Pope plans reconciliation with schismatic bishops
Pope John Paul II reportedly intends to end a major breach within the Church, welcoming breakaway traditionalists back into full communion with the Holy See after a 15-year split.
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, will celebrate Mass using the Tridentine rite on 24 May in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major. According to both the Italian daily Il Messaggero and the London Times, the cardinal -- who has been assigned by the Pope to seek a reconciliation between the Vatican and the schismatic Society of St. Pius
-- will lift the bans of excommunication on three of the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
The late Archbishop Lefebvre was excommunicated in 1988 when he presided at the episcopal ordination of four priests, in direct defiance of a disciplinary directive from Rome.
The bishops who were consecrated that day also incurred the penalty of excommunication. But according to Il Messaggero, three of the four will be reconciled -- leaving one hard-line traditionalist bishop at odds with Rome.
The Vatican has not yet responded officially to reports of the reconciliation with the traditionalist groups. However it has been confirmed that Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will president at the Tridentine-rite Mass on 24 May, becoming the first prelate in Rome to use the traditional liturgy in public since 1970.
Catholic World News
Traditionalist Group to Reconcile with Rome? (Catholic World News)
Pope woos conservatives expelled for rebellion (London Times)
Critics say group is a cult which attracts extreme following (London Times)
SSPX "Reconciliation" Rumor Not True (Diocese Report)
Congregation for the Clergy
Society of St Pius X | Australia/New Zealand | Society of St Pius
22 Apr 2003