Rorate Caeli

A place at the table

On Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, hosted all the priests of his diocese for dinner. Taking to heart the recent decision of the pope (the lifting of excommunication of the bishops of the FSSPX on January 21st), he invited all Catholic priests and priors who exercise ministry within the Archdiocese of Bordeaux and Bazas, including the prior of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X - marking the first time he’s dined with his Diocesan confreres or other communities, especially those dependant on the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. The Cardinal recalled the speech made by Benedict XVI in France last September:
"No one is too many in the Church. Everyone, without exception, must be able to feel at home and never feel rejected."

Le Salon Beige


  1. This is excellent. Merci, Mornac!

  2. God bless him for his Christian gesture of true charity.

  3. Anonymous2:29 AM

    Now thats an an Ordinary acting as a shepherd!
    Deo Gratias and God bless His Eminence.

  4. While this is indeed a worthy gesture, it cannot have escaped the attention of the archbishop that SSPX has become a vital and expanding force in the rapidly dwindling Catholic Diocese. SSPX are here for good, literally and metaphorically. The sooner the french catholic church awakes and settles to the uncomfortable fact, the better. Tradition is on its way back in France, whether they like it or not. Perhaps in time some of the hundreds of empty churches could be reclaimed by the Confraternity if the NO wing would only recognise this. Of course, they also need to ask themselves why this is the case. The answer is embarrassing but has to be admitted: the post-conciliar liturgy in France is an unmitigated disaster and its postmodernist pastoralism is almost totally ineffective. Most french people are just not interested anymore since both are banal and have no historio-cultural roots.

    Bonne Appetit!

  5. Let us wait and see. Will the Cardinal be so generous when the long-awaited doctrinal discussions begin and the SSPX theologians call religious liberty and false ecumenism into question?

    Still, it is quite an interesting development.

  6. Anonymous9:44 AM

    but as it turned out, someone decided to ask the SSPX prior during the meal when he would offer the new mass... and needless to say, his reply provoked such an outburst of rage, shouting, and screaming, that the local gendarmes were called to separate the brawl !!

    On a serious note, it's great news that everyone can sit at the same table. A good step in the right direction. Lets hope more bishops do the same.

  7. This is a gesture and a welcome one from Cardinal Ricard but it begs the question of when and if SSPX priests will have faculties and incardination from local bishops. Do the bishops really want to see an independent, worldwide, apostolic administration in the hands of the SSPX or do they want to see these SSPX priests working in their local dioceses with absolute and irrevocable authority for confecting the sacraments in the traditional (ahem, extraordinary) form and no requirement whatsoever to celebrate in the ordinary form.

    This is the predicament facing the Church today - how to reconcile the extraordinary with the ordinary? It's almost an oxymoron and the resolution of this question is indispensable to resolving the decline in church attendance and practice of the Faith. It is also evident that this problem exists in many families - split between the extraordinary and ordinary forms of worship.

  8. Flambeaux3:58 PM

    Who could have imagined 4 years ago that this would ever happen?

    Deo gratias.

  9. Much has been and can be accomplished over Foie Gras & a glass or two of fine port wine.

  10. I can't believe my eyes - I must be doing too much on the gin!

  11. Anonymous5:22 PM

    very interesting!

  12. Anonymous5:41 PM

    God bless Cardinal Ricard!
    I pray for peace on the Church!

  13. Anonymous6:13 PM

    On Mr. Haley's comments:

    A worldwide apostolic administration is the only way to go in the end. The S.S.P.X will never entrust the future of tradition to the local ordinaries, and nor should they. But there can be a rapprochement with the local bishops and should be, since these bishops usually control most of the sacred places in any territory.


  14. Believe it can happen, Ottaviani. Here in the Philippines, one well-known Archbishop (not that of Manila) has been known to invite SSPX priests a couple of times for an evening of beer and good cheer...

  15. To P.K.T.P.

    In your opinion, why would a Personal Prelature not be a viable option? What are the advantages of an Apostolic Administration over a Personal Prelature?


  16. FranzJosf12:27 AM

    Because an Apostolic Administration can operate anywhere under its own bishop, whereas a Personal Prelature needs the permission of the Ordinary to operate in his geographical territory.

  17. In regards to my previous comment may I say that I do not recommend a structure other than an independent, worldwide apostolic administration for the SSPX but my point was merely to suggest what the NO bishops might be thinking. I used the words "Do the local bishops really want to see"..., etc, and implicit in that are the problems that would continue to exist in having two quite different types of liturgical ceremonies under their jurisdiction. One would think that they already have enough of those "quite different" ceremonies and would applaud a separate juridical structure for traditionalists, at least for the time being.

  18. Oliver12:18 PM

    Breaking bread with members of the "new religion" is a departure for the SSPX ... or are these independent initiatives by independent-minded SSPX priests? But Fellay may not mind as he is currently friendly with Rome. Had he not been ... then instant dismissal!

  19. I read somewhere in an interview with Fr. Schmidtberger of the SSPX that Archbishop Ranjith has invited Bishop Fellay to his apostolic palace a few times.

    Oh how times are changing (hopefully).

  20. God bless the good bishop.

  21. Has the enemy of the Cross so infiltrated us that we cannot see attempts to divide us? Cannot we see that there are many out there that want to see Tradition defeated and the modernists come out on top? As far as I can determine, Bishop Fellay is on the side of Tradition and wants a united front in dealing with the, ahem, modernists on the other side.

    Is it so easy to divide the Traditional front even before the essential discussions take place? Or, have they already taken place and have yet to be announced in terms of details? Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, intercede for us.

  22. Not everyone within Tradition is celebrating these developments:

  23. Pray for unity. I applaud the Cardinal for his efforts!

  24. Does anyone actually believe that a modernist cardinal who promotes religious liberty, false ecumenism, and happy-clappy liturgies is inviting an SSPX priest to dinner because he wants to collaborate with him in the restoration of Tradition?

  25. Anonymous3:06 AM

    Such heavy questions about doctrinal matters, and specifics about administration, are not appropriate for appetizers.

    And controversial matters should almost never be discussed over the main course, unless they are not emotionally charged. Hinted at briefly, but not to be discussed.

    And during desert, it is really only appropriate to praise the host for their fine meal, the cooks, and discuss other dinner engagements and social functions that one has recently attended (but that were inferior to the current one).

    Such heavy matters are only appropriate for drinks that are served well after the table has been cleared.

    And if the men are of good will, and they have managed to eat the entire meal together, then progress can be made on the matter over drinks.

    These things will take time. This is a good first step. We should trust the Prior to stand by beliefs.

  26. Anonymous5:33 AM

    Perhaps the Cardinal, Prodinoscopus, now realizes that the openness of B16 indicates that the age of political correctness over doctrine has passed, and were are about to enter a more catholic era.

    Look many trads think that most of those who follow the trajectory of the Modernists are modernists. Rather most are accomodationists, careerists, and go with the flow fuzzy thinkers. When the flow changes, they too will change, faster than you believe, because they were never modernists, just empty heads...

    As for die hard modernists, most of them are not so illiterate not to know what the Church has always taught, and being that God is still God, they still are capable of receiving the grace of conversion, mediated by the pastoral initiatives of B16. If you don't believe this, they the problem is not with the pope, the Church or them, it is with your own lack of faith!

  27. Joe B2:40 AM

    OK you traddies - real life case here: If a local bishop who seems unwilling or incapable of arranging a TLM to meet the desires of locals objects to those locals patiently attending SSPX services, simply on the basis of SSPX services being illicit, could he solve his own problem of incompetence by granting them jurisdiction within his diocese, at least until he gains sufficient competence to obey the Holy Father's instructions?

  28. Ottaviani

    There are more exchanges between SSPX & NO clergy at an unofficial level than many would like to believe. This is the case. It will doubtless increase and become more apparent at the formal level. The Church is going nowhere without the SSPX Confraternity.

    It is just remotely possible that one or two bishops in France are beginning to understand that.

  29. piusx9:13 PM

    I wouldn't be jumping for joy over this. Here's why:

    In Église de Montpellier for 23 May, Mgr Ricard writes: "This people, whom God has summoned, far from turning in on themselves for comfort, are invited by God to be a people of solidarity, uniting in the first place with our Jewish brothers with whom we celebrate at Pentecost the indefectible fidelity of God to his Covenant through the gift of his Word (Torah) and that of his Spirit."

    "Today Islam must be recognised as one of the religious components of our society." (La Croix, Friday 9 November 2001)

    "...the ideals of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity – must be recalled and promoted." (Doc. cath., 4 January 2004, no 2305)

    Quotes are from Abbe de Nantes site.


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