The French Bishops’ Ad Limina Visit: “Basta” With the Tridentine Mass

September 17, 2021

The French bishops are currently making their visit ad limina, short for ad limina apostolorum which means “on the threshold [of the basilicas] of the apostles.” This term designates the visit that every bishop must make periodically to the Holy See. The European bishops make this pilgrimage every 5 years.

The ad limina visit is a pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. But it was instituted to strengthen ties with the Holy See. During the ad limina visit, the bishops meet with the pope and the heads of the dicasteries and congregations of the Roman Curia.

This is how Pope Francis received a first delegation of French bishops, on an ad limina visit, on Friday, September 10, 2021. As reported by the online magazine Famille Chrétienne, in its edition of the same day, for more than two hours they discussed “politics, the motu proprio Traditions Custodes and the synod on synodality.”

Questioned by the media, certain prelates report that “the bishops were encouraged by the pontiff to an authentic ‘pastoral proximity with the men and women engaged in politics.’”

The magazine adds that the pope exhorted them not to commit themselves to a trend or to make any profit but to recall the great principles of the Church, in the first place that of the dignity of the human person at every stage of life.

As for the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, the pope, Famille Chrétienne reports citing bishops, “insisted on the fact that the celebration of the ancient rite should not be a pretext for refusing Vatican II.”

He finally insisted: “We must put a limit and basta,” so that a liturgical appeal does not cover an ideological posture. At the same time, Peter's successor encouraged them to adopt a “fatherly attitude” towards the faithful.

Basta -- can be translated as “Enough!” According to the National Center for Textual and Lexical Resources (CNRTL), the word is used to express indifference, resignation, impatience or disappointment. Another suggested translation is: “It is sufficient.”

Pope Francis may say to use a “fatherly attitude,” but when you say to your child: Basta !, it seems difficult to make people believe in loving language. It’s more of an invitation to leave the house than anything else.

Moreover, the French bishops did not wait for Francis's explicit invitation to interpret his motu proprio. We refer to the action of Msgr. Roland Minnerath, bishop of Dijon, expelling an Ecclesia Dei community, even before the publication of the text, but in anticipation of it. Or that of Archbishop Michel Aupetit who has put in place one of the strictest applications in the archdiocese of Paris.

Francis's impatience confirms his vindictiveness against the Traditional Mass, as well as his helplessness in the face of growing criticism of the Second Vatican Council, which can no longer be stopped. This attitude is unfortunate and announces a painful and pathetic end of reign.