A spirit of renunciation

Par l'abbé Claude Barthe

Français, italiano

After what we call the sanitary crisis, nothing in the Church will be like ever before, so, we hear over and over again. In our opinion, it will be worst. The attitude of Church men who, during several months, have not been able to save the worship nor the sacraments, will not be able to produce anything but sour fruits. This attitude is, alas, a new example of a way of being which has perdure for half a century: the opening to the world of Vatican II comes out as compromises and half measures which look like submission to the world.

Father Perrot talks, in this new issue of Res Novæ, of the significance of the putting under the bushel, by the Pope, of his title of Vicar of Christ and the genealogy of this process since Paul VI. As a result, we see today, at the top level of the Church, in the unfolding of a sort of living parable on the theme of the succession of Peter, too heavy a heritage. With two figures of popes, one having renounced his office, he judged too heavy for his shoulders, and yet still present and even involved, at times, as in the debate over priestly celibacy; the other, his successor, who having decided he would not succeed in what he judged outdated in his pontifical office, diminishes the title of Vicar of Christ.

This renunciation of responsibilities is actually “collegial”, pope and bishops. We said in our editorial, issue 12 of Res Novæ, from October 2019, that the Church needs now, more than ever, shepherds of high stature and great strength, pious, conscious of their immense duty. But when we expect the successors of the Apostles to intervene, instead we find men regulator of the consensus, prisoners of the opinion expressed in the majority of their flock made as permeable to the injunctions of the world. As if the duty of teaching, what is to be believed, and to condemn, what goes against it, was no longer truly their business.

Yet, it is their only business: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mt. 28: 19-20). We cannot doubt that this order could be always but efficacious and that the shepherds could receive always the graces to assume their vocation. To Jeremiah who protest of his incapacity to prophecy, God says: “Behold I have given my words in thy mouth; Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root up, and pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant” (Jr 1: 9-10).

Father Claude Barthe