francis’ revolutionary agenda, which has thrilled progressives and alarmed some conservatives.

The matter concerns the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a small but growing order of several hundred priests, seminarians and nuns that was founded in Italy in 1990 as an offshoot of the larger Franciscan order of the pope’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

[…]

The Vatican in July named the Rev. Fidenzio Volpi, a Franciscan Capuchin friar, as a special commissioner to run the order with a mandate to quell the dissent that had erupted over the liturgy, improve unity within its ranks and get a handle on its finances. In the same decree appointing Volpi, Francis forbade the friars from celebrating the old Latin Mass unless they got special permission, a clear rollback from Benedict’s 2007 decision.

[…]

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