New Archbishop of Paris: Hope for Liturgical Peace?
From a Catholic Lady
On May 23, Msgr. Laurent Ulrich was solemnly inaugurated in the church of Saint-Sulpice in the presence of around 2,000 faithful and a good 40 bishops from various dioceses. He had previously celebrated Vespers on the forecourt of his actual Episcopal Cathedral, Notre-Dame.
On April 26, the previous Archbishop of Lille was appointed by Pope Francis as the successor to the resigned Michel Aupetit. as the new Archbishop of Paris.
The pope's choice fell on an experienced churchman. He is regarded as approachable, as a man of dialogue. Like Pope Francis, however, he relies on synodal paths for a Church of tomorrow. However, Ulrich, who is already 70, will only be in office for a good four years before he has to hand in his resignation.
Paix liturgiqueexplains that In Paris it will be seen whether he can regain the trust of the faithful who are bound to tradition, after his predecessor, Michel Aupetit smashed all the porcelain after the publication of Traditionis Custodes (TC) by choosing many places for the old massprohibited and priests of the Society of St. Peter (FSSP) were no longer allowed to celebrate in Paris churches, but only biritual diocesan priests. His repressive actions, which rejected any dialogue, led to the fact that the shocked and deeply hurt believers met and still meet for weekly rosaries in churches and demonstrations in front of the Apostolic Nunciature. They have high hopes for their new archbishop. And there seems to be hoped that this could actually contribute to pacification.
In Lille at least Archbishop Ulrich, in contrast to a whole series of other French bishops, did not fight against the traditional liturgy after the appearance of TC, but used his decision-making authority as diocesan bishop to continue to allow the old Mass in his diocese as before.
Only recently, in Lille, in the Saint-Etienne church, which the Institute Christ the King and High Priest is entitled to use, he administered Confirmation in the Traditional Rite for 55 candidates of the Institute, as he had done before the Roman repressions also affected this sacrament. However, one must also know that the Institute does not exclude concelebration. That has taken place for example, in Dijon, where the priests of the FSSP had to leave the diocese last summer by episcopal order, a priest from the Institute of Christ the King and High Priest was allowed to take care of the traditional faithful instead of a diocesan priest.
It is to be hoped that the new archbishop will also demonstrate fair dealing in Paris, where the Society of St. Peter, which does not concelebrate, is affected by Aupetit's prohibitions, and that the Pope will let him do as he pleases - even if it is not to risk that the ongoing resistance of the French faithful to too many re-education decrees for second-class Catholics has become a conflagration even before papal educational measures are written to bring the stray sheep back into the liturgical family of the Novus Ordo. Because the “lost ones” still feel no need for liturgical salvation and do not want to be re-educated.
Associations in which believers work to defend the traditional liturgy have come together. Founding members are Juventus Traditionis (Paris and France), but also Foi et Tradition (Nantes) and AFSAN ( Association des Fidèles de Saint-André et Notre-Dame de l'Isle, Grenoble). The bishops of these dioceses are characterized by their particular harshness against tradition. For Paris, Lex Orandi formulates the expectation of believers: In particular, they "desire not to be considered second-class Catholics, but to bring to the life of the diocese all the strength of their bond with the Church".
In Paris, the faithful can finally hope for talks about an end to the restrictions. In Grenoble, on the other hand, they did not know how to help themselves other than by occupying the cathedral, where they spent the night from May 21 to 22 in prayer and hoped to finally find the attention and hearing of the vicar general of the diocese, who after the Resignation of Bishop Kerimel as Apostolic Administrator for a transitional period in charge of the diocese. Without success. In a letter of May 11, he had made it clear that Bishop Kerimel's decree would be implemented. The future of 500 believers, two FSSP priests, and more than 60 masses per month seems sealed. A diocesan priest takes over at least the Masses in the traditional Rite in addition to his own congregation. It is the end of the FSSP apostolate. The two priests will have to leave the diocese at the end of August.
It is to be hoped that Paris, which as a diocese has a special position in France, can now send out a positive signal under the new Archbishop Ulrich.