Rorate Caeli

Barbarin againt Ecumenism

We have always thought that the drive for ecumenism, spearheaded by Pope Blessed John XXIII, was somewhat...idealistic and, well, unreal. It seems Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon and Primate of the Gauls, agrees with this assessment.

In an interview with one of the best religious journalists in France, Sophie de Ravinel, published today in Le Figaro, the Cardinal explained why the irregular situation of the "Lefebvrists" is, by all measures, impossible to fix. Any "separation" which takes this long (18 years and counting) is really impossible to mend.

"[The Pope] wishes to offer his hand, before it is too late, to those who are afar. I feel, however, that the issue is not certain. Whenever a schism is in its beginnings, it is still possible to achieve an understanding... [sic] It is more complicated after several decades."

Just so. This whole discomfort among the French bishops is not worth the healing of a separation. We believe the Cardinal's anti-ecumenical view of events applies even more forcefully to the Churches and ecclesial communities separated from Rome after the Council of Ephesus (1575 years and counting), after the Council of Chalcedon (1555 years and counting), after the events of 1054 in Constantinople (952 years and counting), after the Diet of Worms (485 years and counting)...

We hope Cardinal Barbarin shares the same thoughts in his future visits to Russia and Constantinople, which will probably be as numerous in the future as they have been in the past. And we would like to know if he is willing to use the word "schism" with the Ortodox as liberally as he does regarding those Traditionalists in irregular canonical standing (the Traditionalists in the diocesan-authorized communities of Lyon are already familiar with the Cardinal's abundant charity and understanding...).


  1. New Catholic, congratulations on drawing to our attention with considerable style to some particularly sharp irony.

    It might be worth drawing to his Eminence's attention the response of Cardinal Cassidy (I think) as President of the Council for Promoting Christian Unity, that relations with the SSPX are "an internal matter of the Catholic Church", and did not fall within the purview of his dicastery.

  2. I would like to thank the Cardinal from my heart. Whenever I die, I will die laughing because I will remember this absurdity for the rest of my life.

    Much more important, however, to die penitent.

  3. PS Just goes to show that they will try and do anything to discredit traditional Catholicism.

    Laudetur Jesus Christus!

  4. The Cardinal appears to have a headache. Maybe the collar of his grey sweater is too tight.

  5. As an Orthodox Christian my question would be, why are we receiving this man in Moscow or Constantinople in the first place? Does he have any connection at all to The Church as we understand it? The Pope is someone we can talk to. But this man is a Protestant. (I was about to say Protestant in Roman clerical attire but a quick glance at the picture shortened the last sentence by 4 words.)

    In fairness some of your traditionalists are not the easiest people to talk with either. Their line is typically summarized as "come kiss the pope's ring and we will consider talking." Still I am not without hope.

    Ad Orientem

  6. Le pauvre eveque. He has not noticed that Lyon has lost most of its flourishing Roman Catholic parishes bequethed to him and his like by the pre-conciliar traditional Roman Catholic Church. He has sat on closing seminaries and dwindling funds from the Sunday collection. Soon, he will be the tragic consequence of ignoring his ageing presbyters "prophecy" - an extinct species.

    The Blessed Lord will protect His Church against the gates of Hell but He did not say it would be the one we witness now in France. And certainly not one which gives the appearance only of obedience to divine authority.

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  8. PS. He was at the Sorbonne in approximately.....


  9. Ad orientem:

    It is probably the same diplomacy and sensitivity that sent Cardinal Humbart to Constantinople to heal the Photian 'schism'.

    Be assured that there are some Catholics who have no particular desire or interest in kissing the pope's ring and believe that the answer to the West's liturgical debacle can be found in studying, and applying, the liturgiology and ecclesiology of the East to our own situation.

  10. "Be assured that there are some Catholics who have no particular desire or interest in kissing the pope's ring."

    Then you are neither Catholic nor orthodox.

  11. "Does he have any connection at all to The Church as we understand it?"

    Who is this "we"? The Catholic understanding of the Church includes the fact that the Pope is the visible head of Christ's Church on earth. The erroneous, so-called "Orthodox" position is that he is not.

  12. First it is Bishop Herriot intolerant position regarding individual liturgical sensitivities and tastes, then Cardinal Babarin lambasting ecumenism. I mean this guys are just a bunch of bigots trying to do away with the hard-conquered "spirit of Vatican II". What's next: the resinstauration of the "Index"?. I am appalled.

  13. What "spirit" was that?

    Division, confusion, destruction, desolation, contradiction and the dissemination of novel falsehoods. Which such bishops are desperate to dogmatise as Roman Catholic.

    Sounds like the opus of The Devil that Our Blessed Saviour elaborated in The Gospels.

    The disobedient appeal for obedience and the liberal cry dictatorship. By their fruits we shall know them.


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