Battle in Thiberville - Parishioners fight for their traditional Priest.
Quote:"Further, the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong." - St. John Chrysostom

I'm not entirely sure if this has been posted yet, but this video (and the situation it documents) really knocked my socks off. Basically what is happening is that a good and traditional Priest, Fr. Francis Michel, is/was entrusted with a country parish in Thiberville in the morally and spiritually bankrupt Diocese of Evreux and is now being forcibly ousted by a notoriously modernist Bishop, Mons. Christian Nourrichard and replaced by an equally vile and "progressive" Priest. Fr. Michel is considered a veritable Cure of Ars to many of his parishioners, has been about the sole source of orthodox catechesis and proper liturgies (both the TLM and a Latin NO) and fidelity to Rome in the region and they were not about to allow this liberal hat-trick (to the detriment of souls) to go through without a fight.

... and a fight the Bishop most assuredly received.

The video is in French, so I'm wondering if someone may be able to give those of us who do not know French a rough summary of any poignant comments, particularly those of Fr. Michel.

I'm sure a few here will dismiss these actions as scandalous and blatantly disrespectful to the authority and person of Bishop Nourrichard, but quite frankly, a "Gandhi" approach to matters as monumentally vital as these has failed and will continue to fail.  I wholeheartedly support the actions of these courageous parishioners (and the severity of the tactics used) in not allowing this travesty to occur without, at the very least, an unmistakable show of righteous anger over this episcopal bullying.

More information on this crisis:

In Corde Regis,

Inspiring video, Joshua.

We need more catholics like those of Thiberville.
(01-05-2010, 08:52 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Inspiring video, Joshua.

We need more catholics like those of Thiberville.

Yes, indeed, Vetus.

BTW, here are two more videos of the actual event. Again, if anybody could provide a quick synopsis of anything particular poignant (from either the Bishop, Fr. Michel or the man who speaks from the ambo for a bit) it would be very much appreciated.

In Corde Regis,
My humble attempt at translation.

The Tv woman introduces the religious as they come. First the new priest, then some guy holding a bible and then the bishop in the gay colors to the jeers of the parishners.

TV woman: "The bishops has come to explain his decision to remove the current priest, FR Michel" people getting in bishops face... cut to the new priest

New Priest: " though the old priest was highly esteemed by the community he repeatedly disobeyed the bishop so its good thgat he is being sanctioned. Though its difficult for the community to understand the decision it remains the decision."cut to town mayor

Mayor: "We listened to the arguments and I think its (removal of priest) a terrible blow to the community"

Old priest, Father Michel:"I'm no longer the official priest of this parish but I remain in The Spirit the priest to these faithful" cut to bishop

Bishop: "These type of people don't want to hear anything and they don't want to learn anything so I continue to do what i have done for a long time, pray and consult my colleagues when these types of situations arise to make the best decision."

Best I could do
Here is a google translation of an article in "La Vie"  :

Thiberville is a pretty village in the Normandy countryside with timbered houses make up a picture postcard. Yet his name is now synonymous with war without thank you among the one hand, the priest in office so far, Father Francis Michael, 60 years, supported by his flock, and the other authorities of the diocese of Evreux .

In case of cancellation decided by Bishop Christian Nourrichard, the one who presided over the destinies of the parish for 23 years. She is the culmination of a conflict that has lasted three years between the diocese and the priest. Announced December 29, the revocation has led to exceptional mobilization at the 10am Mass on Sunday of the Epiphany, for which the bishop announced his arrival in order to account for its decision.

The church was the scene of a violent confrontation led by parishioners packed more than 400 in the parish church, and apparently joined by outsiders determined to do battle. Very motivated, they welcomed Nourrichard Bishop and his staff (his chancellor, Father Jean-Pierre Decraene and the parish priest of Our Lady of Charenton, Jean Vivien), with boos and insults.

"Liar!", "Whited sepulcher". In the crowd, yelling - but very aggressive minority - mingled with the voices of other parishioners trying to restore calm, but totally overwhelmed by an unquenchable broncos ... Come celebrate the Eucharist, Bishop Nourrichard hardly able to utter more than a few sentences because of the atmosphere of riot and screams punctuating his information, namely the dismissal of the priest, and the attachment of Thiberville the parish community Our Lady of Charenton. One of the laity took the microphone to denounce the "real argument" behind the decision of the bishop, "Father Michel is traditional sensibility," adding that it was the victim of "hatred in the diocese.

The priest removed then took the floor to protest and support the words of his prayer: "I am not your cure a canonical point of view, but one can not help but in my heart and my soul to be your pastor. "

The situation degenerated, Bishop Nourrichard invites those who want to leave. The church is empty in the greatest confusion. Some people move to verbally Bishop. A lady interposed: "Let the bishop alone, it is the delegate of the Pope!". Finally, the communion is given a score of people remained in the church, visibly affected. Half an hour later in the nearby village of Bournainville, the bishop and his staff will present themselves to say mass, but may not enter a church crowded by the followers of Father Michael.

The insurgency is the product of a long crisis that has been able to find a negotiated solution despite the efforts of the diocese. Shortly after his installation in the diocese of Evreux in 2006, Bishop Nourrichard tackle the normalization of the situation thibervillaise, whose pastor, Father Francis Michael, refused to comply with new rules of the reorganization of parishes decided in the '2000. These stipulate that a priest is appointed usually for a limited period (9 years maximum), a bell can not claim to have a priest of their own, as was the custom formerly. Rules found in most French dioceses, where, faced with dwindling forces priests, old churches are being recast and redrawn in favor of new parishes of magnitude wide, where pooling of forces and teamwork are the watchwords for both priests and laity.

In this spirit, the diocese has put in place for the parishioners, one share, pegging the area nearest parish, Our Lady of Charenton (whose epicenter is the town of Bernay). To Father Michael, on the other hand, the current revocation is the product of long negotiations that led to failure. The original idea was for Father Michael to continue his ministry in another parish while the replacement for Thiberville.

In fact, Father Francis Michael was moving in that it is too long (23 years) parish priest. "After refusing the nomination, and despite a further commitment from him to accept a new appointment, he finally said yes to a new position, then withdraw," said Father Jean Vivien, who is now his replacement.

Clearly, Father Michael, which some observers describe as a leader with a strong spiritual scale, but easily influenced and manipulative, he "outplayed" the diocesan authorities. The priest refused all proposals of the diocese as he considers it totally inadmissible. At the end of argument, the bishop has decided to take a firm decision and dismiss the priest.

On the merits, the Diocese criticizes Father Michael and his followers to operate in autarky and in the refusal of the diocesan synergy, and wallow in the claims of his parishioners who want to be treated separately in Diocese of keeping "their" priest.

Another issue reported in the mass of January 3 might be strictly ideological, even if Bishop Nourrichard facing the parishioners duly explained that this factor was unrelated to his decision. Wearing the cassock of the priest Thiberville work to a focus on traditional Catholicism fervent piety and popular religion. His model is the Cure of Ars "which remained in his parish for 40 years," said he to the environment to meet those who accuse him of being there for too long.

In parallel to the liturgy after the council, said that Paul VI, he celebrates every Sunday evening as the extraordinary form of Roman rite, namely the Missal of John XXIII. Father Francis Michael embodies what experts call liturgy "Reform of the Reform," according to the formula introduced by Cardinal Ratzinger, who described the pope's Mass ideal: namely, the rite of Paul VI but reinterpreted in a Tridentine or traditional sense, if not the letter, but at least in spirit.

To this end, Father Michel famous French form of the ordinary Roman Rite after Vatican II, but turned toward the East. Hymns inevitable (Gloria, Sanctus, Credo) are sung in Latin. If he willingly gave communion to her knees, this does not prevent him from accepting give also the body of Christ to those who do not wish to kneel, and host of girls in the choir of the Church.

In this sense, the Father can be called a traditionalist. It meets the needs of traditional rituals. His church, covered with banners and statues, like a pilgrimage shrine of the nineteenth century, to the delight of local people committed to the brand of Catholicism in the former. Every Sunday, his Masses attract crowds, often from far away. And to the delight of merchants in this town who would, in the absence of the sacred peak, certainly deserted on Sundays and holidays.

However, it is also a factor that could weigh in the decision of the bishop, Father Michel has made no secret of his sympathy for the royalist cause, and regularly celebrates Mass in memory of the death of Louis XVI .

Pragmatic meet the spiritual needs of people, endowed with a pastoral sense, good preacher, Father Michael Francis is almost unanimous among his flock, whatever their social origin, age, level of commitment to the parish or seniority. His critics are a minority, although there are reports of serious conflicts between former close friends who turned against him. His fans, super-majority, have no qualms.

"The Trade Comm classics, rich and poor, it makes no difference," explains this very simple woman, who claims to have been cured of his illness by Father Michel. "We arrived at the area with my husband four years ago. We held a beautiful Mass for our 40 years of marriage, completely custom and tailored to our needs," says the wife of sixty years .

"It changed my life!" shows that farmer. Ear piercing, this girl's father said that Michael is irreplaceable: "He called all my family. It is extraordinary." The same praise is unanimous, particularly among 18-25 years, many during the insurrection of January 3. "It is part of our lives," says Danielle. The city fathers of Thiberville are also 100% behind the priest. "If there is no abbot, this will be the end of the town!" assures Mr. Love, the first deputy. At the Mass of December 3, 12 of the 13 mayors of the area which the Abbe Michel pastoral care had come to support their pastor.

And the future? The diocese of Evreux seems engaged in a conflict that will be hard and probably longer. From a canonical point of view, the bishop of Evreux is his right, and Father Michael was in the wrong because he promised obedience to the bishop of Evreux and its successors on the day of his ordination . His solidarity with opponents at the Mass of the Epiphany leaves few illusions about his willingness to talk with the bishop or his representatives. But from a tactical point of view, the position of the rebel priest and his flock remains high for three reasons.

First, the psycho-emotional component. Father Michel space with him, so overwhelming, and the support that they manifest it is sincere and visceral. Other factors come into play for example, revocation of cure is seen as an edict came from the center of the department, and shocked the rural population already buffeted by the changes of modernity that penalize rural areas.

The decision of Bishop Nourrichard does not only incomprehensible (they never change a winning team), but as a collective humiliation since the priest finds himself now without department. It appears as discarded. A situation that Catholics Thiberville interpret as punishment all the more unfair that the parish is very much alive, unlike the pole where the ecclesiastical diocese now connected, whose religious taxes fell by 45% between 2007 and 2008, the largest decrease of all sectors of the diocese.

Their new pastor, Jean Vivien, is the antithesis of the traditional sensitivity of Father Michel, increasing the resentment, even though the diocese has been careful to maintain the traditional Mass on Sunday, which will be called by another priest Diocese. "Father Vivien is not the man of the situation facing people injured and also attached to the traditional sensibility," says an observer as well.

Secondly, the factor statégie. Father Michael is strong support from several mayors of the township, including that of Mr. Guy Paris Mayor Thiberville who wishes to continue to the parsonage available to the priest revoked. This would mean that it could continue to reside there and to exercise his priestly life, as he has already announced. In this configuration, the ministry's new priest, Father Vivien, already considered an "enemy" for his distaste for the traditional option, seems to compromise.

It is not inconceivable that installs a dual liturgical and sacramental life, one official and one unofficial. Furthermore, the sinews of war - money - will not miss the priest, the faithful may decide to postpone their donations on the person of Father Michael and stop paying the alms tax.

Thirdly, the ideological dimension. Pragmatic, Father Francis Michael applied until today how clever the coexistence of two forms of the rite in its bell tower, embodying the spirit desired by Benedict XVI in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in 2007, namely a mutual fertilization of two forms of the mass. Even if the diocese does not want to move the debate on ideological grounds, its opponents will not hesitate to assert that dimension to the Roman authorities. They have already initiated action to the Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Vatican.

The dismissal of Father Michel may well appear as a refusal to support diocesan synthesis of type "reform the reform" had implemented the Abbe Michel and is one of the axes of the pontificate.

Faced with the disobedience of Father Michael, the diocese has certainly to him the canon law and the support of a majority of the faithful of the Eure, but it is still difficult to say if will win this showdown Thiberville.

:pray: For Fr. Michael.
(01-06-2010, 12:08 AM)Ravenonthecross Wrote: :pray: For Fr. Michael.

How terrible! Let us pray for all those involved, including the bishop. This is a very sad situation. We need prayers for all parties involved in this that their hearts may be open to Christ! Honestly just seeing the fighitng in the Church was revolting. We are supposed to worship God in church. What does fighting before Jesus do?  I only hope that hte trad priest can stay.
Arm and Arm in France: Townsfolk deny enraged Bishop of Evreux access to church sanctuary

January 4, 2010 — james mary evans

"Summorum Pontificum and the Battle of Thiberville, France:

“At Thiberville, the Bishop of Evreux wants to suffocate the Motu Proprio…”

This is not what St. Ignatius meant when he said, “Where the Bishop is, there is the multitude . . . ”

Background on today’s story from 01.02.2010:

Communiqué: At Thiberville, the Bishop of Evreux wants to suffocate the Motu Proprio

The Diocese of Evreux is one of the most damaged in France. After Bishop Gaillot and Bishop David, Bishop Nourrichard is presiding over the bankruptcy of a formerly Christian land, where the churches close one after the other, catechism classes no longer attended, vocations discouraged, finances dried up.

In this desert, a priest, Fr. Francis Michel, is in charge of the most vibrant parish, Thiberville. It happens that this parish priest, who is not a product of the traditionalist world, but who is deeply traditionally-minded, a Catholic, anticipated the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI, many long years ago. Masses are celebrated in his church is the form now called “extraordinary”, and other Masses in the “ordinary form”, but in a way that complies with the wishes of Benedict XVI and “turned” towards the Lord. The result? Thiberville and the 14 other villages Fr. Michel serves form the most vibrant and missionary Catholic ministry – the only one still alive – of the Diocese of Evreux: the church at Thiberville is full at all Masses, and the other churches are served in turn, catechism classes, active participation of the faithful, loads of altar boys, confraternities, all the churches magnificently restored, funerals celebrated by the parish priest himself, etc. These parishes where the communion of all Catholics is lived wonderfully well is a model of application of the Pope’s wishes.

Beyond all the other reasons advanced, this is why the Bishop wants to abolish worship at Thiberville. The ideology of the “spirit of the Council”, 40 years late, has to be applied. After many episodes, Bishop Nourrichard is going to try to bury this ministry: next Sunday, 3rd January, he will go to Thiberville with his advisors and, during the 10 am Mass, he will announce with “pain” his decision without appeal: the parish of Thiberville will no longer have its own priest, who is “removed”, and the parish will be joined to a “pastoral sector”, that of Bernay. The death of parochial Catholicism rather than questioning the ideology.

At Thiberville and in the surrounding areas, everybody is worried. First of all, they really like Fr. Michel and then because the Bishop isn’t going to replace him. All the local authorities of the region and all the parishioners will be present to express their support to this highly popular priest, who might have badly expressed himself at times, but whose main fault, for his Bishop, is to be too “Papalist”.

Sunday 3rd January, the Catholic protest of God’s people will be calm to ask for the Pope’s wishes to be applied at Thiberville.

The support committee for Fr. Michel

Here’s the story w/updates: TAC, Fr Anthony Chadwick posted here:

Everyone has been watching this fervent parish in Normandy where the parish priest is far from being extreme. He is simply a Catholic loyal to the Pope. The whole parish community of brave country folk came to protest its anger against the planned euthanasia of a vibrant parish by one of the most “progressive” and anti-clerical bishops in France, Bishop Nourrichard of Evreux.

The bishop arrived at Thiberville this morning with Fr. Vivien, his Vicar General and parish priest of Bernay, to announce the removal of a priest he judged to be too Catholic for his taste. The church was packed. The local Mayor and his council were there in the front pew.

The Bishop began his Mass, which was an improvised mess. Parents took away their children who were serving Mass and the local authorities got up and left the church. All that remained of the hundreds of persons was a small group of 21 and only 3 from the parish of Thiberville. The Bishop was confronted with the anger of the simple country people he despises. They don’t understand the Council – he said. The people suggested that His Lordship would do well to revise his catechism!

Fr. Michel announced that he would celebrate Mass at Bournainville-Favrolles, one of his other parish churches. The crowd of people followed, and the church wasn’t big enough for everyone. It was a reform of the reform (ordinary form) Mass, facing God. The Bishop was in a rage, but was prevented from approaching the sanctuary of the church. During this time, Fr. Michel announced that he remained the parish priest, something a Roman decision would certainly confirm as soon as an appeal is made against the Bishop’s decree. In canon law, a sentence becomes effective only after the definitive judgement.

Everything happened before the French television and local journalists. There were also Parisian journalists one would not call traditionalists, yet they were amazed by the Bishop’s complete mismanagement of the situation he had provoked, and that he should logically resign his See.

Let us continue to support this brave priest in our prayers, and I will try to contact him shortly to tell him about our own combat.

Sunday evening update:

There is another side, however, to this story. Fr. Michel has been pastor of this parish for more than 20 years, and the policy in French dioceses is to move priests every five or six years, to prevent people from becoming attached to their priest. The stability of the parish priest is a thing of the past, and people have to get used to dealing with an administrator, a bureaucrat, rather than a spiritual father.

I have known priests who have been in their parishes for thirty or forty years. This makes the difference between a “hireling” and a pastor. Never have bishops and priests been less pastoral than over the past forty years! A petition to support Fr. Michel has collected 4,000 signatures.

It is unfortunate that there has been open conflict between Fr. Michel and his Bishop. He might win an appeal to the Apostolic Nuncio here in France, a conservative and a Ratzinguerian, or directly to the Roman Curia. If such a thing had occurred before 2005, the diocesan Bishop would win every time however unjust and anti-pastoral he was – and resistance has been the only way, as I have seen in other parishes. Perhaps under Benedict XVI, episcopal tyranny in the dioceses will have its limitations. A bishop’s authority is limited by the purpose of his episcopal charge. If authority is used for anti-Christian purposes and for maintaining the ideology of the “hermeneutic of rupture”, then that authority can be resisted and disobeyed.

It is a difficult one. The disobedience of a priest to his Bishop is a serious matter. So is the fact of an anti-Catholic bishop! This crisis in western Catholicism is going to continue until either something is done about the method for vetting and selecting candidates for the Episcopate, or until the old diocesan and parochial structures are dead and the mission must begin anew. This episode goes to show that many people have ceased to attend church because of the dictature of relativism and that clergy which would prefer to die than return to classical Catholicism and loyalty to Rome.

The battle of Thiberville is not won, but people are being woken to the reality!

“Well, this is one way to implement the Moto Proprio, is it not?”

I don’t know… Something just doesn’t sit right within the belly when a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church is physically blocked from entering the sanctuary of a church within his own diocese. And that, by a majority of fellow Christians he’s charged with responsibly caring for as his own as well…

All this proves a point not in vogue today: It is impossible to remain in the true faith without remaining in true union with the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Pope…

Live by it."
That is the most exciting and inspiring video I have EVER seen on the internet....shoving to that scumbag in the rainbow dress and pulling their children away....IN YOUR FACE YOU DISGUSTING BISHYP.  The only thing that would have made it better is to find that they had physically taken him and dumped his nasty self into the local river or creek....Send Rome a real message...."No, we're not putting up with your crap any more."

Too bad this is just an isolated incident...Maybe we'll get to see more of this in the not too distant future if we are really lucky.

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