A great short comment by Father Ray Blake, following a fortuitous encounter with some Sisters of the Immaculate after a mass celebrated at Ramsgate:
...without getting into ad hominem arguments I tend to have sympathy with a comment made by friend.
There really is nothing here to justify the drastic action taken. Since it would appear that the overwhelming number of friars supported the direction the institute was taking, surely it was for the five to ask to be transferred to an institute more to their taste; there is no lack of non-traddy Franciscan congregations, most of whom are desperate for vocations. In fact, this response confirms my view that the action taken by Aviz, Volpi and others is disproportionate, scandalous and downright cruel. His entire defence is simply a more elaborate way of saying that the Friars were getting too traditional for his taste.
It is the disproportionate nature of the Holy See's response that is scandalous. It reflects very badly on this Papacy.
Father Blake and his friend are, of course, both quite right. A minority within the Institute resented their superiors, and they are 100% responsible for all that has happened - curiously enough, while the majority of the institute, including their founder, have been placed under strict silence or worse, the members of the minority are quite free to write, speak, travel, and even blog... Quite interesting, is it not?... One would tend to think that this was not the Congregation they had joined, but that was not at all the case. The Franciscans of the Immaculate had always been traditional in their intimate thinking, while mostly dedicated to the Paul VI liturgy; after 2005, they were also clearly moved by the call to action promoted by Pope Benedict XVI himself and his vision of "hermeneutic of continuity", in liturgy and in theology.
It truly does reflect badly on this Papacy, as if an atomic weapon had been used to settle a discussion initiated by a couple of rebellious children against their parents and the rest of the family. The foxes have been let loose to devastate the hortus conclusus: may God have mercy on those who have caused this.