Rorate Caeli

French monsignor appointed to PCED

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has just engaged a Frenchman, 53 year old Patrick Descourtieux, a monsignor of the Archdiocese of Paris.

Ordained in Paris (at St. Sulpice) in 1986, he was appointed pastor of the parish of St. Severin. In 1989 he moved to Rome where he worked with the French speaking division of the Secretariat of State for 10 years. An excellent musician, he served as organist at St. Louis-des-Français for 5 years. He then left the Secretariat of State and replaced Mons. Arrighi as rector of Trinita dei Monti church while also teaching at the Pontifical Institute for Patristic Studies, the Augustinianum.

He served at Trinita dei Monti for seven years. Following the closing of the house of the Sisters of the Trinita dei Monti, having been replaced by the clerics of the Fraternity of Jerusalem (the "Monks in the City") founded by Father Pierre-Marie Delfieu, he returned to Paris, and was appointed resident priest at the parish of St. Clotilde, then served as chaplain at Notre Dame from 2008 on.

Specialist in Patristics (having published translations of St. Hilary of Poitiers and St. Clement of Alexandria), he taught at the faculty of the Notre Dame Cathedral School.

Monsignor Descourtieux has a keen knowledge of the traditional liturgy and of the demand for this liturgy: In Rome he fulfilled the wishes of the faithful who desired to have the Sacred Triduum in the form now known as "extraordinary" by allowing it to be celebrated in Trinita dei Monti (this was in the days prior to the establishment of the Traditional personal parish in Rome -- CAP) . In Paris he was part of a delegation of diocesan priests who celebrate this form as needed.

Merci à Summorum Pontificum Observatus

(Post revised and edited by CAP)


  1. Andre'2:48 AM

    I do not believe he is yet a bishop. He is just a plain Msgr.

  2. He's not a bishop, just a "Monsignore".

  3. He obviously is not a bishop! Just a Monsignor incardinated in the Archdiocese of Paris.

  4. Anonymous7:08 AM

    The original sources do not state that Msgr Patrick Descourtieux is a bishop. His title may thus be that of a "lower prelate", also styled Monsignor in general ecclesiastical usage.

  5. Anonymous8:48 AM

    A mistake : Mgr Descourtieux is NOT a bishop. He is a monsignore.

    In French, there is no distinction in the abbreviation "Mgr" means always "Monseigneur" either for a bishop or a honorary prelate like "Msgr" (English) Descourtieux.

    The appointment of a French priest is in itself interesting ; the appointment of a "bishop" would have been ... extraordinary and somewhat weird : simple Curian officials are not bishops.

    Let us recall that the 3 year delay of S.P. comes to an end in September this year so to see new members appointed at the C.E.D. is ... good news.


  6. Anonymous8:56 AM

    I think there is a mistake.

    Mgr Descourtieux isn't a bishop.At least not yet...
    He is currently a chaplain at Notre Dame de Paris cathedral as stated on the official page here:

    Living in Paris, I can add that the current choirmaster of Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, Lionel Sow, was an ancient altar servant for the traditionnal rite at Saint Eugene parish church in Paris, and that his brother Jean-Cyrille Sow is a priest at the FSSP.

  7. Mons. Descourtieux seems to be a priest, not a bishop.

  8. Are you sure Mgr Descourtieux is a bishop? Is he not a parish priest in Paris? The French article refers to him as 'Mgr', but not bishop.

    I'm sure that if any of the Parisian bishops were advocates of the Extraordinary Form, we'd have heard about it before now.

  9. Anonymous1:51 PM

    This should read "Monsignor", a priest and NOT a bishop.

  10. I'm hoping that the reason there are nine comments that say the same thing has something to do with a delay in comment approval... :)

  11. Sid Cundiff7:14 PM

    I pray this isn't straying too far off topic.

    Someone tell me about the Fraternity of Jerusalem.

  12. Are you sure he's not a bishop?


  13. My apologies to all who were misled by this post. The confusion stems from the French custom of addressing bishops as “Monseigneur”. When the original article referred to Patrick Descourtieux as such, I mistakenly concluded he was a bishop. Obviously a little more research on my part would have shown the reality of the matter. In any case, felicitations to Mgr. Descourtieux. A French cleric on the Commission is good news no matter what his rank.

    Mea culpa, miserere mei (and many thanks to Carlos Palad for cleaning up after me in my absence).


  14. Anonymous8:06 AM

    This following the appointment of an Italian, Fr. Nuara OP in december, as staff. It is not surprising at all to have a french priest on the Commission, seeing that they need experts on the situation in France on the commission, who know what is going on there, and how to respond in perfect, tactful French.

    Are there traditional minded American or S. American clergy on the Commission or working on its staff?

  15. Anonymous10:03 AM

    Fraternité monastique de Jérusalem is a French monastic order founded in the mid 70's in Paris by Fr. Pierre-Marie Delfieux.

    Its ideal is to recover the medieval idea of a monastery within the city. Monks and nuns are working outside in the morning and praying inside the other half of the day.

    It is a serious N.O. order and they wear a religious habit (a dark blue robe for men). They have expanded in France and a few other Europeans and Africans have been attracted by this new order.
    The mother house is close to Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais in Paris center, a church they were given by the then archbishop, cardinal Marty.


  16. "Are there traditional minded American or S. American clergy on the Commission or working on its staff?"

    I don't know if Msgr. Arthur Calkins is still part of the PCED. In September of last year he told me that he was still a member.

    Whether he is traditional-minded or not is for another discussion.


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