The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven was commemorated in Paris, an event that according to the Christian beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church, was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
This doctrine was dogmatically and infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus. While Catholic dogma leaves open the question of Mary's death before rising to Heaven, the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the Dormition of the Theotokos teaches that Mary died and then rose to Heaven. In the churches which observe it, the Assumption is a major feast day, commonly celebrated on August 15. In many Catholic countries, the feast is also marked as a Holy Day of Obligation.
On the night of August 14, 4600 "pilgrims", mostly foreigners, took part in the activities, organized by the Notre Dame de Paris, ( who will also soon celebrate the Church's 850th Anniversary, December 12th.) A procession of boats on the Seine River, bearing an antique, Silver Virgin Mary Statue, in effigy. The leader was the Archbishop, Rino Fisichella, who is the current and first President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. The French Catholic Church, ordered a national day of prayer, August 15, for the better future of the French, in the mist of a long financial crisis, and also to pray against the right of the GLTB population, the right to marry and to raise families.
""This is not news to anybody to say that the Church opposes gay marriage," exclaimed Bishop Bernard Podvin, spokesman for the Bishops' Conference of France on France Inter.
The Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, for his part reiterated in the Progres de Lyon for the Church, "marriage is a union between a man and a woman. It is written on the first page of the Bible ".
Asked about the adoption of children by homosexual couples, he added: "Our desire is that the law does not enter into areas beyond its jurisdiction. A Parliament (...) it is not God the Father ". (Nouvel Observateur)