A fascinating development in Paris

A friend alerted me to something truly fascinating.

Here is a photo.

This is the Very. Rev. Msgr. François Fleischmann celebrating Holy Mass with the 1962 Missale Romanum at the Chapelle Saint-Paul in Paris.  Msgr. is a canon, and the chancellor, and the episcopal vicar for marriages, etc etc. 

"But Father!  But Father!", you are perhaps saying, with furrowed brow and head scratching. "Big deal!  So a monsignor is saying the old Mass.  I know it’s in Paris, in France, not exactly friendly to traditional Masses over all, but… so what?"

You see, Msgr. Fleischmann was head of the Vatican Secretariate of State’s French Section for a very long time.  If memory serves he left there in abut 2000.  He seemed in those days to have loathed anything and everything having to do with the older Mass, and kept a little data base of the names of anyone in France who wrote to the Holy Father about these issues.  He was generally the sort who, as one of my friends puts it, would shoot into a bush if I thought a traditionalist might be behind it.

So, in Paris, this fellow is saying the older form of Mass and WDTPRS applauds him.   The Cardinal Archbishop of Paris will be pontificating soon.  

What do I get from all this?  Well… not anything terribly concrete.  But, based on my knowledge of how things usually work, I am thinking that someone has said something to the powers that be in Paris, and elsewhere in France.  I suspect we may see signs of the ice cracking as the Marshall Paln continues.

The Holy Father is going to France in September, if memory serves.  He will meet with the bishops.

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  1. Larry says:

    Indeed the ice is melting; it may be the Marshall Plan but I rather think it is the Global Warming. Not the kind that is being screamed about by Chicken Little; but, rather the heated breath of the Holy Spirit! Comes now the SPRING.

  2. Dan J says:

    Maybe with the ice is melting from the heart of the Eldest Daughter of the Church as the Holy Father’s visit comes closer. He (Pope Benedict XVI) has a way of rallying his brother and setting fire under the faithful to be more proud of their faith in a time when they really need to hear it.

  3. Habemus Papam says:

    The Pope is due to meet the French President in Paris 13th September before travelling down to Lourdes where H.H. will say Mass on 14th September. We live in interesting times.

  4. Tom says:

    I am pleased that Very. Rev. Msgr. François Fleischmann has offered the TLM.

    But I would be pleased beyond description should Pope Benedict XVI fllows Monsignor Fleischmann’s lead regarding the TLM…that is, offer the TLM publicly.

    The breaking of ice is good…but the ice would shatter should Pope Benedict XVI lead the way by offering the TLM publicly…and regularly.


  5. Habemus Papam says:

    Tom: 14th September. Lourdes. I don’t know about regularly, but lets pray for a Eucharistic Miracle.

  6. RichR says:

    Great things are happening all over the world. 5 years ago, who would have dreamed these things possible?

  7. Mark Jacobson says:

    France was such a powerhouse of the Faith for so long, and she has suffered terribly since the Revolution, through the World Wars and through the post-Council upheaval. I firmly believe that France will lead the world back to Tradition and that we are beginning to see the signs of that… the SSPX did not start (and persevere!) here for nothing. The Holy Spirit works in marvelous and mysterious ways. I anticipate many Cathedrals will begin to dismantle the many ugly and hastily (and in many cases temporarily) constructed people\’s altars and begin once again using the beautiful High Altars (and side altars) throughout the land. Let us pray to hasten the day…

    Prions ensemble pour la France et pour la Tradition!

  8. Tom: the ice would shatter should Pope Benedict XVI lead the way by offering the TLM publicly…and regularly.

    Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what a boost a papal TLM on EWTN would give to workers in the TLM trenches. And wonder why he doesn’t go ahead and “just do it”.

    But I suspect I know the reason why. Recall the agonizing wait of a year or more for the motu proprio to appear. But this process of preparation for the document was perhaps more important than the document itself. If Summorum Pontificum had appeared without this all important process of “raising of consciousness”, it might have sank like a stone, as have previous papal documents. But because it was done right, ripples — if not tidal waves everywhere — are being felt around the world, and it’s clear that history has been changed.

    Similarly, the moment has to be right for a televised papal TLM to have world-changing effect. Although my heart wants it right now, rationally I suspect the time is not quite yet ripe. But Papa Benedict will know when.

  9. Flambeaux says:

    There is also the sticky wicket of reworking the ceremonial for a papal celebration of the EF.

    Especially given Papa Ratzi’s repeated comments about liturgy being received it isn’t an option for him to simply edit out those parts which are now a problem. It must be prayerfully reconsidered.

    And we must also prepare ourselves that it is something, like the return of the tiara, that we may never see.

    Follow the shepherd where he leads. It is not the place of the sheep to dictate the path.

  10. Bill Haley says:

    While it is a delight to see the good Msgr. celebrating the EF of Mass it seems to my eye that this picture points to an interesting question.

    Does this picture show him wearing a newer chasuble? Is that a chasuble one would normally associate with the EF? Can a priest wear a chasuble common with the OF for the EF? What is the relationship between the two forms of the one missal and the two distinct forms of vestments?

  11. Louis says:

    The vestments etc. just reflect a level of enthusiasm!

  12. elizabeth mckernan says:

    Am I right in thinking that the Chapelle Saint-Paul is a private chapel in Paris? It almost looks as if Mass is being celebrated in a room – perhaps in a convent?

    In spite of the apparent reluctance of the French clergy to embrace the TLM, visitors to Paris may like to know that there is a regular TLM celebrated each Sunday in the church of Sainte-Odile (Metro: Porte de Champerret)

  13. Maureen says:

    Before he was the Pope, I remember that he said that when he first got to Rome, he was very impatient to make things happen. But gradually, he got to see some wisdom and usefulness in the slow and steady approach so often used by the Curia.

    So now, after many years, he’s turned into a master of the slow game. (Not really all that slow now.)

  14. Michael Gormally says:

    If Mgr Fleischmann is saying a TLM why is he standing at a Novus Ordo lectern?

  15. Michael Gormally says:

    I’ve looked at other photographs of this Mass and see that Mgr Fleischmann is
    wearing a pectoral cross over his chasuble. I know that in the old days the highest
    ranked monsignori could pontificate wearing certain episcopal insignia, but Mgr
    Fleischmann is a mere Prelate of Honour and, in any case, does not seem to be
    celebrating solemnly.

  16. BMJ says:

    This is the pectoral cross worn by the canons of Notre Dame -practically every cathedral chapter in France has (or had) the right to wear a pectoral cross as part of their in choir dress. But, since many of the canons of the French cathedral chapters no longer bother to wear choir dress, but still like to hang on to the quasi episcopal trappings, they have to come up with inventive “innovations”. This is what the celebrant in this Mass is doing -as far as the cross is concerned.

  17. Michael Gormally says:

    Thanks for this information, BMJ. Although I studied in Paris for an year, and attended Mass fairly frequently at Notre Dame, I was not aware of the Canons’ privilege of wearing a pectoral cross. Nor did I know that this privilege was granted to other cathedral chapters in France. Is this common among European chapters in general? I am sure it is not the case in England and Wales.

    I suppose Mgr Canon Fleischmann was preaching from that rather uninspiring lectern.

  18. Michael Gormally says:

    The good Canon appears not to be wearing an amice. O tempora! O mores!

  19. BMJ says:

    The Canons of Notre Dame obtained the privilege of wearing a pectoral cross on 5 July 1853 from Louis Napoleon III to mark his marriage to the Empress Eugenie. This cross in white and violet enamels had a medallion of the BVM on the front and the Imperial eagle on the back and was worn on a blue-celeste cord. It was made for the canons by Poussielgue-Rusan.

    A further grant was made on 10 September 1929 by Pope Pius XI. It took the form of a gilt Greek-cross with fleurs-de-lys worn on the same blue-celeste cord. I am not certain whether this replaced the 1853 Imperial concession or whether both forms are still worn. The latter was made for the canons by Artus-Bertrand.

    Pectoral crosses are worn in practically all of the major European chapters. The English chapters were re-established c. 1855 and tended to be somewhat scaed down and without ornament.

    I have been in Nortre Dame in recent years but thirty years ago, it was still the practice for the canons to assist at the High Mass in Notre Dame in choir garb -and they wore the pecoral.

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