12 religious superiors wrote to the French bishops on Wednesday, September 1, asking for the appointment of a "mediator."
The superiors of 12 French traditionalist institutes wrote to the bishops of France on Wednesday, September 1, asking for the appointment of a “mediator” after the publication of Pope Francis’ motu proprio “Traditionis Custodes” on the Latin Mass.
“The mercy of God on all flesh” (Sir 18:13)
The signatory Institutes want above all to reiterate their love for the Church and their fidelity to the Holy Father. This filial love is tinged with great suffering today. We feel suspected, marginalized, banished. However, we do not recognize ourselves in the description given in the cover letter of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes of July 16, 2021.
“If we say that we have no sin…” (I Jn 1:8)
We do not see ourselves as the “true Church” in any way. On the contrary, we see in the Catholic Church our Mother in whom we find salvation and faith. We are loyally subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff and that of the diocesan bishops, as demonstrated by the good relations in the dioceses (and the functions of Presbyteral Councilor, Archivist, Chancellor or Official which have been entrusted to our members) and the result of canonical or apostolic visits of recent years. We reaffirm our adherence to the magisterium (including that of Vatican II and what follows) according to the Catholic doctrine of the assent due to it (cf. Lumen Gentium, 25; the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 891-892) as evidenced by the numerous studies and doctoral theses carried out among us over the past 33 years.
Have any mistakes been made? We are ready, as every Christian is, to ask forgiveness if some excess of language or mistrust of authority may have crept in among any of our members. We are ready to convert if party spirit or pride has polluted our hearts.
“Fulfill your vows to the Most High” (Ps 49:14)
We beg for a human, personal, trusting dialogue, far from ideologies or the coldness of administrative decrees. We would like to be able to meet a person who will be for us the face of the Motherhood of the Church. We would like to be able to tell that person about the suffering, the tragedies, the sadness of so many lay faithful around the world, but also of priests, men and women religious who laid down their lives on the word of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
They were promised that “all measures would be taken to guarantee the identity of their Institutes in the full communion of the Catholic Church.” The first Institutes fully immersed in the traditional pedagogies of the faith accepted with gratitude the canonical recognition offered by the Holy See, particularly those pertaining to liturgy (on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding of May 5, 1988 between Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Lefebvre). This solemn commitment was expressed in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei of July 2, 1988; then in a diversified manner for each Institute, in their decrees of erection and in their constitutions definitively approved. The men and women religious as well as the priests involved in our Institutes have made vows or made commitments according to this understanding.
It is in this way that, trusting in the word of the Supreme Pontiff, they gave their lives to Christ to serve the Church. These priests and men and women religious served the Church with dedication and abnegation. Can we deprive them today of what they are committed to? Can we deprive them of what the Church had promised them through the mouth of the Popes?
“Be patient with me! “(Mt 18:29)
Pope Francis “invites pastors to listen with affection and serenity, with the sincere desire to enter into the heart of people’s drama and to understand their point of view, to help them live better and to recognize their place in the Church” (Amoris Laetitia, 312). We are eager to entrust the tragedies we are living to a father’s heart. We need listening and goodwill, not condemnation without prior dialogue.
The harsh judgment creates a feeling of injustice and produces resentment. Patience softens hearts. We need time.
Today we hear of disciplinary apostolic visits to our Institutes. We ask for fraternal meetings where we can explain who we are and the reasons for our attachment to certain liturgical forms. Above all, we want a truly human and merciful dialogue: “Be patient with me! “
“Circumdata varietate” (Ps 44:10)
On August 13, the Holy Father affirmed that in liturgical matters, “unity is not uniformity but the multifaceted harmony created by the Holy Spirit.” We are eager to make our modest contribution to this harmonious and diverse unity, aware that, as Sacrosanctum Concilium teaches, “the liturgy is the summit to which the action of the Church tends and at the same time the source from which everything flows. his virtue” (SC, 10).
With confidence, we turn first to the bishops of France so that a true dialogue is opened and that a mediator be appointed who is for us the human face of this dialogue. “We must avoid judgments which do not take into account the complexity of the various situations… It is a question of integrating everyone, we must help each one to find his own way of being part of the ecclesial community, so that he feels the object of an undeserved, unconditional and gratuitous mercy ”(Amoris Laetitia, 296-297).
Written at Courtalain (France), on August 31, 2021
Abbot Andrzej Komorowski, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter
Bishop Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
Abbot Luis Gabriel Barrero Zabaleta, Superior General of the Institute of the Good Shepherd
Father Louis-Marie de Blignières, Superior General of the Fraternity Saint-Vincent-Ferrier
Abbot Gerald Goesche, Prévot General of the Institut Saint-Philippe-Néri
Father Antonius Maria Mamsery, Superior General of the Missionaries of the Holy Cross
Dom Louis-Marie de Geyer d´Orth, Abbot of the Abbey of Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux
Father Emmanuel-Marie Le Fébure du Bus, Abbot of the Canons of Lagrasse
Dom Marc Guillot, Abbot of the Abbey of Sainte-Marie de la Garde
Mother Placide Devillers, Abbess of the Abbey of Our Lady of the Annunciation of Barroux
Mother Faustine Bouchard, Prioress of the Canonesses of Azille
Mother Madeleine-Marie, Superior of the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus High Priest