Letter from John Paul II to Dom Gerard Calvet

       C’est avec joie

An address of Pope John Paul II to the Benedictine monks of the abbey of
Sainte-Madeleine from le Barroux, France

(September 28,1990)

WITH JOY I meet you today, sons of Saint Benedict from Saint Madeleine
Abbey in Barroux who desired to show your fidelity to the Lord and your
attachment to His Church by our common pilgrimage.
I give thanks with you to divine Providence which has helped you, since
the tragic events of June 1988, to return to communion with the Apostolic See.
Since that time your attachment to Peter’s successor has been constantly
strengthened, and I am happy to know that your relations with the diocesan
Church are becoming more loyal and fraternal every day.
You have also been a great encouragement and constant support for the
Benedictine nuns of the Annunciation, who are in the process of building
their monastery not far from yours, and you have contributed in a fortuitous
and effective way towards strengthening their bonds with the diocese.
The Holy See has granted your monastery the faculty of utilizing liturgical
books in use in 1962 in order to respond to the aspirations of those “who
feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the
Latin tradition,”I thus confirming the dispositions of the conciliar Constitution
on the Sacred liturgy which
recalls that “even in the liturgy the Church does not wish to impose a rigid
uniformity in matters which do not involve the faith or the good of the whole
community. Rather she respects and fosters the qualities and talents of the
various races and nations.”2 It is quite evident that, far from trying to put
the brakes on the application of the reform undertaken after the Council, this
concession is meant to facilitate the ecclesial union of the persons who feel
attached to these liturgical forms.3
I express my wish that the “work of God” and particularly the Eucharist
celebrated in this way in your monastery will effectively contribute to the
fulfillment of the monastic ideal which will surely be nourished by silence
which enhances contemplation and the zealous search for God above all things,
 so that your young and fervent community will be able to bear witness to
invisible realities in the contemporary world. Thus, with the other Benedictine
 monasteries, you will continue to be places of retreat for the spiritual
renewal where, with the first place rightly reserved for God, “the human is
directed toward and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible,
action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come.”4
I take the occasion of this meeting to address all those who are still part
 of the Saint Pius X Fraternity. I urgently invite them to place themselves
again under the direction of Peter’s successor and to make contact with the
“Ecciesia Dei” Commission which was established to facilitate their
reincorporation into full Church communion. Sainte-Madeleine Abbey should
be an encouragement for them to rediscover the productive unity of the Church
gathered around the Bishop of Rome. I entrust the great intention of the
reconciliation of all the Church’s sons and daughters in one communion to
your prayers.
To help you in your monastic life in the heart of the Church, our Mother,
I gladly bless you.