Regarding a CNA Article
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On 30 July 2013, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) published an article entitled “Franciscans of the Immaculate decree worries traditionalists,” in which it cites Fr. Alfonso M. Bruno, FI, who was—up until the promulgation of the decree assigning a Commissioner to govern our Institute—the member of the F.F.I. General Council overseeing Mass Media. The statements attributed to Fr. Bruno in this article are surprising and also erroneous in relation to Sr. M. Francesca Perillo, a former Mother General of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. The statements were later repeated by others, including the National Catholic Register.
When confreres asked him for an explanation, Fr. Bruno denied having ever granted an interview to the this news agency. He repeated this 5 August, specifying that he was interviewed only by Alessandro Speciale of Vatican Insider.
In any case, apart from the question of the source of these statements, already the first of them should put to the test the credulity of any reader. It says, “more than 80 percent of the friars appreciate the intervention of the Church” (i.e., the assignment of a Commissioner). Of course we accept the dispositions of the Holy See with loving obedience, but it is a bit difficult to appreciate losing the autonomy normally granted to an Institute of Pontifical Right. A religious obeys because this is God’s will, not because the orders are pleasing in themselves.
If there truly was in the Institute such an overwhelming majority of friars that wanted to remove the general superiors, they would have had a much simpler way to carry out their plan than the appointment of a commissioner, namely, to simply elect other superiors at the general chapter planed for next year. If it was necessary to act quickly, they could have simply asked the Holy See to move forward the date of the general chapter.
As for the statements regarding the F.I. Sisters, they are simply the repetition of baseless gossip.