3 Named to Work With Lefebvre Group

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 9, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has appointed three new members to the commission that is working for a return to full communion for members of the Society of St. Pius X.

The three appointed to the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" are Cardinals William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux and president of the French episcopal conference; and Antonio Cañizares Llovera, archbishop of Toledo and primate of Spain.

The commission's president is Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.

The Commission "Ecclesia Dei" was instituted by Pope John Paul II with a 1988 apostolic letter published after the illegal episcopal ordinations carried out by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a schismatic act. The archbishop was the founder of the Society of St. Pius X.

The announcement of the new appointments on Saturday came a day after the French bishops revealed that "in the forthcoming weeks or months," the Pope "should give directives to facilitate the path toward a possible return to full communion" with the Society of St. Pius X.