Le Figaro - "Lefebvrists: Rome on the verge of lifting the sanctions"
The most credible French national newspaper, Le Figaro, publishes today an article on the possible removal of the excommunications that followed the events of 1988, which led to the consecration by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (with Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer as co-consecrator) of four bishops for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX).
As always, we translate all the important excerpts of the article, but not the whole article (for copyright reasons):
Lefebvrists: Rome on the verge of lifting the sanctions
Sophie de Ravinel.
Published on October 16, 2005. Updated on October 16, 2006, 07h54.
Bishop Bernard Fellay would be on the verge of answering the very simple condition established by Rome for the lifting of the excommunications which weigh on the bishops of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X after 1988: to make that request officially to the Pope. The Superior of this Fraternity, founded by Marcel Lefebvre in 1970, has in effect announced to Le Figaro his intention of sending a mail letter to Benedict XVI containing this request as well as a demand for the liberalization of the Mass according to the Tridentine Rite (Mass in Latin). "This letter, which is also a letter of support for the Pope in face of current and future adversities, should be sent before the end of the month," he [Fellay] assured.
"That would be a great gesture"
It [the letter] would be an answer to a letter, sent about four months ago, by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos. The Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy would have assured him [Fellay] that Benedict XVI would be giving back the Latin Mass its place of honor, and also of the reestablishment of full communion with the See of Peter, if they so made the request.
Bishop Fellay, prudently, does not wish to express himself on [the possible Papal document on the Mass]: "We do not know neither the time nor the contents" [...] "It would be a great gesture, a weighty gesture, of those which we have demanded for such a long time." A gesture of "a completely different level" from that which has allowed for the creation, in September, of the Institute of the Good Shepherd.
...Bishop Fellay predicts that the publication in that great day will be accompanied "by a war within the Church", by repercussions "identical to that of an atomic bomb". As a proof, according to him, of the combats which good and evil fight within the Church...[sic]
If Bishop Fellay seems to have the intention of accepting the hand extended by Rome, he will try to protect his autonomy of word and action "There could be a relation between Rome and us. But it would not yet be a juridical relation". ... he evokes a structure adapted for the Fraternity of Saint Pius X: "spread around the world and independent from the bishops". ...
*This interesting piece information exactly coincides with the information first published here last July.
The SSPX news agency, DICI, denies some aspect of the article and affirms that it "presents a deeply false view of the state of affairs between Rome and the Fraternity of Saint Pius X".
Reuters is carrying an article which substantially agrees with Le Figaro's piece (partially translated above).