Lefebvrites reject reconciliation deadline

VATICAN CITY -- The leader of a breakaway group of conservative Catholics rejected a Vatican proposal for reconciliation, saying that last year’s revival of traditional liturgy by the pope does not go far enough to undo decades of modernization in the church.

“They speak of reconciliation, but it is an integration in the new, and we don’t want that,” said Bishop Bernard Fellay, in a sermon available on the Web site of “Voice of Catholic Radio on Long Island.”

Fellay gave the sermon last Friday (June 20) at a seminary in Winona, Minn., that’s run by the Society of Saint Pius X.

Founded in 1970 by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the group has consistently protested the changes wrought by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, including the replacement of the so-called Old Latin Mass with a newer liturgy typically celebrated in local languages.

Lefebvre died in 1991, three years after he was excommunicated by the Vatican. Last July, Pope Benedict XVI lifted restrictions on the Latin Mass, expressing hope that the move would lead to reconciliation with Lefebvre’s followers.

Don't miss a thing! Get NCR's free newsletter.

Earlier this week, an Italian newspaper reported that the Vatican had given Fellay an ultimatum, offering to repeal the excommunication of group leaders if they affirmed respect for the pope’s authority. The offer came with a deadline of the end of June.

Fellay characterized the Vatican’s position as an unacceptable demand for silence.

“They just say shut up,” he said. “We are not going to shut down our mouth or to shut up. ... We have fought now for 40 years to keep this faith alive, to keep this tradition not only for ourselves but for the church, and we are just going to continue, happens what happens.”

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017