The scandal caused by the Pope's restrictions on the Latin Mass

In France, a Latin Mass community is forced to celebrate Mass at the doors of a church locked to them.

1st Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians Chapter 13 applies to the ecclesiastical authorities.

[1] If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

Si linguis hominum loquar, et angelorum, caritatem autem non habeam, factus sum velut aes sonans, aut cymbalum tinniens.

The church is Saint Germain outside the Walls.  That is where they want to keep traditionalists, outside the walls. The modern church talks endlessly about peace and justice and then does not practice it.

Paix Liturgique: Dear Germain, is this really the hundredth Mass of your community that will be celebrated next Sunday, January 15?

Germain de Paris: Absolutely, the first one was celebrated late on Sunday 21 June 2020.

Paix Liturgique: Why the delay?

Germain de Paris: Because it was initially planned for Sunday 16 March 2020... but the blackout caused by Covid prevented it and it was only after this period of confinement that we set up our celebration in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

Paix Liturgique: So it's been more than two years...

St. Germain de Paris: Indeed, but you know that the history of our request to celebrate a traditional Mass in Saint-Germain goes back almost 30 years!

Paix Liturgique: So long?

St. Germain de Paris: So long indeed, because it was Father Potier, then vicar general of the diocese of Versailles, who first expressed the request for the celebration of a traditional Mass in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1993. Since then, the requests have followed one another regularly, and you know the results.

Paix Liturgique: Can you remind us of them?

St. Germain de Paris: They can be summed up in two statements that the authorities of the diocese of Versailles repeated to us for nearly three decades:

- the first was that for our priests there was no stable group of applicants in Saint-Germain-en-Laye;

- the second being that in any case there was no chapel available in Saint-Germain to meet this demand.

Paix Liturgique: But was this true?

Germain de Paris: The existence of the stable group, denied for so long, has been confirmed in plain sight by the average presence of a hundred faithful at each celebration for more than two years... and if I may be so bold, by the hundreds of faithful who attended the Franciscan Christmas Masses only a few days ago.

Paix Liturgique: But isn't an average of a hundred faithful at each celebration a bit too many?

Germain de Paris: First of all, I think that a stable community of more than 100 faithful constitutes a very significant community. But let's not forget that these 100 faithful attend Mass outside in the cold and rain... And, as the Christmas Masses confirmed, if our celebrations were held inside a church we would naturally be two or three times more numerous than today.

Paix Liturgique: And what about the lack of available chapels?

Germain de Paris: Providentially, the hospital chapel which had been abandoned by Mgr Eric Aumônier for the sole reason that "there were too many places of worship in St. Germain" has been recovered by the parish: deo gratias!

And de facto the Franciscan chapel was also freed: Hosannah!

So this impossibility which was so often opposed to us is now lifted.

Paix Liturgique: If I come back to your hundredth mass, were they all celebrated outside in the cold and rain?

Germain de Paris: Almost all of them, but we must remember that in the past - two years ago - the hospital chapel was open every day from morning to evening. So the first two masses were held inside the chapel. But as soon as the authorities noticed, they decided to close the church during the time of our supposed celebration.

Paix Liturgique: Does this mean that the chapel was then open after your celebration outside?

Germain de Paris: Exactly. Either the chaplain or a volunteer from the parish would arrive around 1 p.m., after our celebration, to open the church. And that's why, apart from a miracle that happened on Pentecost Sunday 2021 when we found the church open, all the other celebrations took place outside whatever the weather conditions.

Paix Liturgique: But do you have any hope that a solution will be proposed to you?

Germain de Paris: Like all the Catholic faithful, we are filled with Faith and Hope. So, obviously, we think that one day common sense and charity will prevail. But for the time being, all this remains quite opaque.

Paix Liturgique: But you were nevertheless welcomed for the two Christmas celebrations...

Germain de Paris: Absolutely... but we must not be completely fooled: even if we benefited from it, and we thank our bishop for that, it was a sort of publicity stunt for the diocese and the parish, or rather a prudential measure to avoid that images and videos circulate showing us outside and in the cold for Christmas "because for us there would have been no room at the hostel".

Paix Liturgique: Aren't you a bit cynical?

Germain de Paris: I am afraid that I am too close to reality... Because if our pastors were sincere and good, a solution should have been proposed the day after the Christmas celebrations. However, this was not the case and we are back to long and fruitless blah, blah, blah.

Paix Liturgique: Why should a solution have been proposed the day after Christmas?

St. Germain de Paris: For two good reasons:

- The first is that the strong presence of the faithful settled once and for all the denial of our existence (I recall that there were about 240 faithful at the Midnight Mass!);

- The second is that the "fears" of Protestantisation put forward by the Bishop did not stand up to what took place on Christmas Day. The attendance at these two Masses clearly showed that when our Bishop grants us a church and a celebrant we are very happy.

So the reservations become what they probably are: either lies or delaying tactics.

Paix Liturgique: But what do you want?

Germain de Paris: We keep repeating it: a mass every Sunday and feast day of the year at a family time, i.e. between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m., celebrated by a benevolent priest.

Paix Liturgique: How can we help you?

Germain de Paris: For example, by coming in great numbers for our hundredth mass on Sunday 15 January at 11am in front of the hospital chapel, 15 rue Armagis in Saint-Germain-en-Laye; but also by praying that our bishop's heart will open a little more to Peace and charity.