French Catholics let a “trendy” bishop know what they think of his frivolity and sacrilege:

For an English language interpretation of events, see this article by Damian Thompson of the UK Telegraph.

French people are often stereotyped by the American media as cowards, willing to surrender at the first sign of trouble. In this case, these French Catholics have displayed more backbone than many Americans faced with similar nonsense. To them, and to their traditional priest, Fr Francis Michel, go my solidarity and prayers. Keep your chin up!

P.S. – if you’re on facebook, here is Mr. Michel’s support group.

20 Responses to Backbone

  1. restrainedradical says:

    We’re supposed to applaud the disruption of Mass and the disobedience of a priest?

  2. Joe Hargrave says:

    Yes! Absolutely! I encourage every Catholic to disrupt sacrilege, and to disobey bishops or anyone else in authority who promulgate liturgical abuses, because THEY are in disobedience to the Papacy, and to Christ.

    Lay Catholics have every right and duty to hold clergymen who make a mockery of the liturgy and the teachings of the Church to task. We will not be silenced by cries of “obey the authorities!” We know the difference between what the Church actually permits and forbids, and what local renegades seek to impose regardless.

    If only every church in America wherein liturgical abuse was taking place was shaken to its foundations by a chorus of angry shouts, every corrupt presbyter run out of town, every guitar-playing hippie silenced – I would rejoice.

  3. Rick Lugari says:



  4. restrainedradical says:

    Joe, SSPX welcomes you.

  5. Pinky says:

    Revere the office, obey the rulings,…mock the vestments (after Mass).

  6. I’m thinking of how David reacted to Saul. Saul may have been wrong, but David refused to touch him because Saul was God’s anointed. In other words, never wrestle with a pig in the mud. You’ll only get filthy and the pig likes it.

    We must be as wise as serpents and yet as innocent as doves. Bad bishops will fall and amazingly fast!

  7. Joe Hargrave says:

    Well, restrained, I don’t need SSPX.

    I have Summorum Pontificum.

  8. Tomas Diaz says:

    I’m a lurker and a good friend of one of the common posters.

    I have to say that the actions of the people in this Church are just as wrong as those of the Bishop. While I do believe that the Bishop has committed a wrong in not showing the proper respect for the Mass, the people have done just the same.

    In this specific event, one is not only attacking the bishop, but is also attacking the Mass. A better way to handle the situation would have been leaving. You respect the man’s office and you respect the Mass. Period.

    They are not disrupting sacrilege, they are disrupting the Mass. Unless one wishes to fall into the Donatist heresy and be brought to task by Augustine himself, the man is still celebrating the Mass. Disapprove of his celebration, but don’t disrespect the powers that have licitly been bestowed upon him.

  9. Joe Hargrave says:

    The sound of good Catholics shouting down a renegade bishop is almost as glorious as a Palestrina Mass.

    This is not school, and he is not the teacher.

  10. Somehow, I don’t think “Summorum Pontificum” says one should disrespect Bishops. Martin Luther, on the other hand…

  11. Joe Hargrave says:

    Right. Because I so clearly claimed that it DID say so!

    Go lecture the disobedient, sacrilegious bishops and priests about Martin Luther.

  12. Dale Price says:

    I’m reasonably certain Catholic congregants didn’t react to their Arian bishops with a strict diet of pray, pay and obey.

  13. Donald R. McClarey says:

    The duty to protect the orthodoxy of the Faith applies to both clergy and laity. When the clergy are neglecting that duty the laity need to let them know: quietly if they will listen, loudly if they will not.

  14. Rick Lugari says:

    I general I think it’s best to defer to authority(ies) even if you know them to be wrong. However, there are clearly cases when one shouldn’t and gray areas where reasonable people can disagree. Without making a judgment on the correctness of the laity in this situation because I don’t know the history or can understand the language, I recognize there is history of the laity in all the vulgarity setting the clergy straight.

    I don’t recall all the details, but there was time in the 12th or 13th century that the cardinals failed to elect a pope for a long time. The laity rebelled, and treating the cardinals like incompetent scoundrels literally locked the cardinals in the conclave (may be the source of the term) and would not let them out until they selected a pope. The laity even went as far as stripping off the roof so the cardinals wouldn’t have the comfort of shelter.

    I can’t say for sure, but it strikes me that God was working through the laity then and may very well be now.

  15. Joe Hargrave says:

    The Mass is not the personal property of the local Bishop.

    If I wanted to see some guy in a rainbow gown make a mockery of the Mass, I could go here:

    The value of the Mass is unquantifiable. Yet by some it has been reduced to a “community meal”, which makes it indistinguishable from what takes place at Protestant meeting halls. Those who no longer wish to be Catholic, are free to become Protestants, Unitatrians, Gnostics, Pagans, or whatever they will.

    But as soon as they try to push it on me, I am going to push back, even if that person is the bishop.

  16. Joe Hargrave says:

    The more I read about the visceral hatred that the aforenamed factions and many others have held for the Mass throughout history, and even throughout the age of industry, technology, and secularism, the more I am convinced of its value, especially in its traditional form.

  17. American Knight says:

    We have a requirement to be obedient to our bishop and the clergy whom he shepherds so long as his behavior is Catholic. If a bishop is doing something that you know is improper, heretical, sacrilegious, etc. it is not only proper to correct him, it is a requirement.

    “15 But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. 16 And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. 17 And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.” Matt 18:15-17

    We are one body in Christ and He is our head. He rebuked St. Peter when he tried to keep Christ from the Cross. Shouldn’t we rebuke our priests and bishops when they profane His once and for all sacrifice? While it is allowable to tolerate poor form during Mass that is close to or within the rubrics, we have no expectation of tolerating outright heresy.

    The law is very clear about homosexuality. Anyone celebrating Mass is not to promote the ‘homosexual lifestyle or banner or colors’, if they do, we have a right and a duty to chastise them. This is not a matter of error in prudential judgment. This is sacrilege.

    Not too long ago this would have been a hanging offense.

  18. Ryan Haber says:

    I haven’t commented on this story for a long time because the whole thing is horrible. The diocese and the bishop are horrible; the disobedience of the pastor, albeit to some extent within canonical rights, is horrible; the response of the people in the pews, albeit with very legitimate outrage, is horrible.

    Joe Hargrave, you wrote:

    Yes! Absolutely! I encourage every Catholic to disrupt sacrilege, and to disobey bishops or anyone else in authority who promulgate liturgical abuses, because THEY are in disobedience to the Papacy, and to Christ.

    That’s great, Joe. And when you’re done encouraging we will not have 3000 bishops in the Church each renegade or rebellious, but we’ll have over a billion little popes, each judging his bishop and each in church of his own little Church of Me. That’ll be great, won’t it? And they can all compete for the most Latin, or the most vernacular, and none of them will have the inconvenience of divinely ordained and appointed earthly authority to correct their certainty of which interpretation of canons is correct, or which direction the spirit is blowing, or whatever other cover they care to deploy for the shielding of their ego.

    You also wrote:

    This is not school, and he is not the teacher.

    Au contraire, Joe. Teachers have authority to teach by virtue of their pay and their employer – bishops have authority from God.

    Matthew 28:19
    Council of Trent, XXIV, De Reformatione, iv
    Leo XIII, Sapientiae christianae (1890)
    Lumen Gentium, 6, 14, 18
    CIC, can. 375
    CCC, #77, 2034

    Moreover, priests only teach on behalf of the bishop and with his leave (Lumen Gentium, 20, 21; Presbyterium Ordinis, 6).

    One thing that strikes me as funny about the controversy as I’ve been following it in English and French media is that the American observers – here included – are mostly taking umbrage at the bishop’s sacrilegious chasuble; which is hardly what the story is about. If he had worn a (white) chasuble with almost any decoration other than that stupid rainbow, I wonder what people would say about this story of an immensely popular priest refusing a direct order from the bishop to whom he is vowed before God to obey.

    What was right for those people to do? I don’t know. I don’t see any of this sort of thing in the lives of the saints, though, and it troubles me. Please don’t go on about St. Catherine of Siena – she was pushy and preached at the Pope – but there is nothing in any account that indicates she showed anything like the disrespect shown here. This whole thing is sad.

    As a side note, it is worth noting that the French were the force to reckon with in Europe from about 732 until 1871. You can go earlier if you reckon that it was the Franks that chased the Visigoths into Spain and probably the Lombards into Italy (they conquered the Lombards anyway, in 774 or so). They saved the Europe from the Moors at Tours (732) and conquered the Middle East from the Saracens in 1095-1099, after the Normans, those fiercest of French(ified Vikings), had tidied up affairs in England. It is instructive to note that Saladin’s forces knew two kinds of Christians: Greeks and “Franks” they called them even that late, and it was for the fiercest fighters of the West that they so called them.

    One good thing, one very good thing, from this unfortunate state of affairs in Normandy is that it shows us, and the world, that the Eldest Daughter of the Church is not dead yet.

  19. Joe Hargrave says:

    I am replacing what I had originally typed, an all too typical tit-for-tat response to Ryan, with this:

    We disagree. We do not see eye to eye. I believe you are mistaken, both in your appraisal of the situation and of what you believe the implications of my position to be. I will be happy to answer any questions you have about my position, but I have had it with “argument.” God bless you and good night.

  20. anthony says:

    did you notice that little grin he had? its common on most leftists when they get caught doing leftist things.

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