France: Dom Gérard Passed Away

Source: FSSPX News


Dom Gérard Calvet passed away on February 28. Born in Bordeaux in 1927, he had taken his first vows in the Benedictine Order in 1951, and was ordained a priest in 1956. In 1970, he had founded the community of Bédoin, later transferred to Le Barroux. In 1989, he had been appointed first Abbot of Sainte-Madeleine by the Holy See. He had resigned his office of Abbot in 2003.

The founder of Le Barroux had been very close to the Society of Saint Pius X until 1988. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais recounts his first meeting with the founder of Ecône in his book The Biography Marcel Lefebvre: “While visiting a monastery of Benedictine nuns at Jouques on January 6, 1972, he (Archbishop Lefebvre) met Dom Gerard Calvet, an Olivetan Benedictine monk from Tournay. Since 1970 the monk had lived at Bédoin near a charming Romanesque church in the Vaucluse, and he had also obtained the blessing of his Father Abbot to try to establish a foundation for the traditional Benedictine life. His commitment to the religious life and his attachment to the liturgy of all time persuaded Archbishop Lefebvre to provide ordination for Dom Gérard’s candidates for the priesthood from 1974 onwards.” The former Archbishop of Dakar was even invited once to preach the annual retreat to the monks at Le Barroux. But “with the passage of time the ghosts of union with the Church and the Benedictine order would wear down the monastery’s ability to resist,” and in 1988, after the bishops’ consecrations, dom Gérard, in a declaration to Présent, on August 18, 1988 deemed it “prejudicial to the very Tradition of the Church” to be “relegated outside of the official visible perimeters of the Church.” And the biographer of the founder of the SSPX notes: “Archbishop Lefebvre lamented the defection of one for whom he had done so much.”