The Vatican requested the suspension of ordinations in the diocese in southern France due to “questions that certain Roman dicasteries were asking about the restructuring of the seminary and the policy of welcoming people to the diocese,” Rey announced in June last year.
The Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon had seen a record number of ordinations to the priesthood in France under Rey’s leadership, which began in 2000. But questions were raised about the bishop’s approach to evaluating candidates for the priesthood and to welcoming large numbers of church communities.
Rey, known for his support of the Traditional Latin Mass, has ordained diocesan clerics using the 1962 Roman Pontifical and has used the same book for the ordinations of religious communities, including the Institute of the Good Shepherd.
After Pope Francis promulgated Traditionis Custodes, the 2021 motu proprio restricting the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, Rey highlighted the concerns of some priests and communities present in his diocese who offered Mass according to the old rite.
Rey said in a letter to his diocese on Tuesday that he was thankful to God to see them “emerge from the torments,” which began in June 2022.
“This year and a half of waiting [to resume ordinations] was particularly difficult and painful for all of us priests, religious, faithful, and particularly seminarians,” he said. “Despite the temptation of anger or incomprehension in the face of this collective sanction, thanks to prayer and the grace of God, we did not give in to discouragement.”