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Chapelle Sacre Coeur Traverxin 01

How a church became a restaurant in Lorraine

We will describe what happened, asking you to judge the situation. At the end we will offer our opinion.

In 1901, a wealthy lady of the village of Travexin in the French Department of Vosges, Lorraine, decided to build a chapel in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to which she had an ardent devotion. She chose the Romanesque style and ordered the best material she could find to construct it. The chapel became an imposing edifice much larger than the normal chapel.

The lady gave the building to the Diocese of Saint Dié des Vosges. It became the Church of the village of Travexin, before that village merged with the neighboring town of Cornimont. After this union, since Cornimont already had its own Church, a Mass was said at the Chapel of the Sacred Heart only on occasion, to satisfy the village inhabitants who were attached to their historic patrimony.

The Diocese did not take proper care of the building and it began to deteriorate. On their own initiative, the locals raised money for a new roof and to repair the bells.In 2010, wanting to be rid of that useless building, Bishop Jean Paul Mathieu of Saint Dié des Vosges ordered the chapel's desecration and handed it over to be sold by a real estate agent.

A buyer appeared, with the plan to raze the building and use its stones for a new building on the site. When a local businessman learned of this, he went to the agent, offered a better price (110,000 Euros - about $142,000) and closed the deal - with the condition that nothing in the Church be touched. The Diocese even had to return the organ it had already sold.

This young businessman became the hero of the locals for having saved their chapel. Now, he uses the chapel to promote art and photograph expositions, classical and modern music concerts, choir performances, etc. Once in a while it is also used for a religious ceremony, such as his own marriage in 2011. However, the main use for the building is that of a restaurant. The owner transformed a room adjoining the chapel into a large kitchen to prepare food for all kinds of luncheons and banquets. He advertises: "Come and have a different kind of dinner."

In the first photo above, you see a luncheon starting. A guide is telling the customers the history of the place. You can see the food and drink buffet tables set up in the presbytery of the church at the foot of the altar, under the original statue of the Sacred Heart.

In the first row below, you see the chapel filled with tourists waiting to be served; second row, a shot from the choir shows another luncheon arrangement; third row,  from the presbytery we see an evening dinner party; fourth row, a photo used for advertising purposes; last row, a photo of the chapel at night.

So here is the present situation: The Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Travexin is being constantly profaned. Now, we ask you to judge who is the responsible for it.

Our opinion: Why did Bishop Mathieu not sell this chapel to some Catholic traditionalist group that would maintain it well and give it all the respect it deserves as a House of God?

But he did not do this. Instead, he followed a general policy of the Hierarchy. The conciliar Bishops, even when they allow Motu Proprio Masses to be said in their Dioceses, do not allow traditionalist Catholics to buy the beautiful and solemn churches and chapels that are not being used. They prefer to destroy them or sell them to Muslims, movie stars, celebrities and businessmen...

Chapelle Sacre Coeur Traverxin 02
Chapelle Sacre Coeur Traverxin 03
Internet photos  sent by a French reader


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Posted November 4, 2012

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