Excommunicated sect looks to God, not Rome

Gazette, Montreal/September 14, 2007

A Quebec group that believes God speaks directly through its charismatic founder plans to keep saying Mass, marrying couples and ordaining priests - even though the Vatican excommunicated its members this week.

Father Eric Roy said the group must obey God before it obeys Rome, and their founder, Marie-Paule Giguère, "is the purified channel through which God shows us the path."

For years, the Vatican has been keeping an eye on the Community of the Lady of All Peoples, also known as the Army of Mary. In June, Father Jean-Pierre Mastropietro ordained six priests without permission.

Rome ruled this week that, in effect, the group had excommunicated itself. Marc Cardinal Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec and primate of Canada, signed a declaration stating: "These ordinations are invalid; they inflict a grievous wound upon the Church."

But Roy, superior general of the Sons of Mary, an associated group, said the community took the rare sanction in stride. In any event, he said, its fate was revealed to sect leader Marie-Paule almost 50 years ago. "In 1958, the Lord told (Marie-Paule) that she would be crucified by her priests. ... She expected this."

Still, as late as 2000, the group had some support from Eugene LaRocque, former bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall, and Colin Campbell, former bishop of Antigonish, N.S.

The group says it has followers all over the world, but is not sure of the total.

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