He is risen !
N° 212 – August 2020
Director : Frère Bruno Bonnet-Eymard
Brother Bruno answers
Archbishop de Moulins-Beaufort
Jesus! Mary! Joseph!
To His Excellency Éric de Moulins-Beaufort
Archbishop of Reims
3 rue du cardinal de Lorraine PO Box 32729
51058 Reims cedex
Saint-Parres-lès-Vaudes, August 1, 2020
First Saturday of the month
I have received your letter dated July 17, 2020, and I thank you for it.
You reproach us for evasion in this matter. I, however, believe that this term, which you spontaneously penned, says more about your own frame of mind than ours, since in the end you fail to address the two points raised in my letter of June 29. You therefore understood me perfectly well. Thus, allow me to exploit my ‘advantage.’
In the text published on June 25, 2020 on the website of the CEF (French Conference of Bishops,) over which you preside, it is affirmed concerning the theology of the Eucharist that we “promote,” after having received it from Father de Nantes, our venerated founder: “He is reported to have said that the noise of the breaking of the hosts during the Agnus Dei is that of the ribs of Christ being broken by the priest! These unworthy words contradict the Scriptures which take care to indicate that not one of His bones was broken (cf. Jn 19:36; Ps 34:21; Ex 12:46; Nb 9:12,) and they confirm the unsoundness of this piety.”
Our Father never said or wrote anything of the sort. You only have to refer to the Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 116 of April 1977 to which the bishops’ note refers, and more particularly to paragraph 2 of page 11, column 1 (the English translation was published in the Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 96, March 1978), where you can read: “Jesus breaks the bread, an action which has been interpreted by some as a sacrificial act, symbolising Christ’s brutal death on the Cross. But against this interpretation Saint John relates the following Scriptural regulation concerning the Paschal Lamb, which he applies to Jesus as a prophecy: “Not one of His bones will be broken” (19:36). Furthermore, the expression “broken for you” in 1 Co 11:24 is a variant from a poorly attested text. Nevertheless, the Body is given, delivered up for you; the ambiguity remains. In the broken bread do we not find a reply to the grievance voiced in the Lamentations of Jeremiah (4:4): “The little ones have asked for bread, and there was none to break it unto them”? The bread to be broken is His Word; it is the nourishing, beneficent and loving Presence of Him Who is Himself the Word of God.”
In other words, by this example chosen from among many others, the anonymous writer of this warning was hardly concerned with the truth, no more than he was with the alleged “dangers for faith and spiritual life” that Father de Nantes’ doctrine purportedly represents, especially on the Eucharist. No, his concern lies elsewhere: that of supporting by means of an apparent doctrinal study this slander against our beloved Father “of unacceptable moral behaviours on the part of a priest” and thus discrediting all his work and circumventing the real object of our dispute, which can be summed up as follows.
Father de Nantes criticised those doctrinal innovations contained in the Acts of the Second Vatican Council that he considered clearly heretical, in particular the social right to religious freedom, at the very time that they were being debated. As soon as they were adopted, like a good son towards his father, he hastened to reveal his painful doubts to the Sovereign Pontiff, even going so far as to bring three Books of Accusation for heresy, schism and scandal against Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. While he publicly and firmly opposed this innovating, fallible and reformable teaching, he appealed to the extraordinary Magisterium, so that the Church might bring about unity and peace in the name of the Truth of the Faith.
Curiously, the writer of the warning hardly mentions these fundamental reasons for our dispute, except when he reproaches us for often referring to this sentence of Pope Paul VI: “We also, we more than anyone else, have the cult of man!” proclaimed on December 7, 1965, in Saint Peter’s Basilica during the closing address of the Second Vatican Council. It is true that we regularly mention these incredible, well-considered words, which no other Pope either before or even after Paul VI ever uttered. We usually take care, however, to quote the entire passage in which it is contained, in order to get a better sense of the new worship that the Supreme Pontiff dared to proclaim in the conciliar aula in the presence of all the Fathers:
“The Conciliar Church has also, it is true, been much concerned with man, with man as he really is today, living man, man totally taken up with himself, man who not only makes himself the centre of his own interests, but who dares to claim that he is the principle and finality of all reality. Secular, profane humanism has finally revealed itself in its terrible stature and has, in a certain sense, challenged the Council. The religion of God made man has come up against a religion – for there is such a one – of man who makes himself God.
“And what happened? A shock, a battle, an anathema? That might have taken place, but it did not. It was the old story of the Samaritan that formed the model for the Council’s spirituality. It was filled only with a boundless sympathy. The attention of this Synod was taken up with the discovery of human needs – which become greater as the son of the earth (sic!) makes himself greater.
“Do you at least recognise this its merit, you modern humanists who have no place for the transcendence of the things supreme, and come to know our new humanism: we also, we more than anyone else, have the cult of man.”
The author of the warning points out that “these words were spoken from Saint Peter’s Basilica, the cradle of the Christian faith, a place symbolically among the most steeped in religious significance in the world, at the end of the Ecumenical Council having been celebrated by the greatest number of bishops in the history of the Church. These words were addressed from this very place to the world of the 1960s, marked by the burgeoning atheistic humanism.” Then he concludes: “To emphasise this phrase as though it meant a denial of the unique worship rendered to the Father by Christ in the Spirit that characterises Christian celebration shows evident bad faith, does it not?”
Then how is Paul VI’s discourse to be interpreted, how is it to be understood – despite the immense consequences and tragedies in the Church, it is given today as a reading in the Office of Readings by the January 25, 2019 decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments – other than as a “denial of the unique worship rendered to the Father by Christ in the Spirit that characterises Christian celebration”? No answer! The writer of the warning gives no answer!
It is to obtain this answer that Father de Nantes and we who follow in his footsteps have been asking our legitimate pastors since 1965, as we explained in more detail in the Memorandum of June 13, 2019, which we were asked to write at the request of Archbishop Georges Pontier. I am giving you a copy of it to make sure you have this document at your disposal. It is so as not to divert us and you from this essential question of the cult of man being substituted for the cult of God, which is the sole and true reason for our dispute, that we refrain from responding to the intimidating insinuations contained in the warning and to the alleged doctrinal examination of our Father’s theological work, which could nevertheless provide a remedy and in such a delightful manner to so many evils that the Church is experiencing. This is our way of serving her. Even in the last place, this service brings joy to us, and to our families who want to remain faithful to us in order to keep faith in the Church.
This is what I wanted to add to my letter of June 29 after having read yours, Your Excellency. Since I have not received a frank and loyal reply from you, I am obliged to reiterate my warning that if you persist in maintaining under your responsibility the publication of the warning against our spiritual family on the CEF website, although it is intended for the exclusive use of the bishops of the Church of France, you will be held accountable for it before our Most Cherished Heavenly Father Who is also our Judge. Please, have pity on your own soul!
Please accept, Your Excellency, the expression of my respectful and devoted regards,
Brother Bruno de Jesus-Marie,
Superior General of the Order of the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart.