Rorate Caeli

Abbé Georges de Nantes, R.I.P.

In the early morning of February 15, the abbé Georges de Nantes fell asleep in the Lord, fortified by the rites of the Church.

He was one of the earliest, fiercest public critics of the Second Vatican Council, which he held to be a legitimate ecumenical council of the true Church, endowed with the authority to teach dogmatically and infallibly. The Council, he held, and with reason, finally declined to teach with that level of authority. Therefore its teachings were not definitively binding, and dissent from those teachings did not exclude a member of the Faithful from communion with the Church. (A separate question from that of whether such dissent be wrong)

The Abbé de Nantes, faced with the malaise of the Church, with the "diabolical disorientation" afflicting her, appealed from the Pope to the Pope. He challenged the Successor of Peter to make an infallible judgment in these matters.

He was vehemently opposed to the schismatic "solution" to the current situation, and urged his followers to remain in their parishes.

Very devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, he initiated the most scholarly and important study of Fatima in French (and in English, which translation the present writer helped to edit), and many other scientific, apologetical works.

He was declared "disqualified" by the CDF but, if I am not mistaken, no theological error was said to be found in his writings, but, they said, rather a serious lack of respect for the Holy Father.

I had the privilege of meeting this remarkable priest during the summer of 2000.

I remember his gentle self deprecating humour and his kindness and affability.

He told me spontaneously that Vatican II was "the most legal of all the Councils," explaining how Pope John XXIII had put every canonical preparation and safeguard in place.

I remember the very great devotion and reverence with which he offered the Holy Sacrifice, with which he made each sign of the Cross, like St. Bernadette, on whose feast day his funeral mass took place.
Written and sent by a grateful Priest