Rorate Caeli

The meaning of a new foundation

Rinascimento Sacro reported last Tuesday (after Diocesi24) on the new house established by Benedictine monks of Le Barroux in Liguria:

On July 2nd, three monks, formerly of the Abbey of Le Barroux, have established a new monastic house in Italy, where only the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated. [More information in The New Liturgical Movement]

Wonderful news, and congratulations to the Bishop of Albenga-Imperia, who has welcomed these monks with so much love!

What is the origin of this foundation? We can report that Dom Jehan decided to leave Le Barroux because he is firmly attached to the initial charism of the late Dom Gérard Calvet - that is, the exclusive celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Dom Louis-Marie de Geyer d'Orth, abbot of Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux since 2004, had signed the statement of July 13, 2007, published in French Catholic monthly La Nef, in which it could be read:

"The Pope invites us strongly: 'The two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching'. ... In order that the peace may be profound, it is necessary that each one of them takes, without second thoughts, one step towards the other."


  1. Anonymous2:34 PM

    "In order that the peace may be profound, it is necessary that each one of them takes, without second thoughts, one step towards the other."

    Does that mean that the two Masses would be celebrated separately - with neither holding a a more honored position? Or is he advocating a mixing (mish-mash) of rites? The much vaunted (in some circles) but non-existent "reform of the reform" ?

  2. Anonymous5:37 PM

    The fact is that Le Barroux always celebrated the 1965 rite as its conventual Mass, which is itself a step from 1962 in the direction of 1969. I suspect that a clash of personalities might be at play, which is quite legitimate. After all, Faber left Newman to found the London Oratory. May they all prosper.

  3. Anonymous10:23 PM

    For Patrick from Alsaticus

    Let me tell you, from reliable sources, that it goes FAR beyond a mere "clash of personalities".
    It is also well known, among French trads, that dom Gérard was not approving the internal evolution of the monastery.
    There is a trend, still a minority, among French (Roman) trads that is aiming at a unique hybrid Mass and above all, that trads should botch the 1962 missal as soon as possible, before any reform of the 1969-2002 Roman missal.
    Dom Basile Valuet, of Le Barroux, is pressing for years now for a complete agreement with every single word of any Vatican II documents, renouncing to any critical stance. A sort of blind acceptance when everybody in the Church is, on the contrary, developping the most diverse evaluations, including pope Benedict XVI through his major speech of December 22, 2005.
    We can suspect that for an early companion of dom Gérard, one of those who contributed to the foundation of Sainte-Madeleine of Le Barroux, it was not a light decision to break away with his own monastery.

    One serious question is : have traditionalists to become the new "Vatican II integrists" and, symbolically, move away from the 1962 missal ?
    Another question : is the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite, TLM, always missionary for the XXIst century ? It seems those who are founding in Italy and the "Conciliar" bishop of Albenga-Imperiali are answering "yes".

  4. Anonymous12:57 AM

    Much rushing ahead of events here and impatience with the Holy Spirit. " Be still and wait upon the Lord."

  5. Anonymous12:59 AM

    Also, there will never be any mixing of rites. Be sure of that. & be @ peace!

  6. Anonymous1:07 AM

    How can Le Barroux legally follow the 1965 missal? The 1962 and the 1970 versions are canonically permitted, but where is the permission for the 1965 missal? Is there a case for dobbing these monks in to Ecclesia Dei?

  7. Anonymous1:52 AM

    Will this new monastery also use the liturgical customs of Le Barroux or will the use the 1962 missal pure and simple?

  8. 'The two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching'. ... In order that the peace may be profound, it is necessary that each one of them takes, without second thoughts, one step towards the other."

    This is a veiled intimation of new liturgical synthesis which is the next phase of the supposed "restoration". With increasing pressure from the centre to compromise and become "one big happy family" of diverse "charisms" from Neo-Catechumenal Way to Benedictine NO embracing all shades and hues including Focolare and Opus Dei among others. Rome has not finished with its dubious liturgical immolations. In order to better comprehend the psychology of the neomodernist, it is essential to understand the liberal modernist mentality with its pluralistic and indifferentist perspectives. The liturgy has become the plaything of the post-conciliar papacies. Never satisfied, they will continue to tinker with it until almost no one will know where they are when they go to church. Novelty and change for the sake of it are the outstanding hallmarks of the new pastoral approach. Declining attendance and church closures are its benchmark.

    " is necessary that each one of them takes, without second thoughts, one step towards the other." The blind have led the blind and they have fallen into the pit. It will soon be necessary again to defend the Latin Mass of All Time.

  9. Anonymous12:12 PM

    All of the variations Le Barroux uses are ones mandated for the Benedictine monasteries by the Ecclesia Dei Commission.

    Claims that Le B is going soft on the TLM, or is uncritical in its acceptance of some modern directions have circulated the internet for a long time, but absolutely no real evidence is ever presented.

    Phil V

  10. Anonymous1:51 PM

    To "Phil V" from Alsaticus.

    "no real evidence is ever presented".
    Right Phil V.
    So can we have your explanation for the splitting up of Dom Jehan de Belleville with the strong emphasis on exclusive celebration of the Extraordinary Form, with the 1962 missal and no other ?
    I think that the new monastery Casa Santa Catarina di Sienna is a BIG EVIDENCE.
    Enormous evidence ...
    Naturally when people are blind and deaf, they cannot see or hear... and they then post "no real evidence is ever presented".

    However I agree, being out of France probably and without connections with Le Barroux, it is very difficult to understand the tiny signs and silent moves which are taking place in this Benedictine abbey since 2004.

    Personally I would not blame dom Louis-Marie, the new abbot, for searching something new and departing from the original goal of dom Gérard Calvet, provided he keeps his monks within the Roman orthodoxy. "Biritual" orders, like the Chicago Canons of Saint John Cantius are doing a marvellous job ; in France, the female Benedictines of Jouques have always wanted the Mass under the two forms.

    However I am not pleased with an undercover movement, with hidden evolution, especially when donators - like you maybe - are unaware of these quiet moves. There are so many homes within the Mother Church that a new remodelled Le Barroux has its place too. It would be more honest to make it clear for everyone...

    nb. There is also a false statement in your post : the PCED never "mandated" any "use". The Commission merely tolerated what is sometimes called the "conventual Mass", nothing more. There is no mandatory alteration imposed by the PCED to trad. Benedictine monks.

  11. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Dear M. Phil V,

    It is false to say that no evidence has been forthcoming. Dom Jehan´s decision is very real evidence. So are dom Basil´s activities. Anyone who knows Le barroux and knew and loved it 15 years ago is worried. That, too, is a fact.


    Dear leong,

    Are you not misrepresenting the thought of the reigning Pope regarding liturgy? I believe so. He is one of fiew to understand the issue at stake. As do dom Alcuin Reid and Mr Hemming. I suggest you read Hemming´s "Worship As A Revelation".

  12. Anonymous1:55 PM

    I forgot to state my name: Jon K.

  13. Anonymous1:59 PM

    If the Ecclesia Dei commission can give all these permissions for post-1962 adaptations (cutting the prayers at the of the altar, saying the Collect from the seat, etc.), can we also hope that PCED would also give permissions to use some pre-1962 customs (the octaves, Holy Week, etc.) for those communities who want them?

  14. Anonymous2:20 PM

    I agree with Phil V. Stop the useless speculation about Le Barroux and pray for the three monks who now live in Italy, that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit and prosper. Le Barroux will remain a traditional monastery following the traditional rites of the Church. It does not mean that there will NEVER in the future be 'liturgical developments'(e.g. more saints added to the calendar). Look at the history of the evolution of the liturgy. No-one suggests a 'mish-mash' of liturgical rites. Perhaps the 'Novus Ordo' OUGHT to be more like the Usus Antiquior, that that the latter SHOULD have a positive influence on the former. Surely we cannot object to certain newer elements, such as more prefaces, for the traditional missal ? Please stop wasting your time with idle speculation.
    Fr. J.A.

  15. Anonymous6:14 PM

    to "Father J.A." from Alsaticus.

    Read the response I've posted to Phil V, and re-read your own post. There is no "idle speculation" at all, and you are yourself exposing the terms of the present debate.
    It is unpleasant to read on one hand, "stop wasting your time with idle speculation", and on the other hand by the same Fr. J.A. :
    "It does not mean that there will NEVER in the future be 'liturgical developments'(e.g. more saints added to the calendar). Look at the history of the evolution of the liturgy. No-one suggests a 'mish-mash' of liturgical rites."

    - nobody ever complained for adding new saints to the calendar ! Certainly the new Italian foundation is not motivated by that : it's truly a mockery to write such a nonsense. Bp Fellay or Bp Williamson, for example, would certainly not protest against a saint Padre Pio feast !
    - "no-one suggests a mish-mash" of liturgical rites" : on the contrary, several people had in the past.
    The 2001 Fontgombault meeting was precisely aiming at mixing up into a single Form the present 1962 and 1969-2002 missals, in a somewhat undefined future.

    The crucial point is not there. Anything that is weakening the traditional liturgy today is certainly harming any chance for a positive evolution of the Ordinary Form to happen. Those who favor the "liturgical developments" for TLM love to refer to the papal letter to the bishops. But they are less attentive to its words when they concern the Paul VI/John Paul II missal :
    "The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. " (pope Benedict XVI). That has been the case hitherto ... not only in the 1970's as most NO fans are so eager to say.
    On one hand, new feasts and prefaces, on the other hand recovering "the sacrality" ! Where is the priority ?
    Obviously, the long road for rediscovering the fullness of Catholic liturgical doctrine is for NOers to walk on.
    There is certainly no hurry for TLMers today or we can move as "fast" as the ...Litnik establishment :
    - 2006 : cardinal Arinze demanded to change the "for many" in English Ordinary Form Mass : nothing done yet !
    - 2002 : 3rd edition of the Ordinary Form missal ; no French official translation yet has been sent to the CDW for revision ! After 6 years, they have not managed to translate the text, following Liturgiam Authenticam guidelines, simply because they don't ... want to.
    There are 2 priorities :
    1) making Summorum Pontificum a reality in the whole Church life (what about Latin America ? Africa ? etc.) : we are still very far from that
    2) urging our NO friends to move toward the traditional liturgy step by step. Some are doing the effort and many young priests, even in deeply secularized France, are eager to do so but they are still blocked in most parishes. These are "the liturgical developments" I am looking for and the sooner, the better.

    nb. incidentally weakening the Extraordinary Form today or in a close future would destroy all efforts to reconcile SSPX. It's worth to ponder too.

  16. nobody ever complained for adding new saints to the calendar!

    On the contrary, I’ve encountered many who criticise the unprecedentedly large number of canonisations under John Paul II, though I don’t think they usually deny the validity of the canonisations. Many others complain (rightly so) that so many saints’ days were arbitrarily reassigned to different days, but that’s a whole other subject. . . .

    cardinal Arinze demanded to change the "for many" in English Ordinary Form Mass : nothing done yet!

    The Pope’s decision is that it be correctly translated in all future translations of the reformed Roman Missal, not that the correct translation of pro multis be inserted into the (mis)translation currently in use. When the bishops finally get around to approving the new translation, and Rome gives the recognitio, then we’ll see “for all” changed to “for many” --- unless the Pope decides to change it in advance of the completion of the new translation.

  17. You are absolutely correct, as always, dear Alsaticus.