when Mozart’s Ave verum corpus is controversial

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

On July 11, schoolchildren and college 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 multiplication, in recent months, of “Islamic outfits” in and around of schools, it is another controversy that has emerged in recent days, coming from Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées), a high place of Catholic pilgrimage.

Purpose of the case: the voluntary participation of students in CM1, CM2 and 6e from public and private schools and colleges under contract, in a concert scheduled for July 11 – during school holidays, therefore – on the esplanade of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. In the final part of the “concert of friendship” conducted by the famous Italian conductor Riccardo Muti, and given within the framework of The musical offeringa humanist and solidarity festival (20% of places are offered to people with disabilities), they will perform theAve verum corpus by Mozart . A short piece of religious inspiration for choir, strings…

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