The reform of the reform at Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet church

Par Don Pio Pace

Français, italiano

The occupation of Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet church, in Paris, by Mgr Ducaud-Bourget and his followers took place on 26 February 1977, during the presidency of Valery Giscard d’Estaing. Despite a decree from the First Court of Appeal condemning the occupiers and asking them to leave, a decree which gave the right to the diocese appointed parish priest Fr. Bellego to request the intervention of the police, the arbitration of the government, asking for the Parisian police not to intervene, made possible the stable installation in this church of the occupiers. Cardinal Marty, Archbishop of Paris, made an attempt then to negotiate, though without success, through the mediation of philosopher Jean Guitton. Particularly, the cardinal made the clever proposition to Mgr Ducaud-Bourget to concelebrate with him. A proposition to which Mgr Ducaud-Bourget responded in a no less clever way to the cardinal: “You did me the honor to concelebrate with you. I have answered I would [note the conditional form], you celebrating the Novus Ordo and I the Usus Antiquior, valid proof of the unity of the faith in the diversity of the rites” (French magazine Monde et Vie, March 1977, p.12). Cardinal Marty did not pursue the exchange and this unusual ritualization of the unity in the diversity never took place.

Pio Pace