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Reply to insubordination of French Bishops objecting to canonical erection of the Institute of the Good Shepherd & the pending, ‘rumored’ motu proprio

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The following text, composed by an Eastern Prelate, was delivered (with the aid of NCCL) to some ‘big wigs’ in Rome, with a request that it be shared with their ‘Boss’.


The communiqué from the French bishops is a most appalling sign of insubordination to a higher authority. When the Successors of Peter grant formal approval (the erstwhile decretum laudis), through a Roman dicastery, to an institute of Consecrated or Apostolic Life, it is one of the occasions when they engage the fullness of their divine mandate to sanctify. It is, therefore, disgraceful and inadmissible for bishops, who should know better, to dissent in their internal forum, let alone the public forum, from such solemn acts of the Roman Pontiff.

The rest of the content of the communiqué is almost as deplorable as the bishops’ dissent from the Holy Father’s canonical erection and approval of the Institute of the Good Shepherd. Moreover, they dare to attempt to pre-empt an act of the Supreme Pontiff (the rumoured indult) by falsely attributing ill will to the faithful vis-à-vis what they imagine to be the Pope’s intentions. Finally, although each local Ordinary is the visible foundation of unity in his diocese, the Successor of Peter is always, and in every place throughout the world, the ultimate, visible ‘foundation of unity’. A local bishop who does even the slightest thing to demean the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, as these bishops have done, by that very fact demeans his own authority. The faithful are not as stupid as these bishops seem to imagine. When the faithful see bishops using them (the faithful) as pawns with which to express their arrogance towards the Pope, their filial piety towards bishops is weakened.

This communiqué should never have been issued. The bishops claim they intend to convey to the Pope the points expressed below. Well then, why do they render those points public, if not to stir up the lesser clergy, religious and the laity? By this very irresponsible action, they do much more to afflict the unity of the Church, than the affliction they project onto the Pope’s rumoured plans.

The apostolic nuncio in France should convene all of the French bishops to the nunciature in Paris and, reading the riot act, deliver the aforementioned points to them in the severest tones. Then he should make a promise: If he hears one more word out of them regarding this matter, he would use all the powers of his office as nuncio to have the culprit(s) removed from office and shipped off to some outer reaches till the end of their Episcopal days.


Copied from /Diocèse de Metz /

Publié le : Le 30-10-2006 à 11:59


Communiqué official

Communiqué des évêques de la Province ecclésiastique de Besançon et des évêques des diocèses concordataires de Strasbourg et de Metz.

Réunis, le 25 octobre 2006 à Lons-le-Saunier, dans le cadre de l’Instance Régional Évêques Prêtres, les évêques de la Province ecclésiastique de Besançon et les évêques des diocèses concordataires de Strasbourg et de Metz ont décidé de faire part au Saint-Siège de leurs inquiétudes suscitées par la création de l’Institut du Bon Pasteur, dans l’archidiocèse de Bordeaux, et l’éventualité de la publication d’un Motu proprio du Pape Benoît XVI généralisant l’usage du rite tridentin pour la célébration de la messe.

Les évêques, soucieux du bien commun et de l’unité de l’Eglise, ont pris cette initiative en raison du trouble ressenti par beaucoup de fidèles, de diacres et de prêtres de leurs diocèses respectifs.

Estimant que la liturgie est l’expression de la théologie de l’Eglise, les évêques redoutent que la généralisation de l’usage du Missel romain de 1962 ne relativise les orientations du concile Vatican II. Une telle décision risquerait aussi de mettre à mal l’unité entre les prêtres, autant qu’entre les fidèles.

Depuis de nombreuses années d’importants efforts de formation liturgique ont été réalisés, les évêques s’en réjouissent et encouragent leurs diocésains à poursuivre le travail engagé.

Monseigneur André LACRAMPE, Archevêque de Besançon
Monseigneur Claude SCHOCKERT, Evêque de Belfort-Montbéliard
Monseigneur Jean-Louis PAPIN, Evêque de Nancy et Toul
Monseigneur Jean LEGREZ, Evêque de Saint-Claude
Monseigneur Jean-Paul MATHIEU, Evêque de Saint-Dié
Monseigneur François MAUPU, Evêque de Verdun
Monseigneur Joseph DORE, Administrateur apostolique de Strasbourg
Monseigneur Christian KRATZ, Evêque auxiliaire de Strasbourg
Monseigneur Jean-Pierre GRALLET, Evêque auxiliaire de Strasbourg
Monseigneur Pierre RAFFIN, Evêque de Metz

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