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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bishop dies who was one of the greatest supporters of traditionalists

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The diocese of Gap and Embrun has announced Mgr Georges Lagrange, Bishop of Gap from 1988 to 2003, died on Thursday at age 85, . His funeral will be held in the church of Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne (Ain) which was his native village on Monday, December 15 at 14:30.

Born on November 23, 1929, Bishop Lagrange was ordained a priest in Belley 29 June 1955. He served in Algeria and Senegal, before returning to the Ain. Appointed Bishop of Gap by Pope John Paul II on 11 July 1988, he was ordained bishop on 18 September at the shrine of Our Lady of Laus shrine and enthroned at the Cathedral of Gap seven days later. On 18 November 2003, he became bishop emeritus of Gap, retiring to his native diocese of Belley-Ars. Bishop Jean-Michel di Falco Léandri, who was appointed auxiliary bishop of Gap in September 2003, and who then succeeded him on 18 November.

In 1999, Bishop Lagrange caused unease among priests and laity of the diocese because of his favorable attitude to traditionalist movements. He had indeed used the traditionalist communities (like the Brothers of St. John which he had placed at the shrine of Our Lady of Laus) to address the lack of vocations in his diocese. Faced with this crisis, he had requested a canonical visitation that the Vatican had entrusted to Bishop Bernard Panafieu, Archbishop of Marseille. Bishop Lagrange was then reorganized the diocese and restored the various councils involving priests and laity in the life of the Church in the Hautes-Alpes.


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Deus, qui inter apostolicos Sacerdotes
famulum tuum Georges pontificali
fecisti dignitate vigere : præsta, quæsumus; ut
eorum quoque perpetuo aggregetur consortio.
Per Dominum.
O God, who wert pleased that in the apostolic priesthood
this thy servant Georges should be invested with episcopal
 dignity : grant also, we beseech thee,
that he may be joined for evermore to the fellowship of
that priesthood in heaven. Through our Lord. 
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