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ACI Prensa Staff, Nov 15, 2022 / 16:36 pm (CNA).
A French “influencer” priest who was asked by the Vatican to help out with a survey for the Synod on Synodality has sparked controversy for his videos with sacrilegious parodies of the Mass, including a scene with a “sexy nun,” and his support for the gay agenda.
(WARNING: The videos may be offensive to the viewer.)
Father Matthieu Jasseron of the Archdiocese of Sens and Auxerre has been at the center of controversy in recent days for a 2021 video posted on TikTok in which he is seen making gestures over the chalice like a disc jockey and fooling around with other sacred objects on the altar of a church.
After the scandal broke out, the priest deleted the video, but it can be seen here:
Que vuelva la inquisición… pic.twitter.com/IDO4G2JCBw
— Padre Javier Olivera Ravasi (@PJavierOR) November 6, 2022
Another video shows Jasseron pouring altar wine straight from the bottle into a chalice while making strange facial expressions. As he goes into what appears to be the sacristy to get another bottle of wine, a seemingly inebriated young nun barges through the door wearing a miniskirt, smiling, and holding another bottle of wine, which she then hides behind her back as if caught.
This video has also been deleted from his TikTok account in recent days but can be viewed here:
Diocèse de Sens-Auxerre en août 2021 : « il importe que [les vidéos du père Matthieu] puissent bénéficier d’un concours de compétences plus large pour pouvoir engager l’Église ». Un an plus tard : pic.twitter.com/77s2JpdWr9
— Camille Lecuit (@Camille_Lecuit) July 20, 2022
In a third video, posted in July 2021, the French priest lifts up a dog while standing in the pulpit of a church, simulating a scene from the animated film “The Lion King.”
That video prompted a pronouncement from the French bishops’ conference in August 2021.
“The CEF disapproves of some of these videos that distort the message of the Church. The conference warns that getting many views doesn’t mean that they’re right,” the French bishops pointed out at the time.
In a more recent video, the priest, who has been the pastor of Saint-Jean de Joigny parish since 2019, expresses his satisfaction with the blessing for homosexual couples approved Sept. 20 by the Flemish bishops of Belgium.
In a September interview with a local program, Jasseron explained that he teaches catechism for Catholics. In the video below in which he answers a question that is often asked of him as to whether “being homosexual or practicing homosexuality is a sin” he says, “I’m going to tell you frankly and honestly, friends, that obviously not. It’s not strictly labeled in any place in the Bible, in the Catechism of the Church, in other words, in the whole of Tradition.”
💒”J’essaie de faire du cathé aux non cathos”
Le Père Matthieu, curé et Tiktokeur dans #QuelleEpoque👇 pic.twitter.com/9jLXsXHyUH
— Quelle Époque ! (@QuelleEpoqueOff) September 24, 2022
The Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 2357 teaches that homosexual attraction is not a sin but that “basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
Fraternal correction by two brother priests
Father Francisco Javier “Patxi” Bronchalo, a priest from the Spanish diocese of Getafe, shared with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency, his feelings of sadness over the first video with parodies of the Mass.
“It saddens me to see these kinds of videos, since priests are not there to take advantage of the Church or for disrespectful behavior like this at the altar, looking for people to follow us or pay more attention to us,” he said.
“This type of behavior seems grievous to me,” the Spanish priest stressed.
“We are the spouses of the Church and we are here to love her, defend her, help her, and accompany her, not to use her but to serve her,” he concluded.
Father Juan Manuel Góngora, a Spanish priest who has more than 56,000 followers on Twitter, told EWTN News that “it’s clear that showing that image in a sacred place and with that attitude is the complete opposite of what the Church asks of us ordained ministers. It’s totally noxious.”
“Giving or offering what the world offers never leads anywhere and causes scandal among the faithful,” the priest added.
Góngora encouraged the priests and religious who have a digital apostolate to always be aware of “the responsibility towards the audience on social media, bearing witness to our being Catholic and being truthful with the truth of the Gospel,” recalling that “we represent our mother the Church.”
Statement from the archdiocese
In August 2021, the Archdiocese of Sens and Auxerre, led by Archbishop Hervé Giraud, issued a statement on Jasseron’s videos. The archdiocese first referred to Pope Benedict XVI’s message to the 44th World Communications Day on using the internet to spread the Gospel.
The archdiocese then pointed out that the Jasseron expresses himself on TikTok “in a personal capacity, without having received a particular mission.”
However, “the audience that he has been able to find giving a particular impact to his contributions must benefit from a broader participation of skills to be able to engage the Church.”
The archdiocese went on to give the example of the National Youth and Vocations Service, “which recently brought together a few priests developing a pastoral presence on the internet and seeking the best fit. A process will therefore be put in place to continue this pastoral work in such a way” that, according to Pope Benedict’s message, “makes God concretely present in today’s world and presenting the religious wisdom of the past as a treasure which can inspire our efforts to live in the present with dignity while building a better future.”
ACI Prensa attempted to contact Archbishop Giraud on Nov. 7 and 9 for his opinion on the videos and on Jasseron’s pro-gay agenda stance, but had received no response as of publication time.
In a video posted Nov. 12, Jasseron apologizes to all those who “may have felt hurt” by the “humorous” videos he posted. He also asks prayers for himself and offers his prayers for others.
The priest did not mention his support for the gay agenda in the video.
Contacted by the Vatican
In a video posted June 24, Jasseron excitedly tells his viewers that “it’s Rome that called me, the Vatican” at the request “of the pope and the secretary of state.”
“The Church needs you and wants you to do a survey,” the priest continued, saying that the person who called him was Father Lucio Adrián Ruiz, secretary of the Dicastery for Communication.
The priest explains that he was one of the “influencers” contacted by the Holy See to collaborate with a survey for the Synod on Synodality.
ACI Prensa sent an email Nov. 7 to Ruiz to ask him if he knew the profile of Jasseron when he made the invitation and what he thinks of the videos the French priest shares on his social media.
Ruiz said he would reply by Nov.13. However, as of press time Nov. 14, the secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication has not sent his responses to ACI Prensa’s queries.
David Ramos, editor in chief of ACI Prensa, contributed to this story.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.