There are peaceful protests taking place across France against the government's ban on liturgy with the presence of the faithful. Despite an appeal lodged by the bishops, this decision was upheld by the Council of State. "We will protest as long as the authorities do not give us back the Mass," the protesters insisted.
“This time we will not agree to Masses only on the computer,” underlines Marc Billig, who together with a friend, organised a protest last Sunday in front of the Nantes Cathedral. They did not expect such a strong response to their campaign promoted on Facebook.
According to the local police, about six hundred people took part in the prayer in front of the cathedral. It was similar in Lyon and Versailles, where the faithful prayed the rosary in front of the churches.
“We hope that, seeing this grass-roots protest by Catholics, the French authorities will want to see how important it is for believers to participate in the Eucharist,” emphasises a parishioner from Nantes. He points out that the faithful do not intend to break the law and that all demonstrations are reported in advance in local prefectures and have police protection. Sanitary restrictions are also respected.
The French people participating in the prayer protest are reminding the authorities that the restrictions caused by the pandemic cannot deprive them of their basic freedom, which is the freedom of worship and freedom to profess their faith.