The rebel French Archbishop, Marcel Lefebvre, celebrated a solemn Latin mass on Sunday (23 September) before an estimated ten thousand traditionalist Catholics--in defiance of French church leaders.
The rebel French Archbishop, Marcel Lefebvre, celebrated a solemn Latin mass on Sunday (23 September) before an estimated ten thousand traditionalist Catholics--in defiance of French church leaders. Monsignor Lefebvre was suspended from all priestly duties by the late Pope Paul three years ago, because of his fierce opposition to liturgical reforms. He said mass on Sunday in a Paris exhibition hall to mark the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination as a priest.
SYNOPSIS: From early morning, thousands of traditionalists converged on the Parc des Expositions, some from abroad, clutching well-??? prayer books. Monsignor ??? procession to the ??? was led by more than a hundred seminarists in black cassocks and white surplices, a handful of tonsured monks and several prelates in crimson capes.
News that the rebel prelate was to preside at the mass brought an angry denunciation last week from the French primate, Cardinal Francois Marty, who described the ceremony as a provocation which worsened Monsignor Lefebvre's split with the Holy See.
In the past three years, Monsignor Lefebvre has officiated at a number of ceremonies in defiance of church authorities. Just two months after the Papal ban was announced, he celebrated mass at Lille in northern France, only a short distance from his birthplace at Tourcoing .
But in stark contrast to the siege atmosphere prevailing in Lille, where the doors were manned by extreme rightist militants and where clashes occurred between robed priests and demonstrators, Sunday's service in Paris was a dignified affair.