Wednesday, September 24, 2008

French editorials comment on the Visit of Pope Benedict: I

LE PELERIN (The Pilgrim)

The Pelerin is a weekly, one is tempted to spell that weakly, Catholic family magazine. Its Special edition on the Pope's visit claims a circulation of over 30,000but does not state what its normal circulation is. I would guess much less than that but am open to correction. Its Editor Rene Poujol, showed himself in his true colours on a kto tv interview during the visit, inveighing against Pope Benedict's having 'forced' people to receive Communion on the tongue and kneeling. Poujol's indignation on this point was expressed in a vehement almost manic rant. More of that later but it gives you an unpleasant taste in the mouth before we even look at his Editorial for the magazine published on the Thursday after our most Holy Father had left France. Please bear in mind that kto is the mouthpiece of the Bishop's conference of France and Poujol clearly felt safe in his fulminations.

First of all, his editorial is entitled 'Benoit XVI: Passeur d'Esperance' Yes, 'passeur' with a small p, not Pasteur or Berger (Shepherd). A 'passeur' is a ferry or boatman (figuratively it also means 'smuggler'!) Let us be content to translate it as 'boatman of hope'. I would love to, but cannot believe that M. Poujol was making a loving reference to His Holiness' office as the chief earthly helmsman of the Barque of Peter. To my mind the image serves to pull the Holy Father down to the same level as all bishops. He's just another boatman. I do not believe it is oversensitive to say that what at first glance may look like a compliment, is in fact an insult, (at least as the readers of this blog will probably see it).
Further, it is arrogant. The Holy Father does not need M.Poujol to teach him humility. It is Benedict's own prerogative to refer to himself as a humble labourer in the vineyard, or indeed a boatman.

SO HERE WE HAVE PROBLEM NUMBER ONE, IE. THE OVER EMPHASIS ON COLLEGIALITY AMONG BISHOPS WHICH HAS DONE SO MUCH DAMAGE SINCE VATICAN II, AND WHICH SEEMS TO HAVE SPREAD TO THE PRESS AND LAITY WHO ARE TAKING ON THEMSELVES THE SAME 'RIGHTS'.

Domestic demands dictate that this report be submitted in separate paragraphs under separate posts.

Next post in a couple of hours .......

In Christo pro Papa,

Jane

3 comments:

Confiteor said...

Its Editor Rene Poujol, showed himself in his true colours on a kto tv interview during the visit, inveighing against Pope Benedict's having 'forced' people to receive Communion on the tongue and kneeling.

Horrors! That one might be expected to kneel to receive the Bread of Angels!

Memo to Monsieur Poujol:

IT IS THE LORD.

Get over yourself and get on your knees.

Clare A said...

Is Papa Benoit aware of all this, one wonders? and if so, what is he going to do about it? 'Loyal disobedience' is what I think this is called, in fact it has nothing whatsoever to do with loyalty or even Catholicism.

Jane said...

clare a:

He cannot but be aware of it. We can do nothing but pray and see what he will do about it. It is probably all we should do.

Actually I believe the phrase loyal disobedience is a misquote of John Wilkins (Tablet editor circa mid 1980s) who coined 'LOYAL DISSENT' but I pray that John has now renounced this specious contradiction in terms which has done so much to damage the Church since he first promulgated the idea.

God bless xxx. Tomorrow's another day and I look forward to it!

In Christo pro Papa,

Jane