Hysterical attacks on a bishop who did something entirely normal

I am passing this along as is:

Bishop under fire for pictures

Alain Castet, Bishop of Luçon, in the Vendée, was in Germany on May 12 for an event. The images of him there have now become known: the pictures that have rocked a diocese…
A “dangerous” event: six new traditional Deacons
From daily “Ouest France“:

Malaise in the Church following an ordination 

Bp. Castet was in Germany, for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, on May 12, where he ordained six deacons. A gesture that hurts a part of the Church in Vendée, the Fraternity being perceived as Integrist.

The photos have circulated throughout the diocese. They are found very easily on an internet website. We see in them Bp. Castet ordaining six deacons. The ceremony took place on May 12, at Wigratzbad, in Germany, at the invitation of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. Rage has been brewing in the Vendean Church since then. The Fraternity is in fact considered by some as ultra-Traditionalist.

“They are even Integrist [Fundamentalist],” said someone close to the Bishop, under anonymity.  … “Too much, this is too much,” another priest says, “it is a return to a past that the Bishop proposes to us, we turn our backs to the Vatican II Council.” …

No, they are not kidding. [Source: Le Salon Beige, whose editors add that “you may pray for him” and perhaps send him a message of support at eveque@catho85.org]

Perhaps the LCWR would like to issue a statement of support for Bp. Castet, given that he is now an unjustly oppressed victim.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Brick by Brick, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The future and our choices, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. antipodeantony says:

    “it is a return to a past that the Bishop proposes to us, we turn our backs to the Vatican II Council.”

    Although this modernist priest doesn’t know it, this is exactly what the Church needs right now – a return to the past and turning our backs to the nonsense in the Vatican II pastoral council and everything else following it. He sounds like a great bishop.

  2. Phil_NL says:

    Interestingly, if the good bishop would indeed be a throwback to bygone times, 95% of diocesan staff would find themselves with new, unpleasant assignments or without a job at all after such disloyal behavior.

    prayers for the bishop, indeed.

  3. jflare says:

    Curious to know if this happened in their normal church? Or was this conducted in a gym with a special-built altar?
    I only ask because..looking at the background, some of those seats look more like bleachers for a gym; the windows don’t look like they’re designed for sacred space. If so, they DID do quite a job of decorating the area immediately surrounding the altar itself. It even looks like there’s a wooden floor to designate the sacred area where the nave isn’t. (OK, I believe that used to be called the actual sanctuary.)

    Saddened to hear that folks have become so distraught.
    FWIW, I’ve attended a few ordinations for the diaconate in the Novus Ordo. One, as a choir member for the Archdiocese event, the other was for the Intercessors of the Lamb; that last was when I thought I might be called to the priesthood.
    I don’t recall either one seeming to me all that compelling. Of course, I wasn’t entirely impressed with the Intercessors in the first place and singing in the Archdiocese Choir from some 200 yards or so away might’ve influenced my impressions a good bit. ..Or perhaps the fact that I’ve long since lost interest in the usual “modern” versions of music..
    Whichever concern you care to worry over, this DOES appear to be a rather impressive ceremony.

    I like the incensing. I like the red and gold vestments.
    ‘Twould be interesting to know what they did for music.

  4. asperges says:

    Given the lamentable state of the Church in France, here is a wonderful example of its rebirth. That that Vendee should be the area where they are ‘up in arms’ at an act of traditionalism has a most unfortunate resonance, given their glorious opposition to the wicked Revolution in times past.

    The FSSP is certainly conservative, but hardly in the same stable as SSPX. More to the point it is entirely canonical and regular. I suppose we should be deceiving ourselves if we though that the Restoration would be either quick, simple or not met by howls of anguish from the old brigade.

  5. FloridaJoan says:

    Just curious about your comment re” uncompelling” ordination of Intercessors of the Lamb deacons; weren’t they suppressed ( and remain so ) by Omaha Archbishop Lucas in 2010 ?
    The FSSP , on the other hand, are ( as asperges above says … ) totally committed to the Magisterium.

    pax et bonum

  6. NoraLee9 says:

    My husband keeps bemoaning the state of affairs in the US. He insists that there “must be some place better,” particularly Europe and possibly France. I keep telling him things are worse in Europe, especially France. Guess I ought to show him this.

  7. poohbear says:

    , “it is a return to a past that the Bishop proposes to us, we turn our backs to the Vatican II Council.” …

    From his lips to God’s ears. We can only hope and pray.

  8. FloridaJoan says:


    Respectfully, was it really Vatican II OR some ultra liberal (mis)interpretation of same ?

    pax et bonum

  9. Gail F says:

    Pray for France. I don’t really understand the situation over there, but I am constantly telling people that the whole SPPX thing — which seems so bizarre over here — has a lot to do with the situation in France. Over here, the SPPX seems like bunch of kooks (sorry, SPPX folks who might be reading this). But in this country there are many options for Catholics in terms of parishes and types of masses, all though of course many people consider them intolerable choices. But in France, there are very few choices and the sides seem to have hardened into ultra-liberal and ultra-conservatives who are also royalists. One’s religious choices are also political choices, and they are extreme political choices. There is no “I’ll just drive down the road to an EF mass, even though no one in that parish is nice about it.” We just don’t have a clue what they are facing.

  10. robtbrown says:

    A gesture that hurts a part of the Church in Vendée,

    Having some familiarity with the collapse of the Church France in the 1970’s following the establishment of liberalism, I can’t help but be both amused and disgusted when I read such a comment. Sponsors of such drivel are like the execs at ENRON, who, knowing that the company was in big trouble, lied (even to themselves) so the stock price wouldn’t drop.

    In fact, when the French bishops began to press Rome about Lefebvre and the SSPX, one of their complaints was that there were no vocations in France because they were going to the SSPX. Well, the SSPX was suppressed, Lefebvre was suspended, and there still aren’t many vocations in France. It’s a bit like someone not being able to hit a baseball because his eyes are closed, then deciding the solution is to swing harder.

    Beam me up, Scotty, there’s no intelligent life here.

  11. The Egyptian says:

    the pictures that have rocked a diocese…

    Lets rock and roll

    The only thing rocking is the sand that the libs have built their beliefs on, earthquake coming their way

  12. robtbrown says:

    Gail F,

    The reason that there are fewer options in France, first daughter of the Church, is that the French know what Catholicism is–and know that what they’ve been fed since 1965 (liturgically and doctrinally) isn’t it. We Americans, influenced by Protestantism, delude ourselves to think that those who favor, contraception, abortion, or women priests can consider themselves Catholic.

    And if you think that in the US someone can just “drive down the road to an EF mass”, you aren’t familiar with the situation. There are 7 parishes within 14 miles of me–none have any kind of Latin mass. The nearest Latin (EF) is 30 miles away. And I have a friend, an old Little League baseball and hs football buddy, who drives 3 hours every Sunday to that mass.

  13. HighMass says:

    Love the Frat. Of St. Peter….This Bishop is a doing what the Holy Father has said can be done.

    the poor liberals, they are loosing ground, it is time to return to the sacred!

    Viva Il Papa!

  14. Haec Dies says:

    Though I feel very bad that this fine Bishop must endure the pain of his derogators ,I believe that evey action can be viewed also possitively. I truely believe the battle lines are bing draw in the church. Sides are being exposed and the oppostion is surfacing like termites from beneath the ground. Look at the Holy Father and what he has endured all because he wants refocus the church on it’s internal mission and there are simply priest, bishops, cardinals and religious organizations that will not serve. Someone else said Non Servium and he earned a place of notoriety. We must pray all the more for the strength of holy bishops who are not affraid to take a stand to make the church holy.

  15. WesleyD says:

    Asperges pointed out one of the great ironies: the Vendée was where the French Revolutionaries were particularly brutal in their bloody attempt to suppress the Church and annihilate Christianity.

    After the Armenian genocide, fights between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church stopped, since they had been martyred alongside each other by the Turks. I would have hoped the same would have applied in the Vendée: regardless of their disagreements over liturgy, why can’t the “mainstream” Catholic priests there recognize that the FSSP are part of the same great Tradition that their ancestors were slaughtered for holding to? Or do Catholic parents in France no longer teach their children how the Church suffered under the tyranny of Robespierre?

  16. John Nolan says:

    Catholics in France are equivalent to Anglicans in England, where if you have no religion you are automatically C0fE. That being said, there are traditional monasteries in France which attract many people, the SSPX has a strong presence (which is why complete reconciliation with Rome is so necessary), and the infrastructure of the Faith is there. Don’t forget the Revolution set out to destroy the Church, and the Third Republic (1870-1940) was almost by definition anti-Catholic. Benedict XVI knows that renewal must start in Europe.

  17. Margaret says:

    Am I missing something here? Does the rite involve drowning sacks of puppies or something? Honestly, this is ludicrous…

    One point that puzzles me: Europeans in general, and the French particularly (at least in my shallow American understanding of things) pride themselves on valuing beauty, fine works of art, meals exquisitely prepared, etc. etc. They hold themselves out as the antithesis of the McDonald’s mentality of the US. One would think that purely on the aesthetic level, they could appreciate something done slowly and mindfully, something that respects custom and the past even if it is not always the fastest and most efficient way, something done with the most materially and musically beautiful accoutrements possible. I would almost think the (relative) unintelligibility of the older rite would hold a kind of snob appeal for the “intelligentsia.”

    Clearly I’m missing something…

  18. Random Friar says:

    Are those reliquaries on the altar?

  19. One of those TNCs says:

    I don’t understand…what is it that he has done that is “wrong”?
    Seriously, please advise.

  20. RichR says:

    Take it up with the Pope.

    Seriously, theVendeans probably don’t even care. I refuse to believe the diocese is so dramatically distraught over six valid and licit ordinations by their ordinary. More likely, there are some residual liberals in the media who are shaking their walkers at the bishop trying to paint him as a bully because they know they have no recourse to Rome. Their only weapon is to overinflate the issue with victimization rhetoric to try to rouse the laity.

    I hope this bishop gets a pallium….or a red hat.

  21. poohbear says:

    @FloridaJoan True, it was the misrepresentation of VII, but at this point in time, those who are quoted in the article don’t know the difference, imo.

  22. St. Rafael says:

    France is actually the center of Traditionalism in the Church and in the world. The U.S. comes in second place to the eldest daughter of the Church, when it comes to tradition. The SSPX is huge in France. On any given Sunday, 30% of all Mass attendees in France, are traditionalists attending the TLM Mass at either Diocene, SSPX, FSSP or ICK parishes or chapels. This is huge considering that only 3% of all Catholics in France even attend Mass every Sunday.

  23. Andrew says:

    Haec Dies:

    “I truly believe the battle lines are being drawn in the church. Sides are being exposed and the opposition is surfacing like termites from beneath the ground.”

    I agree. But, in a way, there’s nothing new about this. It’s always been that way. St. Jerome writes againt Jovinianus:

    “Omnis impatientia quae ardentem prius libidinem protegebat, nudata est, et exposita. Quae ante in occulto erant, nunc in propatulo sunt. Ostendisti tales discipulos, non fecisti. Hoc profecit doctrina tua, ut peccata non poenitentiam quidem habeant.“

    (All that restlesness that was hiding the burning desires, is now uncovered and exposed. Things that were earlier concealed, are now out in the open. You revealed these desciples: you didn’t make them. To this has your doctrine been helpful, that hence sins might not even require any repentance. Adv. Jovinianum II.)

  24. fbcallicoat says:

    I too am missing the point here.

    What exactly is it that the bishop has done that has these people howling?

  25. Angie Mcs says:

    I am also confused about all the fuss and see nothing in these photos for anyone to get upset about.
    “victimization”? Of whom? It looks lovely to me.

    I am no expert on ordination protocol but would love someone enlighten me ( as it seems would others) on all the fuss. In the meantime, I send prayers to these newly ordained priests.

  26. Bryan Boyle says:

    Now, that’s something I would love to see here in the states. Absolutely NO doubt that this is a CATHOLIC ordination. Serious intent, but at the same time, a certain joy that emanates from the faces of people who know, in their inner core, that they are serving the Creator.

    I can see why modernists and the like would be howling. Because it’s not about them.

  27. Skeinster says:

    The FSSP seminary in the U.S. is in Nebraska. They have this type of ordination every year. The lovely pictures are in their newsletter. We are so blessed by our FSSP priests.

  28. Titus says:

    The key to understanding the furor lies in an unusual word found in the quoted material, and badly translated “fundamentalist”: “Integrist.”

    As a historically Catholic country, France had its religious identity tied up in its political and cultural identity. Ever since the Revolution, it has been difficult to disentangle Catholicism and monarchism. In the last seventy years particularly, observant Catholics, and especially traditional Catholics, have been tarred by this Integrist label, which implies opposition to French Republicanism, reactionary cultural and political views, and (perhaps most shamefully) association with the characters who ran Vichy.

    In short, French society has picked up a lot of baggage to which Americans are not accustomed, because the nature of its modern social and political movements have made Catholicism an explicit topic of contention in the past. So people view seemingly simple actions—like participating in an FSSP ordination—as threats to the existing modus vivendi.

  29. irishgirl says:

    The ones who have got their underwear in knots because of what the Bishop did (in ordaining six new deacons in the FSSP) really don’t have a clue. They don’t realize that their time has already past.
    And it’s such a shame that they’re from the Vendee region of France, which suffered horribly during the French Revolution. Don’t they know their own history?
    @ FloridaJoan: Yes, the Intercessors of the Lamb were suppressed in 2010 by Archbishop Lucas in Omaha. I had a friend who was a member of that group-she made her final profession in 2006. She became ill with cancer while with the larger of the two groups that split after the suppression. But she couldn’t stay with them due to her ill health, and returned to her Upstate NY home last year. Her cancer came back, and she died in this past April.
    There is a new group that was formed from the womens’ branch of the Intercessors: The ‘Brides of the Victorious Lamb’ They were established on February 11, 2012, with the permission of Archbishop Lucas. There are nine members in the community, and their habits are gorgeous!
    This is their website: http://www.bridesofthevictoriouslamb.org (or it could be, ‘.com’).

  30. Giuseppe says:

    Having never seen such an ordination before, I am left wondering : what’s with the holy oven mitt the bishop uses on the deacon’s head?

    Actually, the ceremony looks gorgeous.

  31. Johnno says:

    I’m sure these ‘concerned’ people are also actively looking for ways to help us progress by ridding us of the Sacraments too.

    Mark my words… they’ll eventually find some way to keep us from falling into medieval superstition and worshiping the round little white wafer…

    In the U.S. the women on ‘the View’ believe it’s child abuse to tech your children to believe in the Book of Genesis. Soon they’ll turn their concerns to the issue of the Eucharist. Many have been trying already…

  32. Michelle F says:


    The bishop isn’t using a “mitt.” If you look closely at the picture you will see that he is wearing a red glove.

    I know that in the Tridentine Mass bishops wear gloves at times, just as priests cover their heads at certain parts. I don’t know the reasons for it, however, because I am a post-Vatican II convert and so far I haven’t seen any explanations in any books.

    Perhaps someone here will explain the purpose of gloves and hats as liturgical vestments?

  33. Michelle F says:

    Actually, the bishop is wearing a complete pair of gloves; I shouldn’t have used the singular in my post above. Oops.

  34. jflare says:

    Yes, the Intercessors of the Lamb WERE suppressed here, but according to an article I just reviewed:
    “…Fr. Conn’s findings, however, uncovered serious problems in the community’s administration, spirituality, leadership, and finances.” Among other things, the Board of Directors for the Intercessors would not agree to meet with Archbishop Lucas.

    I would guess that poor liturgy MIGHT have contributed obliquely–though probably no more than your average parish–but they had other major problems.

Comments are closed.