Coming from the diocese of Grenoble-Vienne of which he was bishop since 2006, Guy de Kerimel will take up his episcopal office in a context marked by the publication, on October 5, of the report of the Independent Commission on sexual abuse in the ‘Church (Ciase) in France. A document, produced under the aegis of Jean-Marc Sauvé, which, of the scale of the facts of pedocriminality revealed, was a real earthquake for the institution and the faithful. After the announcement of the departure of Monsignor le Gall last February, and in this heavy context, considered by many as a turning point for the Church of France, the appointment of this new archbishop was therefore awaited with interest by the Catholics of Toulouse.
A priori, it should not delight the most traditionalists among them. Last November, the very conservative site Riposte catholique – presenting itself as a “reinformation portal 2.0” – designated him as a “bishop of management of the decline”, reproaching him in particular for “rehashing” his interest in a “synodal and open” church. “. This is precisely what the Toulouse “left Catholics” are waiting for (to be read in an article to be published soon on Mediacités). Last September, he confronted practitioners from his diocese, reproaching them in a press release for preferring the traditional Latin Mass to that of “Paul VI and John Paul II. [le rite ordinaire en français] “(read for example this article in Le Figaro).
A very political choice
President of the episcopal commission for the liturgy in France and in Europe, Guy de Kerivel is not necessarily a revolutionary. But this prelate, born in 1953 in Meknes in Morocco and who was a priest, especially in Provence in the 80s and 90s, should seem less detached than his predecessor (who had first been a monk) from social and societal themes. that are debated within the Church. In November 2012, the French Bishops’ Conference had put him at the head of a working group on “the social phenomenon of abortion and the education of young people”.
As is the rule within the Church, the announcement of Robert Le Gall’s resignation at the beginning of the year triggered a long and complex appointment process: consultation of the nunciature (representation of the Vatican at the national level, at the Paris) to establish a report on the state of the Toulouse diocese; submission of the report to the conference of bishops which, on this basis, proposed three names of possible successors to the pope; choice of paper sent to the nunciature so that it receives the approval of the designated “candidate”; return to Rome where the name of the newly elected official was, by virtue of agreements concluded between Paris and the Vatican, communicated to the French Embassy; investigation by the Ministry of the Interior, then validation by the Prime Minister.
The appointment of Guy de Kerimel, on the see, therefore owes nothing to chance, and everything to very political choices, which Toulouse Catholics are now waiting with interest to know the content.