Reports: Pope to lift excommunications (Updated)

Update from Rorate Caeli on Friday January 23rd:

 

 VATICAN CITY –January 22, 2009,  7:46 AM EST (Associated Press) – Two newspapers say Pope Benedict XVI has decided to lift the excommunications of four bishops consecrated 20 years ago by the late French ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. 

Lefebvre rebelled against the Vatican’s modernizing reforms of the 1960s, including replacing Latin with local languages at Mass.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer and the Four

Benedict has already reached out to the rebels in the hopes of bringing them back into the Church by making it the old Mass more readily available.

The Italian newspapers Il Giornale and Il Riformista said Thursday that Benedict has now decided to meet their demand that the excommunications be lifted. The newspapers said, without citing sources, that Benedict has already signed the decrees and that they will be made public soon.

The Vatican declined comment on the reports.

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