…and makes new arrangements for the Franciscans of Assisi

Source: FSSPX News


On the same day, Benedict XVI published a Motu proprio, signed on November 9, outlining the new arrangements for the Franciscans in charge of the basilicas of St. Francis and St. Mary of the Angels, at Assisi.

 This pontifical decree places the monks under the control of three prelates: the bishop of Assisi, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian Bishops Conference, and another cardinal of the Curia. The decree requires the Franciscans to ask the authorization of their bishop for all future initiatives and to conform their religious ceremonies to the norms of the Catholic Church, in order to avoid all syncretism. La Repubblica spoke of the relief of Mgr. Sergio Goretti: “It was high time”, the monks had become an “autonomous enclave”, a source of many problems. “Sometimes, I found out what the monks were doing when I read about it in the papers,” he said.

 “Now the Franciscans have their hands tied and they are no longer able to be a bridge between the Church and society,” lamented Livia Turco, former minister and member of the left wing Democrats. On the other hand, the Pope’s decision was hailed by Maurizio Ronconi, a senator of the UDC (centre-right), who accused the Left of politically “exploiting” the monks for many years. Over the last decades, the religious of Assisi have been associated with causes supported by left wing political parties. Thus, the Easter procession which they organize each year, is frequented by left wing leaders, and for this reason, often boycotted by politicians of the centre-right. They have also welcomed controversial personalities, like the former Iraqi Foreign minister, Tarek Aziz, leaders of the Italian Communist Party and the film director and actor Roberto Benigni, well known for his left wing opinions.