Who is Laurent Ulrich, the new archbishop of Paris?

He will occupy the most prestigious position in the Church of France: Monseigneur Laurent Ulrich was named Tuesday April 26, 2022 Archbishop of Paris by Pope Francis. Originally from Dijon, where he was ordained a priest in 1979, the former archbishop of Chambéry then of Lille replaces Michel Aupetit whose departure was precipitated last December by the publication in Point of an investigation into his governance and his private life.

Faced with a diocese deeply shaken by this affair, the Vatican has opted for a transition approach, since the mandate of Mgr Ulrich will be short: aged 70, the one who was vice-president of the Conference of Bishops of France from 2007 to 2013 will have to resign at age 75 as is customary.

The choice of Bishop Ulrich marks an inflection compared to his three predecessors, all of Parisian origin. “It’s a great appointment which was not in the predictions,” observes Benoît de Sinety, now parish priest in the diocese of Lille and former vicar general of Paris. The latter, like his counterpart Alexis Leproux, had left the team then led by Michel Aupetit.

The mission of the Archbishop of Paris has an eminently political dimension and his representative carries a powerful voice in the public debate. “I am delighted because he is a person who has a strong social fiber, who listens to the little ones but who is also capable of speaking to the powerful, with the respect due to them and the strength of his convictions and “Gospel,” continues Benoît de Sinety.

Discreet by nature, the Burgundian prelate contrasts with the more demonstrative personalities of his predecessors. In his collection of conferences “The Teaching of the Church on social questions” (Ed. Cité vivant, 2000), Laurent Ulrich develops the importance of the transmission of the moral teaching of the Catholic Church on contemporary themes . His interest in these questions is also illustrated in his degrees – a master’s degree in philosophy and one in theology on “the announcement of the faith in the modern world”. “He has always been keen to listen to the realities to which his missions have led him, to support them as best as possible. In Lille, he embraced the history of a young diocese (the constituency was established in 1913) marked by a strong social Catholicism,” observes Benoît de Sinety.

Also author of the book “Hope cannot disappoint” (Éd. Bayard, 2014), Laurent Ulrich has an “intellectual and theological singularity. He carries this theological virtue that is hope, which is not an easy thing. “, according to the philosopher Laurence Devillairs.

Described as a “man of dialogue”, he arrived at his post six months after the submission of the Ciase report revealing the extent of pedophilia crimes in the Church. The work to repair and prevent abuse is still in its infancy. He will also have to appease a diocese shaken by the Aupetit affair, which revealed the existence of structural dysfunctions within the Parisian archdiocese.

“Mgr Ulrich must rethink the exercise of power within this diocese. It is not enough to say that we are going to have a more collaborative practice. We must set up a regulatory and inspection body,” argues Laurence Devillairs, who teaches political philosophy at the University of Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne. The one who voluntarily left her position as dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Catholic Institute of Paris adds: “a rector should not have full powers…”

Laurent Ulrich is recognized for his managerial qualities. A significant asset in view of the subjects which he will have to take up, such as that of the future of the Saint Merry pastoral center, which had been the subject of a conflict with Mgr Aupetit. Beyond administration, MgrUlrich will also have to take charge of the aftermath of the Notre-Dame reconstruction project and take charge of the Catholic Institute of Paris.

Its installation will take place on Monday May 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Saint-Sulpice Church. The new Archbishop of Paris shared the joy that animated him for this new mission: “I come to you with “the joy of believing” which has been my motto for a long time.”

By Therese Thibon with Alban de Montigny

>> > Also read on Lepelerin.com : 13 personalities from the associative and Christian world challenge the President

Similar Posts