Experimental “Vatican II” parish to close

Paris parish to close

The Archbishop of Paris has announced Saint-Merry Pastoral Center, the city’s most progressive Catholic parish is to close on March 1.

The announcement has been greeted with disbelief, sadness and anger by the parish community. They launched an online “appeal” to keep the centre open. In the first 48 hours, more than 2,000 people had signed it.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit said he was closing the centre because of the difficult climate at Saint-Merry, especially regarding the people’s attitude towards the most recently assigned priests.

“This is the second time in less than three years that the priest of your parish has been forced to leave his mission abruptly in the face of violent attacks against him,” said Aupetit, who was installed as Paris’s archbishop in January 2018.

In 1975, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Cardinal François Marty entrusted the centre to a team of laypeople and Father Xavier de Chalendar.

The cardinal, who was Paris archbishop from 1968-1981, entrusted the fledgeling centre with the mission of “inventing new ways for the Church of the future”.



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