Thursday, October 25, 2012

Franciscans in Italy

Seen everywhere. 

1 comment:

  1. Not seen as much everywhere as they used to be...especially in Catholic countries like Spain and Italy. They're practically gone in France, and G.Britian.

    Since Vatican II, believe it or not, the Franciscan OFM friars have closed over 1,000 of their monasteries!! Except in strongly Catholic countries, they lived in small communities of less than 20 friars. Their big monasteries (especially in Catholic countries), before Vatican II sometimes boasted as many as 60-75 friars! But now, since Vatican II and its "reforms", they have also lost over 55% of their membership--down from 28,860 (1962) to 14,311 (2011). There are now less than 10,000 Franciscan priests! And practically zero USA seminarians or novices. True in most countries as well.
    There really isn't much hope for the Franciscan OFM's. But their spirit and old traditions and disiplines (including the Tridentine Latin Mass), are being restored by a half dozen new Franciscan communities or Orders of friars founded in Italy since 1997, and afew in Spain, Mexico, and France. They all wear a different habit (some grey, some beige, some brown, one grey and black), but they are all trying to keep the OFM spirit alive in their new Orders-most of which number from 20 to perhaps 80 members.
    Only a return to Catholic tradition and the Tridentine Latin Mass will save religious life in the Church...especially among the big Orders like the Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.