Action Alert!
Catholic World News

Franciscan group forbidden to use traditional liturgy

July 29, 2013

Intervening in a bid to curb dissension within a Franciscan community, the Vatican has appointed a new leader for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and ruled that all priests of the group must celebrate Mass using the ordinary form rather than the traditional Latin Mass.

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have grown rapidly, and became especially prominent in traditionalist circles. But the group has also been torn by internal disputes-- including disputes over liturgical practices. The Congregation for Religious has now issued a decree that installs an outsider-- a Capuchin, Father Fidenzio Volpi-- as acting superior for the order.

The decree also states that the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate must use the ordinary form of the liturgy. Any use of the extraordinary form must be explicitly authorized by Church authorities, the decree states. This special rule, which applies only to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, marks a departure from Summorum Pontificum, in which Pope Benedict XVI ruled that priests are authorized to use the extraordinary form for their private Masses without any further approval from superiors.


Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mahrt4737 - Jul. 30, 2013 1:58 PM ET USA

    This is not in contradiction with Summorum pontificum; it says "If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues." Article 3.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 30, 2013 10:35 AM ET USA

    I'm not sure how much of a departure this is from SP. It appears that EF supporters were too zealous in implementation, creating the worst possible situation for a religious community--outright schism. The OF is normative for all Latin Rite Catholics. In a religious community, the vow of obedience has a kind of force that reduces personal independence, so it makes sense for priests there to ask for their superior's ok to use the EF.

  • Posted by: wsw33410 - Jul. 30, 2013 10:23 AM ET USA

    how do we explain this action?