Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Franciscans of the Immaculate

The war of words around the Franciscans of the Immaculate has noticeably hotted up in recent days as can be seen from the recent post by Augustinus on Rorate Coeli which can be read at For the record: Franciscans of the Immaculate under severe Vatican persecution.RORATE brings you all texts:* Apostolic Commissioner: FI problem is its "crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift"* Seminary closed: no ordinations for one year* Ordinands must take unprecedented oath on Novus Ordo* Ordered "by the Vicar of Christ"

Fr Finigan has commented on these reports in Oath to be administered to Franciscans of the Immaculate and there have been other blog posts such as  The Franciscans of the Immaculate and now Oaths Galore from Fr Hunwicke and A Petition for the Franciscans of the Immaculate originating with the Eponymous Flower and passed on by Lawrence "The Bones" in Brighton.

I have at least one friend who sees the situation with the Franciscans of the Immaculate as just the beginning of an assault on all things traditional in the Church, whilst others have seen it as a situation entirely confined to tensions within the one specific Institute. Another view might be that the Commissioner has, on his own initiative, taken on more than was called for or expected.

I am in no position to comment on the situation, but this looks as if it is becoming a cause célèbre of the present Pontificate.

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