Against the smearing of Fr Grégoire Celier SSPX

The following has been posted on a discussion forum which has played a big part in permitting the defamation of priests of the Society of St Pius X. One priest in particular has been smeared repeatedly: Fr Grégoire Celier.

The author of the post, “Nemmersdorf”, spoke at length to Fr Celier on 11th June 2012, and read his “controversial” book (Benoît XVI et les Traditionalistes) “cover to cover”.

In the interests of removing the stain on Fr Celier’s reputation, created by people who seem to think that making false attacks on a priest in a public forum is a light matter, it is reproduced below with a few small edits for clarity’s sake. I have also removed the last section, which reported events specific to France which were not raised in Nemmersdorf’s conversation with Fr Celier.

Conversation with Fr Grégoire Celier SSPX
June 2012
(Several items were discussed)

1 – The GREC (Groupe de Réflexion Entre Catholiques)

Accusation on discussion forum:

“Fr. Celier is the driving force, with Fr. Lorans, of a group known as GREC (Groupe de Réflexion Entre Catholiques) that involves Ecclessia Dei communities and others in an attempt to further Benedict’s “Hermeneutic of Continuity”…. Fr. Celier was centrally involved in secret meetings at a monastery facilitating former SSPX priests to rally to Conciliar Rome and to form the Good Shepherd Institute. This ralliement involved Fr. Celier’s close friends Fr. de Tanouran and Fr. Hery who are closely associated with the French pagan and occultist Nouvelle Droite, led by Alain de Benoist, a group that is well known for its promotion of neo-gnostic ideas and Freemasonic idols such as Rene Guenon.”

These accusations are totally false. Fr Celier told me that he only went to the GREC to give a talk on the FSSPX, but he is not a member. GREC has nothing to do with the “Nouvelle Droite”. Someone appears to have confused GREC with GRECE (the Nouvelle Droite organization). Oops!

The GREC is not a formal organization. It is a forum where Catholics meet and discuss, there are approximately between 60 and 100 members, now quite elderly. They used to meet not more than five times a year. The GREC does not have any opinion as such, they have been silent and have not met for the last year waiting for the result of the negotiations between Rome and the SSPX.

Fr Celier was called once to give a talk on the SSPX and does not see himself as belonging to the group as he defines it as only a forum for discussions. He had nothing to do with the founding of the group.

2 – Le dieu mortel: invitation à la philosophie, Grégoire Celier, Ed. Fideliter, 1994

Accusation on discussion forum:

“Fr. Celier’s book of philosophy, Le dieu mortel, was condemned by the Dominicans of Avrille for its promotion of Naturalism.”

The above book (Eng. title: “The mortal god, an invitation to philosophy”) written by Fr Celier has been criticized by the Dominicans of Avrillé over the question of whether an introduction to philosophy can be written without a specific reference to theology.

Yes, thinks Fr Celier, and he develops his point, basing his thinking on Thomist philosophy. Example: Aristotle in his philosophy did not refer to theology or Jesus Christ. The two subjects are independent and distinct from each other, but both do exist (philosophy and theology).

The Avrillé Dominicans do not agree and think that you cannot write an introduction to philosophy without a direct reference and link to theology. They accuse Fr Celier of naturalism. Fr Celier argues on the contrary: naturalism would be to refuse theology altogether and only to believe in philosophy. He has written a more elaborated and in-depth response to the criticism of Avrillé, which is soon to be published on his website at www.gregoirecelier.fr/.

3 – Prof. Borella and Fr Celier

Accusation on discussion forum:

“He [Fr. Celier] was responsible, with Fr. Lorans – head of DICI – for enabling a certain Professor Jean Borella to lecture young Catholics at the SSPX university in Paris. Professor Borella’s ideas were condemned as gnostic heresies by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais in a book reviewing them written by Fr. Basilio Meramo (expelled from SSPX for publicly opposing the sell-out) called Les Heresies de la Gnose du Professeur Jean Borella. The book is available to read, in French, on the internet.”

Professor Borella (born in 1930) has never taught for the SSPX or any SSPX pupils or students. This means he was never in his life at the Institut Saint Pie X in Paris.

Prof. Borella has taught at the University (State University) of Nancy where he taught French literature and philosophy from 1962 to 1977. From then on he taught metaphysics, still at the University of Nancy. Nothing to do with the FSSPX.

Fr Celier NEVER agreed with Professor Jean Borella’s philosophy (in La Charitée Profanée), which was influenced by René Guénon and Gnostic ideas. Guénon’s philosophy is incompatible with Catholic philosophy, argues Fr Celier.

The accusation against Fr Celier and Fr Lorans is a pure calumny. Even worse, the heavily implied association with the book called Les Hérésies de la Gnose du Professeur Jean Borella (“Heresies of the Gnosis of Prof. Jean Borella”), written by the expelled Fr Meramo, is mentioned purely to bring Fr Celier and Lorans into the picture, with even Bishop Tissier getting a mention. The aforementioned book has NOTHING to do either with Fr Celier or Fr Lorans.

4 – The article posted on the US SSPX website

In the article posted at

www.sspx.org/archbishop_lefebvre/interpreting_words_of_archbishop_lefebvre_part_1_5-22-2012.htm

it is written that

“The author, Fr. Gregoire Celier, is a priest of the Society of St. Pius X. Ordained in 1986, he is the author of many books and over 500 articles. This selection is adapted from a book written in 2007″

Fr Celier stated that the article in question which has been adapted and posted on the US SSPX site is from 2008 and NOT, as was stated from “a book written in 2007” .

This minor error from the US SSPX site posting has resulted in and provoked a totally out-of-proportion – indeed, slanderous – campaign against the person of Fr Celier and his book Benoît XVI et les Traditionalistes, written in 2007, on several forums and sites.

Furthermore, it also appears that many people have criticized his book Benoît XVI et les Traditionalistes WITHOUT having read even one line from it. As the book is written in French, that audience has to be quite limited, but it appears that people from traditional Catholic blogs have availed themselves freely of slanderous quotations posted on forums whose sole purpose seems to be to defame and malign well-known Catholic personalities.

EVERY QUOTE concerning Benoît XVI et les Traditionalistes is out of context: I have read the book and checked myself.

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