(Rome / Paris) The historian Roberto de Mattei has written a tribute to Jean Madiran on the Solemnity of the Assumption for the daily newspaper "Il Foglio", a "pioneer of Catholic resistance against progressivism." Madiran who was 93 years old on the 31st of July, died recently in France. Born in 1920, a follower at a young age of Charles Maurras, Madiran experienced a fundamental intellectual change through the discovery of the writings and thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. The magazine he founded in 1956 at the age of 36, "Itinéraires", has been for almost 40 years a focal point of the Catholic intellectual tradition in France. Madiran, founded "Présent“ in 1982, a Catholic daily newspaper, and it was a keen observer of Church self-destruction, which he mercilessly chronicled in his work "L'heresy du XX siècle" (1968) and "La révolution copernicienne dans l'Eglise" (2004 ).
Jean Madiran and The "The History of the Forbidden Mass" by Roberto de Mattei These days, Madiran is known primarily for his unyielding defense of the traditional Mass, whose historical development he has shown in the Histoire de la Messe interdite (2 volumes, 2007 and 2009). According to the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum , with which Paul VI. on 3 April 1969 introduced the new Mass, it appeared on the 12th of November in the same year in France, a decree was signed by Cardinal Marty, president of the French Episcopal Conference, which from the 1st of January 1970, introduced the mandatory use the French language in the Novus Ordo Missae . It followed that the traditional Mass, which had been valid for centuries, was prohibited from the 31st of December 1969. That was the signal for a race that is not yet completed.
Since the 50s, the French bishops and theologians distanced themselves from Rome
Since the 50s of the 20th Century, if not before - says Madiran - the French bishops and theologians were at a distance from the Church of Rome, which they charged with being the prisoner of a repressive theological and juridical school. The Second Vatican Council was the opportunity to make a frontal attack against the Roman School and Paul VI's liturgical revolution, which was open to the influence of progressive French circles since its beginning. As the Second Vatican Council was opened in October 1962, it was enthusiastically described by the future cardinal, Father Yves Congar, as "the October Revolution of the Church" (in reference to Lenin's October Revolution of 1917): a revolution that had did not reach its high point in the Conciliar documents, but in the following liturgical reform.
In April 1969, as the Novus Ordo Missae was enacted, received some the sharpest criticism from the highest representatives of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci handed to Paul VI. a short critical review of the Novus Ordo Missae, which had been drafted by a group of leading theologians of different nationalities, who came to the conclusion that "the Novus Ordo Missae [...] both in its entirety as well as in its details was a stunning departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass, which the XXII the Session of the Council of Trent was formulated, which definitely established the canons of the rite and has built an impregnable wall of protection against any heresy which tries to attack the integrity of the Mystery. "The Criticism of the Novus Ordo was continued in the wake by numerous scholarly laymen, among others, by the Frenchman Louis Salleron, the Englishman Michael Davies and Brazilian Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira. In France, Jean Madiran was an ardent propagator of a short critical review and published in the Itinéraires the voices of all those who came for reasons of conscience in the end, not to accept the New Mass. A leading canon lawyer, Abbé Raymond Dulac, published in 1972, with a new edition, a careful review of the Bull Quo Primum (1570) of St. Pius V and attempted to prove that the Constitution Missale Romanum of Paul VI., the Tridentine bull, had not been abolished, and also could not abolish the guaranteed and eternal privilege from the Ghislieri-papal Mass indult.
"Your holiness, give us the Holy Mass again ..."
Janur appeared in 1973 on 21 October 1972 in the journal Itinéraires Madirans an appeal in letter form to Paul VI, which began with the words:
"Your holiness, give us the Scriptures, the Catechism and the Holy Mass again, which have been withdrawn from us, each day more and more, from a collegial, despotic and vicious bureaucracy, whether rightly or wrongly, but without being previously contradicted to impose the claim raised in the name of Vatican II and Paul VI. Please give us the traditional, Catholic, Latin and Gregorian Mass according to the Roman Missal of St. Pius V again. Let me tell you, that you would have them banned. No pope but could, without abusing its power to prohibit the millennial rite of the Catholic Church, which was canonized by the Council of Trent. If this abuse of power is actually permitted to succeed, then it would be obedience to God and the Church to resist obedience, and not to suffer in silence."
The letter was later signed by eminent figures like Alexis Curvers, Marcel De Corte, Henri Rambaud, Louis Salleron, Eric de Saventhem and Jacques Trémolet de Villers and it was published in a book of exceptional timeliness titled Réclamation au Saint-Père (1974).
A Time Without Catechisms - 1965 ban on all Catechisms
For Madiran, the problem of the Mass was closely bound up with that of the Catechism and the Scriptures. The prohibition of the Mass was in fact in the French dioceses a general ban on all pre-Vatican II catechisms and especially the Catechism of Saint Pius X that preceded it. For 27 years, from 1965 to 1992, until the year in which John Paul II promulgated the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, the French Church was without a catechism and factually without religious instruction for the children. These bans have been and are still accompanied by an exegetical vandalism, which stands the Holy Bible on its head. It is sufficient to remember that the Bible commentators are of the opinion in the French language, that all the words of Jesus in the Gospels were invented after his death. As of 1965, the 325 French bishops introduced the restriction of dogmatic language from the Council of Nicaea, like the "consubstantial" which was also prohibited. For nearly 50 years, it was no longer in the Creed, "consubstantial with the Father", but "of the same nature," and that with the absurd pretext that the term "substance" had undergone a change in meaning over time. The result is that in France for half a century a central dogma of Christianity, which is expressed in the term transubstantiation, is nullified.
The protest of Madiran and the theologians of Itinéraires united with 75 representatives of English culture like representatives, signed an appeal to Pope Paul VI. of 6 July 1971, including the famous writer Agatha Christie, Robert Graves, Graham Greene, Malcolm Mudderidge, Bernard Wall, Romano Amerio, Augusto Del Noce, Marcel Brion, Julien Green, Yehudi Menuhin, Henri de Montherlant and Jorge Luis Borges. More and more appeals of sympathetic voices from different countries for the restoration of the traditional Mass or at least their equality, were made by the initiative of the Association of Una Voce. Three international pilgrimages to Rome were led by Catholics to reaffirm their loyalty to the Mass and to the Catechism of Saint Pius V.
"Montini Party" occupied all positions of power - 1978 ungovernable situation
This broad resistance movement developed in 1969-1975 well before 29 June 1976 when the Lefebvre case broke out, when the French archbishop ordained 26 of his seminarians to the subdiaconate and the priesthood then suffered suspensio a divinis. The following year, Archbishop Lefebvre addressed in a memorable conference at Palazzo Pallavicini in Rome a question that has still not found an answer: "How can it be that I, because I still do what I have spent doing for 50 years of my life with congratulations and the encouragement of the Popes, in particular by Pope Pius XII., who honored me with his friendship, now find myself in a situation almost as if I were considered an enemy of the Church?" Monsignor Lefebvre, has been unjustly considered the "head" of traditionalists, yet was in reality only the most visible manifestation of a phenomenon that went far beyond his person and his roots and his aim in the first place in the problems of the Second Vatican Council and its implementation.
In the 14 years of the pontificate of Paul VI. (1963-1978) the "Montini Party" occupied all leading power posts in the Church, from the tips of the Roman Curia to the bishops'conferences. The process of self-destruction of the Church was more dramatic, so John Paul II inherited an ungovernable situation. From the beginning of his pontificate, however, the hostility to the traditional Mass, at first barely perceptible outwardly began to subside. The Pope made a secret commission of eight cardinals to study the liturgical question. They came to the conclusion that there is no theological or juridical reasons that would allow a ban on the Tridentine rite. Thereon the Congregation for Divine Worship issued on 3 October 1984, the document Quattuor Abhinc Annos to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences, an Indult for the celebration of the traditional Mass, which had previously been considered prohibited. However, the majority of the bishops refused to implement this measure, so that John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei of 2nd of July 1988, after the break between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X. ordered:
"Moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962 - See more at: http://www.adoremus.org/EcclesiaDei.html#sthash.HnE6qZv1.dpuf"
Blind obstruction of the bishops against Pope John Paul II measures for Old Mass
The result of this measure was also disappointing because of the attitude of blind obstruction of the bishops. Cardinal Ratzinger, who has placed the liturgy in the center of his attention (think of the Proceedings of the liturgical day of Fontgombault, from July 22-24th of 2001), had decided after his election as Pope, to settle the question personally and issued, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum on July 7th, 2007 the freedom with which he returned to the old Roman Rite, and introduced it back into the Church.
The "resisters" of the 60s, finally saw their efforts rewarded after almost 40 years. Jean Madiran wrote "Last Sunday," about the 6th of September, 2007, "I am, and I was not the only one in the Church, which is just a few steps away from me, came back, rather than away 20 km and 20 km back. But the important thing is not that we have returned, but that the Mass has returned. What a grace! "( Chroniques sous Benoît XVI. , 2010, p 197).
Benedict XVI. Responded With a Traditional Mass for a sick church
The Church, to which Benedict XVI. returned the traditional Mass, is a sick Church, which is occupied by progressive prelates at the highest peak positions, and continue to use the Second Vatican Council as a club with which to beat their enemies. This has recently been the case against the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception, who are dealt with unfairly because of their attachment to the traditional Mass by a decree which constitutes a violation of the general laws of the Church, especially of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI., it gives every priest the freedom to celebrate the Holy Mass in the so-called "extraordinary" form of the rite.
Mother Mary Francis of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception had thoroughly documented the post-apostolic patristic origins of the so-called "Tridentine" Mass in the Italian compilation The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, HH Benedict XVI. A Hope for the Whole Church (vol 3, ed. Nuara of Father Vincenzo OP, 2013, pp. 93-115), as the Mass in force in 1969 rite had in its central elements the Mass Pope Gregory the Great and without interruption back to the apostles to the Last Supper and the bloody sacrifice of Jesus Christ as their starting point. The volume La Réforme Liturgique en question (1992) with its preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Monsignor Klaus Gamber, for whom Pope Benedict always harbored great admiration, states clearly that no pope has the right to return the rite to Apostolic Tradition and that it had deepened over the centuries, as is the case for the change of the so-called Mass of St. Pius V. There are clear limits to the plena et suprema potestas of the Pope and Gamber wrote, citing the theologians Suarez and Cajetan that "a Pope would become a schismatic if he would not, as it is his duty, be willing to maintain unity throughout in the body of the Church, but would try to excommunicate the whole Church or to change the traditinoal rites confirmed by the Apostolic ( here p. 37 ).
The Traditional Mass Has Never Been Abolished - School of counter-revolution
The motu proprio of Benedict XVI. has made it clear that the traditional Mass was never abolished (and never could have been abolished) and that the new Mass of Paul VI. is optional, and as such may be criticized and rejected. No priest can be forced to say the new Mass or be prevented from celebrating the traditional Mass freely. Every decree or any arrangement which would impose something else, would abuse the Mass and must be rejected. Jean Madiran has shown through his intellectual example, and how wide is the legitimate scope for the Catholic resistance to unjust commands. He was not an isolated voice. At his funeral, which was celebrated by Dom Louis Marie, the abbot Le Barroux in the "Extraordinary" Form, the representatives of the major communities of the tradition were present, the Fraternity of St. Peter , the Institute of Christ the King High Priest, the Institute of the Good Shepherd and the SSPX. Jean Madiran, who describes himself as "witness against his own time" (Interview with Abbot Guillaume de Tanoüarn in Certitudes , July-September 2002) was primarily a militant Catholic. Until the last day of his life he emphasized proudly his cultural and spiritual descent from the Catholic school of counter-revolution, known for their devotion to papal primacy in France as "ultramontanes" and their leaders Louis Veuillot, Dom Guéranger, and Cardinal Pie. Madiran summarized together the principles not only of the French school of thought and published a comprehensive intellectual and cultural genealogy: L'école (informal) contre-révolutionnaire in Présent of 18 February 2011. Those who criticize the world of tradition, are not aware that this world has deep intellectual roots and its vitality is currently in evidence with conflicts, such as the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the Old Mass, which is currently in progress. Everyone consequently, whether he is conscious or not, belongs to a direction, a school or a spiritual family. In life you have to decide which side you are on. Jean Madiran would have been on the side of those who today express their unswerving loyalty to the traditional Roman rite.
Introduction / Translation: Giuseppe Nardi Image: Corrispondenza Romana Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org