I have been following the story about the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate with some interest though not with great, focused attention to detail. Nor am I jumping to conclusions, even if I am concerned and watchful about Pope Benedict’s legacy in terms of both Summorum Pontificam and Anglicanorum coetibus.
Sandro Magister reports on concerns four scholars have raised about the disciplinary measure quashing the right of priests in the FFI to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass.
In reality, the freedom to celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite that Pope Joseph Ratzinger had guaranteed for all with the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” no longer has universal extension today, because it has been revoked by his successor for one religious congregation and consequently also for the faithful who attended its Masses.
With reverberations that are rippling through the whole Church.
Many lovers of tradition are afraid, in fact, that this restriction placed on one of the pillars of the pontificate of Benedict XVI will soon become a more general impediment.
The Franciscans of the Immaculate have obeyed. But there are some who have not surrendered, and have sent to the Vatican a thorough critique of the decree with which the congregation for religious – with the explicit approval of the pope – intimated to the friars the ban on celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite.
The authors of this critical analysis are four renowned Catholic scholars: Roberto de Mattei, a historian and the author of a substantial reconstruction of Vatican Council II in the traditionalist vein, Mario Palmaro, a philosopher of law, Andrea Sandri, an expert in constitutional law, and Giovanni Turco, a philosopher. The first two teach at the European University of Rome, the third at the Catholic University of Milan, the fourth at the University of Udine.
The article includes portions of the analysis by the above authors.