Rorate Caeli

The Drama of Thiberville

(NB: The link has just been been fixed! My apologies to those who read this post in the last several hours. - Pascal.)

(For the background story to this tragedy, please read Rorate's post of April 15, 2011: No more oasis in the desert of Evreux)

A video (with Spanish subtitles) from Pagina Catolica: Después del padre Michel

The contrast between the situation in the church before and after Fr. Michel's removal is striking indeed, as is the massive walk-out of the parishioners (beginning at 1:47) when his replacement tries to offer Mass without a chasuble. (The same scene is repeated at 5:24 when the faithful -- who are praying the rosary -- walk out when a priest comes in to offer Mass, again without a chasuble.) Most pathetic is the botched "TLM" that Fr. Michel's replacement tries to offer (shown beginning 5:49).

Noteworthy as well is the presence of acolytes in copes and tunicles at Fr. Michel's TLM and of various liturgical peculiarities that many of our readers will readily identify.


  1. At the same time, some of these comments in the video are pretty ridiculous. Like that (gasp!) the chasuble is gothic rather than "Roman." As if that means anything. Puh-leeze.

  2. Where's the video???

  3. Anonymous3:53 AM

    The numbers attending the TLM as opposed to the NOM speak eloquent volumes about the nett effect of the liturgical reforms over a forty five year period. The actions of the Bishop - especially given his own attendance at the 'ordination' of anglican priestesses, etc - are disgraceful and gravely disordered. O the irony, O the humanity!

    One stray thought: were there altar girls in attendance at the TLM in the video shown? Weird! Or are things so bad in France that it is now thought impossible even to exclude that possibility from TLMs there?

    Tonus Australis

  4. Anonymous3:55 AM

    The priest obviously was not trained to do the TLM, so why demonize him. He was obviously making an effort that was admittedly difficult to watch... but if he has a desire to do it, why not help him, encourage him, instead of the rediculous critiques as if he were a moron. It was like watching someone critique anothers first time on roller skates. Not very charitable. I noticed there were no servers either to aid him. I would expect veteran servers to help the celebrant who was doing this for the first time in a parrish that was so prim and proper.

    Also, the vestments were the least of the concerns I saw in the video.

  5. Anonymous4:34 AM

    I suppose the Priest did attempt to Pray the Tridentine Mass but was rusty or unfamiliar with the rubrics. For the laity to have helped this new Priest it would legitamize the Bishops' awful, spiteful, terse removal of Father Michael. They are clearly in favor of the reversal of the indecent removal of the previous Pastor. Their actions point to that fact. The Bishop should stop this scandal, review his decision and humble himself in the face of scandal that now through the net is being seen across the globe. It is wrong, what happened to this Parish. Its' Priest should be returned. Is not the good of the Faithful and Souls of paramount importance? Or is it pride in the Dioceasan offices?

  6. Anonymous4:43 AM

    I feel awful for the poor priest trying to offer the Traditional Mass, when he was clearly not prepared to do so.

    Maybe I don't understand what's going on here, but this strikes me as an very petty reaction by the parish. Shame. Shame on them.

  7. Oh, there it is.

  8. Alex W.4:51 AM

    Are the people not committing mortal sin by refusing to attend Sunday Mass? How is that to be praised?

  9. Well, the anger and angst is directed not at him ad hominem, but at the deliberately unworkable situation foisted on them by a sick, bitter, twisted, and clearly protestantized bishop. Credit to the poor curate, but it's amateur hour now in Fren-church.

    Some would criticize Pope Benedict for letting it go on, but I suspect that he realizes that to provoke the situation would only result in even more embarrassing pontifical disobedience, so the Fren-chuch will have to stew in its own juice until age and attrition resolve the crisis in the French episcopate. Hasten the day.

  10. Please, people, if the priest really was "making an effort" to offer the TLM he would have invested 10 minutes to learn some very basic rubrics. It wouldn't have been a perfect celebration, but not this disaster.
    This priest was sent there by the bishops in order to piss of the evil Traditionalists, so that this mass could be shut down. Those people can't live with the living proof of the utter failure of their entire live and agenda, therefore they do everything in their might to destroy it. Thiberville is a sad example, but not the only one by any means.

    Please notice that the modern priest, faced with the opposition of an entire village, including its elected officials, does not reflect for one moment that there could be anything wrong with his position. No, in his mind, the entire village is wrong and divisive, while he is the only one who is right. That is delusion of modernists.

  11. Anonymous6:37 AM

    I just watched the video. It is unfortunate that the dear señor cura was reassigned. However, as we all know, God will make good happen even out of the worst possible situations. This priest, who probably has few if any training or knowledge of Latin, stood up there with a daily missal and at least attempted to appease the parish faithful. No training at all of the old Mass, yet he tried. This is an honest attempt to do something for the faithful, as not any priest would do this. I think instead of ridiculing the new curé, someone in Thiberville or France should send an FSSP, SSPX, a traditional priest to teach the priest how to say the traditional Mass, or raise money to have him sent to the seminar and taught. The poor priest tried, I do not think he was intentionally making the rubrical mistakes, and with the grace of God, may even become a traditionalist. Some priests will bluntly refuse such a thing, but this new curé might. Someone seriously should offer to teach him, get him an altar missal, vestments, the works. I sure would do so if he lived near me.

    Phillip Carrion

  12. Anonymous6:56 AM

    There wasn't even an acolyte attempting to assist him. Someone could have put on a cassock and surplice, and said, Father, I'll help you say this Mass. There is no Gloria until Easter, etc. Would ten minutes be enough for this priest to say what might be his first traditional Mass? Yo lo dudo. Someone could have said, here is the altar missal, instead of reading from the daily one.

    Phillip Carrion

  13. DefensorFidei7:03 AM

    " the Fren-chuch will have to stew in its own juice until age and attrition resolve the crisis in the French episcopate. Hasten the day."

    The bishop of Evreux is 62, turning 63 on May. Can Evreux really survive 12 -- and most likely 13-14 -- more years of destruction?

  14. Patrick7:47 AM

    Acolytes wearing copes and tunicles? The cope is not a clerical vestment and acolytes wearing tunicles is traditional in many European dioceses. Several readers commented on this when this very blog posted an article about tunicled acolytes in the Philippines:

  15. Lee Terry Lovelock-Jemmott8:20 AM

    All the fingers point towards the hideous Bishop who in olden times would have been lucky to have escaped with his life. I felt so sorry for the Priest trying to offer the Tridentine Mass because not only was it awful and an absolute affront to the Mass of All Times but that he was knowingly sent there by a Bishop who most probably cannot say it himself but yet he let the proverbial roll down hill to one of his priests who for all intents was like a stray lamb lost in a desert without his shepherd for anything. This Bishop needs to be deposed swiftly for his heresy, lack of charity and lack of Catholic witness. Hideous and vile Bishop.

  16. Anonymous9:11 AM

    To DefensorFidei :

    "The bishop of Evreux is 62, turning 63 on May. Can Evreux really survive 12 -- and most likely 13-14 -- more years of destruction?"

    The Church of Evreux has been methodically destroyed in the past decades. Bp Nourrichard - a "gift" (!) from pope Benedict XVI - is just a perfect "fruit" of FrenChurch. He has already achieved his goal : the total destruction of the little remnants his predecessors left.

    The only and meager chance to revive this nearly defunct Church was to appoint a sound bishop in 2005. Instead the pope went on signing for a new FrenChurch creature, one of what D. Thompson calls the "Magic circle" in Britain.
    What is even more dramatic is that Benedict XVI is still appointing new Nourrichard in most dioceses (the newly appointed Bp Fonlupt for example) in France with very few exceptions.
    A new pope, a new secretary of State, a new nuncio but the same bishops coming from the same "Magic circle", that is the "stew" we're marinating in, and this stew alas again is cooked in the Curia.

    Sad facts but facts. In 1998, cardinal Ratzinger claimed in public and very rightfully that the 1st key to remedy to the Church crisis is to appoint sound, Catholic, Roman bishops. There is, for the European Church, a huge discrepancy beteween the good willing cardinal Ratzinger and the pope he has become, obviously frightened by the FrenChurch wolves and all the others in Austria etc. (re. the horrendous "Youcat" with its preposterous statements in the various corrupted translations).

  17. The video is here:

    and here:

  18. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Well said Mark. The critiques were over the top. This video makes trads look like idiots.

  19. I am a pure traditionalist, but to say that the Old Mass needs a Roman chasuble rather than a Gothic chasuble is to show one's complete ignorance of the traditions of the Latin Church. The Roman chasuble is, if anything, a decadent corruption of the full chasuble. However, in the name of tolernace, can we all live with both?

  20. Anonymous4:35 PM

    "The Roman chasuble is, if anything, a decadent corruption of the full chasuble."

    Be then happy with your horse blankets.

  21. Mark and Lamentably Sane:

    We know the historic transition from the gothic to roman chasuble. But this is not the point.

    In the video it is said that celebrant wears Gothic and not Roman chasuble, being that the latter is the one that is used "generally" in the Tridentine Mass.

    In Thiberville San Taurin church, there are several Roman vestments available: Why not to use one of these vestments? That's what we meant.
    On the other side, there was a utter liturgic devastation with negatives consecuenses over the soulds salvation,and that is the more important.
    Opposite to it, the chasuble is one more anecdote.

  22. "Can Evreux really survive 12 -- and most likely 13-14 -- more years of destruction?"

    The church thinks in centuries. Arianism wasn't cured in a day, or even in forty years, or even eighty. Under such circumstances people must fend for themselves as best they can, without losing sight of the supernatural truths expressed by the ever HIGHLY fallible human agents the clergy are. Take a deep breath, and keep fighting, but remember, patience is the best weapon.

  23. Louis E.11:32 PM

    The French government has a voice in selection of bishops (inherited by secular republicans from Catholic Kings).Do they use it to oblige the selection of Gaillot/Nourrichard types?

  24. Prof. Basto12:25 AM

    A true scandal.

    The judgement of the Holy See in this matter was the coronation of injustice.

  25. my heart really went out to the poor curé trying to say the TLM. I have been thinking about it since watching the video. I have offered many prayers for him. Rest assured, Almighty God who knows the secrets of the heart will bless this Priest. It sickened me that the people let him get on the Altar and be lost like that! Shameful, and shows A lack of charity... At least he was trying!!!! Why didnt anyone help him??? But its ok God sees all, and rewards accordingly. I tell you it makes me ashamed to be of French descent, seriously..God bless this Priest!!!

  26. Anonymous2:09 PM


    I respect your charitable outlook but I would ask you to look below the surface.

    Compromise, compromise, compromise. This is the mantra of The NO.

    We are not privileged about the machinations behind the scenes. If it is anything like the one in my parish where the NO and TLM share the different praxis' be assured that the lovely NO are wolves in sheeps clothing.

    In my parish the good FSSP is under constant pressure to deviate from the 1962 practice...always, constantly, incessantly. To the point where I left for the FSSPX.

    If more parishioners would refuse the NO junk there would be change indeed for the better.

  27. Brian3:55 PM

    Where's the charity in all these criticisms of this poor priest. Get a grip - "The greatest of these is charity" !


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