The justified scandal about the way the Bishop of Rome undermines Catholicism must not let us forget that, in the everyday life of the Church, the real changes on the ground are actually brought about not by the things a Pope says, but rather by the people he appoints.
You could put it in another way, and argue that if Francis were very sound in his appointments – mainly those of bishops and cardinals, but also think of those within the Curia – the negative effects of his blunders would be in time vastly reduced (or even neutralised) by a generation of sound bishops taking care that things are made properly in their own diocese, and of sound Cardinals taking care that this policy continues after the end of the present Papacy.
If, on the other hand, a Pope is mediocre in his appointment of Bishops and Cardinals, even his best orthodoxy of speech and saintliness of behaviour will not be able to arrest the decay of the Church, with vast territories slowly being run in the wrong way, and mediocre Cardinals ensuring this continues to be so with the next pontificates.
We begin, therefore, to understand the kind of devastation both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have caused. Pick any horrible Cardinal of your choice (before the next batch of Francis' appointees is officially installed), and you will discover he has invariably been appointed by one of the two. Pick almost everyone of the vastly horrible 8,000 (if memory serves) bishops in charge of a diocese, and you will see exactly the same.
From Daneels to Mahony and from Schoenborn to Ravasi, the present generation of Cardinals has been entirely created by JP II or Benedict XVI. Entirely. The same can be said, with very few exceptions, of bishops and archbishops, from the powerful ones like Zollitsch to the rather obscure ones like Nourrichard. These are the people who shape the Church's life on the ground; who encourage good priests or antagonise them; who decide on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, or lack thereof; who talk mainly of Judgment or of social issues; who promote the Sacraments or their neglect; who foster, or suffocate, vocations, and so on.
Think of all this, and tell me whether the two men – one of whom soon to be canonised, then by the grace of God Paradise is not prevented by a papacy rich in mistakes – are not the two main culprits for the current woes of the Church, starting from Francis and all the way down to the stupid, cowardly, or outright heretical priest in the church near you.
You would expect the tambourine-plagued sectors of the Church would not be pleased at the prospect – in which I still do not believe, and let us hope I will be proved wrong – of a full reconciliation between the SSPX and the Vatican.
Punctually, a French daily near to the French bishops, La Croix, examines the situation as follows:
Among the possible scenarios, one or several Lefebvrist bishops could refuse to join, in which case they would be excommunicated once again.
The absurdity of the assertion is breathtaking: it is as if a bunch of three-and-a-half year old would decide that either you play with me, or I do not talk with you anymore. Really? Seriously? Of course, this is portrayed as one among “possible scenario”, basically an excuse to spread around some legends. Congratulations.
Not more intelligent are the reported assertions from the French vice-Dean of the University of the Holy Cross in Rome:
“If they say no, it will be necessary that they explain why not and, in such case, their refusal will involve doctrinal questions. They thus risk not schism anymore, but heresy,”
One is tempted to despair at such superficiality, unless of course the words of the vice-dean have been willfully misrepresented by the usual suspects. In this scenario the SSPX “would have to explain” why they oppose a reconciliation, as if they had not been screaming this (in charity, of course) in the deaf ears of the Vatican for many decades. The one with the doctrinal questions is also very funny: yes, of course there are doctrinal questions, it’s not that the SSPX doesn’t like the colour of the Pope’s shoes. And yes, of course the differences in the interpretation of Catholic doctrine are rather well-known to everyone who took the time to examine them, and it is not known to me the SSPX was ever shy in explaining them or refused any possibility of doing so. What is still not clear is how an organisation so orthodox that it is not possible to even declare it schismatic without, in fact,declaring two thousand years of Church “schismatic” should now, for reasons not explained, be declared “heretic”. Throwing around adjectives will certainly not help anyone to be taken seriously.
Be it as it may, it appears clear to me the mainstream French episcopacy is rather nervous at the prospect of what might happen on Sunday, particularly if the SSPX will be offered reconciliation without any substantial concession on their part. The blow for the tambourine men – who have, no doubt, slandered the SSPX in every possible and impossible way, as is the usual way of the tolerant V II crowd – would be a rather painful one. I can imagine Bishop Nourrichard in great distress, asking his favourite Buddha statue what to do (see above).
I say it once again: if years of doctrinal discussion have not brought to an agreement, I cannot see why three weeks should now solve every problem. On the other hand, it is barely thinkable – as the protocols have not been made public – the differences were not so relevant as hinted by both sides, so that a positive conclusion might now be near. Don’t hold your breath, of course, but please do not fall into a girlish fear the Vatican could now become seriously nasty to the SSPX (which, cela va sans dire, would not have any consequence on them, and would probably cause their ranks to increase).
Very simply, the SSPX is nothing else than the Church before V II, looking critically – in obedience to the Pope, as long as practicable; and to the Church, when the first is no longer practicable – at the antics of the Church post V II. I can’t see how the SSPX could be declared schismatic, or heretic, more than S. Pius X could be declared schismatic or heretic himself.
“What Catholics once were, we are. If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.
We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then. If you were right then, we are right now”.
The French episcopal Conference is slowly awakening to the fact that their cowardice, lack of Catholic orthodoxy and outright incompetence is rapidly leading to the quasi-extinction of the Church in France. I mean, they are aware of the impending quasi-extinction, though I doubt they are aware of their own cowardice, lack of Catholic orthodoxy and sheer incompetence.
Rorate Caeli now informs us the geniuses have put their brains together and have ordered an enquiry, whose results have now been published.
You can follow the link and read the war bulletin (and a sad one it is; though deservedly so) for yourself. I would like to point out to the following:
1) The number of seminarians is even lower than in JP II times, and it is at an all-time low since the French Revolution. We see here the wonderful fruits of Vatican II, and the positive effects on a revitalised Church of the energetic measures adopted by Pope Benedict XVI to renew the French church, kick out the jokes a’ la Nourrichard, enforce a strict application of Summorum Pontificum, and the like.
2) 5% of the French churchgoers (those who can be defined as “traditionalists”) produce 15% of the seminarians. As it is more than reasonable to assume that this 5% are actually within their family 1oo% weekly churchgoers as oppose to less than 20% weekly churchgoers among the V II Catholics, the statistics can be read in a different way: that 5% of this – optimistically speaking: 20% ; I am rather sure the actual percentage is less – produces 15% of all vocations. That is: 1% of French Catholics produces 15% of the vocations.
Now, if one has a modicum of brains – one doesn’t need much; just a bit more than a moron’s allotment – the conclusion lies rather near that the traditional Mass attracts that kind of Catholics the Church in France needs: orthodox, and constituting a fertile humus for vocations.
The problem is, our French bishops either do not reach the modicum of brains described above – which I doubt – or more probably prefer not to look at reality in the eyes; because to do so would prove, in their own eyes, what dismal failures they have all been and to what extent they have betrayed, sold, prostituted Catholicism in their own land.
Therefore, expect no earthquake from the conclusion of the enquiries. There will be some tired blabla (the contemporary Church hierarchy is always good for some blabla, particularly when it is uncontroversial and sprinkled with feel-good slogans), at the end of which the Church in France will continue to work tirelessly at her own destruction blaming, as always, the bad bad consumerism dominated world outside, the ruthlessness of Capitalism, the unwilligness of people to work together for peaaace and, of course, global warming.
Frankly, I have given up hope the current Pope has the gut to put an end to this. He will oversee the further decomposition of the Church in France – as he has done these, now, seven years – limiting himself to send some little, ineffective, unheeded signal every now and then whilst being conscious the local hierarchy continue to do exactly as they please.
It is, truly, time to understand words are not enough, and the clock is ticking.
Great news from France, where it was announced that Father Michel, the hero of Thiberville, is now allowed to have his own parish in Le Planquay, in the smallest church of the diocese.
Le Planquay is merely 5 km away from Thiberville. Let’s call it a nice walk, or bicycle ride.
What appears evident to me is that the intent here was certainly not to “punish” Father Michel with a small church, but to allow him to remain as near as possible to his congregation.
Unfortunately, whilst Bishop Nourrichard has been clearly bypassed by the decision – forced on him by the Congregation for the Clergy – the bad news is that said Bishop Nourrichard remains in charge of the diocese. In time, perhaps, this problem will be sorted out, too.
We should pray for Bishop Nourrichard, of course. I promise you I’ll try until I succeed.
For the moment, let us rejoice for Father Michel and for his brave parishioners, soon able to have their beloved priest again.
Bishop Nourrichard was appointed to his present position by the current Pontiff.
CNA has a beautiful Papal intervention, aimed at stressing the necessity of good evangelisation work.
One must say, this Pope is good at talking. Take for example these two phrases:
“It is important to make them understand that being Christian is not a type of outfit that one wears in private or on special occasions, but something living and totalizing, capable of taking all that is good in modernity.”
“proclaiming Jesus Christ, the sole Savior of the world, is more complex today than in the past, but our task continues to be the same as at the beginning of our history. The mission hasn’t changed, just as the enthusiasm and courage that motivated the apostles and first disciples should not change.”
I see a slight problem, though. To talk the talk is all good and fine, but from a Pope able to talk the talk with such clarity, one would expect the ability to walk the walk with far more energy and determination than this is the case now. It seems to me more and more that Pope Benedict sees himself not as an enforcer of orthodoxy, but as one whose task is to prepare the way for future orthodoxy. He often gives to me the impression that he is working so that his successors may act, but without acting directly with anywhere near the energy that would be required.
Summorum Pontificum was obviously huge, and Universae Ecclesiae provides the priests and faithful (after, if I may say so, too many years of inaction) with valid instruments to improve its implementation. What I miss, though, is the concrete action on the ground, the factual providing for robust evangelisation rather than the talking about it; in short, the walk.
We still are afflicted with bishops like Nourrichard (Benedict’s appointment to his present position) and Fonlupt (whose very recent appointment even sparked a reaction in form of a letter from French priests); we have an Archbishop of Westminster (also a Benedict’s appointment to his present position) openly boasting that he is nuanced about homosexual relationships and doesn’t know whether he will celebrate their “marriages”. If you read around this blog, you’ll find many more examples, but you get my drift: evangelisation is best made by first putting one’s house in order.
The Church is not in order. The number of bishops with either heterodox views or without the guts to defend orthodoxy is staggering. The situation is so bad, that when a bishop dares to do his job properly this makes huge waves, so unexpected it is. Many of these liberal, heterodox or cowardly bishops have been appointed, and continue to be appointed, by Pope Benedict and I am sorry to say so, but as long as this continues every beautiful talk about the need of a new evangelisation will sound little more than verbal decoration.
Make no mistake, I am a big fan of Pope Benedict’s reforms and I think that, as a Pope, he is a huge improvement on his saintly but catastrophic predecessor. Still, I think that he will be remembered rather as a Pope who prepared the ground for concrete action, than as one who acted decisively himself.
Summorum Pontificum is no concrete action if after four years we still have very few Latin Masses, and nice talks about the needs of evangelisation are no concrete action if the evangelisation is then left to the devices of the Nourrichards of this world, whom the Pontiff himself appoints. Concrete action is to take care that the sheep are provided with good shepherds, and that the shepherds take care that the priests are sound.
Evangelisation via television doesn’t work, much less evangelisation via “encouragement speech” to people whose theology and praxis is almost beyond repair. Evangelisation is done from the pulpit; with a reverent celebration at the altar; with a strong defiance of unChristian politicians; with an insisted, frontal assault on secular thinking.
Most of all, evangelisation is done by forcing the Nourrichards of the world to march allineati e coperti like as many soldiers, or by getting rid of them without delay.
I have written in the last weeks (and before) rather often about strange liberal creatures with clear difficulties in reconciling themselves with Catholicism.
Their problem seems apparent – I would say, it is made by them very apparent – by the inability of these chaps to dress like ordained people. If they have an obligation to dress like clerics, they seem blissfully unaware of it. Let us see some example of this “liberal fashion”.
This is bishop Nourrichard, he of the Thiberville scandal
You can note from this photo that the man likes yellow, and green; that he doesn’t look particularly sober ( an impression of mine, for sure; pastis is not very strong after all…..) and that he has not been blessed with a familiar environment stressing the value of elegance or, at least, basic decency. Congratulations to bishop Nourrichard for the “country bumpkin” prize.
The next one is bishop William Morris, he of Toowoomba
This man was clearly raised up in a more tasteful environment. The shirt is well pressed, the tie well matched, the colours are elegant and dignified. Particularly so, because the sign of the Vatican boot on his backside is not visible on this picture.
The problem is that by looking at the photo you’d never say that he is, of all things, a Catholic bishop; which is, clearly, what he himself wants.
Don’t worry, though: having being kicked out by the Holy Father he is now a retired bishop anyway. If he is defrocked – as he should – he’ll have even more scope for his well-pressed, tasteful shirts. Or perhaps he will then decide to follow his vocation and will dress like a Morris dancer.
Next in line is our “priestesses subito” soi-disant Catholic theologian, Hans Kueng.
Herr Kueng prefers a sober, traditional style, with a white shirt complemented by a regimental-type tie and a sober London smoke jacket. This would be very fine, if said Herr Kueng were not a religious. The problem with the way he dresses is that he is clearly trying to let you forget that he is a Catholic priest. A circumstance which he has, very probably, long forgotten himself.
Dulcis in fundo, the hero of the hour; the idol of worldwide pedophiles; the staunch defender of sodomy with children; the -apparently – former Dutch Salesian Superior Herman Spronk.
Note the inquisitive, attentive, piercingly liquid eye. This is a typical expression that once would have been defined “tired and emotional” but we today, unaccustomed to the niceties of the past, simply call drunk. These expressive facial traits – you see in them a clear sympathy for the tragedy of good men, cruelly separated from the children they love by a ruthless Vatican hierarchy and oppressive superiors in Rome – are aptly matched to a factory-worker casual jacket and a dark blue, probably rather coarse, shirt. We all know how much children love blue, and the casual dress is also clearly meant to avoid being intimidating. Sinite pargulos venire ad me is the extremely creepy message here.
These are all examples of liberals of various kind previously dealt with on this blog, the last three in the past couple of weeks.
Once again, it is clear that symbols have power, and that the way one chooses to follow regarding his exterior appearance often accurately reflects his interior world.
The religious habit has a powerful symbolic force. It is not surprising that those who betray the Church start by betraying the habit.
Hat tip to Lux Occulta‘s Shane for this beautiful Michael Voris video.
Voris’ as always very outspoken message begins with a harsh criticism of the way Mass is too often celebrated: a self-celebration that is Protestant in nature and exclusively centered on more or (more often) less entertaining clowns. “All of this emphasis on all of these humans is absolutely out of place”, says Voris, and Cardinal Burke clearly points out to the danger of losing one’s faith by allowing oneself to be contaminated by such a protestant (and very convenient, and very “do not judge”, and very “inclusive”) thinking.
“The Mass is about Jesus Christ, everything else is Protestant”, says Voris with the usual openness and one wonders how long will we have to wait until we hear such concepts expressed by our bishops as a matter of course and, most importantly, openly and assertively instead of being coded within the usual politically correct crap they feed us with.
The second part of Voris’ message is even stronger than the first and points out to the immediate danger of damnation hovering over the countless priests and bishops who have perpetrated or allowed these abuses. “How many bishops in America have allowed this”, says Voris and thinking of our own bishops in the United Kingdom one is even more afraid.
The simple truth is that from the part of Catholic hierarchy considered as a whole, a betrayal of everything that is Catholic is going on that has few precedents (and possibly: no precedent, as even in the darkest days of the IX and X century Christian feelings were certainly better protected and better transmitted among the faithful) in the history of the Church.
Whilst remaining faithful to the Church founded on Peter by Christ, we must acknowledge the simple truth that many, many bishops make the work of the devil and that their criminal neglect of Catholic Truth to favour the approval of the masses will have – bar an always welcome repentance – to be paid at the highest price.
Very rightly, SPUC’s chef Smeaton says that Archbishop Nichols’ view on homosexuality endanger children’s souls . It goes without saying (though Mr. Smeaton says that, too) that Archbishop Nichols gravely endangers his own soul, too.
These are, alas, the times we live in. We are surrounded by bishops who, when they have not completely lost the faith – which by the tone of their actions and inactions seems by far the most frequent case – have surrendered every idea of fighting the good fight and are happy to feed the faithful with inane platitudes and assorted harmless slogans. In turn, this gives us priests who, when they have not completely lost the faith – which must be a rather frequent occurrence if you just listen to what many of them go around saying – are, poor chaps, too weak to start a battle against their own bishop; a battle that would see them in the end chastised in the best of cases, and utterly ruined in the worst.
Whenever cases like the one in Thiberville happen, where a joke of a bishop like Nourrichard (yes, he is the one in the photo; seriously!) is allowed to prevail over a courageous priest and his authentically Catholic community, priests all over the planet register the event and take note.
Make no mistake, though: I am less angry at the priest who can’t find in himself the courage to willfully undergo persecution that at the bishop who can’t find in himself the courage to be unpopular. A priest is a human being too and if he is “not born with a lion’s heart” (Manzoni) he will end up merely trying to limit the damage. I am also aware that (to say it with Manzoni again) “courage, one cannot give it to oneself”. May God have mercy of the poor priests who can’t find the strenght to do what they know they should do as he will – hopefully – have mercy on me, who are also unable to do what I know I should do.
But the position of a bishop is entirely different. Besides having greater responsibility as a successor of the Apostels, a bishop is so established in a world of power and privilege that even the persecution of a seriously modernist Pope (not to be seen anywhere on the horizon, by the way) would not go beyond the loss of a diocesan position and the confinement in some very comfortable – as the Italians say – “elephants’ cemetery”, very probably still in the company of all the accoutrements of rank and prestige.
A cowardly bishop has, therefore, no excuses, let alone a faithless Bishop wilfully and actively making the work of Satan (yes, I am thinking of Vincent “Quisling” Nichols and his ilk). We are all sinners of course, but there is a huge difference between being short of Jesus’ demand in one’s private life and to undermine His message in the public one.
God bless Michael Voris, Cardinal Burke and all those who fight the fight for the integrity of Catholicism in the face of the modernist, homosexualist, protestantised fifth column formed by too many bishops and, alas, still far too compact in its ranks.
Another excellent blog post from Fr Longenecker, “The Collapse Of Cultural Catholicism”..
Fr Longenecker explains the roots of the problem in very clear terms:
“[…]for the last forty years Catholics themselves have not taught Catholicism to their children. They’ve taught ‘American Catholicism’ which is a watered down blend of sentimentalism, political correctness, community activism and utilitarianism. In other words, “Catholicism is about feeling good about yourself, being just to others and trying to change the world.”
As a result of this,
The next generation has drawn the obvious conclusion that you don’t need to go to Mass to do all that. You can feel good about yourself much more effectively with a good book from the self-help shelf, or by attending a personal development seminar. You can be involved in making the world a better place without going to church.
According to the author,
The solution is simple: we must return to the supernatural realities of the historic faith and evangelize like the Apostles of old.
This implies the overcoming of a major difficulty of our times (expressed here in terms so crude as to be, well, Mundaborian): nowadays there are a lot of people who, to all intents and purposes, are pagans believing themselves Christians and this makes the evangelisation work more difficult.
To these excellent observations I allow myself to add my own as in my eyes Fr Longenecker is absolutely right in his analysis of what happens within Catholic families, but in doing so addresses not the first, but second cause of the mess we are in.
In my eyes, cultural Catholicism is the result of assertive Catholic propaganda from the Church hierarchy and the clergy. In countries like Italy and France, cultural Catholicism is (albeit now clearly under attack) still an important part of the thinking of the common man, because it has been aggressively hammered into people’s head for generations.
Or allow me to put it in different terms: the more the Catholic hierarchy is assertively Catholic, the more Her teaching will filter through those strata of the Catholic population who may not be so observant, but still know very well where the Truth lies. Again, traditionally Catholic countries are the best example, with a diffuse Catholic thinking going far beyond the number of the practising Catholics. Still, when the Church limits herself to platitudes, easy slogans and easy-to-digest social issues the devout churchgoers will still continue to attend mass, but in time the message will be utterly lost in the outer circles.
You can see this as an onion, with the core formed by the churchgoers and successive layers formed by less and less aware Catholics. If the Catholic Truth is not assertively propagated, the onion will start to go off from the outer layers. This is exactly what has happened since Vatican II: the onion has lost its flavour because it was considered too pungent and whilst the core is still there and is reasonably healthy, the rest of the onion is decomposing rapidly.
In my eyes, the biggest problem of our time is not the (undeniable) inaction of the parents, but their neglect from the Clergy at all levels from the Popes down. The parents who neglect to properly instruct their children do so because they are left without proper guidance themselves whilst those who had been properly instructed have been, during the Sixties, cowed by the Church herself into thinking that their knowledge had been somewhat badly presented or poorly interpreted and was in dire need of a new, fresh approach.
Il pesce puzza dalla testa, “the fish stinks from the head down”. When the Popes appoint cowardly or heretical bishops, these will sabotage the activity of their priests; when bad priests are allowed to confuse the faithful, confusion will trickle through the next generation and become worse.
At the root of the loss of cultural Catholicism is the Church’s loss of a clear vision of Her identity and purpose, the abandoning of hard truths for easy-to-listen platitudes, the quest for popularity instead of the quest for souls, the abandonment of reverent liturgy for a mediocre, shallow, emasculated attempt at entertainment.
One day we will look in shame at a time where the Church was filling airports and holding mega-masses whilst Catholic identity was going lost. It is not difficult to fill an airport if people come to be told how good they are, nor it is difficult to be a popular Pope if you give people the “peace’n’love” platitudes they so desperately need as an ego fix.
At the root of the loss of Catholic identity is the massive failure of the Church, at all levels and starting from the very top, to properly do Her job. This failure started with Vatican II and was allowed to worsen in the following decades. The attempts at repair that followed have been – in striking contrast with the devastating Sturm und Drang of the Sixties – excessively prudent within the Vatican and almost non-existent at the local level, where sad travesties of bishops a’ la Nichols, Mahony and Nourrichard have been appointed for too long and continue to be appointed. Look no further than Southwark to have the last example, though luckily we are getting beautiful exceptions here and there.
The renewal of Catholic identity must start from the renewal of the Church, from the full recovery of the consciousness of her mission and identity. The rest will follow as the message trickles through increasingly wider strata of society.
Il pesce puzza dalla testa.
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.