Cardinal Castrillón to Celebrate a Tridentine Mass in Rome

Plan Applauded by Archbishop Lefebvre’s Successor

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 1, 2003 ( Followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre welcomed the announcement that Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos will celebrate a Tridentine-rite Mass in a Roman basilica this month.

The cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Clergy is also the president of the Pontifical Commission «Ecclesia Dei,» which was established to promote reconciliation between Lefebvrists and Rome.

He will celebrate the Mass on May 24 in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

«It is an important gesture on the part of Rome,» the superior of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, told the Parisian newspaper La Croix. At the same time, Archbishop Lefebvre’s successor said that «he now hopes for even clearer signs from Rome in our direction.»

«The traditional Mass in a Roman basilica will be a strong gesture for all Catholics attached to the traditional Roman liturgy,» Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan told La Croix.

The bishop is in charge of the apostolic administration of St. John Mary Vianney, a Brazilian entity that arose from Archbishop Lefebvre’s schism and returned to full communion with Rome in January 2002.

The rupture between the Society of St. Pius X and the Holy See took place on June 30, 1988, when Archbishop Lefebvre ordained four bishops (among them Fellay) without papal approval.

On July 2 of that year, the Holy Father came out with the apostolic letter «Ecclesia Dei,» in which he defined that episcopal ordination as «a schismatic act.» Archbishop Lefebvre died in 1991.

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