So many things exist in the Church. The interior foundation of them must be sought. Why was the Community born, and why has the Church endorsed it as a public clerical association of pontifical right?
Ecclesiology in research
If we live in a rich time for the Church today, the Community has emerged from a series of ecclesial debaucheries that have been those of our time. We first experienced the crisis of ecclesiology, a crisis from which we are beginning to emerge today, a crisis of the sens of the Church, of the Church in its inner identity, of that which she is in her depth, and in her exterior identity. This identity crisis has come from the interior, from the theology, from the dogma, from the morale. It has been a crisis of the spirit.
A mistreated theology of the priesthood
Another crisis has depended on this maltreated ecclesiology: the crisis of the priesthood. The phenomenal numeric collapse of vocations in the countries of the old Christianity like France has emerged from a crisis of the theology of the priesthood. There has been an interior crisis, and still is, since it is not Jesus who cease to call souls to himself. The ecclesial crisis engenders to the crisis of the priestly identity, all of which is interior.
A Christian life made difficult
There has also been a crisis of the references of the Christian life. We have seen a rise of a “biblical” life, but it has not filled the crisis of the sacramental life: especially the reconciliation and the Eucharist; the proportion of baptisms has diminished, and the number of children catechized as well. If we are “lights” in this time of night, we are destined, by God’s choice, to be enlightened without seeing any pretensions: we are called to be a beacon, a light, witnesses. The Christians of today are no longer only distinguished by the attendance of Sunday Mass, but also the their testimony which can be costly.
Conference given by Monsignor Jean-François Guérin, on Saturday, November 10 2001, at the occasion of the ceremonies of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Community at Sacre-Cœeur de Montmartre.