News
Featured Image

ANALYSIS

June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — After the sudden and unexplained eviction of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) from the archdiocese of Dijon, in Burgundy, France, the archdiocese’s website published a statement this Thursday giving the reasons for the move. Under the title: “To put things back into perspective,” the unsigned communiqué accuses the FSSP of being responsible for the break that has led local Archbishop Roland Minnerath to drive the traditional fraternity from its apostolate in Dijon as of August 31.

Several realities and attitudes are held against the priests of the FSSP: their refusal to concelebrate occasionally within the diocese in the Novus Ordo, and the functioning of the apostolate as a “quasi-parish,” with an “exclusive rite” and the offering of services, including catechesis and activities for the young, to faithful who are still “part of their territorial parish.”

The unsigned statement recalls how the apostolate of the Basilica of Saint-Bernard, in Dijon, originated 23 years ago in 1998 under the condition that “the priest of the Fraternity” should also “concelebrate now and again with the other priests so that there would be no watertight separation between the two rites.”

Already in 2007 (when the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was published), the diocese decided it wanted to take over the celebration of the “old rite,” but this finally did not happen and the Fraternity was allowed to send another priest to Dijon: the diocese made “occasional concelebration” with his diocesan confreres a condition for the FSSP to remain.

Father Garban of the FSSP accepted this condition and remained until 2016.

Since then, the priests named by the FSSP have refused to concelebrate, which is presented by the diocese as the refusal of a “gesture of sacramental and priestly communion,” suggesting that a “parallel community” of faithful has been created.

The diocese is also unhappy that there are now two priests from the FSSP looking after “a small group of faithful” and accuses part of these of “rejecting what they call ‘the conciliar Church.’” It insists that it now has a diocesan priest, “helped by others,” who is willing to celebrate the “old rite” for this community, while its members will be expected to turn to the Novus Ordo parishes of Dijon for catechesis, chaplaincies, youth clubs, and preparation for the sacraments.

The statement concluded: “If like their predecessor, the priests of the Fraternity had accepted to demonstrate their unity with us by joining at least some concelebrations, and if they did not consider their group of faithful as their exclusive domain, we would have welcomed their contribution.”

The accusations are harsh indeed, for they suggest that the FSSP’s apostolate has created a kind of parallel Church whose communion with the diocese — and therefore with the hierarchy of the Church and the Church itself — is at best doubtful.

The issue of concelebration is a thorny one regarding the acceptance of institutes and fraternities attached to the traditional Latin Mass (TLM) by French bishops.

Different kinds of situations exist: some dioceses absolutely refuse to call in priests hailing from these communities, following the lead of the now-deceased cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger in Paris, who was quite open to the traditional form of the Roman rite, even before the 2007 motu proprio — as long as it was under his authority and celebrated by “bi-ritualist” priests.

In other dioceses, the FSSP, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Institute of the Good Shepherd and others have obtained apostolates of different types. Some dioceses, such as Versailles or Toulon, have set up “personal parishes” for the faithful who practice in the traditional, “extraordinary” form of the Roman rite, allowing them to have access to all normal parochial activities in the spirit of the traditional Mass, sacraments, and religious instruction, offered by diocesan priests, often priests who were trained in a traditional fraternity (including the SSPX), or by Ecclesia Dei communities.

In other dioceses, coexistence with the Novus Ordo is imposed within the place of worship assigned to the local traditional institute or fraternity, and daily traditional Masses, let alone catechism and other such activities are not nominally included in the services these priests can offer.

Also, some priests from these communities accept to join a yearly concelebration with their local bishop and the diocesan clergy at the “Chrism Mass” on Holy Thursday; others do not — those of the FSSP, as a rule, do not, considering that they were ordained for the Vetus Ordo (in the same way that Catholic priests of the Oriental rites assigned to groups of faithful in France only celebrate their particular rite, no questions asked).

The concelebration issue is one that exists in these sometimes tense relationships with local bishops.

Concelebration is certainly not the norm in the Vetus Ordo: it is restricted to the newly-ordained priest’s ordination Mass together with the ordaining bishop, without the visual form it takes in the Novus Ordo, where several priests — sometimes a great number of them — form an arc around the main celebrant, facing the public and taking turns to speak in a ritual that turns away attention from the sacrificial aspect of the Mass and the fact that in consecrating the bread and the wine, the priest acts “in the person of Christ.” Concelebration is evidently out of place in the Traditional Latin Mass, and such has been the case for centuries.

The FSSP itself went through a crisis starting in 1999 when a group of its priests in favor of concelebration at the Chrism Mass asked for an apostolic visitation that would allow for this to happen. The crisis would lead to a number of priests leaving the FSSP to join the diocesan clergy, while the FSSP itself remained attached to the exclusive celebration of the Latin Mass.

In a recent interview with “Le Salon beige,” a news website run by lay Catholics, the superior of the French district of the FSSP, Father Benoît Paul-Joseph, noted that the Fraternity faces tensions in some dioceses where its apostolates attract as many (and often more) faithful as the local Novus Ordo parishes, and appear to be only “tolerated” within them while being more “dynamic.” He sees the solution in the creation of “personal parishes.” In the present situation, “[t]he priest and the faithful involved give the impression of going beyond the limits of the framework, but this is because it does not fit” their needs.

This is obviously what has taken place in Dijon, where the Vetus Ordo community that has grown around the FSSP is lively and observant, while Novus Ordo parishes often have less regular faithful from older age-groups.

— Article continues below Petition —
PETITION: Urge U.S. Bishops to publicly excommunicate Joe Biden (and other pro-abortion politicians)
  Show Petition Text
32513 have signed the petition.
Let's get to 35000!
Thank you for signing this petition!
Add your signature:
  Show Petition Text
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.

PETITION UPDATE (9/3/21)

Following the US Supreme Court's decision to allow Texas' Heartbeat Law to go into effect, Joe Biden made the announcement that he would initiate a "whole-of-government" response against the new pro-life statute which could ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

This is yet another, outright confirmation of Biden's openly pro-abortion policies, policies which have the main objective of ensuring that women will continue to be able to kill their own children without impediment.

This anti-life, anti-Catholic stance needs to be urgently addressed and condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

For the good of the Church, for the good of pre-born babies, for the good of the faithful, and, indeed, for his own good, Joe Biden needs to be publicly rebuked by the bishops and excommunicated until such time as he repents from his pro-abortion policies.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition, which asks the bishops of the United States to act in unison to exclude Joe Biden from Holy Communion for his scandalous promotion of abortion - the murder of the innocent.

After signing, please take a moment to CONTACT the offices of the USCCB to politely, but firmly, encourage the Conference to take the necessary steps to exclude from Holy Communion public officials who continue to show blatant disregard for innocent human life and the Church's teaching.

The USCCB's Office phone number is: 202.541.3000

Thank you!

_____________________________________________________________________________

"No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24

In the lead-up to their meeting in mid-June, we call on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to exclude Joe Biden and other “Catholic” politicians (like, Nancy Pelosi) from Holy Communion over their public, obstinate, and scandalous promotion of abortion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks the USCCB to act to stop the abuse of the reception of the Holy Eucharist by politicians who promote the murder of innocent pre-born babies.

We know that making a decision to exclude public figures from Holy Communion is not easy. But, sometimes, this is the only way to make them understand the error of their ways, and to preserve the Church from serious scandal.

Indeed, Canon Law (Canon 915) declares that those who persist in manifest, grave sin should not be admitted to Holy Communion

Beyond that, at this point, public excommunication appears as the only suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of promoting abortion.

In doing so, we do not hold ourselves up as judges over Joe Biden's eternal soul, but we encourage the bishops to make known one of the consequences of public and obstinate support of abortion by our 'Catholic' politicians.

The fact is, in terms of the manifest, grave sin of abortion, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be before the election.

Therefore, it is cold comfort that the USCCB is only preparing to discuss this issue only now.

But even now, if the USCCB publicly excommunicate Biden for his pro-abortion stance (as well as other pro-abortion politicians), the Conference could reclaim some of the moral authority which they lost by their largely silent assent to Biden's candidacy.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition, now.

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing orders and bills which facilitate the destruction of unborn human life.

  • In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.
  • Biden also signed (instead of vetoing) the COVID relief bill, which, for the first time in 44 years, contained funding for abortions in America, using taxpayer dollars.
  • Biden said that he wouldn't defend Hyde, and he hasn't.

And, if he and the Democratic Party get their way, a lot more of the same regarding abortion is on the way.

Strong action must be taken lest anyone, especially young people, be confused by the scandal of a "Catholic" in Biden's position aggressively promoting abortion, enabling the killing of innocent human beings.

American rank-and-file Catholics don't want any more compromise and equivocation from the Bishops Conference on this "pre-eminent" life-and-death issue.

We want clear action, not twenty more years of dithering and "dialoguing."

50 million babies have been lost to abortion in the U.S. since Roe!

So, we will NOT accept any more lives lost as a result of dithering and "dialoguing." [**Please see "Notes" below about how it has been reported that some senior U.S. clerics are trying to prevent this discussion from even taking place.]

And, we will especially NOT accept one life lost to abortion by politicians who claim the Catholic Faith, but who promote grave evil. God forbid!

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by not imposing public canonical penalties on a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

The bishops are now at a crossroads and must choose either God or mammon.

We call on them to choose God and choose Life!

And we also continue to encourage those brave, true and good bishops who have done well to warn Amercian Catholics about the perils to the unborn and the Faith resulting from Biden's promotion of abortion!

SIGN and SHARE this petition, which asks the bishops of the United States to act in unison to exclude Joe Biden from Holy Communion for his scandalous promotion of abortion - the murder of the innocent.

After signing, please take a moment to CONTACT the offices of the USCCB to politely, but firmly, encourage the Conference to take the necessary steps to exclude from Holy Communion public officials who continue to show blatant disregard for innocent human life and the Church's teaching.

The USCCB's Office phone number is: 202.541.3000

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Biden administration has opened the way for ‘abortion by mail on a massive scale’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-administration-unleashed-by

‘Catholic’ Biden marks Roe v. Wade anniversary with pledge to make abortion available for ‘everyone’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-biden-marks-roe-v-wade-anniversary-with-pledge-to-make-abortion-available-for-everyone

BREAKING: DC archbishop affirms he will give Holy Communion to pro-abortion Joe Biden - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-dc-archbishop-affirms-he-will-give-holy-communion-to-pro-abortion-joe-biden

Vatican puts brakes on US bishops confronting problem of pro-abortion Biden receiving Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-puts-brakes-on-us-bishops-confronting-problem-of-pro-abortion-biden-receiving-holy-communion

Abp. Aquila backs call for pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ Joe Biden to be denied Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion

Cardinal Burke floats ‘excommunication’ for Biden over his ‘aggressive’ abortion promotion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-floats-excommunication-for-biden-over-his-aggressive-promotion-of-abortion

Biden’s HHS is lying about Title X to push abortion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/bidens-hhs-is-lying-about-title-x-to-push-abortion

List of US bishops for and against denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians like Biden, Pelosi - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/list-of-us-bishops-for-and-against-denying-communion-to-pro-abortion-politicians-like-biden-pelosi

Notes about USCCB's June Meeting:

For nearly twenty years, the US bishops have been dithering about whether or not to excommunicate pro-abortion politicians by formally withholding Holy Communion from them.

Their indecision on this gravely scandalous matter is a scandal in itself, but one of the biggest obstacles has been internal opposition from senior U.S. bishops.

And, although the faces have changed in the last 20 years, their morally-and-intellectually-challenged arguments against excommunication have not changed.

Liberal bishops of the USCCB say that excommunicating Biden (for example) would divide the Church, divide the bishops, and would politicize the reception of Holy Communion.

Indeed, in the name of “unity,” it is reported that some senior U.S. clerics, including Cardinal Blase Cupich (Chicago), Cardinal Wilton Gregory (Washington, DC) and Cardinal O’Malley (Boston), have been working overtime to prevent any substantial discussion of so-called “Eucharist coherence” (that is, what qualifies as worthy reception of Holy Communion).

It is also reported that at least 57 other American bishops allegedly joined these Cardinals in a recent letter to the Head of the Bishops Conference, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, to try to pressure him to drop the planned discussion at the full meeting of bishops in June.

And now, even the Vatican is getting involved, with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggesting that even more “dialogue” is needed.

These same clerics may mistakenly believe that any attempt to suppress the objective connection between a politician’s promotion of abortion and his unworthy reception of Holy Communion will fool anyone.

But, it will not.

Rank-and-file Catholics are not stupid and can smell compromise a mile away, and we’ve had enough.

With all due respect to the Cardinal, bishops, and the Vatican…those who fail to act diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by “dialoguing” with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging the bishops Conference to take action at their June meeting to exclude pro-abortion Joe Biden and other abortion-promoting “Catholic” politicians from Holy Communion.

***Photo Credit: Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

  Hide Petition Text

Regarding concelebration, Father Benoît Paul-Joseph told “Le Salon beige:”

The question of concelebration is a delicate one, especially in our institute, because of our internal history and a crisis that we have gone through. As a preamble, let me recall that if the majority of FSSP priests do not concelebrate, this is not due to an unofficial prohibition by their superiors, nor to an impossibility linked to their constitutions (which would be impossible), but to their personal choice, as the Church allows.

Secondly, it is also important to remember that the priests of our institute are in full ecclesial communion because of their membership in the Fraternity of St. Peter, an Apostolic Society of Pontifical Right, whose history and very name originate in fidelity to the See of Peter. There can be no doubt about this.

The Motu Proprio does not speak directly of concelebration, but recalls the dignity of the Paul VI missal, asking priests not to exclude it on principle. In our case, our constitutions, definitively approved by the Holy See in 2003, recognize that celebration in the Extraordinary Form is constitutive of our charism. This means that a priest of the FSSP cannot receive a mission that would include the celebration of the liturgy in the ordinary form.

As for concelebration (in the ordinary form), if it is one of the signs proper to express communion with the bishop, it is not the only one, nor the highest (it has been practiced only since quite recent times), and it is not binding.

Also, the priests of the FSSP, because of the liturgical choice they have made, which is based on objective theological reasons, do not wish to concelebrate Mass in the Ordinary Form as provided for by canon and liturgical law. I can understand that this is difficult for some bishops to accept, but it seems to me unjust to suspect or penalize people who make use of a right, or to put them on trial for their motives in making their choice. The priests of the FSSP have never questioned the validity of the Mass celebrated according to the missal of Paul VI, but they have always underlined its insufficiencies and ambiguities, in a filial spirit. For this reason, since they have permission, they prefer not to concelebrate it.

In this regard, I would like to point out that the question of concelebration was submitted to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in 2010 and that it recalled that it is always a possibility, never an obligation.

These are all important points, and they raise the question of the legitimacy of the FSSP’s eviction: Does a bishop have a (canonical) right to drive away and cast suspicion on a legitimate fraternity whose mission is the celebration of the Traditional Mass, because its members proclaim their steadfast attachment to that Mass?

In the same way, can it be expected of the faithful to give up the natural context of the Traditional Latin Mass, which includes access to all the sacraments in the traditional form, in all “Catholic” activities, together with a solid and well-structured catechesis? Many traditionally-minded Catholics have issues with diocesan catechesis because it does not adequately teach the faith and is often sadly lacking in substance. One need only look at the continual plummeting of religious practice in the younger generations and their widespread if not universal ignorance of many points of doctrine, even when having attended diocesan Catholic schools, to realize that this is a real problem.

From the diocese of Dijon’s statement, it clearly emerges that this desire for a coherent, unified “traditional” practice of the faith within a group of faithful attached to the Latin Mass is precisely what the local bishop finds problematic.

If the reasons for the FSSP’s eviction are accepted without question by Rome, it could mean that difficult days are ahead for other traditional so-called “Ecclesia Dei” apostolates in France and perhaps elsewhere, especially given the fact that the latest developments in the Vatican point to restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass. These developments include the banning of individual Masses in Saint Peter’s Basilica, and a possible rewriting of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum which is said to be favored by Pope Francis.

Here below is LifeSite’s full translation of the statement of the diocese of Dijon:

Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter — Dijon: to put things in perspective …

The Diocese would like to make some clarifications.

1. FSSP the list of requirements

The Fraternity of St. Peter (a society of priests attached to the pre-Vatican II rite) was welcomed in the Diocese of Dijon in 1998 in response to requests from some of the faithful to have Mass according to the pre-Vatican II tradition.

It was agreed that the priest of the Fraternity should also celebrate from time to time with the other priests so that there would be no watertight separation between the two rites.

After the departure of the first priest of the Fraternity in 2007, the diocese wanted to provide these celebrations in the old rite by diocesan priests. This plan could not be carried out and the Fraternity was told that another of their priests could come to Dijon on the condition that he would not refuse to concelebrate occasionally with his diocesan confreres.

Appointed in 2007, Father Garban fulfilled this condition quite naturally. His superior wanted to transfer him elsewhere in 2010. We insisted on having a priest who was willing to concelebrate. Since the Superior could not find a replacement for him, he extended Father Garban’s mandate until 2016.

Since then, the priests appointed by the Fraternity have refused to make this gesture of priestly and sacramental communion. Such an attitude reveals a conception of their ministry that we do not share. The old rite must not create a parallel community. Priests must be free to celebrate in either rite, and the faithful are still part of their territorial parish.

2. The faithful are attached to them

The priests of the Fraternity have gradually developed in an autonomous way a quasi-parochial pastoral ministry, which goes beyond the specifications of our initial agreement. Since 2017 there are even two priests who are sharing the assistance of a small group of faithful. Little by little this group has consolidated around them since they were in fact providing all the services normally provided by the parishes.

We understand this attachment. Part of these faithful easily go from one rite to the other. Another part does not accept the ordinary form of the Mass and rejects what it calls “the conciliar Church.” The diocesan authority must see to it that the Catholic community is not divided. It is clear that this is not only a question of rite, but of exclusive rite and separate community.

3. Proposition

The blockage comes from the attitude of the FSSP which has excluded that its priests celebrate in the ordinary rite. The faithful do not understand this blockage and say they are victims of this intransigence. The Superior of the Fraternity has appointed two priests when we had requested only one. The FSSP is imposing the formation of a community, part of which (as recent messages show) casts suspicion on the diocesan Church.

Since today a diocesan priest, assisted by others, has said that he is ready to provide ministry according to the old rite to this community, we remain consistent with the line that the diocese has taken for 23 years. Mass according to the ancient rite will be assured and the services of catechesis, chaplaincy, patronage, preparation for the sacraments will be offered by the parishes, in particular those near Fontaine-lès-Dijon and Dijon-Saint Bernard.

If the priests of the Fraternity had accepted, like their predecessor, to mark their unity with us at least in some concelebrations and if they did not consider their group of faithful as their exclusive domain, we would have been delighted with their contribution.

Comments

Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.