Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

fear and loathing at Lourdes

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 04, 2006

Today the French bishops opened a meeting at Lourdes, and in his capacity as president of the episcopal conference, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard made the opening speech.

In the course of his address, Cardinal Ricard used the word peur (fear) 11 times, and confiance (confidence, trust) 15 times. He was urging his brother bishops not to panic.

Why would the French bishops be inclined toward panic?

- Because their parish churches are empty, their seminaries emptier, and Catholic parents aren't bothering to bring their children for Baptism? No.

- Because divorce, abortion, fornication, and sodomy are rife; and momentum is building toward general social acceptance of euthanasia and human cloning? No.

- Because Islam now has more practical impact on public policy than Catholicism, in the country once proud to be known as the "eldest daughter of the Church?" No.

- Because the Holy Father might sign a document allowing priests to celebrate Mass using the Tridentine rite? Yup, that's it.

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  • Posted by: - Sep. 15, 2010 10:45 PM ET USA

    Would you prefer that he had waited until 6 months from now for these comments? Honestly, I've met many people who use the excuse of "ecumenism" to ignore revealed Truth. Perhaps instead of screaming that he wasn't polite enough, we ought to be thanking him for a frank assessment of society. (I don't imagine we'd care for the description here in the 'States much either, but we're rapidly heading in the same direction.....) They and we aren't nearly the moral peoples we could be.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Sep. 15, 2010 6:20 PM ET USA

    As a rule, Di, you correctly fault bishops for obfuscating---and failing to use words of one syllable. Cf. Archbishop Vincent Nichols, quoted in this blog on 9/13. ("one score, one fumble...") This is a rare case when plain speaking served one ill.