France: Polemics Surrounding a Film Shoot in a Parisian Church

Source: FSSPX News

A singer triggered a dispute after filming her video clip in the church of the military hospital of Val-de-Grâce in Paris on June 4.  The pastor declared to the press that the French singer, Arielle Dombasle, had “profaned” this place of worship by shooting her clip entitled Ave Maria, without the permission of the military chaplaincy. According to the newspaper Le Parisien, in its June 5 edition, Fr. Emmanuel Dollé had expressed his disapproval of the singer’s artistic project to the director of the military school of Val-de-Grace, who is in charge of the church. According to the priest, when questioned by the radio station France Info, “they set up a buffet as if it were a country meal, and put chairs all over the place; it was a circus!” Another reason for his anger: Arielle Dombasle’s profile is not exactly an appropriate match for the place. “She often plays at the Crazy Horse. Val-de-Grace is not the Crazy Horse!”

For his part, the singer’s producer, David Babinet, strongly criticized the priest’s reaction: “I find it very worrisome, because we are living in a time when religion and fundamentalism are coming back full force… And I think that the Church who is lacking faithful ought to see that in this video that we are making, Arielle is simply bringing young people into a church with her.”

As for Arielle Dombasle, she stated to the AFP that she was “very sorry”, recalling her Catholic faith that she has never hidden. The singer declared all the same that she was “hurt” by “a very strong a priori”: “The chaplain was determined to see in this filming a profanation, labeling me with my visits to the Crazy Horse a few years ago,” she lamented.

The army’s bishop, Bishop Luc Ravel, deplored the “conditions of this filming” and announced that he would do “everything in his power to bring to light the permissions that were given, and especially the behavior in the absence of the religious authorities.” “Many people have expressed to us their emotion and pain: I fully share them,” he added in a letter on June 5, 2013.

Even if Bishop Luc Ravel pointed out that “these elements (of the clip: angels and fake priests, ed.) reveal as far as we know nothing directly against our faith; our signs and sacred rights”, and that it is not a question of profanation or of blasphemy, he considers that “it is unacceptable for living and praying sanctuaries to be used to promote a show business or a perfume company. There are studios for that.”

(sources: apic/leparisien – DICI#277 June 21, 2013)