DrVespers and Welcoming Mass: Laurent Ulrich, the new Archbishop of Paris, took office on Monday, in a diocese that was difficult to govern and marked by the resignation of his predecessor.
And the ruling pope appointed him last month, Archbishop Ulrich, aged 70, to succeed Michel Aupetit, after accepting his resignation at the beginning of December. The latter was challenged by his management of human resources and several newspapers loaned him an affair with a woman, which he categorically denied.
“I now tell you all my affection and my desire to serve you with all my strength,” declared the bishop in the Basilica of Saint-Sulpice, where the Welcome Mass was celebrated, attended by about 2,000 people – sixty French and Belgian bishops, many parish priests, monks and nuns, deacons, observant laity, Believers and authorities.
A service lasting two hours in total, interspersed with chants from the choir of Notre Dame and the parish choir, during which the churchman expressed his “joy”, while reflecting on those who “face the world’s pain throughout the world of war and terror.”
“To continue the (…) most dangerous work of charity,” “to continue to hear the cry of the victims of sexual abuse,” did he also set himself “as an attitude” to be upon, citing, in his homily, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Vincent de Paul or even Charles de Foucault.
In the assembly, one can see, among others, the Apostolic Nuncio Celestino Migliore, President of the Conference of Bishops of France Eric de Moulin Beaufort, one of his predecessors in Paris, Cardinal Ving Trois, Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, but not Michel Aupetit.
To symbolize the importance he attaches to this monument, the new Archbishop celebrated for the first time, in the middle of the afternoon, Vespers in the front courtyard of Notre Dame de Paris.
Facing this jewel of Gothic art, surrounded by priests and under the gaze of believers and tourists, the bishop received the Episcopalian from the hands of Georges Pontier, the bishop who had been in charge of the diocese temporarily since the departure of Michel Aupetit. .
Previously, the Archdiocese had read Pope Francis’ letter of appointment ordering him to be, for the Parisian clergy and faithful, “a spiritual father and an attentive and peaceable guardian”.
Then Laurent Ulrich gathered inside the memorial, amid the scaffold, where the building has been under restoration since the April 2019 fire that partially destroyed it.
“I wish him great success in his quests,” Mr. Darmanin previously tweeted.
Archbishop of Lille since 2008, the bishop was initially surprised by his appointment. “I begin my service with an inner feeling of deep peace,” he told AFP after the sudden impact.
The Diocese of Paris is the largest in France, with more than 500 active priests, about a hundred parishes, paid workers or volunteers participating in various movements and missions (displaced persons, immigrants, etc.).
Like Eric de Moulin Beaufort – it is the new Archbishop who embodies the first French cult with political authorities, civil society and the media.
Participating in the cause of immigrants, a man of social fabric and recognized organizational talents, Bishop Ulrich presents a moderate image within the Catholic episcopate, unreservedly adopting the orientations of Pope Francis.
Bishop Ulrich, who is not a Parisian seraglio, will have to treat as a priority to appease and restore unity between priests and believers in the capital, in a divided diocese. The bishop said: “There are different groups in the church (…), I will meet them, and listen as much as possible. In the church, we need everyone.”
Among the files he inherited is also the continuation of the project to restore Notre Dame de Paris, in dialogue with the state, and in the eyes of believers and many donors.
“It is a blessing given to the Church of Paris and its Archbishop to receive this cathedral, in its condition, and to bring it to the resumption of worship in 2024 and to open its doors to the public. It makes me very happy.”
05/23/2022 21:06:33 – Paris (AFP) – © 2022 AFP