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UPDATE on the Visitation on the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate
- Apostolic Signatura acted to reduce illegal powers
- Visitators suggest Vatican II Re-education Program

Félix Auvray
The Sword of Damocles
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes

Regarding the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate's visitation (see our previous post here) by an external agent (Sister Fernanda Barbiero of the Institute of the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy, named as Visitator by the Congregation for Religious), Rorate has received the following information from our trustworthy sources:

1) The Visitation lasted just a little under three months between May and July 2014.

2) The Franciscan Sisters made an appeal to the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura against an arbitrary attribution of power and the Signatura admitted they were right by limiting the Apostolic Visitator’s power “ad inquirendum et referendum".

3) Sister Barbiero visited the active Italian Nuns and asked the Congregation to send two other “Visitators” to visit the Contemplative Nuns: 2 Abbesses from the Poor Clares: Damiana Tiberio and Cristiana Mondonico, from the Protomonastery in Assisi and the Monastery of the Trinity in Gubbio, respectively.

4) The two Visitators spent about a week in the two monasteries of Alassio and Città di Castello, meticulously questioning all of the sisters; the Visitators were openly disdainful about the Traditional Mass, among other things.

5) The Visitators told the nuns that they prayed too much, that they did too much penance, and that the contemplatives were “too cloistered,” whatever that may mean for contemplative nuns; they told them that they urgently needed a “re-education” program according to the criteria of Vatican II.

Now, will there be a comissioning of the Sisters, as it happened with the Friars? The scandal of the Intervention of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is so preposterous and has caused so much distress and genuine horror throughout the Catholic world that, as seen above, the first attempt of the Congregation for Religious was to promote an intervention in all but name by granting illegal powers to the Visitator, which were reduced to regular visitation powers by the Segnatura Apostolica on appeal. 

With this first attempt blocked, and despite news of religious houses of ancient orders closing down every single day throughout the Catholic world, it is probable that the Duo on top of the Congregation for Religious will try to destroy the Sisters as thoroughly as they destroyed the Friars. However, they can do so only with the consent and full knowledge of the Pope. Will the Pope wish to have obliterated under his name and power what used to be a thriving congregation of exemplary religious women - if so, let us brace ourselves for an even more abusive intervention than the one on the Franciscan Friars.

Let us pray to the Lord and Our Immaculate Lady to touch the heart of Pope Francis so that the Sisters are not met with the same fate as the Friars.