Mere days after the disruption of a “Reformation Commemoration” in a Catholic Cathedral in Belgium, a group of Parisians took similar action against a joint Catholic/Protestant ecumenical service in the Catholic church of Notre Dame des Blancs-Manteaux. Resistance-leaning media outlet Media-Presse described the celebration as an “Ecumenical Mass”, but on its website the parish, while making no mention of the disruption, took care to specify that the service had been “non-Eucharistic”.
Some differences between this incident and what took place in Belgium:
—the Belgian Catholics specifically prayed out loud to drown out the Protestant pastor’s sermon, but it seems the intention of the French Catholics was to interrupt the entire liturgy, as they prayed out loud even during non-verbal dance (seen from 00:37-01:01 in the video).
—whereas the Belgian Catholics handed out their pamphlet before the event and primarily prayed, several of the French Catholics can be seen holding their pamphlet (entitled “Luther: is he Christian?”) and responding to inquiries from church-goers (3:15 in the video, for example), despite receiving verbal abuse (expletives at 2:05-2:10).
—what may have increased tensions is that, unlike the incident in Belgium, the event was openly described by the parish as being not a “commemoration”, but a “celebration” of the Reformation: http://www.ndbm.fr/celebration-a-loccasion-du-5e-centenaire-de-la-reformation/
—additionally, the parish created a website (http://95raisons.fr/) and produced several youtube videos which attempt to justify Luther and his actions (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyoOT5N6tI_t6E3mEAB7_INMVP--jL1lP). My translation of a few quotes to give an idea of the content of these videos: “Luther truly had prophetical inspirations and profound gifts given by the Holy Spirit”, “If the [Catholic] Church today proclaims, studies, and announces the Gospel, we owe this to the Protestant communities, we owe this to Martin Luther and his love of Scripture.”, “[Before] there was a fracture between the [Catholic] liturgy and Scripture. It is thanks to the Protestants that we have been able to reunite liturgy, tradition, and Scripture.” These factors may have added “fuel to the fire”, so to speak.