Page 2, 9th February 1979

9th February 1979
Page 2
Page 2, 9th February 1979 — 'Fake' interviews upset Lefebvre

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Locations: Econe, Rome


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'Fake' interviews upset Lefebvre

by Frances Gumley

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the leader of the Tridentinists has been the victim of fake interviews and gross misrepresentation, according to a spokesman for the traditionalist seminary at Econe, Switzerland.

The Tridentinists have been forced to comment following a flurry of contradictory statements attributed to Archbishop Lefebvre after his recent stay in Rome when he was interviewed at great length by Cardinal Franjo Seper and others from the Congregation for Doctrine.

At first the Archbishop's cornments to the press were mutedly optimistic. He seemed to be maintaining the low profile he adopted after his private audience with Pope John Paul II.

But suddenly the new spirit of conciliation seemed to disappear. There was a return to the old intransigence and defiance which had marked the Archbishop's statements in the days of Pope Paul.

In an interview with an Italian newspaper, the Archbishop was quoted as saying, "Rome is wrong, not I", and brusquely referring to the Pope as "Wojtyla".

He has since publicly denied these statements and is reported to be very upset by them. He has agreed to suspend ordinations at Econe and has told the Pope that he would accept the reforms of Vatican II "in the light of tradition and interpreted in the light of tradition".

Fr Richard Williamson, an English priest at the St Pius X seminary in Econe described the interview in the Italian newspaper as "complete nonsense".

He added, "The interview was a skilful compilation of past statements put together by enemies of the Monsignor who wanted to discredit him. It is disgraceful."

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