Apparently their superior general gave them permission to celebrate the EF for the laity and for the local communities in which they live. He can do this. The law allows him to do it. What non of us Franciscans can do is to make the EF mass the norm in any house or parish. It must always be extraordinary.
Five friars complained to Pope Benedict XVI that their confreres were so enamored the EF that they started to celebrate it on a regular basis. When you do this, EF becomes the norm and the OF, which Pope Benedict clearly said is the norm for the Catholic Church becomes the exception.
It is against Franciscan tradition to make the exception the norm. Franciscans have always used whatever liturgy. was available. according to the missal waht was hande.
All it takes is one friar, not five, complain to the pope that that there are ,too many EF masses being celebrated or that they simply don’t want the EF in their house. If they don’t the EF dies there. The friars do not have the authority to introduce something like that. If Sumnorum Pontificum says that the EF is the extraordinary, then the friars are bound to treat it as extraordinary. YOu can’t divide you community, because many people wan what is extraordinary.
Another complain that Pope Benedict received was that the FI were becoming sympathetic to Archbishop Lefebvre. From what I have hard. This did not come from the superior, but from the ranks. The superior allowed it. He probably should have regulated it so that the celebration of the tridentine was not so frequent. This throws off the rhythm of the community… The two missals use different calendars. It really divides a house.
Pope Francis inherited the problem. He appointed Fr. Volip, a Capuchin Franciscan, to take over the order’s government for the time being and to bring it into harmony with the rest of the Franciscan family when it comes to liturgy.
It is also said that as Volpi went through papers and books, he also found that the finances were not in order. I have no idea what Father found in the books.
He also ordered that the seminary be closed and that the student friars go to universities to study philosophy and theology. This is a bone of contention with Trads, be they religious or lay. Trads want to see every religious community have seminaries. But seminaries are not part of Franciscan tradition. The seminary system was embraced by Franciscans around the 19th century in imitation of clerical orders. But Franciscans are not suppose to be clerical. One does not join the Franciscans to be a priest. One joins the Franciscans to be a son of St. Francis.
It seems as if the FI were ordaining too many priests. This is not where the Franciscan family wants to go. The target it to bring down the number of priests while maintaining the total number of friars in solemn vows in order to return the family to an order of religious brothers where priests disappear into the crowd of friars. The Capuchins and the Conventuals are very good at this, Their numbers have dropped, but no one is worried about it. The drop in numbers is because men who want a guarantee that they will be priests are not getting it from our Franciscan communities. So they join other communities or dioceses where they do get this guarantee. Eventually, the number of Franciscan men will be a fraction of what it was in 1960, but it will be closer to what it was in the13th century when the priests were few. Most friars were not priests. The idea of a seminary is a point of contention, because it does protect your men from the outside world, but it also encourages clericalism.
Finally, from what has been made public, every friar has to take an oath in which he swears that the OF of the mass is valid and licit. It is the ordinary form for the order, because the order follows the Church and that unless they have special permission, they will celebrate the OF. Pope Francis has said that for the time being they cannot use the EF, until they read an agreement on these pieces.
Some people are interpreting it to mean that he has revoked the permission for the EF mass. However, the pope has not said that.
In a nutshell, what did they do? Apparently a large enough number of men adopted the EF for celebration. As long as one person says that he wants the ordinary form of the mass, the EF cannot that ove.
I have heard all of these like everyone else, on the Internet. I did see a comment a long time ago from someone in a position of authority who asked that we who are not FI not comment, not write letter and not protest. There is a circular letter being passes around asking for the dismissal of Fr. Volpi. Will it happen? I doubt it.
The Council of Trent said that only the pope could suppress an institution. Only the pope can take out a superior. Fr. Volpi the pro-tem superior. On he pope can remove im or accept his resignation. No one else had a voice in the matter. People can certainly make their views known, but we can’t make demands on the affair of a religious community.
Remember, this can all be bits and pieces taken out of context. We’re not hearing it from the friars.