Saunière's Advertisements for Masses

Paul Smith

11 May 2016
Revised 14 May 2016

The Rhedesium website copies and pastes material from this website without providing any acknowledgement and the latest blog offering (10 May) repeats a comment made by Corjan de Raaf (originally made by Henry Lincoln in 1997), viz:

The response to this has been repeated over and over many times – the non-existence of Saunière's ads for masses in journals and magazines is because they appeared in advertisement supplements that nobody saved and were put into fireplaces.

However, another explanation is that the advertisement supplements and ads did survive in Marie Dénarnaud's archives, but they have since perished (see below).

The very first article about Bérenger Saunière was written by Roger Crouquet in the Belgian magazine Le Soire Illustré in 1948 who said that Saunière's source of wealth originated from trafficking in masses through ads placed in religious journals and magazines, and Crouquet hinted at their content:

“the poor priest of Rennes-le-Château lived among heretics and had only the most meagre of resources. He moved the Christians of the whole world to such pity by announcing that the old church, an architectural gem, was heading for unavoidable destruction if urgent restoration work was not undertaken as soon as possible.”

In Decembet 1967 the journalist Pierre Sourbés in an article for the newspaper L'Indépendant described how he witnessed publications that contained Saunière's ads for masses:

“a block advertisement saying ‘Poor curé stuck on a mountain-top in the Corbières seeks masses to celebrate’ (Pauvre curé de campagne exile sur un piton des Corbières, demande messes à célébre).”

It's obvious why this evidence has perished if the majority of Rennes-le-Château “researchers” happen to be conspiracy theorists looking for the Secret of the Ages that was discovered by Abbé Saunière.

Extract from Bérenger Saunière’s Account Books where he writes for the entry dated 16 May 1901: “Diocese of Carcassonne: Received 2nd warning regarding the mass fees

Select Correspondence relating to Saunière's Trafficking in Masses

Diocese of Carcassonne, 18 December 1909

Dear Mr Saunière,

The Superior of Hôpital St. Joseph, located at 7 rue Pierre-Larousse, Paris, has written to Monsignor the Bishop to ask him if she could, with a clear conscience, send you fees for saying Mass. You will no doubt be able to guess the contents of the reply that he has sent to her:

“Take great care that you do not continue to send him such fees; we have no confidence in the manner in which this priest carries out these mass intentions, which he procures wherever he can.”

Monsignor the Bishop notes with regret that you are continuing to ask outside the Diocese for fees for Masses, even though you promised and insisted that, henceforward, you would never again ask anyone for such fees except the Bishop alone, personally.

So this is how you keep your promise!

His Grace is asking himself whether his conscience does not require him to take effective measures to put a stop to such a deplorable course of conduct,

Most sincerely,
H. Rodière

Diocese of Carcassonne
Carcassonne, 22 December 1909

Dear Abbé Saunière,

You state that, ever since the promise that you made to Monsignor the Bishop, you have ceased to ask for fees from the Superior of Hôpital St. Joseph in Paris. Here is what she wrote to us on 28 October last...

“While he was still the Curé of Rennes-le-Château, Abbé Saunière wrote to me without knowing me (he had obtained my address from somebody or other) asking me to obtain for him some fees for Masses... He wrote to me recently to say that he was now a Priest in Retirement but would be remaining in his former Parish and could still perform the mass intentions that are sent to him. As I do not have the advantage of knowing him I would be very grateful if you would tell me if one could with a clear conscience send him fees for Masses.”

Here we have two apparently contradictory statements.

Monsignor the Bishop would be very grateful if you would kindly inform him which of them is the truth,

Most sincerely,
H. Rodiére
Vicar General

Diocese of Carcassonne Carcassonne, 12 May 1910

Dear Abbé,
Here is the text of the reply which Monsignor the Bishop has asked me to send to Madame Gabrielle Camus, of Faubourg des Vosges, Mirecourt, who asked me if she could send fees for Masses with a clear conscience:

“Take great care that you do not continue to send fees for Masses to Abbé Saunière, former Curé of Rennes-le-Château, and now retired in this Parish, because Monsignor the Bishop has no confidence on that score in the manner in which this priest carries out these mass intentions”.

His Grace notes with regret that you are not keeping the formal promise which you made, which was to approach him alone when you were short of fees,

Most sincerely,
H. Rodière

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