Rorate Caeli

The French Bishops and the Traditional Mass

International Pilgrims set off on the Chartres Pilgrimage from
Notre Dame de Paris in 2014

The French bishops' Conference (CEF) has produced a document summarising the responses of their members to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's survey on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. This is a fairly long document which we have all needed a bit of time to understand and digest. It is revealing about the attitude of the CEF as an institution, though naturally the French bishops' attitudes and policies vary among themselves. 

The document can be seen, in French, here

The reaction of Paix Liturgique (in French) is here.

The reaction of Una Voce France is here (in French) and here (French and English).

A LifeSiteNews article quoting and translating a statement of the FSSPX can be seen here.

A Church Militant article quoting Abbe Claude Barthe of the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage is here.

I have written another piece for LifeSiteNews. It begins:

As LifeSiteNews has reported, a document emanating from the French Bishops’ Conference has found its way into the public domain on the subject of the Traditional Mass or Extraordinary Form (EF). It describes itself as a summary of the responses made by individual bishops on the application of Summorum Pontificum, the 2007 Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI which made it easier for priests to celebrate, and for people to request, the Mass in the form it had at the eve of the Second Vatican Council, in Latin.

The document has angered many French traditionalists for its hostile tone. Una Voce France, for example, fails to find in it “the slightest trace of empathy, cordiality, or ‘heart’.”

One should not too quickly assume that this tone is representative of the French bishops: the document is clearly the work of a middle-ranking functionary of the Conference staff, and not a very well-educated one at that, in light of its numerous errors of syntax and spelling. Nevertheless, it has some relationship with individual bishops’ reports, which are often quoted, and two themes in particular stand out.

Read it all there.