Rorate Caeli

The Thiberville saga continues

The blog Osservatore Vaticano reports that Cardinal Hummes of the Congregation of the Clergy has rejected -- with unusual speed -- the appeal lodged by the Abbe Francis Michel against his sudden dismissal from the curacy of the parish of Thiberville (and of several other parishes) by his liberal bishop on January 3, 2010.

(For those not yet aware of the Thiberville saga, please read this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.)

One wonders to what extent this decision will negatively impact on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, not to speak of its effect on tradition-minded parish or assistant priests.

The following is a quick translation of the Osservatore Vaticano article, courtesy of our friend Natasja Hoven of Katolsk Observator:


Everybody knows the very famous Thiberville case, in the diocese of Évreux. This diocese is one of the most ill-fated in France. After Mgr Gaillot and Mgr David, the not so genial Mgr Nourrichard administers the collapse of a land which in times past was Christian, a land where churches are closed one after the other, catechism is deserted, vocations discouraged and finances dried up.

In this desert, a priest, abbé Francis Michel, maintains the most flourishing of parishes, Thiberville. This parish priest, not coming from a traditionalist milieu but profoundly traditionalist, in anticipation had applied the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum since many years back. In his church the masses are celebrated according to the form in our days called “the extraordinary form” and also masses according to the “ordinary” form, but in a manner in conformity with the wishes of Pope Benedict XVI, that is, turned towards the Lord.

And what was the result? Thiberville and the 14 parishes which abbé Michel is serving formed the most living Catholic ensemble and the one with the greatest missionary zeal of the diocese of Évreux : the church of Thiberville is full at all the masses, assuring the service “in turn” for the other churches ( desserte « tournante » des autres églises), there we find sound catechism, active participation of the faithful, abundance of ministrants, confraternities, all the churches magnificently restored, funerals celebrated by the parish priest himself … Those parishes where the communion of all the Catholics are lived in an exemplary way are a model for the application of the pope’s wish.

This is exactly what the “spirit of Vatican II”, with 40 years of delay, is not able to stand. At the end of December of last year, Mgr Nourrichard informed the parish priest … that his parish was abolished and brought together with a “parish ensemble”. By this procedure, the parish of Thiberville would no more have a parish priest of its own, as he was “withdrawn”.

We all know what followed: On January 3rd the bishop went to Thiberville with his collaborators in order to announce “with distress” the decision “beyond recall”. However he met with the revolt of the whole canton, which refused the end of the Catholic faith in this corner of the Norman land. A church full to the brim, on the first row of which were present the mayor and the county councilor together with the whole municipal council, acclaimed their parish priest and hindered the bishop to announce that he was suppressing the parish and its parish priest.

An appeal was then (twice) presented within the prescribed delay, before the Congregation for the clergy. The case was overwhelming for the bishop. It is necessary to understand that such an appeal is a delaying appeal: things remain as they are as long as the Roman decision does not intervene. In similar cases the Roman decision usually comes very late, when emotions have calmed down.

On the other hand everybody knows that Rome strongly disapproves of parish regroupings that are legally indefinable, this being a problem which retains the keen interest of the Roman canonists. Since the Council the rights of the parish priest have diminished. The traditional principal of the irremovability of the parish priest remaining (as in the popular saying: “the parish priest is the pope of the parish”). But the bishops’ conferences of each country have received the faculty of disregarding this right. This is how it is in France: the parish priests are from now on nominated "ad tempus", which is something that notably puts off balance the structure of the traditional diocesan life: the post-conciliar French bishop actually has much more power over his priests through the nomination “game” than the traditional bishop had. Moreover, it frequently happens that bishops do not nominate parish priests but only “parish administrators”, which makes the priests even more dependent on the diocesan administration.

In this case there was thus now the situation where there was a slow process while the Congregation of the Clergy examined the case, and thus there was a recovering of calm and common sense told that the Catholic life would continue in the parishes of abbé Michel and that the unjust – legally – and disastrous – pastorally – decision of the bishop could be nothing but reversed.

And then it was exactly the opposite that happened! The appeal that was presented in the end of February received a reply less than a month later …: On March 26th abbé Michel was informed … that his appeal was turned down and purely and simply rejected! The decision is signed by Cardinal Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the clergy: the parish of Thiberville does not exist anymore and thus has no parish priest.

Even in Rome one is dumbfounded. But everybody understands that the pressure exercised by the French bishops’ conference has had an uncommon force. The most eminent French instances have made it a question of principle. And they have won.

At least as yet. This decision is certainly going to be subject to appeal, and other means may be used. There is a rumor already on this matter. I will tell you more about it as soon as possible …

However it remains that for the good people of God, the negative sign that has been given is catastrophic.

50 comments:

Louis E. said...

Not that there's a serious chance,but...if Abbe Michel is to be without his job in Thiberville,since Cardinal Hummes has passed the retiring age,perhaps a solution could be found by employing the Abbe as the Cardinal's replacement.

Anonymous said...

That is what you get for having the pews filled with the faithful, the back of the hand.

Anonymous said...

How dare a Catholic Church fill up Her pews!
Despicable.

D.P.H.

Paul Haley said...

Pope Benedict XVI where are you? How much more of this nonsense can we take?

Anonymous said...

Most French bishops, with very few exceptions, are no longer Roman Catholics I'm afraid.
Charming situation for the thirsty souls of France....

Anonymous said...

Did he take his case to the Pontifical Commission Eclessia Dei?
That bishop in Thiberville should resign.

Steve K. said...

This really takes the breath away. I am accustomed to seeing the enemy within the Church operate with more subtlety. However, here we see a bishop and a cardinal in brazen opposition to the Faith. The smoke of Satan has indeed entered the sanctuary. Pray for all, especially for the poor souls of Cardinal Hummes and Bishop Evreux - surely theirs are in peril after this episode?

Brian said...

Ah, the spirit of Vatican II

Anonymous said...

If he was sex offender, instead of a good Catholic priest, the liberal bishops would let him stay.

Anonymous said...

Yes Louis, I agree lets see Pope benedict show some guts of his own by mking the Abbe replace Cardinal Hummmes. You see they can discipline but only the conservative/orthodox/traditionalists.

Anonymous said...

The Thiberville case goes far beyond Summorum Pontificum. Fr. Michel is above all a NO priest who is also celebrating TLM.

Moreover he is very representative of the ideal of priesthood according to the Tradition, Vatican II and Benedict XVI.

This is exactly what Bp Nourrichard wants to suppress as it is eradicated everywhere else in his diocese. The several parishes of Fr. Michel are an island of Catholic faith and practice in a desert.

The problem is how Rome can support Fr. Michel without creating a havoc with the regular right of any bishop in the world to move a pastor and reorganize the parish map.
The question is if Rome really wants to support the Ratzingerian clergy or continue to promote liberals to bishoprics, Bp Nourrichard has been appointed in 2005 by ... pope Benedict XVI. And he was clearly a progressive priest.

Alsaticus

Timothy Mulligan said...

Hence, the SSPX.

Anonymous said...

Am I understanding this right.

L'Osservatore Romano published an article criticizing the unjust decision of the Vatican's own Congregation for the Clergy???

Is this decision really still subject to a possible appeal?

To whom? The Holy Father or the Apostolic Signatura?

Canonists, please help us understand!

Paul Haley said...

The Upside-Down Church

The marks of the Catholic Church are that it is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. Today, we hear of stories where it appears it is anything but One, more Unholy than Holy, not Catholic or universal because of its diverse liturgical practices, and anything but Apostolic because of its turning away from Tradition handed down by the Apostles themselves. It used to be that one could go to a Catholic Church anywhere in the world and attend Mass in Latin, the universal language, with the tabernacle on the altar, the priest facing East in the direction of Our Lord’s Ascension and his final coming at the end of time. The emphasis was on the Eternal High Priest offering His Unbloody Sacrifice to His Father in the most reverent and respectful tone possible. Today, we have any number of “messes” where it is difficult to determine exactly what is happening that can in any way be determined to be sacrificial. Calvary has been displaced by the “Upper Room” and frivolity and fellowship is the order of the day. It is the Upside-Down Church.

The Sacrament of Penance is now administered face-to-face in a kind of psychotherapy session where sins previously recognized as such are no longer perceived as such. Very few of the lay people, and even less of the clergy, avail themselves of this sacrament, in part because they don’t believe they are doing anything sinful. Even some priests, if you can believe this, use the “confessional” as a means to set up penitents for the most unbelievable and horrendous crimes imaginable. These priests are then sheltered from the civil penalties that would be due them were civil authorities made aware of their crimes. This sheltering and sending off to “therapy” sessions, we are told, is to protect those involved except, of course, the victims. And, the most unbelievable part of this story is that these priests are given opportunities to wreak their havoc again and again in assignments post “therapy.” It is the Upside-Down Church. (to be continued)

Paul Haley said...

The Upside-Down Church (cont)

Bishops and priests of the New Order kind are given assignments that have “canonical status and faculties” whereas priest of the Traditional kind are considered as outside the Church in terms of their ability to administer the sacraments. An archbishop who believed, quite sincerely, that he was faced with a situation of necessity ordained many of these priests and consecrated four bishops to continue the ordinations and preserve the priesthood. His reward was to be excommunicated, his bishops and priests suspended. This suspension remains in effect even though the excommunications of the bishops were remitted. Many other traditional priests are relegated to be in so-called vagus status because New Order bishops insist on their giving up the right to celebrate sacraments strictly in accord with Tradition. This would be, of course, in return for “faculties” and support from the territorial bishop. Sound like blackmail? It’s the Upside-Down Church.

The Vicar of Christ sits in his Vatican palace and is unwilling to assert his authority to demand that rights be restored to priests, bishops and faithful whose only “crime” is to stand fast solidly in behalf of Tradition as enjoined by the Apostle Paul in his epistle. In the meantime the most horrendous abuses are uncovered almost daily in the secular press and the faithful are left to wonder whether there are, indeed, any true shepherds left who will stand up unflinchingly in the face of Evil from whatever source. Words are issued from the pulpits in unceasing avalanches of rhetoric but actions are not forthcoming. It is the Upside-Down Church. (to be continued)

Anonymous said...

No Bishop has the right to impede the sacramental life of the faithful, and his intervention to do so was rightfully opposed by the laity.

About the only pratical thing they laity can do is take the churches away from the Diocese (after all in france the Churches belong to the State) and create their own local church immediately subject to Rome, letting Rome know that if they defend a schismatic bishop against the faithful, they too share in the sin of schism.

The appeal, if made, should not move on the grounds that the Bishop cannot close parishes, but should openly attack him for the crime and sin of schism and heresy, for which there is probably sufficient evidence.

Leave the parish priest out of it. The appeal needs to be made by the laity themselves, signed from the mayor down to the last man in the pew.

The laity need to demand a Catholic Bishop, and need to demand Rome to send one: Rome has no right to impose heretics on the faithful, and those responsible for doing so will certainlly all be damned.

Paul Haley said...

The Upside-Down Church (cont)

What was once considered an unspeakable crime, that of cremation, is now regularly considered a viable option for the deceased. What ever happened to the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit says the person in the pew? Answers are not forthcoming except it is the “green solution” and a more economical alternative. Say what? It is the Upside-Down Church.

Armageddon is just around the corner with North Korea and Iran pursuing nuclear weapons, terrorists having a field day bombing out ordinary places of work or leisure and the Israelis contemplating a preemptive strike against their tormentors in Iran. In the meantime doctrinal discussions are being held among Catholic theologians in the Vatican to try and decide just what is Catholic doctrine. Doctrine and dogma that should have been settled long ago are now up for discussion? It's the Upside-Down Church.

Comments are welcome but prayers are necessary. May this Holy Week be for us a travel with Our Lord on the sorrowful road to Calvary and a hope for Resurrection. God be with you all as we contemplate this sorrowful Passion.Bishops and priests of the New Order kind are given assignments that have “canonical status and faculties” whereas priest of the Traditional kind are considered as outside the Church in terms of their ability to administer the sacraments. An archbishop who believed, quite sincerely, that he was faced with a situation of necessity ordained many of these priests and consecrated four bishops to continue the ordinations and preserve the priesthood. His reward was to be excommunicated, his bishops and priests suspended. This suspension remains in effect even though the excommunications of the bishops were remitted. Many other traditional priests are relegated to be in so-called vagus status because New Order bishops insist on their giving up the right to celebrate sacraments strictly in accord with Tradition. This would be, of course, in return for “faculties” and support from the territorial bishop. Sound like blackmail? It’s the Upside-Down Church.

The Vicar of Christ sits in his Vatican palace and is unwilling to assert his authority to demand that rights be restored to priests, bishops and faithful whose only “crime” is to stand fast solidly in behalf of Tradition as enjoined by the Apostle Paul in his epistle. In the meantime the most horrendous abuses are uncovered almost daily in the secular press and the faithful are left to wonder whether there are, indeed, any true shepherds left who will stand up unflinchingly in the face of Evil from whatever source. Words are issued from the pulpits in unceasing avalanches of rhetoric but actions are not forthcoming. It is the Upside-Down Church.

What was once considered an unspeakable crime, that of cremation, is now regularly considered a viable option for the deceased. What ever happened to the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit says the person in the pew? Answers are not forthcoming except it is the “green solution” and a more economical alternative. Say what? It is the Upside-Down Church.

Armageddon is just around the corner with North Korea and Iran pursuing nuclear weapons, terrorists having a field day bombing out ordinary places of work or leisure and the Israelis contemplating a preemptive strike against their tormentors in Iran. In the meantime doctrinal discussions are being held among Catholic theologians in the Vatican to try and decide just what is Catholic doctrine. Doctrine and dogma that should have been settled long ago are now up for discussion? It's the Upside-Down Church.

Comments are welcome but prayers are necessary. May this Holy Week be for us a travel with Our Lord on the sorrowful road to Calvary and a hope for Resurrection. God be with you all as we contemplate this sorrowful Passion.

Anonymous said...

If a moderns saint were the Pope, he'd


Jump on a plane and arrive at Thiberville, and flanked by the Bishop and the local pastor, apologize to the faithful for the scandal called by the Cardinal. Then he'd order the Bishop to apologize for his scandalous behavior.

Then he would publically commend the local pastor, and by papal decree order the resignation of the Bishop and make the pastor his sucessor.

Upon returning to Rome, he'd also ask the Cardinal for a letter of resignation ASAP, on his desk before breakfast.

Perhaps the next pope is reading this blog: if you are, I pray you take some common sense advice on how to manage crises !

Jacob said...

How sad. And I can't help feeling somewhat responsible...

I was thinking to myself of the unrealized curial reform and consoling myself with the idea that up until now, Cardinal Hummes at the congregation for the Clergy had pretty much disappeared...

Silly me for jinxing a good thing.

John McFarland said...

I have no notion of how long would be a reasonable time for the Pope to get around to dealing with this.

Let me offer six months, but I will defer to any more seasoned Vaticanologists on this string.

But there is some period after which it would be fair to say: the Pope is not On Our Side -- or, at any rate, not enough On Our Side to make a symbolic gesture in support of a motu proprio.

If I had to bet, I'd bet that he won't act. My chief reason is that I don't think that he believes that he has the right to act. I suspect that under the hermeneutic of reform/continuity, the direct and absolute jurisdiction of the Holy Father over every Catholic is in the dustbin of theological history along with the Syllabus of Errors.

John Lamont said...

Alsaticus raises good and thorny points that it seems to me have further ramifications. The bishop does seem to a lay view to be acting within his rights in canon law in closing the parish - although the flexibility inherent in any system of law makes one wonder whether some defence for the parish priest might not be found.

However, this particular canonical aspect does not take into account the realities of the case, which are that the bishop is not a Catholic, and the the parish priest is being removed for his success in preaching the faith. Given the canonical principle that the salvation of souls is the supreme law of the Church, canon law in fact supports his retention. But for this canonical feature to prevail, the Pope would a) have to face up to the fact that the bishop is not a Catholic and is working to destroy souls, and b) act on this knowledge by removing the bishop.

The problem of heretical and other misbehaving bishops, as Alsaticus points out, is the weak point of this papacy and of the whole Church. This weak point emerged in the Pope's otherwise good letter to Irish Catholics over sexual abuse. That letter did not admit the fact that many bishops transferred sexual predators knowing that they would offend again. It kept up the lie of bishops being foolish and misled in returning offending priests to situations where they could offend again. In fact, it is clear that bishops transferred sexual abusers after repeated offences - repeated offences that made it clear that the individual concerned would offend again if given the chance. Thsi happened because the bishops did not care about the abuse, and were only concerned with hushing it up. Bishops of this kind are as culpable for sexual abuse as the actual abusers are - more so in many cases, since the abusers often acted partly as a result of psychological problems that lessened their culpability, but the bishops did not.

My guess is that the Pope partly does not realise that bishops are as corrupt as they are, partly refuses to face the evidence for it because it is too uncomfortable, and partly has a deficient conception of papal authority that limits papal correction of bishops to stern admonition but not removal from office. His predecessor seems to have held the last-named view of papal authority.

But the situation with bishops cannot continue as it is without the total collapse of the Church in many countries. I don't know what it will take to bring about a revival of papal responsibility.

Paul Haley said...

John McFarland said...

I have no notion of how long would be a reasonable time for the Pope to get around to dealing with this.

If we can assume he is made aware of this situation, and we probably can't make that assumption because of the New Order filtering of the events described, 24-48 hours would be a reasonable time for him to react. But, then, as I said before, I'm not a patient man when it comes to this kind of debacle.

If I had to bet, I'd bet that he won't act. My chief reason is that I don't think that he believes that he has the right to act. I suspect that under the hermeneutic of reform/continuity, the direct and absolute jurisdiction of the Holy Father over every Catholic is in the dustbin of theological history along with the Syllabus of Errors.

I'm afraid you're spot on with your analysis to the great disadvantage of the entire Catholic world. In a nutshell, it appears he's afraid of the "wolves" who are out to do him in.

Nemo said...

Maybe we should give the Holy Father the benefit of the doubt for the moment, because he is under a little external pressure from, well, the rest of the world. (Something to do with claims of abuse, cover-ups, etc. etc)

Anyone else think the French Bishops may be exploiting that?

DV

Thomas John said...

I hope Abbe Michel is, in his own way, inspired to follow the victorious example of Msgr Ducaud-Bourget. Actions speak in ways words can not.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"L'Osservatore Romano published an article criticizing the unjust decision of the Vatican's own Congregation for the Clergy???"

No, the article is from the French Catholic blog Osservatore VATICANO.

Anonymous said...

Who was it who warned the bloggers here time and again that Claudio Cardinal Hummes, that bloody Marxist, is the very worst liberal in the curia. That would have been ... me. Frankly, I don't like being proved right on this. Poor Fr. Michel. He should just join the S.S.P.X. After all, its Masses fulfil the obligation ....

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lamont offer and excellent analysis. Well done.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

I've met Hummes on some occasions... an imperious bore of a man, in my opinion. What's surprising (or is it?) is that he is often courted by Opus Dei here in Rome (the times I have seen or met him have been in that milieu). Though I suppose that they are drawn to anyone with a red hat these days.

Anonymous said...

"But the situation with bishops cannot continue as it is without the total collapse of the Church in many countries. I don't know what it will take to bring about a revival of papal responsibility."

Your second sentence will perhaps be answered by the first.

Did not the Child Jesus warn St. Lucia Santos that such would be the result if the Pope and Bishops refused to obedy the Divine Decree calling for consecration of RUSSIA to the Immaculate Heart.

The Bishop of Evreux is the sad consequence of such persistent, multigenerational denial of the obligation of the hierarchy to divinely revlead truths, confirmed by the greatest miracle since Moses parted the Red Sea (recokoned according to numbers of witnesses).

LeonG said...

"Pope Benedict XVI where are you?"

You already have your answer - The Vatican will do nothing. This is the post-conciliar era of the despotic reign of the bishop. The problem is that very many of them are no longer Roman Catholic in their minds. They have been infected with years of liberal modernist philosophy and culturally relativised ecumenism with parallel inter-religious thinking. Underpinning this is the NO liturgy in its plurality of forms.

There is no authority at present and certainly no discipline.

LaPraz@aol.com said...

Merci, Marcel. Deo Gratias!

Oliver said...

The Curia is a slurry-pit. But then we knew that decades ago. Its spiritual redundancy goes hand in hand with conciliar attempts to reconstruct the Church and share its raison d'etre with those modern movements now rampant in the world.

The recent leanings towards tradition in Rome is a facade. Any strong appetite for it among some in the dioceses surely had to be stamped on. The conciliar church is a modern church; a break with the past.

Anonymous said...

Why the accusations? Do you know the mind of this Cardinal?

It may well be that this is the most fortunate result and intended by the Cardinal for the Abbe's benefit. In order to resist the forces alligned against the Abbe it may well be that he needs a decision from higher authority - one that will bind more than this bishop. By rapidly dismissing such an obviously unjust case it is more rapidly appealed. Abp. Burke, one of the most stalwart Americans, friend of the EF, and a top canonist, is at the Signatura. He has taken on his own Bishops Conference. I am sure he is not afraid of the French.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone else think the French Bishops may be exploiting that?"

No. Not at all.

It is simply business as usual in regard to the manner in which bishops act.

What will the Pope do in regard to Thiberville? He won't do anything.

As Pope Benedict XVI stated, "in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel."

That is where we are in the Church — a state of collapse.

Just deal with it. That's all.

Anonymous said...

How terrible for the souls..The poor people. How could they be abandoned like this and then be told to keep the faith...Isn't there some story or profecy saying that Bishops will be led up a hill in Rome and slaughtered? Maybe the angry people of the Diocease will give everyone a preview. This is the effect on emotion this Bishop has. Is that good for the Church? for souls? for conscience? for the Catholic Faith? We have had enough, Holy Father, please we beseach you, undo this travesty. These Bishops have done more to harm the Church than any ambiguous documents. They simply have to go, one by one, and their replacements must be thoroughly orthodox and traditional. This modernist cancer must be cut out or it will continue to spread to what good is left, as is the case now with this Diocease. A Wicked Bishop, indeed.

Anonymous said...

To John Lamont, some additional remarks :

- Benedict XVI appointed Bp Nourrichard (of Evreux) : it's a point the bishop himself stressed saying to TV reporters, something like I've been appointed by the pope, I can step down if the popes requests it.
- Reshuffling the parish map is an ordinary right for any bishops ; nobody will be able to prove in Canon law that doing so could be "heretical" ...
- Moreover the good of the faithful is easily assumed by the bishop who is precisely motivating his reshuffle with this argument at the scale of the diocese. He is saying the changing of parish constituencies is for the good of the faithful at large.
- finally Fr. Michel has been in charge of Thiberville parishes until 1986 : so the argument of breaking the stability is void and null in his case.

Canonically and pastorally, the solution is obvious : Fr. Michel should be appointed pastor "in solidum" with Fr. Vivien as "moderator" of the new parochial zone. The episcopal's prerogative and the actual good of the faithful, and proper respect for the outstanding ministry of Fr. Michel, would be respected.

It is a very important case in France : all major media have been talking about Thiberville, TV reports have been aired. If a "Ratzingerian" pastor is removed when he is the most successful pastor of the diocese under the (subtle) maneuvers of the liberal chancery and bishop, the impact will be desastrous. The whole papal directives will be nothing more than words, without much substance.

The question is however very thorny : Rome cannot blame bluntly Bp Nourrichard using the Canon Law or disciplining him and then undermining the authority of ALL bishops. For ex. Fr Jenkins of Notre-Dame would be conforted, Sr. Keehan would be also and all corrupted and/or dissenting pastors in the world could resist (some of them do already) when an orthodox bishop is trying to restore the faith.

That's why the canonical issue I suggest is an acceptable "compromise" trying to avoid both difficulties in this case. It is also obvious that so far pope Benedict XVI failed in initiating a real new policy in appointing bishops in France, too timidly in Western Europe, very poorly in Latin America. The countries where such a positive policy is observed - started under John Paul II - are the USA and Canada, Australia. It is the major weakness of this pontificate, as it was under John Paul II.

Alsaticus

Anonymous said...

Poor Humes. Poor Brazil.

Anonymous said...

Just like other bishops who have desacrilized their dioceses and refuse to uphold Catholic teachings, and we have a number of them still in the US, Rome will not interfere. We wait on God or on time to remove the judas bishops. Time goes slow sometimes.

Anonymous said...

The Church has 1.2 Billion members... you people who think the Pope knows about every injustice and is expected to act on it are not being reasonable.

Paul Haley said...

On the matter of appointing bishops I should like to make some observations. As I understand it, the Pope does not decide in advance who will be elevated to the episcopacy but depends upon the recommendation of the Bishop's Conference, the Papal Nuncio to the country concerned and the curial recommendation from the Congregation of Bishops. At least this is the normal way that it is done according to what I've read. So, if any particular recommendation works out to be say less than desirable, the fault lies with the bureaucracy and the built-in "filters" more than with the Pope himself. It's kind of like: "You got what you asked for, dear friends or, maybe, you didn't ask for it but you're getting it anyway."

But it doesn't have to be done this way and IMHO it should not be done this way in these critical times. The Pope has at least four bishops and many eligible candidates for the episcopacy from within the FSSPX, the FSSP, the ICK and other traditional orders. He has an unbelievable and unfortunately, as yet unused, resource at his disposal. So far, he refuses to use this resource and stubbornly continues the mistaken idea that the New Order bishops are the future for the Church. All this occurs while the Church appears to be coming apart at the seams with scandals of the most abhorrent kind plastered over the news media and thrust in our faces.

The only solution is prayer - prayer that the Holy Father will come to his senses and appoint to positions of authority those who have demonstrated their fidelity to Tradition or what he calls the hermeneutic of continuity with that same Tradition. Now, our Holy Father is by all indications an intelligent man and the fact that he cannot see his way to exercise this authority on his own means that we must appeal to a higher authority, God Himself.

Anonymous said...

So, the enemy within attacks on several fronts these days...instead of being quiet. Makes me wonder what they have planned and how powerful they really are? Apparently they are very much in power.

Our Pope is very clever and I hope he has a strength to be decisive and to move quickly.

I will keep in mind that the Pope says the TLM privately every day.

God help our Pope BXV1.

Anonymous said...

Paul Haley,
Further to your comments...
- It has been said that sleepy Catholics took what they had for granted in the 1950s and God is now punishing us.
- Yes prayer is needed...much prayer. (The FSSPX year long Rosary Crusade just ended....that took commitment. My thanks to all who persevered.)
- Penances and fasting too. Some demons can only be dislodged with fasting.
- Is there not one Bishop in all the world that would lead the FSSP? I haven't heard of any stepping up for the task, have you? 20 years is a long time. What gives?
- The SP clarification needs to have some teeth and come out pdq.
- Thank God for the FSSPX! Thank you Lord.

Anonymous said...

You can blame the problems on all the bishops you want to blame, but the buck stops at the Pope's desk. If a pope actually appoints or tolerates an evil man as bishop, when he could remove him, he will pay for it in eternity, at no small price!

For this reason St. Alphonsus dei Liguori said that he presumed that all Popes who were not canonized saints, were damned, unless he had other contradictory information.

Anonymous said...

Attn. Paul Haley:

There is a very remote chance that the Holy Father would elevate a traditional bishop (FSSP or ICK). They would still see over the celebration of the Novus Ordo. There is no chance for one from the SSPX since they will not do likewise. For an SSPX Bishop we will need a miracle.

The SSPX 12 Million Rosary Crusade Bouquet is now being compiled. The Holy Father can play a huge role in another miracle which can lead to it happening; the Consecration of Russia. The Fatima naysayers may howl at my opinion. To which I would reply, the feeling is mutual.

A.M. LaPietra

Anonymous said...

Anonymous talks about evil appointees and responsibility of leadership.

Isn't that part of the problem with the V2 aggriomento (sp) - it tolerates laxity and so it seems evil actions by definition.

This reminds me of when General Romeo Dallaire alerted the world to the Rawanda massacre and begged for help (UN is a joke) but the US politicians debated the definition of 'genocide' while they were being slaughtered.

Was it the Cure de Arc that asked for three good men to change the world? Now there was a man of penance....and results. If only...

Paul Haley said...

A.M. LaPietra said:

There is a very remote chance that the Holy Father would elevate a traditional bishop (FSSP or ICK). They would still see over the celebration of the Novus Ordo. There is no chance for one from the SSPX since they will not do likewise. For an SSPX Bishop we will need a miracle.

His Holiness already has 4 bishops in the FSSPX who could fill any position that needed a bishop; he doesn't have to look elsewhere. As for them having to oversee the NO, I believe the bishops concerned would know how to deal with that problem - if you get my drift. The bishop sets the tone in his diocese and there's not the slightest doubt in my mind that with Traditional Bishops, things would change for the better almost immediately.

Let's face it, the priests in the New Order know full well what Tradition is all about and with a bishop ready to kick butt and take names they will fall into line very quickly.

Anonymous said...

The Holy Father is old but he has not come this far to give up. It is reasonable to suppose that Cardinal Humes' action was made to facilitate the ultimate resolution by AB Burke. The Pope will have his will but if the French bishops take enough rope the hanging might proceed a little more expeditiously.


John

Anonymous said...

Does Vatican II's collegiality help cause the problem by increasing episcopal authority and decreasing papal authority. Many keep blaming the spirit of Vatican II for many problems the Church has. But to quote Archbishop Lefebvre, I also "accuse the council."

Anonymous said...

Claudio Cardinal Hummes was kicked upstairs to get him out of Brazil, where he was doing too much damage in his liberation theology nonsense. He has mostly remained quiet since then but has finally had a chance to do some damage from Rome. But he is over 75 and will soon be retired into obscurity, into a special nursing home for senile leftists.

Bishop Nourrichard, on the other hand, is at the perfect age to be promoted away from his troubled Diocese under the principle of 'promoveatur ut amooveatur'. That could happen after all the appeals have been exhausted.

As for Fr. Michel, there is always the S.S.P.X. According to the P.C.E.D., attendance at Society Masses fulfils the Sunday and holyday obligation. Knowing this, the good people of Thiberville could simply go to his Society Masses. This would be an interesting outcome.

I have been saying from the very outset on this blog that Cardinal Hummes is the worst and most dangerous member of the curia. Now the evidence points in that direction. But his time is coming to an end, along with that of Cardinals Kasper and Re. Power is slipping away from the liberals, which is one reason they've gone on the offensive recently through the New York Slimes.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

John writes:

"The Holy Father is old but he has not come this far to give up. It is reasonable to suppose that Cardinal Humes' action was made to facilitate the ultimate resolution by AB Burke. The Pope will have his will but if the French bishops take enough rope the hanging might proceed a little more expeditiously."

I don't buy this, even if it will be the outcome. Cardinal Hummes is and always will be an enemy to tradition in the Church. He is, in fact, our very worst enemy in the curia.

Also, I'm not sure how Burke can help. Whether we like it or not, the Bishop was acting within his rights in canon law. If Rome were to overrule him, it would violate the legitimate rights of local bishops. A diocesan bishop is not merely the deputy of the Pope but is a direct successor of the apostles for his circumscription. That means that each bishop has a right to organise and re-organise his see, and transfer and promote and demote his priests.

Therefore, if the problem is Bishop Nourrichard's apparent intent, other ways need to be found to deal with him, such as his own promotion or transfer.

All of this is a distraction from the real problem here, which is a refusal by the French hierarchy to obey "Summorum Pontificum". Month after month after month the French bishops refuse to increase the number of Latin Masses, even when such increases are requested in accordance with the terms clearly set forth in Articles 1 and 5. In a number of dioceses (concentrated in the north-east), there are no every-Sunday Masses in dioceses, not even one. These include Reims, Soissons, Langres, Chàlons, Verdun and even the very-populous Cambrai; they also include St. Denis in the Paris region, plus La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If Fr. Michel must obey his bishop, then so must the French bishops obey the Pope and stop obstructing S.P.

Consistency is a quality of justice. Where is it here?

Poor France! Poor Fr. Michel!

P.K.T.P.