The following is a reflection by Fr. Alain Lorans (SSPX).
On March 27, 2020, in the midst of Covid-19 confinement, Pope Francis, alone in the deserted St. Peter's Square, battered by winds and rain, delivered a message of peace.
In it he declared: “Dense darkness covers our places, our roads and our cities; they have taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a desolate emptiness, which paralyzes everything in its path: it can be felt in the air, it can be felt in the gestures, the looks say it. We find ourselves scared and lost.”
And he used the time to invite, as usual, the “courage to open spaces where everyone can feel called, and allow new forms of hospitality and fraternity, as well as solidarity.”
It is this message that was deposited on June 7, 2022 in the “biodiversity vault” by Lebanese Michael Haddad, a professional athlete who has been 75% paralyzed since the age of six and UN Goodwill Ambassador for environmental issues.
The Biodiversity Vault is an underground vault built in 2006 on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, intended to store seeds of all food crops on the planet, and to preserve genetic diversity for future generations.
In an interview with the National Catholic Reporter, Msgr. Lucio Ruiz, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, revealed that this polar bunker had been presented to him as a perfect symbolic place to collect the pope's message, which would thus become a permanent “seed of hope.”
Beyond this Roman communication policy, debatable and discussed, the deposit of Francis’ teaching in a bunker reveals an all too human mentality.
What secret intentions germinated this idea in the mitred head of Bishop Ruiz? The Biodiversity Vault is a bunker located 1,000 km from the North Pole, trapped in the ice, in a permanently frozen land called permafrost, where the seeds – and now the pope's message – are kept at -18°C.
This vault is nicknamed by those who work there, “the vault of the apocalypse” (doomsday vault). During its inauguration, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso called it a “frozen garden of Eden.”
In reality, this arctic paradise is a real bunker with armored doors, surveillance cameras, and reinforced concrete walls more than a meter thick.
It is therefore in the event of a major planetary crisis: nuclear threat, epidemic, natural disaster, fall of a meteorite…, that Bishop Ruiz – Hibernatus in surplice – had this message of peace deposited in a strong room, like a small “seed of hope” to ensure the possibility of a new springtime for the Church and the world…
But is it really the light brought by Jesus Christ? We know well that the germinal truth of the gospel was not given to us to be kept in a safe. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt. 6:21).