Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cardinal Ricard's Press Conference

Cardinal Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux and President of the French Bishops' Conference, gave a press conference today, in which he addressed a number of issues discussed at the Conference's current plenary session. The following is a translation of his remarks concerning the traditional liturgy. The original is available on the Conference's website. Many thanks, as ever, to Rorate Caeli for drawing this to our attention:

The Archbishop of Bordeaux mentioned the announcement in the media of a possible liberalization of permission to celebrate Mass as before the conciliar reform, and which has aroused a certain emotion among the priests and the laity.

“This has taken on an unreal dimension,” remarked the Cardinal, “first of all because Latin has never disappeared, partly because the Mass of Paul VI is sometimes said in Latin, notably in certain monasteries, and finally because there is no question of imposing the Tridentine Mass on all the faithful! In short, there is no turning back. The question is to know how to open up further the conditions on how Mass according to the missal of 1962 may be celebrated,” he continued, before mentioning his meeting on October 26 with Pope Benedict XVI.

“His desire is to do all that is in his power to put an end to the Lefebvrist schism. He knows that the more years pass, the more relations become distant and positions harden. The Pope wishes to do all he can, that a hand may be extended and a welcome may be shown, at least to those of good will and who show a deep desire for communion.”

A wish that does not put in question an attachment to the Second Vatican Council: “No, the Church is not changing course. Contrary to the intentions which some attribute to him, Pope Benedict XVI does not intend to go back on the course which the Second Vatican Council has given to the Church. He is solemnly committed to that.”

Cardinal Ricard insisted on the Pope’s desire not to short-circuit consultation. “The project of the Motu Proprio will be the subject of various consultations. We can make known, from this moment, our fears and our wishes.”


Blogger Hebdomadary said...

My attention is immediately drawn by two things. Firstly that he is forced to address the issue at all, and by saying that the issue is to "find a way" indicates that a way will be found (or has been found already). The second issue is his insistance that "the Church is NOT changing direction...there's no going back." Methinks the man doth protest way too vociferously.

He knows quite well that the Church IS changing course, that Peter's barque has a fully functional rudder, and that it's turning despite him. Obviously there is, in fact, quite alot of going back (evidence the SSPX, FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, various monasteries, Instituet of the Good Shepherd), even going forward while going backwards. Peter's barque is propeller driven these days, and is geared for reverse.

He may hate it, and he may seek to deny for the comfortable ignorance of his personal audience, but he's not in control, and the reversal will continue with or without him. Here endeth.

10:24 AM EST  
Blogger Cerimoniere said...

I think there is a lot to this.

There has never been a time, even in 1988, when the bishops have had to deal with the traditional liturgy in the public arena in this way, and the reason is clear: the person putting it on the agenda is the Pope. Anyone else can be marginalized when they raise the issue, but not he.

Therefore, the bishops, especially in France, are conducting a desperate damage limitation exercise. We shall see what happens, but we should not see their rhetoric as indicative of anything other than their own position.

12:06 PM EST  

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