Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fidenzio Volpi is Alive, Francisco Franco is Still Dead

Yesterday, a number of sources reported that Commissioner Fidenzio Volpi, the Pope's man responsible for destroying reforming the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, reported that the father was critically ill (after suffering a serious stroke) or perhaps had passed away. The Eponymous Flower wrote a short post:
Edit: we are in the process of confirming, but the Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscans of the Immaculate has died as we've been informed by a reader, who particularly asks for prayers: 
"May I take advantage if this comment section to inform you and your readers of news which is beginning to come out, but which has not yet been confirmed (therefore completely unofficial)? It seems Fr Fidenzio Volpi O.F.M. Cap. has died today, 6 May 2015, Feast of St John before the Latin Gate. May I ask everyone to pray a little while to Ss. Francis and Claire to ensure that his time in Purgatory is as short as possible. " 
Shortly after, Messa in Latino wrote this note:
News spread this morning of the alleged death of Fr. Volpi, following a stroke yesterday. 
Reliable sources however, while they confirmed the stroke that hit a few days ago, denied that he had died. 
It was confirmed a few minutes ago that the Fidenzio Fr. Volpi is still alive, albeit in a very critical state of health. 
We pray for him.
A few hours later the website for the FFI issued this press release:
The news of the death of Father Fidenzio Volpi, released today by some traditionalist oriented blogs, is false and devoid of any foundation. Our religious family is praying for the conversion of all those that are leading a campaign of increasingly unscrupulous slander and defamation that ultimately affects the Catholic Church itself. 
Father Volpi, who today greets everyone with affection, has been taken ill in the evening of April the 29th and immediately hospitalized. 
The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate wish to express their debt of gratitude to Father Fidenzio Volpi along with the devout obedience to the Apostolic See.
The above is notable for a number of things:
  • While the "traditionalist" Eponymous Flower did run a headline reporting Fr. Volpi's death, it did so with the label, "Unconfirmed". The other "traditionalist" site "corrected" that report by saying essentially what was later confirmed by FFI in the press release.
  • Given that Fr. Volpi appears to have been taken ill, perhaps critically, after suffering a serious stroke (the FFI did not deny this) more than a week ago, and this fact was essentially kept secret by the relevant parties, labeling a news report that he may have died "devoid of any foundation" is a bit much.
  • And calling the varied news reports that he was critically ill or dead, "increasingly unscrupulous slander and defamation" has a shrill totalitarian ring to it.
  • Claiming to pray for the "conversion" of these Catholic bloggers--one of whom runs a well-trafficked Italian site dedicated to the Latin Mass--is disgusting and sick.
  • That the press release offers no concrete information or specifics on the issue of Fr. Volpi's health (other than to imply that he is alive) simply confirms the usefulness of the blogs as news sources.
  • Though traditionalists have been tireless in reporting on the scandal of Fr. Volpi's actions towards FFI and obviously view him negatively, the two reports made no reference to these events and each asked their readers to pray for the man.  
From the beginning, Rorate Caeli has chronicled the persecution of the order--shuttering its seminary, shutting down its publications arm, putting its leader and founder, Fr. Stefan Manelli, under the 21st century Catholic equivalent of house arrest, banning the Latin Mass, forcing its members to take a new loyalty oath, putting pressure on other bishops not to accept fed up "fugitives" from the order, and so on.

Recently, there was a still somewhat mysterious and unexplained civil settlement between the family of Fr. Manelli and Fr. Volpi. Allegedly they won a judgment against him for defamation, though this was officially denied.  

Interestingly, the fancy new FFI website appears to contain no reference to these events, though there are ample History and F.A.Q tabs. It does feature a picture of Pope Francis sitting in the center of five FFI members--presumably those who elected to conform with the new regime. There's that picture of Fr. Volpi clutching hands with the Pope--in a "moment of intense and friendly conversation"--though who he is exactly (beyond his name) and what his purpose or connection might be is left unexplained. The Press Release page is curiously empty.  

In pure Stalinist fashion, the wrenching events of the last two years have been shoved down the memory hole.

The Church of Mercy loves you. And in the end, you will love the Church of Mercy.


  1. There is no slander or defamation in reporting, even falsely, that someone has died.

  2. There is no slander or defamation in reporting, even falsely, that someone has died.