The Archdiocese of Paris is asking the public authorities about the possibility of celebrating a Mass inside Notre-Dame Cathedral, partially ravaged by a fire whose origin has not yet been established on 15 April 2019. Through the whole duration—indeterminate—of the work, Notre-Dame will remain the cathedral of Parisians.
It was at the mic on France Bleu Paris [Radio France], on the morning of May 15, 2019, that the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Paris confirmed the request of Archbishop Michel Aupetit to be able to celebrate a Mass in the cathedral, currently secured and closed to the public.
“The idea is to show that this cathedral is first of all a place of worship,” before being a tourist site, explained Bishop Philippe Marsset who added: “if we are able to celebrate this Mass during the month of June, it will show the primary purpose of this cathedral.”
The rector of the emblematic place of worship in Paris, Bishop Patrick Chauvet repeated to La Croix on May 15, 2019: “There is no question of moving the cathedral (the residential seat of the bishop) during the work, Notre-Dame remains the cathedral.”
This request doubtlessly appears to be premature in view of the state of the building whose structure has been weakened. As for the sanctuary, the modern mass table was smashed by the cross-beams and buried under rubble, while the altar of the Mass of All Time stayed intact. The remains are a more eloquent image than a long speech and invite a serious reconsideration. It is time to return to Notre-Dame the liturgy for which it was built!