Whatever do you, … DON’T PANIC!!!!

The sharped-eyed folks at Rorate Coeli continue to serve us well in their postings. This time they found the text of the speech given by H.E. Jean-Pierre Card. Ricard of Bordeaux in his capacity as president at the meeting of the French bishops in Lourdes, today Saturday 4 November. His Eminence speaks about the possible "Tridentine" Motu proprio.

The Cardinal says, and we must take this as authoritative, that the Pope has not yet signed the Motu Proprio and it is still an object of study. He identifies the Pope’s desire to heal the schism of the SSPX as the chief motive for the M.P. He explains that in the history of schisms, there were moments that could have been used to heal the rift with those of good will.

The speech was designed to calm down the French bishops who have been sending spittle flecked missives to the Holy See, worried that Pope Benedict XVI was about to abolish the Second Vatican Council… or something.

In any event, I take this as Benedict’s and Ricard’s way of getting them ready for the bad news. So the M.P. isn’t signed yet. So it needs to be studied more. Okay…. fine. We have waited. However, I cannot fathom that Card. Ricard would make such an address if it was not going to happen, and fairly soon at that. His speech seemed all about getting them ready for the moment with the other chaussure drops.

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ADDENDUM: Check out "Diogenes" over at Off The Record. This is hilarious:

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.

If you don’t subscribe to CWN you ought to… now back to our regularly scheduled entry:
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Rorate Coeli has Ricard in an English translation.

Here is the text in French (in a pdf format here) of the relative part which came toward the very end of his long speech (my emphasis):

Revenant à notre sujet, je voudrais faire trois remarques :

1. La décision de libéraliser pour les prêtres la possibilité de dire la messe selon le
missel de 1962 n’a pas encore été prise. Le Motu proprio annoncé n’a pas été
signé.
Son projet va faire l’objet de consultations diverses. Nous pouvons faire
part, dès maintenant, de nos craintes et de nos souhaits.

2. Ce projet ne s’inscrit pas dans une volonté de critiquer le missel dit de « Paul VI »
ni de procéder à une réforme de la réforme liturgique. Les livres liturgiques
rédigés et promulgués à la suite du Concile sont la forme ordinaire et donc
habituelle du rite romain. Ce projet s’origine plutôt dans le désir de Benoît XVI de
faire tout ce qui est en son pouvoir pour mettre fin au schisme lefevbriste. Il sait
que plus les années passent, plus les relations se distendent et les positions se
durcissent. Devant l’histoire des grands schismes, on peut toujours se demander
s’il n’y a pas eu des occasions manquées de rapprochement. Le Pape souhaite faire
son possible pour que la main soit tendue et qu’un accueil soit manifesté, au moins
à ceux qui sont de bonne volonté et qui manifestent un profond désir de
communion. C’est dans cet esprit qu’il faut comprendre ce projet de Motu proprio.

3. L’accueil de quelques-uns dans la communion ecclésiale ne saurait remettre en
question le travail pastoral de l’ensemble. Non, l’Eglise ne change pas de cap.
Contrairement aux intentions que certains lui prêtent, le pape Benoît XVI n’entend
pas revenir sur le cap que le Concile Vatican II a donné à l’Eglise. Il s’y est engagé
solennellement.

Dès son élection, il affirmait : « A juste titre, le Pape Jean-Paul II a indiqué le
Concile Vatican II comme une "boussole" selon laquelle nous pouvons nous
orienter dans le vaste océan du troisième Millénaire (cf. Lettre apostolique Novo
millennio ineunte, 57-58). Et il notait aussi dans son Testament spirituel : "Je suis
convaincu que longtemps encore il sera donné aux nouvelles générations de puiser
dans les richesses que ce Concile du XXe siècle nous a prodiguées" (17 mars
2000). Par conséquent, moi aussi, tandis que je me prépare à accomplir le service
qui est celui du Successeur de Pierre, je veux affirmer avec force ma très ferme
volonté de poursuivre la tâche de la mise en oeuvre du Concile Vatican II, sur la
trace de mes Prédécesseurs et dans une fidèle continuité avec la Tradition
bimillénaire de l’Eglise » (Message à l’issue de la messe à la chapelle Sixtine, 20
avril 2005, DC n° 2337, p. 539).

Dans son discours à la Curie romaine où il critique un faux « esprit du Concile »,
le Pape déclare : « Quarante ans après le Concile, nous pouvons souligner que le
positif est plus grand et plus vivant que ce qu’il paraissait dans l’agitation des
années 1968. Nous voyons aujourd’hui que la bonne semence, tout en se
développant lentement, grandit cependant, et ainsi grandit aussi notre profonde
gratitude pour l’oeuvre accomplie par le Concile » (DC n° 2350, p. 60). Ces
paroles méritent d’être entendues.

Je crois qu’il ne faut pas être habité aujourd’hui par la crainte et la peur. Là aussi, vivons
la confiance. Pourquoi les événements récents ne seraient-ils pas l’occasion, pour nous en
France, de faire une relecture paisible de notre réception du Concile, d’en relire les grands
textes fondateurs, d’en saisir à nouveaux frais les grandes intuitions et d’en repérer les
points qui méritent encore d’être pris en compte ? Ce n’est pas à une lecture idéologique
de Vatican II que nous sommes appelés mais bien à une relecture spirituelle, dans l’action
de grâce de ce que le Seigneur nous a donné de vivre et dans une disponibilité renouvelée
pour la mission.

Entrons donc maintenant dans notre travail d’Assemblée en nous laissant guider par le
Seigneur. Appuyons-nous sur celui qui vient vers les siens et leur dit : « Confiance ! C’est
moi, n’ayez pas peur ! » (Mt 14, 27).

Cardinal Jean-Pierre RICARD
Archevêque de Bordeaux
Président de la Conférence des évêques de France

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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13 Responses to Whatever do you, … DON’T PANIC!!!!

  1. Fr. John Pecoraro says:

    Darn, I was hoping today was the day. The feast of St. Charles would have been a good one. At any rate, if the French bishops are bracing themselves, and breaking a little sweat that’s a consolation.

  2. Visitor says:

    It is a good sign that there is so much consternation. The Pope moves with his own mind and will do what he sees is best. This has been a great opportunity for the Holy Father to see which bishops can be trusted and which are dissenters.

  3. Ouf! Ceci étant dit, le missel de Paul VI aurait besoin d’être critiqué, et la réforme liturgique aurait besoin d’être réformée! The reference to the French bishop’s darling Gaudium et Spes diminished both in me! France has been the scene of a conscious hermeneutic of rupture for the past 40 years. And the fruits of it? Enough said.

  4. fr.franklyn says:

    Holy Father,just issue that indult for all the world except France.Let their 5%of mass attending Catholics become 1%.

  5. Paul Haley says:

    On angelqueen.org I posted the following message: “If the TLM is freed up via the motu-proprio without a structure to eliminate interference from local bishops, such as an apostolic administration worldwide, we will have continued difficulty in trying to surmount local intransigence against the TLM. Let’s face it…we’ve had the so-called indult for many years and there is still much resistance from the bishops. Then too, there is the matter of the other sacraments in the traditional rite which are not necessarily available to the faithful at indult mass locations. The one thing that could change everything is Rome and the SSPX reconciling with the SSPX solely responsible to the Holy Father. Watch the modernists scurry for cover then and the bishops wringing their hands over loss of faithful to the Traditional Rite. That is one reason why I beg the SSPX and Rome to see the benefit to be derived from reconciliation in light of Tradition. The time has come to put aside any differences which do not matter in the overall goal of salvation of souls.”
    I also posted a message appealing for Bishop Fellay of the SSPX to request a private audience with the Holy Father to express his and the SSPX support in these critical times. Now is the time for both sides to come together in a spirit cooperation.

  6. Ted says:

    I hope you are right, Father. I read the AngelQueen Forum as well, and there is some very good advice over there to the SSPX’ers – now is the time to keep your mouth shut unless you have very nice things to say. In other words, put a kabosh on the “Benedict is just another modernist heretic” talk.

  7. fr.franklyn says:

    Now is the time when the face of the FSSPX is Bishop Fellay;any more dalay and that face will become that of Williamson and the end of any hope of reconciliation.The longer you wait they harder they become.When you run away from home the longer you stay away the harder it is to come home.Pope Benedict wants to tell the Traditionalists “This is your home too” but the voice grows weaker as the estrangemnet goes on.

  8. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    “spittle flecked missives”

    I can almost picture them writing them. ROFL

    -Stu

  9. matt says:

    “Why would the French bishops be inclined toward panic?…

    – 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.

    So, it’s not because the cardinals and bishops cars have been set on fire by the muslim “youths”?

    :D

    What the heck is wrong with France anyways…scared of the Tridentine rite? God help them.

  10. michigancatholic says:

    No one has ever figured out France. Not even the French.

  11. Londiniensis says:

    In view of their unseemly, perhaps panicky behaviour, the French bishops, that is if they have had a classical education, should perhaps reflect on Euripides: “Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.”

  12. Tom Miller says:

    I suggest the Papal direction is and should be the salvation of the liturgy from the disaster of the Novus Ordo and perhaps only incidentally SSPX. Which is the way it should be. The schismatic SSPX can be brought back into the Catholic Church should they humbly request it, but it appears that only Bishop Fellay feels that way. The reformation of the Novus Ordo is vastly more important than SSPX, as Father Z has made clear with his re-visitation of “Pro Multis”.

    The Novus Ordo is loaded with ambiguity, all of which cannot fail to affect Catholics in the same way as the “For all” translation. For example, immediately after what used to be called the Consecration a new line was inserted in the English translation “Father, we celebrate the memory of Christ Your Son”. That insert does not exist in the Latin. Placed where it is, immediately following the Consecration, it places the emphasis on the memory of the Passion rather than the Sacrifice itself. That concept itself was a substantial part of the Protestant revolution against Catholic doctrine. The line permits both a Protestant and a Catholic interpretation and I think the Protestant the more reasonable and more likely.

    It is the Mass itself that counts. The other matters between SSPX and the Catholic Church may be important but they fail in importance when compared to what has been done to the Mass and to the Church by the Novus Ordo. For myself, I care little about the fate of SSPX. Archbishop Lefebvre saved the Mass of the Apostles and I think deserves to have his excommunication lifted in recognition of his heroic action. Nevertheless, he also committed a grievously wrong act when he ordained four bishops against the expressed will of the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome. The times were grave and his actions heroic but wrong. He should be forgiven. The collective arrogance of the remainder — even today they apparently refuse to accept Cardinal Hoyos suggestion that their excommunication be lifted if they simply ask for it. The Pope has far more significant fish to fry than SSPX.

  13. Tom Miller: You wrote: “It is the Mass itself that counts.” Yes, that’s right. And keep in mind the the points of criticism you raise above seem to be based on a translation of the Mass and not on the Mass as it is in the Latin text (which is what counts). I think the flaws are more to be found in the implementation than in the actual texts. Does this mean that the N.O. is above reproach? Certainly not. But then again neither is the pre-Conciliar form.