• Short Summary

    A supporter of the rebellious French Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, has said the Archbishop does not want to break away from the Pope or the Church of Rome..

  • Description

    CU AND SV: Archbishop Lefebvre conducting traditional mass in sports hall in Lille France. 29/8/76. (4 shots)

    SV INTERIOR: Catholic Theologian Campion, speaking to reporter.

    SV: Father Oscar Baker conducting traditional mass in Downham market. (29/8/76) (2 shots)

    CU: Father Baker speaking to reporter.

    REPORTER: "Could you please explain in a nutshell what the difference is between this mass, and the mass generally celebrated?"

    CAMPION: "Well I think you put it very well when you say it's become a symbol really, I think it's a symbol of something much deeper. The differences between the mass that's called the Tridentine Mass, the one that was introduced by Pope Pius the Fifth in the sixteenth century some years after the Council of Trent, is really not all that different from the mass that was authorised by Pope Paul the Sixth following on the Vatican Council that was held in the early nineteen-sixties. If you look at the formula of the mass itself, there are a few changes here and there - some prayers were shortened in order to simplify some of the things that had been introduced that ware regarded as repetitions were avoided. But if you take the actual words - the most important words of the mass themselves are concerned with the consecration of the mass - the central act of worship, of sacrifice - they are identical from one mass to the other. So therefore I think really when one hears about the controversy and sees it focusing on this mass, one has to see it more as a symbol - it's a symbol of any change, a resistance to any change. We didn't speak really of traditionalists, so much I think but maybe immobilists is the word - people who refuse to accept any idea of change in the Catholic Church as they have known it - not recognising of course that the Catholic Church itself has changed many times over the centuries. Not in its substance of doctrine taught by Jesus, but in the forms, its identification with different types of culture, of civilisation. And therefore the notion of Christianity as it existed in Europe, say in the medieval period, is no longer something that the Church feels obliged to adopt as its particular form. It accommodates itself to the times, to the people, because that's its pastoral responsibility. The Pope's last desire is to have anything to do with any further controversy here, and there's nothing that would please him more than to have reconciliation with Archbishop Lefebvre without any
    further action on his part - he's not seeking to impose an excommunication. If anything, as far as I can see when one reads it now, it looks as though Archbishop Lefebvre is the one who's excommunicating other people.

    BAKER: "Why should this one particular Pope be against, as it were, this mass? And he is definitely against the mass. Therefore on must be obedient to the teaching of the Church through the centuries, rather than the one Pope who may in history go down as a bad Pope.

    Initials RH/NPJ/MR/1600

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: A supporter of the rebellious French Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, has said the Archbishop does not want to break away from the Pope or the Church of Rome.. nevertheless, the controversy Archbishop Lefebvre has started among Roman Catholics, continues unabated.

    SYNOPSIS: The 70 year-old Archbishop is a strict traditionalist and opposes the reforms set in motion by the second Vatican Council ten years ago. He recently defied a Papal order by celebrating the traditional Latin mass in a sports in a sports hall in Lille, northern France. A leading Jesuit theologian, Father Donald Campion, explains what the dispute is about.

    However, the Archbishop still has many supporters - not only in France. Father Oscar Baker of Downham Market, Norfolk, England, is one of them.

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