VATICAN CITY (CNS): Prominent followers of the late schismatic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre have denied reports that a Mass later this month in Rome will be the occasion for their reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church.
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who is president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, will lead the recitation of the Rosary on May 24 and celebrate the Tridentine Mass at Rome’s Basilica of St Mary Major for “Una Voce delle Venezie”, a group that has remained in communion with Rome.
“Una Voce”, with chapters in 11 northern Italian cities, is sponsoring the special Rosary and Mass as part of its observation of the 2002-3 Year of the Rosary. “Una Voce” promotes the use of Pope John Paul II’s 1988 indult to Catholics devoted to use of the pre-Vatican II Latin liturgy.
Italian and other newspapers reported on April 20-21 that during the Mass Cardinal Castrillon would welcome back into full communion with the Church at least three of the four bishops ordained in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre and excommunicated by the Pope.
Cardinal Castrillon, whose commission is charged with the pastoral care of former followers of the late Archbishop Lefebvre, was unavailable for comment, but Vatican officials and two of the bishops denied the reports.
In an April 22 statement, Bishop Bernard Fellay, one of the four bishops and superior general of the Priestly Fraternity of St Pius X, said he knows “nothing of such a story”.
Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, who was also ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre, said the story of an imminent reconciliation “is a rumour thrown by Rome in an attempt to divide us. We four bishops are all together and not divided.