Letter of Fr. Volpi to the whole family of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, December 8, 2013.(Rorate Ceali)
Also on the 8th of December a long letter from Fr. Volpi addressed to the whole family of the Franciscans of the Immaculate was publicized by Correspondenza Romana: The full letter in English translation is here (click here [pdf]) and in original Italian here (click here [pdf]).
In this letter, Fr. Volpi imposes various drastic following measures, including but not limited to the following that, as far as we know, have no analog in the last 50 years in the treatment of any liberal religious congregation:
1) The STIM is suspended until further notice; thus, studies are interrupted. In addition, students in the philosophical biennium will transfer to the Mother House in Frigento, where they will attend -- when given license to do so by the undersigned -- the interdiocesan theological College of Benevento; students in the theological triennium will go to the Generalate in Rome at Via Boccea, from which they will frequent -- as and when I decree -- the Pontifical Universities of Rome. As a result of these transfers, the Marian House at Sassoferrato will close.
2) Diaconal and priestly ordinations are suspended for one year. In addition, candidates for Orders who are presently in formation must personally subscribe to a formal acceptance of
The Novus Ordo as an authentic expression of the liturgical tradition of the Church and therefore of Franciscan tradition (without prejudice to what is permitted by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, once the current disciplinary decree of veto, ad hoc and ad tempus, is revoked for the Institute), and the documents of the Second Vatican Council, in accordance with the authority accorded them by the Magisterium.
Any candidate who does not accept these provisions will be immediately dismissed from the Institute.
3) Every religious in the Institute must clearly and formally express in writing his willingness to continue his journey in the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, according to Marian-Franciscan charism, in the spirit of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, according to the directives concerning religious life contained in the documents of the Second Vatican Council.
4) MIM groups in Italy are formally suspended until there is, as mentioned in a previous circular, a formal declaration of adhesion to the new authority. The same is true of the TOFI. The Apostolic Commissioner will appoint three religious to whom the members of the said groups may refer for eventual clarifications.
Further down the list of measures, Fr. Volpi also orders the suspension of the distribution to the public of "Casa Mariana Editrice" publications, which include many books and articles championing what might be called a moderate Traditional Catholic viewpoint on the liturgy, on theology, and on Vatican II.
Note: STIM refers to Seminarium Theologicum Immaculata Mediatrix, the house of studies of the F.I.
MIM refers to the Mission Immaculate Mediatrix and TOFI is the Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.