I like posting positive things.
So, with joy I present an interview over at angelqueen.org. I suspect this translation could have used a little different approach. But it is readable. Other than the questions my emphases and comments.
So, here it is. The Second Annual Interview with Father de Tanoüarn of the GSI. Thank you and bless you Father.
The Good Shepherd Institute was founded in September 2006 – can you give us some feedback of this first year?
Back then, some the SSPX called us “the mutineers” – a word that was supposed to indicate we were meaningless. They no longer do. [That means they are doing better than expected.] Since September 8th, 2006, when it was erected, the Good Shepherd Institute has had 7 priestly ordinations, and 35 seminarians now study in the seminary we created in Courtalain. A handful of priests joined us – others didn’t formally join but are close to us. The Institute exists in Europe and Latin America. Among our seminarians are Poles and Brazilians – this indicates that we have a future there. In France, the Saint Eloi church in Bordeaux was erected as a personal parish February 1st, 2007. We have priests here and there, celebrating their private masses, but we did not –not yet– get the chapels we hoped for. [Hopefully this will shift and they will have more opportunities for pastoral work. After all, I know priests in France with a dozen or more parishes and chapels under their care. Why not entrust some of them to these guys? Would that be so bad? (Of course, that depends on your perspective!)]
Doesn’t the Moto Proprio help?
Somehow, the bishops seem to grow stiff. [This probably refects a phase like "digging in their heels".] It looks as if the Motu Proprio for the traditional Mass that was released July 7th made them seek vengeance on the “specialized institutes” as Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos calls them, such as the FSSP, the Institute of Christ the King – and, yes, the Good Shepherd Institute. In Avignon [Southern France] for instance, Bp Cattenoz started a transdiocesan group called “Totus Tuus” with priests celebrating the traditional Mass, in order to avoid resorting to our traditional institutes. [You know, I frankly don’t have a problem with that. As I have stated many times, my preference will always lie not so much with "specialized institutes", as good as they are. I will favor diocesan priests serving in their dioceses in diocesan parishes. I think they should always have priority. Also, and this is important, if this "Totus Tuus" is successful, then… good! Everybody wins. With the work in Pope Benedict’s Marshall Plan to be done, if there are more groups and they succeed, the more the better. This doesn’t have to be seen as a zero-sum game.] In Marseilles Bp Pontier asks the faithful to move to another church where he imposes upon them a priest of his choice. Not to mention Lyon and Versailles, where the FSSP lost control over its biggest French congregations. There is no denying such difficulties, but at the same time the traditional Mass is prodigiously propagating among priests and the laity. When the traditional Mass is largely diffused and widely available, Catholics will stop fighting each other and harmony will prevail. Those attached to the new liturgy will learn on their own about the traditional usage, and their hostility will disappear by itself as it is frequently induced by their ignorance of it. [Right! That is part of what I mean by the "gravitational pull"!]
What specific role does the Good Shepherd Institute play in this whole context?
The way I see it, we have a double function. We are quite near the bishops as we meet lots of them. Real relations can be built that way little by little –at least with some of them. It takes time, but scars from the past can be healed and mutual trust can develop between individuals, beyond personal agendas. Another thing we do is we try to unify all the forces on favor of Benedict XVI’s ecclesial policy, by organizing public events – such as the congress we’re planning in Paris next January to thank the pope, at the occasion of which there may be a little surprise. [I would love more information on this.]
Speaking of Benedict XVI’s ecclesial policy, what part does the Motu Proprio play in it?
Pope Benedict XVI himself wrote the Motu Proprio, at least the essential parts of it – Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos indicated this to us by saying “I keep at your disposal the GERMAN original”. The pope proceeded with much strength and great prudence, he doesn’t impose a thing upon the bishops, but he sort of puts ‘the cause of the Mass’ in the hands of stable lay groups. Such groups have already appeared – it is inevitable that more will follow and grow in the future. In his letter to the bishops that accompanies the Motu Proprio, the pope doesn’t announce a revolution, he wishes “that all is done in peace and serenity” – at a quiet and peaceful pace. The pope acts in the Church’s time – that is a time that goes slowly but irreversibly, since it’s the Holy Spirit’s time. The irreversible thing here is the pope’s recognition of the legitimacy of the faithful attachment to the traditional liturgy.
Does the pope regard both missals as equals? He doesn’t say – but he commands “the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage” – a sacrality that “the mass according to the missal of Paul VI [should] be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto”. He commands “the spiritual richness and the theological depth of [the traditional] missal” – that are to “enrich” the new one. To me, that’s a clear indication of the pope’s mind on the liturgical question, to say the least.
However, didn’t the pope put the traditional rite aside, so as to speak, by calling it an “extraordinary rite” – as opposed to the ordinary rite, which is the Paul VI missal?
No. In fact, the pope does NOT speak of “two rites”. On the contrary he speaks of two forms of the one same Latin rite, which means both forms – whether ordinary or extraordinary – basically enjoy the same legitimacy and the same rights. [That is something still to be seen. After all, the Motu Proprio does define some parameters.] That cuts out all the talk about our attachment to the traditional liturgy being a mere ‘nostalgia’ for ‘the old rite’– there is no ‘old rite’ but the extraordinary form of today’s rite. The Missal we use is recognized as the “Missale Romanum of Pope John XXIII,” and it has never abrogated.
What is required from the faithful is that they acknowledge the supernatural value and the objective sanctity of the new missal – in other words, its sacramental and sacrificial validity, by virtue of its promulgation by Pope Paul VI. Abp Lefebvre spoke of the ‘essential validity’ of the new missal and he required all his seminarians to recognize this essential validity prior to their ordination by swearing an oath. I swore that oath 20 years ago, and I certainly intend to keep to it.
I find this interview very encouraging. This fellow sounds like he is squared away.