PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) - Faithful Catholics were forcibly removed and arrested for praying the Rosary in a Catholic church in Paris.
In response to an ecumenical service held in the Parish of Our Lady of White Mantles commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, about a dozen young Catholic men made reparation for what they deemed a sacrilege by praying French and Latin prayers and hymns during the service. After jeers from Catholics and Protestants in attendance, the men were arrested, some carried out of the church.
Caroline Bretones, the "pastor" of the United Protestant Church of the Marais, was invited to speak in the Catholic parish, dressed in clerics and appearing as a female "priest."
Medias-Presse-Info, a French speaking site, posted the video, noting, "The madness being without limit, these young Catholics were evacuated manu militari [with military aid] by the police for having prayed the Rosary in a Catholic church!"
"Young Catholics have expressed their opposition to seeing Protestantism, fought and condemned by the popes and the Council of Trent for centuries, to infiltrate the Catholic Church today," the article continues.
While the organist tried to drown out the men's voices, it was clear many of those in attendance were angered by the men's presence. Some argued with the men and harassed them, one lady even smacking one of them in the face with a piece of paper. They continued kneeling in prayer until police arrived and forcibly removed them.
While much of what is being said is unintelligible owing to the the loud organ music, you can hear them singing Christus Vincit, "Christ Victorious," when police remove them from the church.
Father Benoît-Marie Roque, the parish priest of Our Lady of White Mantles, wrote about the event on the parish website, noting that just over 150 people attended and they had "a celebration, obviously not eucharistic, whose stakes were strongly emphasized by different events."
Father Roque explained that preparations for the event took a long time. Leaders of different parishes met with groups led by video "reflections" from the various clergy. Together, they developed "95 Reasons to Hope," a collection of biblical passages to counter Martin Luther's 95 theses.
The vast majority of comments on Medias-Presse-Info are supportive of the young men. One comment left by a man named Patrick reads:
I see a lady dancing in the church, young people who are being attacked by another lady who hits them with leaves and treats them as "[expletive]". Then the police intervene to brutally expel young people who are praying. One of the police officers holds one of the youngsters firmly by the collar to talk to him. Is this the way for a representative of the order [to behave]? Then,as they continue to pray, they are lined up against a wall. The police take them out one by one as if they were going to the scaffold.
Our Lady of the White Mantles has been "a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin (Aunnunciation) since 1258." A number of church buildings have stood on that spot, with construction of current one started in 1685. The history of the parish explains, "Notre-Dame des Blancs-Manteaux is, presumably, in Paris, with the Cathedral and after it, the oldest sanctuary dedicated to [Our Lady]."
This event follows a similar protest at the cathedral of St. Michael and St. Cudula in Brussels in late October. The cathedral was the site of an attack by Protestants in the 16th century where Protestants destroyed sacred images they called "idolatrous."
There, 12 men linked arms while reciting the Rosary to make reparations for an ecumencial service commemorating the Protestant Reformation. The protestors were heckled by people there to "celebrate," while the organ and choir attempted to drown out the sound of their prayers before police arrived to remove them from the church.
One of the men spoke with Church Militant, who asked to remain anonymous, explaining his inspiration.
"We didn't do it in a spirit of polemics towards faithful priests," he clarified, "just in a spirit of reparation and resistance against profanation and celebration of a revolt against the Holy Catholic Church."
He added, "We were in part inspired by The Catholic Gentleman, and I also listen to your Resistance podcasts for some good advice, of course. I'm a regular viewer of ChurchMilitant.com content."