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Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet is a Roman Catholic church in the centre of Paris, France located in the 5th arrondissement. In 1977 it was occupied by traditionalist Society of St. Pius X and remains in the Society's possession to this day.

History until 1977

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The church was first built in the 13th century and was reconstructed between 1656 and 1763.

In 1612, Adrien Bourdoise founded a seminary at Saint-Nicolas

In the late 17th century, noted harpsichordist Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy (1633–1694) served as titular organist of the church.

In the 19th century the adjacent Mutualité site was occupied by a seminary. There, Ernest Renan studied under the direction of the Abbé Dupanloup, who attained celebrity in 1838 when he reconciled the notoriously amoral diplomat Talleyrand, who had received the minor orders at Saint-Nicholas, to the church on his death-bed. (Dupanloup subsequently became Bishop of Orléans and a member of the Académie française).

Since 1905, the city of Paris, following the Law on the separation of Church and State, claims ownership of the church but grants the Roman Catholic Church a free usage right.

1977 occupation and consequences

In 1977, eleven years before the Ecône Consecrations, members of the Society of St. Pius X led by François Ducaud-Bourget expelled the parish priest and his assistants and occupied the church.

Shortly afterwards, the city of Paris gave an eviction order. In 1978, the Court of Cassation confirmed that the occupation was illegal but the order of eviction was never implemented.<ref name="v1">2002 V. 83 - Vœu relatif à l'occupation de l'église Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet</ref> On February 20, 1987, the Conseil d'État ruled that the disturbance to public order resulting from an expulsion would be higher than that resulting from the illegal occupation.

In 1993, the SSPX members, led by Philippe Laguérie, unsuccessfully attempted to occupy another church in Paris, St-Germain l'Auxerrois.

On June 22, 2002, the municipal council of Paris passed a resolution that the Society of St Pius X should be expelled from the church,<ref name="v1"/> against the wishes of the socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, who considered it an internal matter of the Catholic Church, remarking that the Archbishop of Paris had not requested that the Society be expelled.Template:Citation needed

Current situation

It is now the society's only church in the city of Paris itself (others exist in the Île de France) and although it is not their official French headquarters it is seen as their de facto national centre.Template:Citation needed

On Sundays, mass is celebrated in the church at 8.00, 9.00, and 10.30 a.m., and at 12.15 and 6.30 p.m.


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External links

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