Abbé Michel Violet is a former Lutheran pastor who converted in 2000 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003. He formulated a protest against the motu proprio Traditionis custodes and the ban on administering the sacraments in the traditional form. But he also comments on the situation of the Church in France and political maneuvers aimed at weakening it. We document his statements.
By Abbe Michel Violet
At the beginning of this year, sadness is certainly the feeling that the French share most and undoubtedly they are not the only ones in the world.
As a Catholic priest, I believe in the primacy of prayer and in particular the prayer that we raise to God in the Church when we celebrate the sacred liturgy. But even that sacred practice has turned into a cause of sadness today, and I don't think things are going well in that regard!
I have received the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes with childlike obedience because it comes from the successor of Peter, who justifies it with his concern that no parallel Church will arise from the traditional Mass according to the missal of 1962. If some brothers in France could give that impression by refusing to concelebrate with their bishop at the Chrism Mass - an attitude I regret - it does not mean that Catholics who are attached to the traditional liturgy, have even the slightest intention of joining another Church. For everyone I know in my country, there is only one Catholic Church whose Pope is named Francis and there can be no other!
Therefore, it seems to me neither fair nor merciful to restrict the celebration of the Mass of St. John XXIII. to add also the withdrawal of the celebration of the various sacraments of the Church in its ancient form. And the assertion that this religious practice is in contradiction with the Second Vatican Council strikes me as surprising, since I have always been told, and have been for a long time, that this Council is in continuity with the previous Councils. How can there be a contradiction in celebrating a baptism after Vatican II in the form in which it was celebrated after Vatican I and for many centuries before that?
Moreover - and I think I am justified in this criticism, which does not call into question the validity of the sacraments administered according to the modern liturgy - the latter largely abolished the exorcisms, partly because their authors, some of whom I knew well, did not believe in original sin! It seems to me that the survival of this liturgy is of the greatest interest, especially in the interest of Catholic orthodoxy. Therefore, I am sad about the possible abolition or even the ban of the traditional liturgy.
It is also sad for those who die. As a priest, how can I refuse to give the Last Rites to a dying person in the same way that his parents or grandparents received it? Our bishops are our fathers and our superiors. I cannot imagine that they prevent us from bringing a dying man the comfort he rightly asks of us.
It is also sad that we cannot guarantee the funeral mass in the Extraordinary Form. Those who know this liturgy, which has accompanied death for centuries and which today has been, for some, one of the rare occasions to attend Mass, which made them reflect on the Christian doctrine of death and lead them to ask the question asking about the resurrection, can't help but be deeply hurt when they are denied the final testimony they want to give for their lives down here. And I would like to add that for convinced Christians there is everything in this ritual that strengthens their faith in the resurrection. Everything in this traditional form helps when the Requiem Aeternam is sung, the taking over of the terror of separation by singing the Dies Irae, if one has bothered to understand it! Doesn't everything collapse and give the impression of the end of the world and sometimes with deep-seated anger when one learns of the death of the little brother or sister...? At this moment you don't want to be pounded with the hallelujah or hear "Christ is risen" sung to every conceivable tune. [Or worse, the ditties of sex predatory Marty Haugen] Everything in its time, with the Libera me and the In Paradisum!
Forgive me if I give a personal example, not to stir but to convince. For medical reasons I experienced the approach of death and the hope of being accompanied by this ancient prayer of the Church on my last visit to a Catholic shrine is of great help to me. I don't want to be forced to withhold it from other Christians who ask me! could I do that I do not know!
It is also sad to think of the young seminarians of Institutes who live to the rhythm of the traditional Mass and to force them to abandon the ancient liturgy of Holy Orders. We would deny those who give their lives to the Church this liturgical form that unites them to Christ the Head, that has shaped them since their youth, that has enabled them to hear the Lord's call and follow their studies in the seminary! It is for their respective authorities to inform them that, exceptionally, they must later celebrate in a different manner, due to exigencies of service, according to the orders of their bishop. They will accept this as an act of brotherly charity rather than a prohibition
Sadness also reigns over the spectacle of division among Catholics! At this time of prayer for Christian unity, so precious that it makes more sense than ever to preserve it, I regret that some people have so little regard for Catholic unity that they to defame Our Holy Father, the servant of unity par excellence. And I go so far as to rejoice, to my great shame, that the various political governments no longer attach great importance to Catholicism, avoiding the drama of the fourteenth century, the Great Western Schism (1378), in which two popes ruled at the same time, then even three who mutually excommunicated each other! I hope I'm not giving the wrong idea to our elected Republican presidents, to elect a Pope by an independent commission of cardinals, also open to women and laypeople, and Presided over – why not – Mr. Jean-Marc Sauvé. [Sauvé, a senior state official and deputy chairman of the French Supreme Administrative Court until 2018, is President of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church ( CIASE). See the CIASE or Suavé report: Not 330,000, but "only" up to 28,000 victims of abuse? ]
Imagine what an advantage that would be for tourism, which would have an additional attraction! And this kind of adventure would have the additional advantage that many ecclesiastical ambitions would be satisfied by the propagation of mitres and birettas! Purple and crimson dreams would come true!
I shall have occasion to return to it in a different context and in detail, as other Catholics have done. I am only now addressing this issue because what I suspected is happening. The CIASE report, with its inflated figures, is now beginning to show its true colors as a pretext to significantly transform the Catholic Church.
For example, there is no hesitation in making public the allegations of abuse made by a priest who died in 1994 and was a renowned artist in the field of stained glass that decorates many of our churches. I'm not familiar with this case, but I've seen these stained glass windows and think they're great! It seems that they are even protected by the Monuments Office. I learn that not only are they exhuming this dossier against a dead man, but that they also intend to remove all of his glass windows! [They should get rid of Eric Gill's garbage, tbh.] What consequences the horror of 897 had for Church and society! It was the loss of confidence in the papacy that enabled its domination by the great Roman families, the predecessors of our left-wing bobos, who placed their descendants on the throne of Peter.
In fact, women (then Theodora and Marozia) were given an important role, as recommended by CIASE. They influenced the election of several popes, whose abilities they came to appreciate very intimately, but had little to do with theology! This drifting away of the Church lasted from 904 to 963.
I consider it a dangerous path to make disappear the works of art of a man who has not lived according to Catholic morality. If we continue on it, there will soon be great gaps in our museums and churches. It will be necessary, and this will only be the beginning, to remove the works of Caravaggio and whitewash the Sistine Chapel!
Above all, it encourages those nostalgic for the Inquisition to continue their work of purification. They have their sights on none other than our Pope Emeritus, suspected of knowingly covering up reprehensible acts by priests during his tenure as Archbishop of Munich (1977-1982), and Le Point newspaper, which focuses on the dismantling of bishops, do not hesitate to share this message with a photo of Benedict XVI. to illustrate how he is very old and looks desperately at the sky with folded hands as if asking for forgiveness. Shame on the person responsible for this article and presentation, that of a Dr. Goebbels is worthy, responsible!
He presided over the writing of a new Deuteronomy. It was precisely under these conditions that Robespierre, in good faith, created terror and declared himself the leader of the party of good because of virtue! Do we want a Church of terror in the name of that same virtue?
And this at a time when our country is sinking into the materialistic mediocrity of economic globalism, when the lack of freedom prevents us from speaking about real, legitimate fears by propagating false fears.
So there is also sadness about the decline of our country, in which a Catholic elite is complicit!
I confess that I do not understand how, after the comedy played for us Catholics by the President of the Republic during his visit to the Collège des Bernardins and after the bioethics laws he passed, our religious authorities can now say that they will not make any voting recommendations in the next presidential elections. It is true that they were not heard when the abortion period was extended to fourteen weeks. As a result of the Sauvé report, the Church is now ashamed to speak about moral issues!
And no doubt they will continue to do so after President Emmanuel Macron, President of the Council of the European Union and undeclared candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, expressed his desire to see women's abortion rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Many Catholics are waiting for a response from their pastors, if only to emphasize that abortion cannot be made a women's right in a European charter of rights. If so, it would be, to quote Pope Francis, acknowledging the usefulness of abortionists as hit men. And how can one ignore the fact that euthanasia and outright murder are being proposed by his supporters to the outgoing president as issues for the next election campaign. President Macron would thus add two more serious sins to the apostasy from his baptism and the promotion of abortion, which the Church condemns with excommunication latae sententiae, leading to the intensification of the culture of death.
Our French Bishops' Conference could hardly remain silent unless it hoped the stones would cry out! But I don't know if the believers will understand that because at the same time it is to be feared that many believers will lose interest in donating money!
Only if the Church admits this will it live the correct neutrality it strives for! Because at this time the Christian people are waiting for coherent words and deeds, for signs of mobilization and not of renunciation, especially in the face of increasingly anti-Catholic political forces!
From what I've said, someone might ask if it's still possible to hope? My answer, without hesitation, is “yes” if we manage to show courage quickly. People believe they are masters of their own destiny and plans. They easily forget the omnipotence of God. It is God who, with our indispensable witness, will reveal Himself and make His righteousness visible when the time comes. He will help the defenders of the Catholic faith to victory and put the impostors in their place.