Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Abigail Eltzroth was 'ordained' April 2017 in North Carolina by rebel Catholic group Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Abigail Eltzroth

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Amazon Synod means the ‘end of Tridentine Church’: French Catholic newspaper

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

November 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The editor-in-chief of the French Catholic daily, La Croix, wrote a blog post on Tuesday announcing the “end of the Tridentine Church.”

Isabelle de Gaulmyn presents what she considers to be the outcome of the Amazon Synod, calling it a “real revolution” that will close the door on Catholicism as it has existed for five centuries.

Interestingly, she remarked that Pope Francis will probably not contradict the Synod’s conclusions insofar as he “quite largely encouraged the process.”

La Croix is owned by the French religious congregation of the Augustinians of the Assumption and is widely read by the French episcopate, so much so that it is considered the unofficial daily of the bishops. It runs a number of blogs, in particular for its own journalists and invited editorialists. In de Gaulmyn's capacity of editor-in-chief of the print version of La Croix, her blog gives a true reflection of the paper’s orientation, which is generally progressive.

La Croix is rarely if ever contradicted by the French episcopate, even when it takes up positions that are favorable to abortion or unfavorable to resistance against same-sex “marriage.”

De Gaulmyn’s take on the Amazon Synod as a break from “Tridentine” Catholicism is perfectly in line with La Croix’s enthusiastic reporting on the event. The paper’s permanent correspondent in Rome, Nicolas Senèze, recently published a book about opposition to Pope Francis under the title: How America wants to change Popes, accusing rich American Catholics and pressure groups of maneuvering to obtain Francis’ eviction.

De Gaulmyn argues that the Church as we know it is a product of the Council of Trent, which organized the response to the Protestant Reformation through the Counter-Reformation. If she is to be believed, the “structuring” of the Church around the central figure of the priest dates back to that 16th century time: hence the clericalism that is regularly decried by Pope Francis as the root of the sex-abuse crisis and other problems in the present-day Church. The Council of Trent condemned the laity to the role of a “flock of docile sheep,” she wrote. She called this a sort of new vision of priests, changing their status in the people’s imagination.

Presenting the Amazon Synod as the natural outcome of Vatican II and its renewed approach to the priesthood, de Gaulmyn jubilantly remarked – on an ecclesio-ecological note – that the Church is moving toward increased “biodiversity,” which is how she interprets married priests and women ministers.

It is interesting to note that de Gaulmyn would be prepared and happy to see the Church throw away and even contradict the rich inheritance of the Council of Trent, which in particular deepened the teaching of the Church on the Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments and codified the Latin Rite – not by revolutionizing it but by largely unifying its use by the will of Pope Pius V. The extraordinary form of the Latin Mass is also known as the Mass of Pius V or the “Tridentine” Mass (from Trent).

Here is LifeSite’s translation of de Gaulmyn’s blog:

“Let us make no mistake about it; what happened in Rome, with the Synod for the Amazon that ended on Sunday, October 27, marks a real revolution in the Catholic Church, even if, like all revolutions, it is written into a long-term process. Certainly, Pope Francis is not obliged unconditionally to follow the opinions of the Synod Fathers. That said, it is hard to see how he can avoid it, especially since it is the result of a process that he has encouraged quite largely.

“However, by asking for the possibility of the ordination of married men as priests in the Amazon region, by considering the creation of new ‘ministries’ (i.e. responsibilities within parishes or dioceses), including the recognition of a ministry for ‘women who lead communities,’ and finally by also demanding the reopening of the explosive debate on the female diaconate, the bishops of the Synod have clearly proclaimed the end of a model that emerged from the Council of Trent and nearly five centuries of Catholicism.

“We are still, consciously or unconsciously, largely dependent on this Council, which dates back to the 16th century. Aiming to consolidate a religion damaged by the powers of the princes and the Lutheran Reformation, the Council of Trent structured Catholicism around the figure of the priest. The unmarried cleric then became the central pivot. He concentrates in his person all the sacred functions, starting with the Eucharist and confession. This imaginary vision of the ideal priest, the ‘holy priest’ identified with Christ, placed above the faithful, condemning them to be nothing more than a simple flock of docile sheep, has deeply marked the mentalities of all Catholics, and greatly favored the prevailing ‘clericalism,’ including among the laity. Even though Vatican II recalled in 1962 the importance of the role of all the baptized, all called to be ‘priests, prophets and kings,’ the figure of the ‘super-powerful’ priest remained very prominent in the churches’ rank and file. And the management of the crisis of sexual abuse has shown to what extent the excesses of this clericalism, in that it distorts the way authority is conceived in the Church, can have dramatic consequences.

“This is all that the Synod for the Amazon has just condemned for once and for all. How? By advocating for a true ‘biodiversity’ in the Church, which leaves room for other forms of responsibility: alongside the traditional single priest, we would have experienced married men, and also new ministries, defined according to local needs, and possibly open to women. In reality, this ‘Catholic biodiversity’ already exists to a large extent, but we do not see it. Above all, it is not officially recognized. Who knows that in France most dioceses only turn thanks to women, lay people, trained in theology – more than 12,000 today – on whom the bishops have developed the habit of relying? Who knows that there are already 2,700 married deacons, who provide many services in the parishes? All this in addition to only 5,600 priests in activity …

“This ‘silent revolution’ is gradually transforming the face of the Church in France. It is now necessary, as the Synod Fathers for the Amazon have just asked, to give it more visibility, to formalize it, to structure it. From this point of view, by inviting for the first time, during their annual Plenary Assembly which begins in Lourdes on November 5, lay men and women by their side, the Bishops of France will finally reflect a less clerical and masculine image of the Church. An image that is more faithful to the reality of Catholicism in France. And another way of ending, here also, the legacy of the Council of Trent.”

Philosopher and La Croix blogger Thibaud Collin, who has written critically about Amoris laetitia, was evinced from the platform in June 2018 because of a post in which he slammed the paper for having condoned abortion.

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