Progressivism in the Church
Church Revolution in Pictures
Photo of the Week
Lefebvre with topless women, in the light of TraditionThe photo above registers the missionary work of a young Msgr. Marcel Lefebvre in Africa. It was taken from the French website La Porte Latine of the SSPX.
In order to make our comments clearer, we reproduce the same photo below with numbers, to identify the different women in the photo.
The ceremony in the picture seems to be a blessing of babies, where the mothers line up to approach the Bishop. In the background we can see more than 18 women, many of them carrying babies in their laps. The line-up of women follows the numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and then, the others.
Msgr. Lefebvre is blessing the baby of woman 1: His hand can be seen on the forehead of the sleeping child.
Women 2 and 4 approach him with their bare breasts in view even though their babies are not being fed. Interestingly, the breast of woman 4 has been air-brushed in this photo; apparently SSPX members considered it more prudent to blur the reality, which indicates a stronger proof of her partial nudity. We cannot see the front of woman 1. She could also be bare-breasted, which would speak in favor of a norm for the women to unveil their breasts as they approached the Bishop.
Whether this norm existed or not, the case in point is that at least two women - 2 and 4 - are topless in the presence of a complaisant Lefebvre.
Now then, the background shows that those women are not adepts of nudism. The women lined up there appear decently dressed with long skirts and closed blouses. Also, young woman 3, who seems to be accompanying woman 2, is properly dressed. This excludes the idea that the custom of that region is nudism.
If this is objective, then we have a Msgr. Lefebvre anticipating the John Paul II style of conducting religious ceremonies in the presence of bare-breasted women.
Indeed, on the visit of JPII to Papua New Guinea in May 1984, a semi-naked woman read the Epistle at one of his Masses; naked female natives brought up the Offertory gifts (here, here and here), and he actually gave Communion to some of them in this state of undress (here and here).
It is a curious coincidence to see the traditionalist Bishop paving the way for the progressivist Pope in applying the "pastoral of inculturation," which is to make the Church adapt herself to the immoral customs of less developed peoples.