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: - Nov. 06, 2006 8:56 PM ET USA

    It sounds like they are holding tryouts to become members of the USCCB>

  • Posted by: - Nov. 04, 2006 5:12 PM ET USA

    They are shaking because the tradition will be the future, they will attract vocations. The rot allowed and fostered by these same French bishops is why they are moribund. Can you even tell they are bishops and priests? They remain a stealth clergy. Shame on them.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 04, 2006 1:19 PM ET USA

    TXCatholic: I'm a Franco, and I just quickly read that document in French. Uncle Di is roughly correct. Yes, it's not as obvious as he puts it, but if you decode the "Catholish", it's there. See also "Do you speak Catholish?" http://www.inquisition.ca/en/serm/parlez_catho.htm

  • Posted by: Ephod - Nov. 04, 2006 12:31 PM ET USA

    The issue of the Tridentine mass indult appears only at the end of the speech, and what is said only defends the Holy Father. Seculization and lack of fidelity in French Catholic education are also addressed, if in overly general terms. I don't see this speech as so bad. In fact, to my mind it's mildly heartening. It show the "progressives" are not in the driver's seat in the French espicopate.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 04, 2006 10:16 AM ET USA

    The Tridentine Mass (not a rite, it is a liturgy of the Latin Rite) is the Mass of the Ancien Regime and thus has a special vertical meaning for the Revolutionary Guard among these Gallic Bishops who see the restoration of the Mass of St. Pius V as a threat to liberte, egalite, fraternite that has been so important to the general misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council and the horizontal emphasis in the Mass of 1970. The Mass of Christ the King versus The People's Mass.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 04, 2006 9:54 AM ET USA

    As the faith goes, so goes the Country. Can we see the parallel between an abandoment of the faith in France, and the rise of Islam? Can we see a second approaching parallel in the Americas? The Holy Father cannot implement his indult too soon as far as I'm concerned . . . To save our faith . . . to save our Nation . . . To save the world!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 04, 2006 9:10 AM ET USA

    Where do you see that in his speech? I read French pretty well and don't that in his speech.