Two days ago came the news that a flagrantly dissenting priest of Ireland, Father Sean Fagan, has had all sanctions lifted. Six years ago he had been silenced because he refused to cease his dissent in matters pertaining to sexual morality. It has been said that he was an advocate for the liberalization of abortion. The news report does not indicate any repentance on Father Fagan's part. There are intimations that the lifting of sanctions came about as a result, at least in part, of intervention by Pope Francis.
Contrast this treatment with that of Father Stefano Maneli, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. They are the order that has been wildly successful in promoting the Traditional Latin Mass - until some malcontents managed to bend the ears of influential Vatican officials to stifle the order. The elderly Father Maneli is essentially under "house arrest", forbidden to visit his parents' graves to celebrate his birthday.
I am having grave difficulty reconciling this strange double-standard. One the one hand we have a flagrantly dissident priest having his sanctions lifted, out of the blue with no conditions placed upon him: conditions such as fidelity to the Magisterium, etc. On the other hand we have draconian measures taken against a faithful religious order and no justice in sight for these Franciscans. All this has occurred with the Pope's approval, if not at his direction. How does this work? Where's the "method to the madness"? OR, what's the motivation to the madness?
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