Page 1, 15th April 1988

15th April 1988
Page 1
Page 1, 15th April 1988 — Pope makes unity plea as schism looms

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People: Marcel Lefebvre
Locations: Econe


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Pope makes unity plea as schism looms

AS negotiations between the suspended Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Cardinal Ratzinger's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reach a climax, the Pope has written to the Congregation's head asking for renewed efforts to reintegrate Lefebvre's Society of St Pius into the mainline Church. Dated April 8, the 'letter makes a two-pronged attack on the excesses of "progressivism" and "conservativism" in the Church saying that both tendencies were mistaken, but understandable reactions to the reforms of Vatican II. Much of the letter focusses on the meaning of "tradition", a key concept under dispute in the 12-year-old battle with rebel Archbishop Lefebvre who claims that some decrees of the Council betrayed the traditional teaching of previous Popes and councils. Tradition must be understood as "a living reality which progresses vis a vis the problems and needs of every age", says the letter. ". . . 'conservativism' or 'integrism' stops at the past itself, without taking into account the correct aspiration toward the future . . ." it adds. At present Cardinal Ratzinger is considering a report compiled by Cardinal Edouard Gagnon following his apostolic visitation to Archbishop Lefebvre's headquarters at Econe, Switzerland. Both the Pope and the Congregation are said to be mindful of the Archbishop's threat to consecrate bishops.

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