Rorate Caeli

Of note from Frejus-Toulon

Bishop Dominique Rey of Frejus-Toulon will be ordaining two priests according to the traditional rite of ordination on September 26, 2009 in the cathedral of Toulon.

Of note is the fact that both of them will be ordained for the diocese. Deacon Marc de Saint-Sernin will be serving as a diocesan priest for Frejus-Toulon. The other ordinand, Deacon Eloi Gillet, will be serving with the Missionary Society of Divine Mercy, which runs the personal parish for the TLM in the same diocese (St. Francois de Paule).
To my knowledge, Frejus-Toulon is the only diocese in the whole world that offers to its seminarians the choice of being ordained either according to the usus recentior or the usus antiquior. (14 priests and 11 deacons had been ordained for the diocese of Frejus-Toulon according to the liturgical books of Paul VI last June.) As mentioned previously in this blog, the diocesan seminary of Toulon is open to those who wish to become priests of the diocese while continuing to prefer the usus antiquior.

Source: diocesan website of Frejus-Toulon and private correspondence.


Anonymous said...

This sets a fascinating precedent: a resurgence of the Latin liturgyical tradition controlled by the ordinand. I wonder if, in future, Rome might rule that all priests have such options, whether the local bishop approves of this or not. This would be a new way to ensure the entrenchment of the ancient Rite in the Latin Church. This represents an entirely different approach.


Dan Hunter said...

This is wonderful news for the American Southeast!

Wait and see.

Mornac said...

In fact only one of these, Marc de Saint-Sernin, will be ordained for the diocese. The other, Eloi Gillet, is a member of the Missionaries of Divine Mercy. A notable breakthrough all the same.

Anonymous said...

This is great news. And not to be picky, but can we just go back to calling it the Traditional Latin Mass and the new Mass the Novus Ordo. Calling it "usus recentior" is laughable in that slapping the Latin translation to the recent Mass doesn't making it any less horendous. It's the novus ordo -- plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes French Church is setting an example ... but I'm sure Bp Rey would be delighted if other bishops follow through.

Ordaining priests with the Traditional Form is a logical consequence of Summorum Pontificum.

Who's next ? Some US and/or Canadian bishops should felt challenged by the French.


Anonymous said...

I see no reason in principle why some Diocese could not establish a seminary which trains priests in the Traditional liturgical rites. Bishops could then permit some interested seminarians to train there. Such seminarists, once trained, would have the right to celebrate Mass according to both Missals but would be specially prepared to meet the needs of local traditionalists. They could then be assingned to personal parishes, non-parochial churches, and chapels set aside for that purpose.


Anonymous said...


The French can be expected to lead the way, since France is the very centre of the traditionalist movement. Americans are adverturesome, so they might follow suit. But as for Canada, don't hold your breath! The Dutch will move on this before the Canadian bishops do. There is a new report on the Church in Québec. It is really serious. Only 6% go to Mass and most don't even know the essential teachings anymore, and yet they all identify themselves as Catholic, but for cultural reasons.


Gideon Ertner said...

"I wonder if, in future, Rome might rule that all priests have such options..."

According to SP, the faithful have a right to request all the Sacraments according to the 1962 books. I don't think this is restricted to the lay faithful. In consequence, priests (and Bishops!) also must have a right to request to be ordained according to the traditional rites, although as is the case with the lay faithful and the Mass the hard part is still finding someone who will be willing to do it. In France, that has just got a whole lot easier.

The good Bishop of Frejus-Toulon has set an extremely important example. Let us see what this will do for vocations in his diocese; one can hope it will attract vocations from far and wide and other Bishops will be tempted to tap into that flow.

I have long thought that it is only by exposure to the TLM in the seminaries that ordinary priests will really come to take it on. If I were only to pray for one thing while on this Earth, it would be for our present Pope or his successor to make learning the TLM and its theology and spirituality obligatory in all Latin-Rite seminaries in the world.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ertner makes some interesting points. I'm not entirely sure what it means to be ordained 'for' the Traditional Latin Mass. Does this have some meaning in law? I'm not sure. Interesting question.

But it would seem that priests could certainly ask to be ordained in accordance with the pre-conciliar Ordinal and for a 'mission' to celebrate the old Mass.

Article 1 of S.P. makes it clear that all priests have a general right to offer Mass according to the Missal of 1962. This right can be restricted in various ways by local bishops (e.g. by Canon 905 in conjunction with duties set forth in Canon 276, No. 2), although it cannot be in any way restricted in the case of retired priests.

What has caused some confusion is the wording of Article 5. Ordinary folk read it and think that it refers to a REQUIREMENT that a group of faithful request the T.L.M. This is not so. The Article says that, WHEN such a group makes this request, the clergy must respond favourably and so forth; but it nowhere stipulates that priests are forbidden to celebrate the T.L.M., even publicly, unless they receive such a request! Au contraire, under Article 1, a parish priest can celebrate the T.L.M. every day and publicly, EVEN IF ABSOLUTELY NOT ONE LAIC REQUESTS THIS.

That is precisely what happened in my Diocese. Without receiving any request from anyone, our priest simply went ahead and scheduled Traditional Latin Masses. While he did consult with the Bishop, the Bishop did not ask him to offer these Masses, and he needn't have consulted with him at all.


Anonymous said...

About the seminaries, there is existing legislation, largely ignored, that priests are to receive training in Latin. It would seem to me that this provides friendly bishops the excuse they need to start training all their seminarists in how to offer our Mass as well as the other one. That could have very good results. Ask a young man to learn both and I'll bet that many will prefer the ancient liturgy. After all, it's a precious treasure, whereas, ... Well, enough said! I suppose that some priests who have a special interest in late 20th century history might prefer NewMass. It's so ... dated. Kumbay-ah, milord, Kubayah!


Johnny Domer said...

14 priests and 11 deacons last year? That's an enormous's almost like, if you promote orthodoxy and traditional liturgy, you get vocations (gasp!).

Oliver said...

Once again, the use of traditional rites to mask the modern reforms can only lead to confusion and hybridisation. And claiming an equivalence between the liturgies of tradition and modernisim helps the deathly cause of pluralism, so beloved of modernists and conservatives.

LeonG said...

"The French can be expected to lead the way, since France is the very centre of the traditionalist movement."

Precisely. This is why we need to keep our eyes fully on the statistics here. Revolution - Counter-Revolution. The former has been a total disaster as it is nearing extinction. Watching the statistical movements over the last generation is astounding. some older presbyters have even made remarks to this effect. The devastation is nearing its completion. The Traditional Roman Catholic is slowly replacing what has been lost in increasing numbers.

Jordanes said...

Once again, the use of traditional rites to mask the modern reforms can only lead to confusion and hybridisation.

That's not what is happening here. Would you prefer that the traditional rites not be used at all?

Anonymous said...

Good news from France! The Mass is neither a private devotion nor a social gathering, but is the priest acting in the Person of Christ as a missionary for the communion [St. Peter] and mission [St. Paul] of the Church. This French move may inspire more ordained vocations when it is known that the bishop will only ordain men in the traditional rite who will 'go forth' from the Mass both to administer and to sanctify the faithful like Sts. Cyril and Methodius did in their missionary zeal using the verancular, common language and like Saints such as Louis de Montfort who accomplished a similar task in the use of the transcendence of the Latin language. Both served the Risen Lord, but used two different forms to elevate and evangelize the faithful to the practice of the cardinal and theological virtues whose teleological finality was CARITAS IN VERITATEM.

Anonymous said...

On LeonG's remarks:

Over the years, there has indeed been a very impressive increase in T.L.M.s in France, both those offered by dioceses and those from the S.S.P.X. In the former case, there continues to be an island of resistance centred at Reims. The north-central & north-east dioceses of Reims, Cambrai (very high population), Soissons, Châlons, Verdun, and Langres is a problem which needs to be solved.

In other areas, the disposition of the newish bishop at Bayonne looks good, and there is a new bishop for St. Denis. I am hopeful for even more progress in France this autumn and in 2010. That might put pressure on other countries. For example, the Flemish parts of Belgium have been very resistant even with the rest of that Kingdom has been accepting. I'm thinking of Bruges and Ghent. More importantly, I'm wondering if the good situation in France will affect progress in Italy, if only indirectly.


Anonymous said...

The diocese of Frejus Toulon is probably the most amazing in France at the moment. It is a living example of true catholicity, with many vocations and ordinations every year, a laboratory for the Catholic Church in the 21st century western world. Bishop Rey, initially from the charismatic Emmanuel Community, has welcomed many new communities in his diocese (27 listed on the diocese website!) from the full spectrum of catholic movements. For example, his previous vicar general, Mgr Marc Aillet, in charge of the new communities, was from the traditional Community of Saint Martin. Mgr Aillet is now the new and great bishop of Bayonne, where he has already started a great revival of the diocese in just a few months.

For those understanding French, I urge you to listen to Mgr Rey’s famous homily at the Chrism Mass this year, with 200 priests of the diocese. It unusually ended with a big round of applause from the congregation….

Full text:

Francis said...

(1) I am assuming that those wishing to be ordained in the old rite nonetheless still have their theological formation in the diocesan seminary. Does anyone know how sound this one is?

(2) Does this "offer" from the diocese extend only to priestly ordination or can those who wish to do so, receive the minor orders during the course of their seminary formation?