Pope may pardon Lefebvre's bishops
Lifting excommunication would open door to rebel group
(ANSA) - Vatican City, January 22 - Pope Benedict XVI is ready to revoke the excommunication imposed on four bishops ordained by the late dissident French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Italian press reported on Thursday.
Official sources at the Vatican would neither confirm nor deny to ANSA whether the reports printed in the dailies Il Giornale and Il Riformista were true. Msgr. Lefebvre, who died in 1991, was excommunicated in 1988 along with four bishops he ordained without permission from the Vatican.
Last summer the pope set conditions for the followers of the traditional French archbishop, who belong to the Society of Saint Pius X which he set up in 1970, to rejoin the Church of Rome.
The Fraternity responded to the overture by asking that the excommunications be lifted before any discussion of the conditions began.
But I can tell you, from inside sources in the Vatican, that the rumour is absolutely true. As of today, the SSPX bishops are no longer excommunicated.
Yes, you heard it here first folks.
...and we can hear the faint popping that is the sound of the exploding heads of the French bishops all the way from here.