Rebel French Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who has already ignored suspension from his duties by Pope Paul, says he will also ignore ex-communication if that too was imposed.
Rebel French Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who has already ignored suspension from his duties by Pope Paul, says he will also ignore ex-communication if that too was imposed. The Archbishop, who's been resisting changes within the Church - especially the dropping of the Latin mass - was speaking in Chile on Monday (18 July) during a Latin-American visit.
SYNOPSIS: Monseigneur Lefebvre held a news conference in Santiago, the chilean capital, after arriving from Colombia on his way to Argentina. he would remain firm in his views, he said.
If he was ex-communicated, he told, newsmen, he would ignore it as he was ignoring his suspension -- because it was unfounded.
He had never been properly tried by the Vatican for his resistance to reforms introduced a decade ago, he said, and therefore any action taken against him was without base. The Archbishop has a large following of traditional Roman Catholics and has continued preaching the Latin, or Tridentine, mass, in defiance of Vatican orders. If Catholics were turning to him for encouragement, he said it was because he was running a traditional seminary -- and because he was the one Bishop who was raising his voice directly to God as the guarantor of the Catholic faith.
Referring to his meeting in the Vatican with the Pope himself in September last year, Archbishop Lefebvre said he reminded him that he was appointed by the Pope himself. But he said he told the Pope that he, Archbishop Lefebvre, did not regard himself as the head of the traditionalists. He had never wished to lead such a movement, he said, but people were turning to him because of his position as a Bishop, who could appear before the Church authorities with 'more strength and efficiency.
Asked why he has been refusing to obey the Pope, Archbishop Lefebvre said a Pope or a head of stat lost the right to be obeyed the moment he did not fulfil his functions or make use of his authority. He did not think he would be eventually excommunicated for his disobedience, he said but if he was, he would not bend. Meanwhile, Cardinal Raul Silva Henrique of the Roman Catholic Church in Chile, which is officially opposed to Monseigneur Lefebvre, condemned him as a 'traitor and a Judas'.