Daily Archives: January 24, 2011

Thiberville: The Scandal Goes On

Bishop Nourrichard. No, really.

Some of you will have heard of the little parish in Normandy, France; a small village with a Catholic church blessed with a vibrant Catholic community led by a brave, authentically Catholic priest, loyal to the Pontiff and to Summorum Pontificum. The Abbe’ Michel celebrates the Tridentine Mass, and his undiluted Catholic message has great success; ergo, he must be removed lest the bankruptcy of the post V-II ideology be exposed in front of the french Catholic world.

Therefore, the rainbow-clothed, sixty-eighter Bishop Nourrichard ( a man who has no problems with assisting to so-called women’s ordination, but has a problem with the Tridentine Mass) removes the priest from the church (I do not know the details, there might have been some skirmish; this is not uncommon and is actually the way you do such things as a liberal bishop) and has the effrontery of presenting himself in Thiberville to announce the removal.

The small community openly confronts the bishop in a way certainly most inappropriate in front of the Tabernacle, but that shows all the love and support of this authentically Catholic community for their rare priest. The bishop is booed and the villagers openly show who, for them, is the real Catholic; the videos go around the world.

The skirmish continues with the Abbe Michel refusing to vacate church and community pending the legal controversy.

One year later, the decision has come and it is, as largely expected, in favour of the rainbow-clothed, sixty-eighter, disgraceful Bishop Nourrichard.

Let me say that I assume that the Prelatura Apostolica was probably not in a position to decide otherwise and that my anger is not directed at them. This was probably a decision about competence, not opportunity; about the formal right to decide, not the factual quality of the decision. I do not think that many had expected a different outcome. Still, this decision hurts because, once again, it presents in front of our eyes a disgraceful bishop working against authentic Catholicism and getting away with it.

Bishop Nourrichard has now successfully removed this living testimony of his own failure from his diocese. Unfortunately for him, he has not become a bit less of a disgrace for that. This man is a scandal and a shame far beyond his choice of shirts.

Nourrichard was appointed to Evreux by Pope Benedict. If the Holy Father chooses jokes like this man as bishops, how can he hope that his reform will go on at more than snail pace? This is another clear sign that Pope Benedict’s appointment are, generally speaking, too far on the accommodating side and that this love of gradualism meant to appease the local hierarchies and tambourine mafias continues to damage the authentically Catholic faithful, and will do so for many years to come.

I am eager to get more information about this and will, in case, report again in the future. I’d love to know what is the next destination of the Abbe’ Michel, what will the local community do (vote with their feet and desert the church en masse, very likely) and whether there will be further developments.

A good development would be the removal of Bishop Nourrichard and his transfer – without the control of a diocese – to some very cold, very hot, or mosquito-plagued place, where he might perhaps even have ample opportunity to show off his striking shirts. As for the good Abbe’, I wonder whether he will not follow the example of the excellent priest about whom I have blogged yesterday and join the home of serious Catholicism in France: the Society of St. Pius X.


Memento Mori, Or Damnation And Repentance

Let us hope this expressive chap wasn't an atheist.... Alexander Mair, "Memento Mori".

Interesting blog post on the Domine, Da Mihi Hanc Aquam blog. The blog post makes clear that, whilst Catholics avoid the noisy excess of screaming Protestant preachers, repentance for our sins is still – bar a Divine mercy that we have no right to expect – mandatory to avoid Hell.

The author of the blog post puts it in simple and very clear terms:

…refusing to repent of one’s sins constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and such a refusal will not be forgiven. In fact, refusing to repent cannot be forgiven. God will not save us against our will. He will love us right into hell.

(emphasis mine).

Foreseeing the scandal of the liberal crowd, the author hastens to add:

This sounds harsh, I know. But this a truth of the Catholic faith that cannot be spiced up or sugar-coated or hidden away.

Everytime I read phrases like this I think of the many priests who have made of “sugar-coating” and “hiding away” an accomplished art – nay, a new religion! – and shiver.

The concept – so difficult to understand for some atheist – is brilliantly explained in more detail:

We have two truths in balance here. First, God wills that all His people return to Him through Christ. Second, He wills that we do so freely. So that all may return to Him through Christ, the invitation to salvation is made unconditionally, without limits, to everyone

Note here that the invitation is made to everyone (that is: even to non-Christians), but the return must be through Christ, with Allah & Co. not giving any entry rights, nor will a generic “I have been such a good chap” be of much use. Salvation is – bar an act of extraordinary mercy, on whose odds no one should ever stake his salvation – the result of a free decision to make the right choice.

Still another perspective is given by making clear that:

….. we send ourselves to hell by stubbornly refusing to repent. Our final refusal, our last rejection of God’s invitation to join Him in love is called “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.”

When your friend or colleague or relative says to you (with the shamelessness of our times) that “there is no God”, you can calmly tell him that he is being blasphemous and endangering his soul; when he replies that he doesn’t care as he doesn’t believe in any God, feel free to point out that the fact that he doesn’t believe in God doesn’t make him any less blasphemous, nor his soul any less endangered.

He’ll probably still not agree with you; but it is still a free choice that he makes. Put in front of a clear hypothesis of damnation, he can’t say that by not believing in damnation he has not chosen it.

Given the choice whether to believe, he has chosen not to; given the choice whether to be blasphemous, he has chosen to be; given the choice whether to choose Christ, he has chosen to ignore Him. Therefore, “but I truly, truly didn’t think that you existed!” will, one day, not go very far.

Until the last moment before death, there is still time. Until the last moment before death, Christ may still fish a soul out of his self-inflicted destiny. But if one really insists in refusing His help, then it is not logical to demand from Christ that help that one has always refused, nor can it be reasonable to demand that Christ saves one against one’s own free will, after one’s free will has been given God’s rank.

At death, rien ne va plus.

Memento mori.


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