Conciliar maneuvers against the FSSP in Dijon, France
#1
Archbishop Lefebvre clearly and plainly saw the traps laid for traditional priests by Conciliar Rome - firstly with the 1984 Indult, and then under the newly formed Ecclesia Dei (e.g. the Fraternity of St. Peter) in 1988: they must accept Vatican II and the New Mass (see here, here, and here, for example).

In 1999, the FSSP experienced an 'internal crisis' where several priests demanded to be able to celebrate the New Mass. At the conclusion of a general assembly in 2000 convoked by the Holy See, the FSSP came to an agreement with Rome. This article from the traditional-SSPX, appropriately entitled The Fiasco of the Fraternity, summarizes what the Fraternity agreed to/gave up: "... not only is the New Mass recognized as legitimate, but it is, for the Fraternity of St. Peter, the official rite of the Church." It is my understanding that the FSSP priests are obligated to celebrate a Novus Ordo Mass once a year on Holy Thursday "on account of its special character, signifying the unity of the Church," according to then Superior of the FSSP, Fr. Bisig.

Thanks be to God that Archbishop Lefebvre navigated his traditional-SSPX through these Conciliar maneuvers and warned repeatedly against this entrapment - at least 10 years before the FFSP's complete capitulation:

Quote:Availing ourselves of the Indult is tantamount to putting ourselves into a state of contradiction because at the same time that Rome gives the Fraternity of St. Peter, for example, or Le Barroux Abbey and other groups authorization to say the Mass of All Time, they also require young priests to sign a Profession of Faith in which the spirit of the Council must be accepted. It is a contradiction: the Spirit of the Council is embodied in the New Mass. How is it possible to desire to preserve the Mass of all time while accepting the Spirit that destroys this Mass of All Time? It is completely contradictory.” ssspx.org/en/archbishop-lefebvre-indult-mass


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French diocese justifies kicking out two Latin Mass priests
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 apostolates in France and perhaps elsewhere.

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: 
Quote:“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.

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


Quote: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.


[Emphasis mine.]
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#2
Looks like the FSSP has egg on their face. Is the SSPX next? but they've already boiled the frog.
Reply
#3
(06-18-2021, 04:46 AM)70three Wrote: Looks like the FSSP has egg on their face. Is the SSPX next? but they've already boiled the frog.


As long as the FSSP didn't step out of bounds and didn't give the impression the traditionalists had any 'numbers' advantage they were allowed to co-exist in the Conciliar dioceses. 

Aside from the doctrinal contradiction pointed out by Archbishop Lefebvre in the OP above (which in and of itself is quite serious), the FSSP placed themselves even more in an inextricable position in the year 2000. They have to obey the Conciliar authorities, regardless of whatever 'privileges' seemingly granted them by Summorum Pontificum (which ironically also gives primary place to the New Mass). Again and again, we see the 'prophecies' of Archbishop Lefebvre coming true, both with respect to the ensnared FSSP priests and for the Conciliar SSPX who now too have to permissions from the Conciliar authorities for marriages, etc. 

Quote:“What could be clearer? We must henceforth obey and be faithful to the Conciliar Church, no longer to the Catholic Church. Right there is our whole problem: we are suspended a divinis by the Conciliar Church, the Conciliar Church, to which we have no wish to belong! That Conciliar Church is a schismatic church because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship… The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is, therefore, not Catholic. To whatever extent Pope, Bishops, priests, or the faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Reflections on his suspension a divinis, July 29, 1976)

The FSSP have been in a trap since their inception, only the trap has been rarely sprung. As long as their Conciliar 'masters' are obliging, the FSSP didn't feel the noose around their neck. But as we see here, what happens when the noose is tightened and the priests of the FSSP don't want to say the New Mass? And to whom can the FSSP appeal? To the Conciliar hierarchy? To Pope Francis, who is rumored to be attempting to rewrite Summorum Pontificum in an effort to squash the 'approved' traditional communities, as he already had done with the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the Little Sisters of Mary?

Another example of Archbishop Lefebvre's foresight and comprehension of the spiritual battle maneuvers from Conciliar Rome: 
Quote:I said to him [Cardinal Ratzinger] ‘Even if you grant us a bishop, even if you grant us some autonomy from the bishops, even if you grant us the 1962 Liturgy, even if you allow us to continue running our seminaries in the manner we are doing it right now—we cannot work together! It is impossible! Impossible! Because we are working in diametrically opposing directions. You are working to de-Christianize society, the human person and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them. We cannot get along together!’ (Marcel Lefebvre, Bp. Tissier de Mallerais, p. 548)
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#4
(06-17-2021, 07:58 PM)Stone Wrote: 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.


An interesting question arises reading this. If these FSSP priests are correct and right and justified in refusing to say the New Mass, as most traditionalists would agree - then where does that leave Bishop Williamson? Did he not say that:

· The new religion can build your Faith. 

· Attending the New Mass can build your Faith. 

· Do whatever you think you need to do to keep the Faith, which can include attending the Novus Ordo Mass.

· If you attend the Novus Ordo Mass you have to be careful, but you can find the grace of God there and sanctify your soul. 

· Not everyone needs to avoid the Novus Ordo Mass. 

· Attending the Novus Ordo may do more good than harm spiritually.

· Not every priest needs to leave the Conciliar church or stop saying the Novus Ordo Mass. 


According to these unretracted lines of reasoning, there is absolutely zero need for the FSSP priests to refuse to say the New Mass! After all, it can 'build the faith' of the laity, it 'may do more good than harm spiritually', etc.! Why should the FSSP priests risk getting kicked out if what Bishop Williamson preaches is correct about the New Mass?

Just food for thought...
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#5
From the below response from the FSSP, one sees that their hands are tied. They cannot make a doctrinal rebuttal or refutation because the entire structure of the FSSP is such that it implicitly accepts the modernist doctrines. Furthermore, the FSSP has been completely under the Conciliar authorities since its inception. Hence the FSSP leadership can only simper over misunderstandings and miscommunications. This too will be the same fate of the SSPX if it continues down the road it is on. Archbishop Lefebvre warned against placing the Society under Conciliar authorities until Rome converted. He saw it all so clearly. A great, great pity his words are trampled upon by the SSPX, who now willingly request permission for several of the Sacraments from the Conciliar authorities, e.g. marriages, holy orders, etc.

Quote:“Then there are some who would be ready to sacrifice the fight for the Faith, by saying: Let us first re-enter the Church! Let us do everything to re-enter in the official public structure of the Church. Let us be silent about our dogmatic problem. Let us be silent about our fight. Let us not speak about the malice of the [new] Mass anymore. Let us close our mouths and say nothing anymore. Let’s not be opposed to that. Let’s not say anything anymore about the issues of Religious Liberty, of Human Rights and of Ecumenism. Let’s be silent. Let’s be silent and like that we will be able to re-enter into the structure of the Church. We will please those who are in the Church. We are going to re-enter like that into the Church, and once we will be inside the Church, you will see, we will be able to fight, we will be able to do this, we will be able to do that… This is absolutely false! You don’t enter into a structure and under superiors, saying that you will overthrow everything as soon as you are inside, whereas they have all the means to suppress us! They have all the authority.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Conference, December 21, 1984)


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Traditional priests in France respond after bishop kicked them out under flimsy pretext
The FSSP had always presented the priests it named in the diocese to the archbishop. All these nominations were accepted — even gratefully accepted.

June 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Following the statement by the French Archdiocese of Dijon, explaining why the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) has suddenly been kicked out of its apostolate at the Basilica of Saint Bernard where it has offered the Traditional Latin Mass for 23 years, the FSSP published a firm response last Friday, countering the reasons given for its eviction. The Fraternity is clearly not merely taking Bishop Roland Minnerath’s move, and has countered the criticisms contained in the diocese’s statement one by one.

In the diocese’s communiqué, the eviction was justified by the refusal of the priests who are at present serving in Dijon to concelebrate occasionally in the Novus Ordo, and also by the fact that two priests instead of one are working at the apostolate since 2017, and that they are “providing all the services normally provided by the parishes.”

After the eviction of the FSSP is effective — in principle on August 31 — diocesan priests will offer the Traditional Latin Mass in the Basilica, but the dynamic group of several hundred faithful who attend there regularly will be expected to go to the local Novus Ordo parishes for other services, such as catechesis, preparation for the sacraments, youth clubs, scouting and so on.

The diocese’s online justification came several weeks after the curt letter dated May 17 by which Bishop Minnerath’s decision to dismiss the FSSP from his diocese was made known, without any reason being given. Since that day, the FSSP has asked in vain for a meeting with the bishop, and no other explanations have been offered than those in the diocese’s statement last Thursday.

The FSSP’s official website for the District of France has now published a new statement “about the eviction of the Fraternity of Saint Peter from the diocese of Dijon,” in which it recalls that the FSSP has always presented the priests it named in the diocese to the archbishop and that all these nominations were accepted — even gratefully accepted.

The FSSP also underscored that the issue of concelebration had been openly discussed with Archbishop Minnerath on the occasion of each new nomination.

As for the services offered by the FSSP, the Fraternity makes clear that there was never a written “list of requirements,” as the diocese’s statement alleged. There were “a few written exchanges” between the FSSP and the archbishop, in which the latter instead spoke about the “overall pastoral service of the Ecclesia Dei community” that its priests “must ensure.”

The FSSP’s communiqué concludes, “It seems anachronistic, at a time when the number of priests continues to decrease, to prefer to dispense with the services of two of them, on the grounds that they are not versatile enough (celebrating only one liturgical form), even if it means placing an even larger burden on the diocesan priests.”

The FSSP still hopes to obtain a meeting with the archbishop, who is only five months away from his 75th birthday, at which point he will be expected to tender his resignation to Rome.

Here below is the full text of the latest statement by the Fraternity of Saint Peter (LifeSite’s translation).


Communiqué: On the eviction of the Fraternity of Saint Peter from the Diocese of Dijon

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) has taken note of the communiqué published on June 17, 2021 on the website of the Diocese of Dijon. It sincerely regrets that such a mode of communication is being used, but given the impossibility of establishing a direct dialogue with the archbishop of Dijon, it is now forced to use this same mode of communication in order to provide some clarifications.

Informed by letter on May 17, without any prior consultation or reason given, that its priests are being expelled from the Diocese of Dijon, the Fraternity of St. Peter cannot understand why Archbishop Roland Minnerath continues to refuse to receive its superiors or even to discuss matters with them.

The communiqué issued by the diocese implies that, in recent years, the priests of the FSSP have been imposed on the diocese by the superiors or that a second priest was installed against the will of the archbishop. The Fraternity wants to recall that all priests appointed to Dijon since 1998 have all been duly presented to and accepted, each time, by the archbishop. In his letter of March 22, 2017, Archbishop Minnerath wrote to the Superior of the FSSP for France: “You wish to appoint a priest of the Fraternity to assist Father Bruno Stemler in his mission and to lead with him a fraternal life in conformity with your constitutions. I can only approve your decision and am delighted to see, at the beginning of the school year in September 2017, another priest come to strengthen the priestly presence in our diocese.”

Each time a priest has been put forward to minister in the diocese, Bishop Minnerath has met with him beforehand and discussed the issue of concelebration with him. By accepting a priest of the FSSP in his diocese, the Archbishop knew and accepted the position of that priest regarding concelebration. Thus, the FSSP has not “excluded its priests from celebrating in the ordinary rite” but respects the will of its members in this matter and, with regard to the concelebration of Mass, intends to conform to the law of the Church which recognizes that “they are completely free to celebrate the Eucharist individually” (can. 902 CIC).

[Translator’s note: This is the official English translation of can. 902. The French translation of can. 902 says that “priests can concelebrate the Eucharist, with due respect for the freedom of all to celebrate individually.” This is closer to the Latin text, which says: “integra tamen pro singulis libertate manente Eucharistiam individuali modo celebrandi.” It would be more precise to translate this in English as follows: “provided however that for all the freedom to celebrate the Eucharist individually be upheld.”]

This question of Eucharistic concelebration, which is presented as absolutely indispensable as a mark of unity, would require a lengthy elaboration that is beyond the scope of this communiqué. However, the Society of St. Peter is deeply saddened to see the celebration of a sacrament (in this case, the Sacrifice of the Mass) instrumentalized to the point of becoming a condition for ministry in a diocese.

The diocese also implies that the Fraternity has not respected a certain “list of requirements;” unfortunately, the FSSP has no such document, but only a few written exchanges with Bishop Minnerath. In one of them, dated May 2019, Bishop Minnerath even mentions “the overall pastoral service of the Ecclesia Dei community” that the priests of the FSSP must ensure.

The communiqué finally emphasizes the attachment of the faithful to the priests of the Fraternity, which is quite understandable and even desirable. It criticizes the fact that some of the faithful are allegedly placing themselves outside the diocesan Church. The FSSP seeks to work for the good of souls in the one Church of Christ. It wishes to recall that it has always been committed to serving ecclesial unity, in its legitimate diversity, and this since its foundation by Pope John Paul II in 1988 to serve the communion of the faithful attached to the ancient liturgical forms. Until this communiqué of June 17, 2021, no remark has been formulated on the part of the Diocese of Dijon to put into question the service of unity accomplished locally by the priests of the FSSP.

The Fraternity wishes publicly to thank its various priests who, for more than twenty years, have devoted themselves to the what is being held against them, they have always taken care to maintain good relations with the diocesan priests, notably by participating in the various meetings that have been proposed. As elsewhere, they have taken to heart to offer to the faithful entrusted to them by the bishop, not only the Mass, but also all that follows from it and prepares the faithful to receive its graces with fruit. As in the 146 other dioceses around the world where members of the FSSP minister, these priests have sought to be faithful to the charism proper to the Society, which the Church has officially approved.

It seems anachronistic, at a time when the number of priests continues to decrease, to prefer to dispense with the services of two of them, on the grounds that they are not versatile enough (celebrating only one liturgical form), even if it means placing an even larger burden on the diocesan priests.

The Fraternity of St. Peter hopes that these next few weeks will allow for a discussion with the Diocese of Dijon, in order to return to an appeased situation.

“Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit; And there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord.” (1 Cor 12:4-6)
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#6
French bishop tells faithful protesting departure of FSSP from their diocese that their priests must concelebrate the Novus Ordo
'You would have done better to demonstrate before your priests and ask them: why are you stuck on such a little thing?' Archbishop Roland Minnerath told faithful who gathered in a peaceful demonstration in front of his archiepiscopal palace on Saturday morning.

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Dijon Archbishop Roland MinnerathFacebook

DIJON, France, June 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In a new development regarding the expulsion of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) from its apostolate in Dijon, in the east of France, Archbishop Roland Minnerath agreed to speak in-person to several hundred faithful who had organized a peaceful demonstration in front of his archiepiscopal palace on Saturday morning.

Minnerath spent about half an hour giving his reasons for the move and answering questions – a minority of them aggressive – from the crowd. The main theme of his speech was “concelebration.” The two priests of the FSSP in Dijon had refused to concelebrate a Novus Ordo liturgy. Minnerath made clear that it was the one and only point of friction and that if the priests would accept to concelebrate, then they or other members of the FSSP will be welcome to stay.

After addressing the faithful, Minnerath gave the group a blessing using the traditional Latin formula of benediction in response to their request for his blessing.

The case of the Dijon diocese has an impact that appears to go far beyond the diocese’s boundaries. Archbishop Minnerath clearly stated that the decision to remove the FSSP was related to the revision by Pope Francis of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum that will be made public “in a few days or weeks.” “The Pope will speak. I know what he will say,” he told the shocked assembly.

The intention to place restrictions on the right to celebrate the traditional or “extraordinary form” of the Roman rite was leaked several weeks ago after Pope Francis told the Italian Bishops’ Conference at the opening of their General Assembly that he had reached a third draft of the revision of Summorum Pontificum. According to the traditional Catholic website “Messa in Latino,” the Pope quipped about the “rigidity” of seminarians attracted to the ancient rite of the Latin Church and told the bishops about a young priest learning Latin in order to celebrate it, who would do better to learn “Spanish or Vietnamese” in order to speak the language of many people present in his diocese.

Pope Francis is also supposed to have said that Benedict XVI’s aim in liberalizing the Vetus Ordo was to “encounter only the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.” This does not stand up to scrutiny of Summorum Pontificum itself and the accompanying letter of Pope Benedict in which the “right to exist” (or more precisely, the “right of citizenship”) of the traditional Mass was very clearly affirmed in 2007, notwithstanding previous vexations and outlawing of the Tridentine Mass since 1969.

Knowledgeable observers of the Vatican have said that the restrictions would hit diocesan priests who would in the future need to obtain permission from their bishop in order to celebrate the Vetus Ordo, which is at present (in theory at least) accessible to all. Ecclesia Dei priests would continue to proceed as before. Archbishop Minnerath’s statement gives quite a clear indication that the revision of Summorum Pontificum is also aimed at placing new conditions on the traditional fraternities and institutes who may be required commit to concelebrate in the new rite in dioceses where they are accepted by local bishops.

Unverified rumors have suggested that the seminaries and places of priestly formation of these congregations and institutes will be required to teach the celebration of the Novus Ordo together with that of the Tridentine Mass.

A very reliable source in Rome told LifeSiteNews that four Cardinals who are members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is in charge of supervising the Ecclesia Dei Institutes, have encouraged and even pressed Pope Francis in this direction: Marc Ouellet, Pietro Parolin, Beniamino Stella and Giuseppe Versaldi.

Roland Minnerath is also a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. While only a few months away from his 75th birthday, when he will place his resignation letter in the hands of Pope Francis, he has added weight to the fears of traditionally-minded Catholics by so outspokenly making concelebration in the New Rite an absolute prerequisite for obtaining an apostolate in his archdiocese.

Facing a crowd composed mostly of young people, families with children, and only a handful of elderly faithful, Minnerath insisted that he was “not taking the priests away” from the Basilica of Saint-Bernard, where the FSSP has been present for 23 years: “I am only asking them to show their communion with us,” he said.

For him; “concelebration” is a necessary demonstration of such communion.

“I only asked for this as a sign of communion of priests with other priests and with their bishop. These are things that cannot be discussed, it is the nature of the Church,” he said.

This is obviously not true, since frequent concelebration, even for the Maundy Thursday Chrism Mass, is a post-Vatican II innovation; before that, in the many centuries when concelebration was a rare exception, “communion” existed all the same. Also, Oriental Churches in communion with Rome do not have recourse to concelebration with Latin rite priests in order to prove their union with the Holy See.

Hearing remarks of this nature from the crowd, as well as remarks about canon law, Minnerath asked, “Have you studied theology of any kind? Do you know more about this than I do? So please, do stop … Canon law, I know what that is. If you want to use petty arguments, if you want to continue to be led by the discourse of the fraternity that has a problem … ”

“But we want the good Lord!” interjected a demonstrator.

Minnerath responded: “I don’t see any problem in their attitude towards us if they come to concelebrate from time to time, and show their unity with the Catholic Church. You say that there are two rites, but there is unity: unity is in the person of the priest, but he cannot exclude another priest. Look, I don't know how you have been indoctrinated … ”

At the word “indoctrinated,” the crowd hissed angrily, and one “parishioner” shouted: “You can’t exclude your own sheep!”

Once again, Minnerath rejected the objection: “I tell you that things have become clearer: I have made a final proposal to the FSSP. Either they concelebrate for (inaudible) and they stay, or other priests, or they refuse and leave. Is that simple enough?”

Another demonstrator said, “When half the churches in the diocese are empty, it is a scandal to fire two priests!”

Minnerath replied, “That has nothing to do with it. What does it matter to you that these priests show their unity with us? What difference does it make? None at all! Listen, my friends, I am the guarantor of the Catholic Church and of unity in this diocese. And so, I do my job. I have no interest in cultivating opposition.”

At this point, the main spokesman of the demonstration asked the Archbishop to consider Canon law, which states, “Unless the benefit of Christ’s faithful requires or suggests otherwise, priests may concelebrate the Eucharist; they are, however, fully entitled to celebrate the Eucharist individually, but not while a celebration is taking place in the same church or oratory.”

The spokesman recalled that can. 902 affirms the freedom not to concelebrate. “Ask them for other signs of union! Otherwise, it’s a pretext for kicking us out and bringing us back to a kind of 1970s Dhimmi status,” he said. “Look, Monseigneur, the 1970s are over, the people who are here come from all walks of life. We stayed in the Church voluntarily, and since then we have been considered as somewhat separate Christians … In our diocese we are tolerated. This situation is intolerable. Ours is a living community, it has catechumens, there are 40 children, there are priests to serve you … You want to impose this on them, you want to corner them with this, but you don’t realize that you are bringing back a war. What you are doing is loathsome. Ask them something else.”

Minnerath did not answer the arguments but said, “You are wrong to make a big theological and canonical speech. Do you know the entire statute of the FSSP? … Nobody is obliged to concelebrate. But it is not forbidden to anyone. If one uses the differences of rite to make a separate community that does not recognize … ”

Here the bishop was interrupted by protests and booing, and he proclaimed, “I am the unity!”

It was when an older man roughly told the Bishop that he would soon be “in a pine box” and would have to “answer for his action,” Minnerath revealed, “It is not I who is asking for it. You will have a new Motu Proprio from the Pope in a few days or weeks, which will put things in order. I am not someone who asks for extraordinary things. You would have done better to demonstrate before your priests and ask them: Why are you stuck on such a little thing?”

“Blackmail, Monseigneur,” cried a demonstrator.

“Think about it … Concelebration is the sign of the rest, you understand?” answered the bishop.

Other demonstrators asked Minnerath to celebrate the traditional rite as a sign of unity. “I have done it now and again,” he responded. “I have nothing against the Old Rite. I also celebrate in the other one. You see: priests should not exclude the other rite. You understand that this is a problem that concerns the structure of the Church? And I am here to remind you,” he said, before adding, “the Pope will speak … I know what he will say.”

The dialogue continued in the same vein until one of the faithful recalled that during last year’s lockdown, it was thanks to the traditional institutes and lay associations, including the FSSP, that took the French State to court over the ban of public Masses, that the bishop was “able to celebrate the Chrism Mass this year.”

“What stronger sign of sacramental union is there than that?” the layman asked.

There was no answer.

Another remarked: “Catechetical groups are empty in most of the parishes of Dijon!”

“Do you have another method to attract young people?” asked Minnerath.

“The Fraternity of Saint Peter!” shouted the crowd.

After several more exchanges, the organizer of the demonstration told the bishop, “You are leaving to your successor an abscess, a division in your diocese. We have a ritual specificity and a liturgical specificity and now we have a specificity in the Church. You receive the Orientals ... who do not concelebrate. Let your successor decide ... You are leaving, but we stay.”

Although all know that Bishop Minnerath has already prepared his retirement that will take place in a few months, he answered, “It’s very tactless of you to throw me out. I have not yet left. The Oriental Christians, they have another rite, there is no concelebration. But there are two forms of the unique Latin rite, the Roman rite. We are in the same rite.”

This is indeed the choice made by Benedict XVI, who presented the TLM and the Novus Ordo as two “forms” of one and the same rite, despite the enormous differences between the Tridentine Mass and the multiple and varied interpretations of the Mass of Paul VI as it is effectively celebrated.

Bishop Minnerath concluded, “I made the effort to come alone in front of 300 people (applause) so take me seriously as I take you seriously, okay?”

As he was on the point of returning to the courtyard of his residence, a woman with a child in her arms said, “We should have started all this praying together. Please give us your blessing … ” The crowd repeated her petition, asking for a benediction.

All knelt while Bishop Minnerath, in a strong voice, gave the traditional episcopal benediction in Latin that begins: “Sit nomen Domini benedictum … ”

After he left, they sang a decade of the rosary, and the “Goodbye” song of the traditional scouts of France, which translated reads:


Quote:Goodbye comrade,

May the Lord protect you

On the road where your Angel will watch over you,

May the Virgin show you the way to the stars,

Where we will meet tomorrow!
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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