Friday, February 10, 2006


Top Church Leaders Insist Splinter Group Not Catholic from

Catholic leaders yesterday maintained that a splinter group - the Lefebvrites - had been ex-communicated by the Vatican.

Nairobi archbishop Ndingi mwana a'Nzeki, Nyeri archbishop John Njue and Kenya Episcopal Conference secretary Vincent Wambugu said the Vatican had not lifted the order.

Archbishop Ndingi said: "This church is staffed by members of the schismatic Lefebvrites group which refuses to acknowledge the authority of the Pope."

They were reacting to a story in yesterday's Nation, in which the Lefebvrites in Kenya said they were part and parcel of the Catholic Church.

Last Sunday, a visiting Lefebvrite priest from Rome, Fr Alan Mark Nely, celebrated Latin Mass assisted by the regional superior, Fr Christophe Nouveau. He said: "Very soon, the Vatican will issue a statement on the status of our movement."

The Lefebvrites insist on celebrating Mass facing the altar, their backs to the congregation, the way Mass was celebrated before Vatican II reforms.

Archbishop Ndingi said he received the group in his office last Thursday, but had not discussed their movement.

"The group is not under my archdiocese," he said. "They were invited to the country by a lay person. Go and ask them who brought them here and under whom they are operating as missionaries."

I think the SSPX people on the ground are a bit removed from what their upper echelons have had to say lately...

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