when Mozart’s Ave verum corpus is controversial

The concert is to take place on the Esplanade du Rosaire, in Lourdes. AFP

On July 11, pupils and students from Lourdes have planned to sing this piece from the classical repertoire on the Esplanade du Rosaire. A teachers’ union denounces a “violation of secularism

While the Council of Elders of Secularism of National Education and the National Committee for Secular Action (Cnal)* have echoed the proliferation, in recent months, of “Islamic outfits” in and around schools, another controversy has emerged. in recent days, coming from Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées), a high Catholic pilgrimage site.

Purpose of the case: the voluntary participation of students in CM1, CM2 and 6e of public and private schools and colleges under contract, in a concert scheduled for July 11 – during school holidays, i.e. – on the esplanade of the Basilica of Our Lady Woman of the Rosary. In the final part of the “Friendship Concert” conducted by the famous Italian conductor Riccardo Muti, given as part of The musical offera humanistic and solidarity festival (20% of the places are offered to people with disabilities), they will deAve verum corpus by Mozart A short piece of religious inspiration for choir, strings and organ written at the end of the 18th centurye century before the feast of Corpus Christi. She sets the following prayer to music in Latin:Hail, real body born of the Virgin Mary, who truly suffered and was sacrificed on the cross for man. †

A Report to the Secularism Unit

Is this an attack on secularism? Snuipp, the first union of primary school teachers, denounces this. Its representatives from the Hautes-Pyrénées explain that they have sent a report to the secularization unit of National Education. In a letter addressed to the Rector of the Toulouse Academy and to the local services concerned, they consider “Faced with a serious attack on religious neutrality as a result of the law of 1905, the cave of Lourdes is regarded by the Catholic clergy as a high place of Catholicism“. They call up teachers of schools and music.”summoned by their superiors in Mayparticipate in the preparation of the concert. †Among them, some have found the text of the piece and the chosen place for the limit concert. They warned us 15 days agoreports David Castebrunet, of Snuipp 65.We have nothing against the Catholic Church. We are not against studying and learning from works that are part of our cultural heritage. But the text of this piece is very religious. And the place very problematic. Imagine what would have happened if the case involved a different religion?he adds.

The problem is not related to Mozart’s work. Otherwise we won’t do art history anymoresays Rémy Sirvent of the National Committee for Secular Action. But we could have chosen another place, such as a municipal space, so as not to hurt our conscience. We could also have imagined a demanding cultural activity open to allhe adds. I thought there were three concordat departments in France. Apparently there are four

“My arms are falling away”

My arms are falling awayFor his part, the pianist David Fray, creator and director of L’offrande musicale, responds, a humanist festival far from this bickeringThe idea of ​​Riccardo Muti, one of the greatest living conductors, was to give students the opportunity to sing this Mozart masterpiece as a gift. So I organized a meeting with the town hall of Lourdeshe explains. Works of art that have been commissioned by the church for centuries have two facets. One is religious, the other universal‘ he recalls.

The Toulouse academy did not refer to the ministry as an “attack on secularism”. That is “voluntarily” and “outside of school» that was requested from students and lecturers. †This is a work about a heritage work. Contrary to what has been said, the concert will not take place in the church, nor in the sanctuary, nor in the cave, but on the esplanade“explains Thierry Aumage, academic director of the Hautes-Pyrénées. †This concert is not organized by National Education, he clarifies again. The mayor of Lourdes asked me for a children’s choir to participate in this festival. I have asked to pass this on to school and music teachers. I was not challenged by the teachers or the parents. The warning came from a press release written by a union

* The Cnal brings together Unsa Education, the FCPE (First Federation of Parents of Left-Marked Pupils) and the Education League.

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