"Personal parish" for French Latin Mass Catholics

A French Cardinal who has created a "personal" or non-territorial Tridentine rite parish in his diocese says that Pope Benedict has now received a commission report regarding the broader use of the pre-Vatican II Mass but that the Pontiff will take his time deliberating.

French Catholic newspaper La Croix reports that the "personal parish" was created in Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard's archdiocese of Bordeaux under Canon 518 of the Code of Canon Law within the context of a convention between the diocese and the Institute of the Good Shepherd, founded by a former Lefebvrist priest and canonically erected by the Holy See in September 2006.

Fr Paul Aulagnier, who had been provincial superior of the Society of Saint Pius X in France from 1976 to 1994 before being expelled in 2003 for his support of reconciliation with Rome, created the Institute of the Good Shepherd for former priests of the Society of St Pius X returning to the Church.

Asked by La Croix whether he saw the convention between the Bordeaux archdiocese and the Institute as a "prototype" for re-integrating other Lefebvrist groups, Cardinal Ricard, who is also President of the French Catholic Bishops Conference, said that the Bordeaux convention was particular to Bordeaux.

"It is always possible to draw inspiration from [the convention] but each bishop is judge in his own diocese of whether or not it is opportune to follow the Good Shepherd Institute model."

Cardinal Ricard also added that Pope Benedict is "taking his time arriving at a decision" about the release of a motu proprio authorising broader use of the Tridentine Mass, according to a French cardinal, Catholic World News reports.

"The Pope has all the elements of the dossier in his hands," Cardinal Ricard said.

The Ecclesia Dei Commission met in December to discuss the proposed papal document. After that meeting, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, a member of the commission and a former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said that he did not think there would be any need for the group to confer again on that topic - suggesting that the decision was then left up to the Pope.

Mgr Ricard : "Sortons de la critique systematique pour vivre la charite fraternelle" (La Croix, 4/2/07)
Pope still weighing document on Latin Mass (Catholic World News, /2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard (Catholic Hierarchy)
Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard (Vatican)
Institute of the Good Shepherd (Wikipedia)
Society of St Pius X - District of Australia & New Zealand

French clerics warn against return of Latin Mass traditionalists (CathNews, 24/10/06)
Benedict expected to restore wider availability of Latin Mass (CathNews, 12/10/06)
Pope to discuss reconciliation with rebels (CathNews, 3/2/06)
Pope's fresh attempt to build bridge with rebels (CathNews, 24/8/05)
Schismatic society lobbies Australian priests on Tridentine rite (CathNews, 3/2/05)
Schismatic group expels its own rebels (CathNews, 14/9/04)
Traditionalist leader attacks Pope's ecumenical vision (CathNews, 4/2/04)
Tridentine rite Mass for Roman basilica this month (CathNews, 5/5/03)
Vatican olive branch to Lefebvrist rebels 'not working' (CathNews, 26/3/02)
Ratzinger calls Lefebvrist schismatics narrow-minded (CathNews, 5/4/01)

7 Feb 2007