Sunday 5 July 2015

Wonderful news from Portsmouth Diocese

The LMS Chairman’s blog has this welcome news from two English dioceses. The news from Warrington, in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, is very good. The news from Gosport, in the Diocese of Portsmouth, is astonishingly good. The extra element in the Gosport news is well summed up in Deacon Augustine’s comment on the LMS Chairman’s blog. I have pasted it here:
In further news about the Portsmouth appointment, Fr Serafino used to teach at a certain very successful seminary in Rome and has brought 7 seminarians with him along with a house of sisters of that same institute who will also be resident in Gosport.

The prayers and material donations of all who would like to support these friars and sisters would, I am sure, be greatly appreciated. Prayers for Bishop Egan too please - that St Michael would protect him in this courageous step.
Even before I read Deacon Augustine’s comment, Fr Lanzetta’s name had rung a bell with me. I tracked down a few posts, some in Italian, dating from the first year or so of the travails of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. As many of us know, the order was noted, among other things, for its growing love for the traditional form of the Mass. It also appears to have been distinguished by the quality of its spiritual care and by the theological calibre of certain prominent FFI priests. Fr Lanzetta is one such. During the distressing period of restrictions and closures, he was transferred from Florence to Kitzb├╝hel. According to one post on the subject, his German-language skills at that time were thought to be insufficient for the confessional. I dare say they were polished up pretty smartly. And now, he is to serve on the south coast of England!

I imagine this arrangement predates the recent appointment of a new Commissar and two co-adjutors, all experts in Canon Law, following the recent death of the first Commissar, Fr Volpi. If not, the powers that be must have moved very swiftly. This is a real coup for Bishop Egan of Portsmouth, a blessing for his flock, and a fascinating and (I hope) optimistic development in the saga of the FFI.