Controversy after the parade of handball players in the cathedral of Metz

This is not a montage. The photos of women parading in the nave of the cathedral of Metz with the yellow jersey of their team then in evening wear, have made some Internet users jump on social networks in recent days. On September 5, the Catholic building hosted the presentation evening of the Dragonnes, the city’s famous women’s handball team, the day after the installation of the new bishop, Mgr Philippe Ballot.

An evening in agreement with the Church

This evening was organized with the agreement of the Church, and even in the presence of the canon costre of the cathedral, the Abbé Dominique Thiry, who congratulated the sports club for its “bold” to have requested them. However, holding such an event inside the cathedral was not unanimous. “We were not aware, and when we discovered on the networks and in the local press that this evening had taken place, we were deeply shocked, says Catherine, parishioner and neighbor of the cathedral. What shocks me the most is the satisfaction of the clergy, who even after the event remain proud of their coup,” continue the one who was also disconcerted by the speech delivered by the canon on D-Day. The text in question is posted on the diocese’s website, with some photos.

“Dear friends, some have wondered, and perhaps still wonder, about the advisability of this surprising encounter. Why did the Chapter authorize this exceptional cultural event? », launched the canon in his welcome speech, putting his feet in the dish. For him, the answer is simple: the Church is perfectly in its role by hosting such an event, since it shares the values ​​advocated by sport. Especially since the diocese has launched a vast sport and faith operation for the 2024 Olympic Games.

“We may forget it, but the Church has been involved in the creation of a good number of sports clubs in France and around the world, with this conviction that the practice of sport is an excellent school of virtues and human values ​​and spiritual, argumentation of the Abbé Thiry. […] Sport loves the human person in social life. And we the Church, that suits us well. »

An event without a religious dimension

From there to justify a parade under the vaults of the cathedral? “Part of our clergy has lost the sense of the sacred, is sorry Catherine, sharing this frustration with other parishioners. There are plenty of gymnasiums, sports halls and party rooms in Metz, a cathedral is not the appropriate place for this kind of event. »

The evening had no religious dimension. No blessing from the team or prayer to ask the Lord for victory in the next matches… It all started with speeches, in particular that of the canon which still costs sprinkled with a slight touch of spirituality. “Let me reassure you right away: the canons are not thirteen centuries old and we haven’t found the fountain of youth. But we have faith in God and therefore faith in life. And we can’t bring ourselves to imagine that it could end up in nothingness, he told his audience. There are too many beautiful things that have been experienced, and which are still to be experienced. And you show it to us beautifully tonight. »

Then it was time for the famous parade of handball players, first in sportswear and then in “city clothes”, details the diocese on its website. The players also sang some gospel songs with the Cathedral Choir, like the famous one: “O happy day”.

Event Recovery

Why then did the club set its sights on the cathedral and not on a secular place? Simply because each year, he will choose an emblematic site of the city, and this building attracting 800,000 annual visitors is one of them. The argument will have visibly touched the canons. ” NOTWe simply wanted to experience a happy, very simple meeting between a French champion team, the Dragonnes, and a cathedral that is also champion, since you are, ladies and gentlemen, in the cathedral which has the largest glazed surface in Europe “, called Father Thiry. Before adding: “It is our pride, as the Catholic Church, to truly welcome everyone. So my friends, you are at home here, whoever you are. »

Wind up against this event, the faithful not given familiar with the parish organized a “priority repair” Saturday September 17 at the cathedral. They entered the building carrying the flag of Civitas, the banner of Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Michael, then praying the rosary, as evidenced by a video they themselves took and then published on Youtube.

The cost intervened, claiming according to our information that this approach does not turn into political recovery. Some performed an exorcism, and the canon finally provoked the police, who took three individuals out of the building by taking them by the arms. Solicited by Christian Familythe diocese and the canon did not recommend commenting on the evening of September 5 or on this event.

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