FOLLOWERS of the rebel archbishop Marcel Lefebvre have succeeded in ruffling the composure of Church authorities both in Rome and in South Africa. Fr Francesco Putti, editor of a traditionalist fortnightly magazine in Rome, last week won a libel case against the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, which had accused his magazine of being "a disseminator of discord."
L'Ossertioore Roman(' is wellknown for reproducing the Church's official line. Its editor, Valperio Volpini was ordered to publish the verdict and given a suspended tine of £90.
The judgement will not be well received by the Vatican Secretariat of State: in 1979, a representative of Cardinal Capri°. then an under secretary in the secretariat, had told Fr Putti that his magazine caused embarrassment.
Meanwhile the South African bishops are going to great lengths to distance themselves from Archbishop Lefebvre's 12-day visit there, due to start next Wednesday. The bishops put out a three page press release setting out the reasons for the archbishop's suspension by Pope Paul in 1976. Clipped to the release was a page outlining the itinerary and starting: "Faithful Catholics in South Africa are preparing a joyous welcome for Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ..."
Subsequently an amended version had to be put out, making it clear that the extra page was taken from a traditionalist magazine called Time and Eternity and saying, "Our press release is intended to correct the wrong ideas in Time and Eternity.