Pope Paul was under pressure on Friday (29 August) night to excommunicate a rebel French Archbishop who conducted a banned Latin mass during the day.
GV and SV Lille County Hall with congregation entering (3 shots)
SV INTERIOR Monsignor Lefebvre praying at altar with mirror clerics as congregation watch (5 shots)
SV and GV Monsignor Lefebvre speaking to congregation (3 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO SV People giving speech from balcony
NOTE TO EDITORS: Visnews apologies for the poor quality of the Italian section of the film which was a telerecording.
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Background: Pope Paul was under pressure on Friday (29 August) night to excommunicate a rebel French Archbishop who conducted a banned Latin mass during the day.
SYNOPSIS: The mass took place in a sports hall. in Lille, northern France. More than 12,000 people crowded into the hall to hear the rebel Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre attack church reforms.
The Archbishop, who is already barred from churches in Lille and suspended from all priest's functions, celebrated a traditional mass in direct defiance of the Pope. Monsignor Lefebvre has led the traditionalists' revolt against the reforms introduced by the 1962-65 Vatican council to modernise the Roman Catholic Church. He celebrated mass according to the Latin rite laid down by the council of Trent in 1580.
In his address to the congregation Monsieur Lefebvre acknowledged that he risked excommunication by the Pope but he claimed that the Liberals were trying to marry the Church to revolution and subversion. "This adulterous union can only produce bastards-bastard rites and bastard sacraments," the 70-year-old Archbishop said.
Monsieur Lefebvre said that Liberals - by seeking dialogue with Protestant churches with the aim of Christian unity - had turned the mass into a "horrible, abominable mass." He had just done the same thing that he had done for the last 30 years - ordaining priests and saying mass - and he had been suspended.
At one stage, when he condemned church contacts with the Communist world a heckler shouted, "It's a good thing all Christians are not like you," - but stewards quickly jostled him out of the hall.
At this summer palace in Castelgandolfo, Italy, Pope Paul said Monsignor Lefebvre's mass was "challenge of the keys put in our hands by Christ," and he appealed to Catholics the world over to prevent a split. The Pope said Monsieur Lefebvre had committed a very grave breach of ecclesiastical law, ut he did not indicate what action, if any, would be taken.