Thursday, 7 January 2010

Outrageous Sacrilege in Normandy Parish

This beggars belief!

Damian Thompson
has penned a blog post which is scandalous in as much as he does not condemn the actions of the parishioners, who create an ugly scene of vociferous protest as the Bishop steps in following his, most likely, unjust removal of the parish's beloved Priest, Fr Francis Michel.

There is a time and a place for some form of protest, preferably written, or appeals to Rome if the Laity feel a Bishop has inflicted damage upon the local Church or acted unjustly towards their Priest. A Church is not the place and the beginning of Mass is not the time. I would like to see a statement by the Priest they clearly adore condemning their actions, since, if he is truly a lover of Christ, he will have been horrified by the sacrilege.

We all understand the anger that we feel when Bishops who are not loyal to the wishes of the Holy Father in implementing the Motu Proprio. Those of us who love the Mass and the beauty of the TLM understand their grievance. Yet these parishioners, while their anger and frustration is palpable and justifiable, since they suspect that Fr Michel was moved because of his fidelity to the Traditional Latin Mass, have made a mockery of their cause, and, more importantly a mockery of the Blessed Sacrament housed in the Tabernacle. Someone on Damian Thompson's blog commented that Christ would approve of this behaviour citing His driving of the ungodly from the temple. I reminded them that Our Blessed Lord drove them from the Temple saying His Father's house is a house of prayer!

Indeed! A house of prayer! There are three things a Catholic should do in a Church and three things only. Firstly, the Catholic should pray in preparation for receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Our Saviour, mindful of his sins and God's great mercy. Secondly, the Catholic should spend time in prayer interceeding for the needs of others and thirdly he should pray thanking God for His unfathomable love, compassion, goodness and mercy, deigning, as He has, to come to him, a poor and unworthy creature. For who can be worthy of the Holiest of Holies?! Okay, there are probably a few more reasons to pray but you get my point. Clearly, though the beloved Priest taught them to love the Latin Mass, he did not do so well at imprinting upon their consciences their need to love, revere and adore the Blessed Sacrament!

Furthermore, while it is always wonderful when a Priest emerges who treats the Holy as such and who inspires love and devotion to the Mass in his flock, the Priest is primarily an instrument of God. He can never be truly worthy. He is made worthy only by Christ and understands this. His personality and even his sanctity are not the foundation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The One who is truly acting in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is Almighty God, in whose Presence both the Bishop and the Faithful were in.

In all this the Bishop is to blame also, not only because of his clearly flagrant insensitivity towards this parish and, I suspect, a spirit of disobedience to the Holy Father, but also because he appears to allow the Mass to continue while this debacle is in full swing. In what amounts to a war of attrition, he tries desperately and vainly to speak over the crowd, who, like the French in the last open 'revolt', appear to be baying for his blood, which only incenses them all the more. Those parishioners who leave, you will see, do not even acknowledge Our Blessed Lord in the Tabernacle by bending the knee, having blasphemed Him and just walk out. The rest just stay to continue screaming , clapping and shouting in His presence in a fashion more offensive than the Church's most irritating liturgical dancer. This scene, even more than the treatment of the Priest loyal to the Holy Father is scandalous, shameful and worthy only of our scorn!

What is more, it is a double scandal by the parishioners, since they and we are bound by Holy Mother Church to respect the Office of the Bishop, even if they don't respect the man himself. Even if you believe he has acted unjustly, even if you think he himself is causing destruction, you should still kiss his episcopal Ring, even if he doesn't wear one because he's too liberal, because, frankly he's the bloody Bishop and just because he's wearing crappy vestments doesn't detract even slightly from the fact that he's the bloody Bishop!!!

And here we are, Traditional Catholics arguing that the Sign of Peace is a load of nonsense! Well, by God, they could have done with one before this Mass and maybe then God would not have been so mocked! No, Heaven did not approve of this protest in the slightest. I expect Hell was in uproarious laughter since it is division within the Church at which Satan takes great pleasure! St Michael, Archangel and Prince of the Heavenly Host, pray for Saint-Taurin and crush the head of the devil who seeks only the destruction of the Bride of Christ!


Ron Webber said...

I may disagree with you regarding the Bishop and his pastoral antics but I wholeheartily commend you on the spirituality you show here and the spirit that you bring to the debate.
Damian Thompson and his crowd have a faith of sorts but what comes across often in their remarks is a hatred and scorn. What you have shown in this article Laurence is a genuine spirituality which is directed toward our Lord and which understands that we are nothing if not Christian and if not respectful of Churches, congregations and of our Blessed Lord.
We need more people like you who can raise objections while condemning that which is inappropriate and scandalous. If we gain a culture in our Church which tells us that we are allowed to turn our objections into hatred and then to manifest them in any way we please, then we are in dire peril.
One website has recently come up with a code of conduct for Catholics who post on the internet. It is worth us all respecting. I would post it on Holy smoke, but somehow I doubt it would be taken with anything but ridicule.;sa=view;article=10

Ron Webber, Northhants

Barbara Huet de Guerville said...

In trying to see the situation from your persepective, I watched the videos without sound. It does look as disrespectful and irreverent as you claim.
If you understood the French language you might have had more sympathy for the outrage of the parishioners. Trust me, when the bishop begins by welcoming you to the Toussaint (All Saints) and its the Epiphany...
Think about it. You know how hard it is for even one Catholic to get him and quietly leave Mass, let alone an entire congregation doing it. Their behavior had nothing to do with being in rebellion and everything with utter desperation.
Next time you're in Paris take a trip to the Ile St. Louis and see why the parishioners were upset at the sight of a rainbow chasuble. Pope John Paul the Great was gracious enough to put up with all the bishops in rainbow chasubles in 1997 but they are not approved according to canon law. Only white, gold, violet/purple, rose (NOT pink), red, green, and black can be used. Perhaps blue, I'm not sure about blue for France.
Msgr. Nourrichaud wore that wore that rainbow chasuble to send them a message: "In the spirit of Vatican II (words he used to justify his reorganization, including the ouster of their curé) I'm for every trendy modernist weirdness, wackiness, and sin you can think of. You unwashed ploucs will just have to get over it."
He and his leftist priests have repeatedly pooh-poohed the Real Presence over the years, along with a number of other doctrines of the Church. If the parishioners had behaved respectfully and reverently, as I would have preferred, do you think anyone would be paying attention to the mess the bishop has created? As disrespectful the parishioners were to the bishop and the Blessed Sacrament on that one occasion, the bishop has been doing everything in his power to engender disrespect for the Body of Christ on a daily basis for years. The bishop was counting on the faithful to act like sheep and do nothing. As much as their behavior put them in the wrong, however, a line in the sand has been drawn and Rome knows just how awful things are in his diocese.
Cheer up, always makes my day.

The Bones said...

I can see why they did it. They're desperate.

Nothing excuses it.

The Bones said...

Oh and please, don't spin me the, 'They can't help it, they're French' line. They're passionate, so sacrilege is just the French way?

If there were any French man or lady in that Church with an inkling of Who is housed there they'd have kept absolutely schtum unti after Mass and then, outside, made their feelings known.

Physiocrat said...

They look like a bunch of oafs. The kind of people whose grandparents would have denounced the local Jews and Resistance to the Gestapo, and don't say it did not go on.

Not very creditable.

The Bones said...

Or what about a protest outside the Church, footage sent to Rome. Anything rather than this.

I can tell you, Rome will be as horrified by the lack of respect of the Faithful as by the Bishop's behaviour. Noone comes out of this looking good!

Anonymous said...

Actually, in reading French accounts in La Vie and La Croix, a number of non-parishioners were present. It's sad that everyone jumped to the conclusion that it was parishioners behaving badly.
According to the diocesan paper, La Vie, the bishop announced that there would be no Mass, yet said Mass when most of the people had left the Church - in a rush to get to Mass elsewhere.
The national Catholic paper, La Croix, reported that Fr. Michel is no longer allowed to say Mass at all - a little harsh for refusing his transfer - but the diocesan paper makes no mention of it.
It appears that Fr. Michel's Masses were a major draw and people drove from miles around. Good business for the townspeople, which will stop if Fr. Michel is no longer allowed to say Masses. Those that shouted Ta geule (shut up) and Tu nous enmerdes (You're shi***** us!) were probably not parishioners. Note that the video clips were from Channel 3, a national, government-owned TV channel. Care to guess what their agenda might be? Who asked the TV people there? Anyone being sacreligeous for the camera?
As you know, the city owns and pays for the upkeep of the church, hence the involvement of the mayor. They have the keys to the building and can let in Fr. Michel any time they want. The new priest isn't going to celebrate Mass in Latin and in the NO ad Orientam, if he did there wouldn't be a problem.
Nothing excuses sacrilege - the question is who and why? I hate to convict my fellow, faithful Catholics.
With tons of family in Normandy I will be able to talk to know someone who knows someone who was there. In the meantime, these patishioners, their priests, and bishop need our prayers.

Adulio said...

Physiocrat makes a slanderous statement on a group of people s/he has never met and doesn't know anything about. It is all too easy for us, who live in parishes/or have easy access to the old rite to sit in our comfort zone and pass judgement. St. Thomas Aquinas says that even if a prelate should be found to be error, he must be rebuked publically at the soonest moment possible.

To think of many times the Blessed Sacrament has been submitted to outrageous profanities, more often than not, with the approval of the bishops, far outweighs what these people did to their bishop.

The Bones said...


Since when did two wrongs make a right?

I understand why they did it, but it is horrific to watch.

Physiocrat said...

I was judging them by their demeanour. It reminds me of the mob gathered by the Countryside Alliance here in Brighton a few years ago to demonstrate against a proposed ban on foxhunting.

I was quite sympathetic to their cause until I saw who they actually were.

And the occupied French were not all valiant members of the Resistance or even unwilling collaborators.

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