Paris: The Die Is Cast

September 15, 2021
Msgr. Michel Aupetit, Archbishop of Paris

The Archdiocese of Paris has just set the rules for the application of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes concerning the celebration of the traditional Mass. Limitation of the number of places, prior authorization for each celebrant: these new standards do not bode well for the future for those who remain attached to the celebration of the eternal Mass in the diocesan context.

For earthly foods, not yet. But when it comes to celestial foods, that's another thing, because the most emblematic of the dioceses of France has just drastically reduced the number of shrines in which the traditional Mass can now be celebrated.

By letter dated September 8, 2021 addressed to his clergy, Msgr. Michel Aupetit, Archbishop of Paris, set the rules for the application of the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, limiting the use of the Tridentine rite to five churches in the capital, where it had been celebrated in about fifteen places so far. Thus, a large Parisian parish in the 7th arrondissement has disappeared from the new list.

To this first restriction which affects the premises, the Archbishop of Paris adds a condition affecting the priests authorized to celebrate according to the 1962 missal: “the priests who have received written mission from me will be able to celebrate according to the old form,” notes the prelate.

And to specify the meaning of this authorization: “I wish, in order to further promote communion, that the priests called be open to two missals,” An opening that coincides, clearly, with the celebration, at least occasionally, of Mass according to the reformed rite of Pope Paul VI.

Moreover, the authorization regime will not only affect recently ordained priests, because even “those who are accustomed to celebrating with the 1962 missal will have to obtain my authorization in writing to continue,” adds the Ordinary of the capital.

Archbishop Aupetit also asks that “the readings (be) made in French from the official liturgical translation of 2013,” a recommendation transferred from the motu proprio. Finally, the Archbishop announces that Bishop Patrick Chauvet, rector and archpriest of Notre-Dame, has been appointed “delegate of the archbishop for the use of the 1962 missal.”

Basically, it is useful to refer to the FSSPX.News dossier on the motu proprio on which Archbishop Aupetit relies to set the new rules for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass.

It should be noted that the rules of the Archbishop of Paris came a few days after the open letter from the superiors of the main French institutes authorized to celebrate Mass according to the old ordo.

In this letter, the superiors exposed their “great suffering.” They asked the French bishops to appoint a mediator to lead “a human dialogue... far from ideologies.” The Parisian response sounds like a slap in the face: the restrictions and appointment of an episcopal delegate is more like that of an executor than that of a mediator.

The Superior General of the SSPX was more comforting: “The Society of Saint Pius X has the duty to assist all those souls who are currently in dismay and are confused.”

“Firstly, we have the duty to offer them the certitude that the Tridentine Mass can never disappear from the face of the earth. This is an absolutely necessary sign of hope. Moreover, each of us, whether priest or faithful, must extend a warm helping hand to them, for he who has no desire to share the riches he enjoys is, in all truth, unworthy of possessing them.”

“Only in this way will we truly love souls and show our love for the Church. For every soul that we win to Our Blessed Lord’s Cross, and to the immense love that He manifested through His Sacrifice, will be a soul truly won to His Church and to the charity that animates His Church, which must be ours, especially at this present time.”