I know, this is in Italian. But what would be the use of your humble correspondent, if he wasn’t able to give a little help when needed…
It turns out that twenty-one French priests have written to the Head of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Ouellet, to ask him for… better shepherds. This after the latest appointment, the one of the apparently notorious bishop Fonlupt (see above a photo of his in unmistakable clerical garments….) , left once again much to be desired.
The letter has been signed, though Messa In Latino doesn’t report the names. Also noticeable is the decision not to allow any seminarian to sign, after a similar appeal from Milan seminarians to have Summorum Pontificum applied in their own diocese led to inordinate thundering and unpleasant consequences.
Messa in Latino puts it, as always, in a refreshingly blunt way:
La media dei vescovi di Germania, Austria, Svizzera, Francia, è da asilo per lunatici; in Italia e Spagna, dove non siamo caduti così in basso, la media è comunque mediocre e di desolante immobilismo.
The average of the bishops in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France is at madhouse level; in Italy and Spain, where we haven’t sunk so low, the average is still mediocre and marked by a depressing total absence of action”
Personally, I must say that one begins to see something vaguely approaching a harder stance. It hadn’t happened for very long, surely, that two bishops were kicked out in a matter of months, and three in less than a year. Still, what – I think – must end is the mentality by which an appointment is the result of a compromise between the diverging desires of the Pontiff (for an orthodox man) and of the local clergy (for a lunatic, or a heretic). In the end, there is no way protests from liberals can be avoided and appointing liberal bishops will not appease them (as if appeasement were a working strategy, ever), but only make them more vocal.
Summorum Pontificum is, I think, a point in case. A very lax enforcement of the clear dispositions of that historic motu proprio didn’t facilitate at all a prompt reception of its clear message; on the contrary, it encouraged a huge number of Western bishops into thinking that SP could be boycotted as long as necessary, and destroyed as soon as practicable. Only Universae Ecclesiae will put an end to this; and again, only if seriously enforced.
“Messa in Latino” puts the importance of the matter in such a beautiful way, that I can’t resist reporting and translating the entire concept:
La prima preoccupazione di questo sito è sempre stata per la scelta di buoni vescovi e per questo abbiamo cercato di seguirne le nomine, prima ancora che parlare di liturgia. Perché è dalle risorse umane che dipendono le sorti di un’azienda; e certo, se la Chiesa fosse un’azienda, sarebbe già fallita da molto tempo. Il fatto che la barca vada avanti nonostante certi rematori, è la prova storica dell’assistenza divina. Nondimeno, cerchi un po’ la Congregazione per i vescovi di facilitare il compito alla Provvidenza.
The most pressing care of this site has always been the choice of good bishops and this is why we have tried to follow their appointments, even before talking about liturgy. This, because it is from the human resources that the furtunes of a company depend; and certainly, if the Church had been a company she would have gone bankrupt a long time ago. The fact that the barque continues to go on notwithstanding such rowers is the historical proof of the Divine assistance. Still, the Congregation For Bishops should try to make the task of Providence easier”.
I am confident that Cardinal Ouellet will make Providence’s task somewhat easier; though episodes like Fonlupt’s appointment show that the process will not be as speedy as we would wish.