Brazilian Traditionalists Get a Coadjutor Bishop

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II today named a coadjutor bishop for a traditionalist group that has returned to full communion with the Catholic Church.



The fraternity, now known juridically as the St. John Mary Vianney Personal Apostolic Administration, is based in Campos, Brazil. It has 26 priests and about 28,000 lay faithful throughout Brazil.

The new bishop will be Father Fernando Arêas Rifan, the current vicar general of that apostolic administration. He also has been the fraternity's representative in talks with the Holy See to overcome the schism.

The St. John Mary Vianney Fraternity is a traditionalist group led by Bishop Licinio Rangel, consecrated by three bishops ordained illicitly by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The schismatic character of those ordinations broke full communion with Rome.

The fraternity's return to the heart of the Church took place Jan. 18 in a solemn ceremony presided over by John Paul II's representative, Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

Fernando Arêas Rifan was born in the Diocese of Campos in 1950. He was ordained a priest in 1974. From 1983 to 2002 he was director of the Three Little Shepherds school in Campos. As coadjutor he would succeed Bishop Licinio Rangel at his death or retirement.