The dissident Roman Catholic Archbishop from France, Monseigneur Marcel Lefebvre, has been to Italy to reaffirm his support for traditional worship.
The dissident Roman Catholic Archbishop from France, Monseigneur Marcel Lefebvre, has been to Italy to reaffirm his support for traditional worship. The latest move in his continuing campaign against official Vatican reform moves within the church came at the invitation of one of Italy's royalty, and was supported by a gathering of like-minded priests and nuns.
SYNOPSIS: Monseigneur Lefebvre addressed a gathering of supporters at the Pallavicini Palace in Rome, the Italian capital. The 18th-century palace is the home of Princess Elvina Pallavicini, who called the meeting and invited 600 other nobles, priests and nuns to attend. Several cardinals declined, but a number of clergy accepted the invitation and appeared in their working robes.
Monseigneur Lefebvre himself, who has been dubbed 'the anti-Pope' in some roman Catholic circles, is opposed to several specific reforms instituted by Pope Paul - most especially the abolition of the traditional Latin mass. He's been suspended from all ministerial duties by the Pontiff himself, although he's continued serving mass and had undertaken to ordain several priests at the end of June.
In a fervent speech relayed to outside listeners by loudspeaker, Monseigneur Lefebvre said he would continue his denunciation of Church reforms, and serving mass in Latin. 'I do not want to die a Protestant, ' he said, referring to moves towards coming closer to the Anglican and Protestant churches. He said it was impossible for him to orient his controversial seminary at Eccne, Switzerland, in the new ways of the Church. Vatican support for religious liberty had destroyed the missionary movement, he said, and he ridiculed an apparently official decision by the Archbishop of Marseilles in France to give marriage-type blessings to couples who said they were not ready for the full marriage ceremony.