Rorate Caeli

Traditional Catholics Received by French Bishops' Conference

 It seems even the French bishops (no particular friends of the Traditional Latin Mass for the most part) have decided to deal directly with the Traditionalist faithful -- considering that all that is coming from Rome in this pontificate is anti-dialogue and hateful irrationality.

From Renaissance Catholique (via Le Salon Beige):

In the name of some faithful active in communities celebrating according to the Vetus Ordo, Mr. PHILIPPE DARANTIERE and Ms. MARIE-AMELIE BROCARD were received by Bishop VINCENT JORDY, vice-president of the French Bishops' Conference, Bishop DOMINIQUE LEBRUN, member of the Permanent Council, as well as by Ms. BERNADETTE MELOIS, director of the National Service for Liturgical and Sacramental Pastoral Care at the CEF [French Episcopal Conference] headquarters on Tuesday, February 21, 2003. They were able to express their suffering and their incomprehension regarding the decisions of the Holy Father while recognizing the attention brought by the bishops to the various situations.

The bishops and Mrs. MELOIS tried to explain what can hurt the communion.

Mr. DARANTIERE and Ms. BROCARD hoped that the dialogue would continue. Bishop JORDY said that he would report to the President of the CEF, emphasizing that dialogue and decisions belong first to the diocesan bishops.

It is with this communiqué that the representatives of the Permanent Commission of the Bishops of France closed an hour and a half of exchanges with two lay people representing the faithful attached to the traditional liturgy.


Prepared since July 2022, this meeting was an opportunity for the representatives of the episcopate to listen to the suffering expressed by the faithful attached to the traditional liturgy since the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes. Ironically, on the very day of this meeting, it was learned that the Pope had withdrawn from the bishops all latitude to manage the requests of the "Trads". With a rescript of February 20, 2023, Francis entrusted the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments with the faculty of examining all requests concerning places of worship, the right to celebrate according to the ancient rite for new priests, and other vexatious measures compiled by this dicastery in the form of the "Responsa ad Dubia" published on December 4, 2021.

The two representatives of the faithful, however, were able to express both their feelings and their desires. They described as discriminatory the measures of the Motu Proprio, which constitute a form of collective punishment applied to the faithful attached to the liturgy celebrated according to the 1962 Missal, a punishment inflicted for reasons whose validity the faithful dispute. The measure of exclusion from the parish churches imposed, of unprecedented severity with regard to lay people who are not at fault, as well as the other apartheid measures that accompany it (delimitation of the days of celebration, limitation of access to the other sacraments, even prohibition of the publication of the schedules of Tridentine Masses in the parish bulletins...), constitute in themselves a rupture of the ecclesial unity that the Motu Proprio claims to defend.

The financial, sexual and spiritual abuses that lead many of our contemporaries to reject any link with the Catholic Church are added to a crisis of faith that is reflected in the numbers. Fewer than 2% of the baptized go to Mass every Sunday. Among those, a quarter of the practicing faithful under 40 years of age have joined the traditional rite communities. The Chartres pilgrimage organized at Pentecost by Notre-Dame de Chrétienté attracts up to 15,000 people. But from one diocese to another, hundreds of teenagers and adults are waiting for a bishop's permission to be confirmed in the traditional rite. Authorization is required to marry in the Extraordinary Form, and some dioceses refuse to celebrate funerals according to the old Ordo. The bishops refuse to give the title of Catholic school to more than 300 schools outside of the contractual agreement [with the French state] that educate between 30,000 and 40,000 baptized children. While the national collection of the French synodal syntheses sent to Rome in June 2022 advocates the questioning of the celibacy of priests, the access of women to holy orders, the establishment of lay "counter-powers" in the dioceses ,or the access to the sacraments of the divorced-remarried, the catechetical meetings organized in the communities linked to the old Ordo welcome thousands of children, among whom those of "non-Trad" families are more and more numerous.

It is these multiform expressions of the vitality of traditional Catholicism that the two lay representatives defended to the delegates of the episcopal conference. They summarized their expectations in five points:

- access for the faithful to all the sacraments of Christian initiation (baptism, confirmation, eucharist) according to the liturgical rite by which they wish to be sanctified;

- the benefit for the faithful of the celebration of marriage and funerals according to the traditional rite in all dioceses;

- the guarantee for the faithful to have access to the teaching of the Catholic catechism in a form that respects their attachment to the traditional liturgy;

- the assurance for the faithful to be able to benefit from the apostolate of priests whose proper right to celebrate according to the old Ordo will not be called into question, contrary to several recent cases which have caused deep wounds;

- the benevolent welcome by the diocesan authorities of the initiatives of the lay faithful to create independent schools, granting them without discrimination access to religious instruction in their programs, and Mass according to the traditional rite or confessions in the school for the students and the teaching staff.


A memorandum was presented to the President of the French Bishops' Conference, Bishop de Moulin-Beaufort, proposing that this meeting be repeated to deepen reflection on how to strengthen ecclesial communion between the faithful and their diocesan pastors.