France: Jean Madiran Passes Away
Jean Madiran passed away on July 31, 2013. He was the cofounder of the newspaper Présent in 1982. La Porte Latine, the Society of St. Pius X District of France’s website, pays homage to him in these words: “Among the great figures of the Catholic resistance to the aggiornamento, the name of Jean Madiran will certainly be one of the most frequently quoted, and if the list is reduced to French laymen, few can vie with him for first place. He was unquestionably one of the last representatives of this generation to have written, contradicted, and fought to warn the authorities of the Church, to encourage her faithful priests and to form the generations for tomorrow.
We owe to him the magazine Itinéraires, which he founded in 1956, with the collaboration of, among others, Fr. Calmel, Dom Guillou, Dom Gérard, Fr. Berto, Fr. Dulac, Luce Quenette, the Charlier brothers, Louis Salleron, Marcel De Corte, Charles De Koninck, Gustave Corçao, Jacques Perret…
After constantly supporting the Society of St. Pius X, particularly in a special edition of Itinéraires (1976) entitled The Savage Condemnation of Archbishop Lefebvre, Jean Madiran distanced himself from the Society after the episcopal consecrations of June 30, 1988. However, when questioned two years ago, in the movie Archbishop Lefebvre, A Bishop in the Storm, he made a point of declaring: “If the Society of St. Pius X still exists today, it is because Archbishop Lefebvre gave it four bishops. What gives it the importance it has, what makes the Pope consider it as someone, is the fact that it has bishops.” And he explained, “In the Church, it counts to be bishops. And so the founder was right; in any case, he made a durable foundation and provided the conditions necessary for his work to continue.”
In the many memories brought to mind with his passing, allow us to mention the tribute paid to his surgical style: “This micro-word-surgeon relentlessly pointed out errors of logic and weaknesses of thought and errors of style, but he was moved by the good of his country and of the Church” (Jeanne Smits). And “the sharp scalpel of this thought-surgeon was unequaled when it came to dissecting error; his biting irony, when it came to ridiculing it; his insistence when it came to shedding light on it” (Bruno Gollnisch). Indeed, we remember the methodical dissection of the “religion of Saint Avold” in his masterpiece L’Hérésie du XXe siècle (The Heresy of the 20th Century), published in 1968 by Nouvelles Editions Latines. In the postface of the second edition in 1988, he did not hesitate to write: “If I had to leave behind me only one book, it would be this one.” And he added in an interview with Présent (May 13-14, 1988), “I have expressed in l’Hérésie all the reasons for my refusals and also all the ideas I fight for. All the combats to which I have, in a way, consecrated my life.”
(sources: LPL/Présent/Aletheia – DICI#280 August 9, 2013)