Religion: The Archbishop Calls It Quits

Ultra-traditionalists plan the first Catholic schism in a century

Soft-spoken but stubborn, French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre has long been a thorn in Rome's side. After founding an ultra-traditionalist seminary in the bucolic Swiss hamlet of Econe in 1970, he began proclaiming that the modernized church policies of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) were heretical abominations. Dismayed, the Holy See ordered him not to ordain any of his seminarians. When he defiantly went ahead and did so in 1976, Pope Paul VI forbade the Archbishop to administer the sacraments. He ignored that injunction as well.

It thus seemed a diplomatic miracle when, on May 5, Lefebvre signed a protocol with the...

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