Cardinal Says Door Is Open for Lefebvrites

“Ecclesia Dei” President on Mass Norms

ROME, JULY 10, 2007 ( The door is open for members of the Society of St. Pius X to return to full communion, says Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos.

The president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” said that Benedict XVI’s document “Summorum Pontificum,” which expands the use of the missal promulgated in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, should pave the way for the return to communion of the traditionalist group.

The cardinal made the remarks in an interview published Sunday in the Italian daily Il Giornale. “If after this act, they do not return, I would not be able to understand it,” he said.

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos has led the “Ecclesia Dei” commission since April 2000. The commission was established Pope John Paul II in 1988 following the schismatic gesture of illegitimate episcopal ordinations by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Society of St. Pius X.

In the interview the cardinal clarified “that the papal document was not written for the Lefebvrites, but it was written because the Pope is convinced of the necessity to underline that there is continuity in the tradition, and so that the Church will not continue to fracture.”

“The old Mass was never abolished or prohibited,” the cardinal affirmed. And in no way has Benedict XVI gone, nor is he going, “in a different direction than that of the council.”