A Violent Pope?


Against the evidence there is little to argue. The outstretched hand of Pope Bergoglio to the Society of St. Pius X is the sam,e which has recently dealt blows to the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

The story of the Order of Malta ended with the unconditional surrender of the Grand Master and the return of power to Albrecht von Boeselager along with the powerful German group he represents.

The story was summarized in these terms by Riccardo Cascioli of La Nuova Bussola quotidiana: “the one responsible for the moral drift of the Order has been reinstated and he who tried to stop it was sent home”.

This happened in full disregard for the sovereignty of the Order, as is clear from the letter of January 25, addressed to the members of the Sovereign Council by the Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on behalf of the Holy Father, through which the Holy See has in fact placed the Order into commission.

It would be logical that the more than 100 States that maintain diplomatic relations with the Order of Malta would now withdraw their ambassadors, since, from the moment of the papal intervention, relations can be held directly with the Vatican, for which the order now depends on everything.

The contempt which Pope Francis shows towards the Law extends to the international law as well as the Italian civil law.

A decree issued by the Congregation for Religious with the consent of the Pope requires Father Stefano Maria Manelli, superior of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, not to communicate with the media, nor appear in public; not to participate in any initiative or meetings of any kind; and above all “to return, within the limit of 15 days from delivery of this decree, the economic assets managed by civil associations and any other sum that is at his disposal to the full availability of the individual institutes”, that is, to donate to the Congregation for Religious assets of which, as was confirmed by the Court of Review of Avellino, Father Manelli does not have, because they belong to associations legally recognized by the Italian State.

“In 2017, in the Church of Mercy,” says Marco Tosatti, “the only thing missing here is the strappado (or the cord), and the iron mask, and the list is complete (referring to instruments of torture)”.

What’s more, Abp. Ramon C. Arguelles, Archbishop of Lipa in the Philippines, came to know of his resignation from a statement by the Vatican press office.

The reasons for the decision is ignored but one can figure it out: Abp. Arguelles has canonically recognized an association that gathered a group of ex-seminarians of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, who left the religious institute after the intervention in order to study and prepare for the priesthood in full freedom and independence. That however is a sin and one that is considered unforgivable.

Hence the question arises whether Pope Francis is not a violent Pope, intending here the true sense of this term. Violence is not an exercise of cruel force, but rather the force that is being used in an unlawful manner, in defiance of the law, to achieve ones goal.

The wish of Bp. Bernard Fellay to regularize the canonical position of the Society of St. Pius X with an agreement that nothing will undermine the identity of his institute is certainly commendable, but the question arises: Is it opportune to be placed under the legal umbrella of Rome in the very moment when the law is being ignored, or worse yet, being used as a means to crack down on those who want to remain faithful to Catholic faith and morals?