Cong. Clergy rejects appeal of parish priest in Thiberville

From Rorate:

The blog Osservatore Vaticano reports that Cardinal Hummes of the Congregation of the Clergy has rejected — with unusual speed — the appeal lodged by the Abbe Francis Michel against his sudden dismissal from the curacy of the parish of Thiberville (and of several other parishes) by his liberal bishop on January 3, 2010.

(For those not yet aware of the Thiberville saga, please read this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.)


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  1. boko fittleworth says:

    Our betters can move quickly when they want to.

  2. The Astronomer says:

    One thing French bishops cannot abide in their churches is actual “ROMAN Catholics…” Better to make them mosques, eh???? More ecumenical.

    Why the gallows humor? you gotta laugh at this stuff or else you’ll cry til there ain’t no more tears.

    Sweet Christ in Heaven, have mercy on us, for we are a sinful people.

  3. Steve K. says:

    The smoke of Satan has indeed entered the sanctuary.

  4. B flat says:

    The change in Canon Law which now allows a bishop to remove a parish priest at whim, is a contributing factor in this situation.

    Over the last week, I watched impotently, while the Pope was attacked by the media with open hatred and bloodlust. Where was the vocal support of Catholic bishops individually, or the support for the Pope of the National Bishops’ Coferences collectively? At the forefront of defenders of the Pope, should have been the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, who wear red in token of their readiness to shed their blood in defence of the Church and its Leader on earth. Cardinal Pell was an honourable exception in the deathly silence of his brethren.

    It is not my place to suggest that these honorary parish priests of the city of Rome be moved from their posts if they show themselves incapable of fulfilling their duties. The College of Cardinals is suffering similarly to our secular economy, inflation has brought loss of value. The numbers could be trimmed, and membership of the College should again be an exceptional, Eminent, honour. Perhaps tenure should be ended once dependability is in question. A revised list of appointments could be prepared for November’s Consistory, with certain numbers missing. (Let the reader understand.)

  5. FWIW, the French Bishops *did* issue a letter in support of Benedict:

    “Those who commit these acts disfigure our church, hurt Christian communities and spread suspicion over all members of the clergy. We all feel shame and regret about the abominable acts perpetrated by certain priests and religious figures. We also note that these unacceptable facts are being used in a campaign to attack your person and your mission. We wish to tell you that we carry with you the pain being caused by this calumny that targets you and we renew the expression of our communion and our support.”

  6. robtbrown says:

    The change in Canon Law which now allows a bishop to remove a parish priest at whim, is a contributing factor in this situation.
    Comment by B flat

    Can. 522 It is necessary that a parish priest have the benefit of stability, and therefore he is to be appointed for an indeterminate period of time. The diocesan Bishop may appoint him for a specified period of time only if the Episcopal Conference has by decree allowed this.

  7. The Egyptian says:

    please Father Is this good or bad, I am confused, is a bad decision by a Bishop to be upheld at all costs or is there more here than I see

  8. Athanasius says:

    It is just as a priest I know recently commented, based on the new rules that the Holy Father put in force a process can go to Rome to have you returned to the lay state without even knowing it, if one’s bishop or superior agrees. You don’t have to even be notified until it is all done. The rules were put in place to quickly and quietly get rid of pedophile priests, but the liberal bishops will use it to eliminate Catholic clergy.

  9. Clinton says:

    What a shame and a waste. However, it’s not a huge surprise– Bishop Nourrichard probably has canonists to advise him on how to
    achieve his goals. Rome only ruled based on her own laws. Still, it’s stomach-churning.

    With the residents’ obvious dissatisfaction with the Bishop, plus the likelihood that the Thiberville parish will be closed down and absorbed
    by neighboring parishes and left without a curate, I’d say that the area is ripe to be taken up by the SSPX. My guess is that the chancery
    would look on that as a godsend and a relief to have done with the people of Thiberville. A hissing shame on those men in the chancery.

    I hope that Fr. Michel, God bless him, lands on his feet.

  10. B flat says:

    My apologies to all forexpressing such a low opinion, and thanks to Saint Irenaeus for the link to Fox reporting the French Bishops’ letter. I had not seen it reported before his blog posting.

  11. Welcome. I of course have a distant armchair discomfort with the French episcopacy, and the Thiberville issue — from a distance — seems a sad situation. But I was gratified to see that the letter was written. Heck, even Mahony wrote a note in support of Benedict on his blog. Nothing like a little media persecution to get the herd of cats that is the worldwide episcopacy to close ranks.

  12. C. says:

    Rome only ruled based on her own laws.

    The salvation of souls is the Supreme Law of the Church. (Can. 1752)

    There are many appeals from Cardinal Hummes awaiting trial in the Apostolic Signatura today.

  13. geoff jones says:

    This is very, very sad. From a flourishing parish to an old people’s home of about 50 people.

    Someone opined on the facebook group in support of Fr Michel that it was likely jealousy that motivated the swine who did this to him. Their churches empty whilst his was full.

    What diabolical spite.

  14. Clinton says:

    Yes, geoff, it is awfully sad. It is also not without its absurdity. Consider that the reason given for Fr. Michel’s reassignment was that
    Thiberville had only 5000 parishioners yet, because of a shortage of vocations, most priests of that diocese serve about twice that
    number. It was claimed that Thiberville must be consolidated with other parishes and Fr. Michel reassigned in order to maximize the
    use of the diocese’s resources. For the Bishop to then attempt to assign the good Father not to a larger parish but to a nursing home
    of about 50 souls does seem an odd stewardship of those priestly resources.

    Were Fr. Michel to take up that assignment, I’ve no doubt the residents of that home will have hit the jackpot.

    I recall that just a few days ago Gerald Warner wrote an article, quoted in this blog, to the effect that in some dioceses any manner of
    priestly wrongdoing will be handled with kid gloves, but if a priest be a lover of tradition and the EF, “his feet will not touch the floor”.

  15. Mickey says:

    I hadn’t heard about this until now. But I learned everything I needed to know by observing the “rainbow” chasuble the bishop was wearing when he came to speak to the people in the vid.

    I watched the whole horrible thing…from the bishop identifying the Solemnity of the Epiphany as “Feast of All Saints” to the ugly shouting…it broke my heart.

    I don’t know whom I’m sadder for…the good people of the parish, Fr Michel, the Eldest Daughter of the Church, the bishop for his stubborn heresy, or myself and my children for having the misfortune to be living in this heretical time.

    What a disaster.

  16. irishgirl says:

    Oh, how terrible-poor Abbe Michel! That bishop of his ought to be ashamed of himself!

    St. Jean-Marie Vianney, please pray for the good clergy of France!

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