The National Catholic Welfare Conference News Service said today that Pope Pius :has refused a dispensation" for Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma to marry King Michael of Roumania.
Anne is Roman Catholic and Michael is Orthodox. The Roman Catholic news service dispatch from Rome was sent to many Catholic publications, and international news organizations, including the Associated Press. The Pope's refusal is from "very realiable sources" in Rome, "which are entirely unconnected with the Vatican."
The report continues:
"It is stated that former Queen Helen of Rumania and Princess Rene of Bourbon-Parma went personally to the Pope to request the necessary dispensation. After the audience, they were heard to express disappointment over the Holy Father's refusal several times in social circles during their short visit here.
"Observers point to the fact of the divine law from which not even the Pope can dispense. Michael belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church and Anne is a devout Catholic. Hence, observers point out, the usual conditions must be fulfilled. Anne must be allowed to practice her faith and all children must be reared in the Catholic religion.
"Although the Orthodox Church has a general liturgical form of worship similar to the Catholic Church, that is, the mass, the sacraments, etc., it is regarded as heretical, just as are the Protestant denominations, because of the refusal to accept the doctrine of primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff."
It is understood that Michael and Anne's children will be raised in the Orthodox faith, and no compromise will be reached on this issue.