Wednesday, 14 September 2011

SSPX breakthrough in sight

The Vatican Information Service today released an English translation of a communiqué concerning the Society of St Pius X following a two hour meeting today between Bishop Fellay and Cardinal Levada. The crucial passage is:
While bearing in mind the concerns and demands presented by the Society of St. Pius X about protecting the integrity of the Catholic faith against Vatican Council II's 'hermeneutic of rupture' with Tradition (a theme addressed by Pope Benedict XVI in his address to the Roman Curia on 22 December 2005), the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith maintains that the fundamental basis for achieving full reconciliation with the Apostolic See is the acceptance of the text of the Doctrinal Preamble, which was handed over during a meeting on 14 September 2011. The Preamble defines certain doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation Catholic doctrine, which are necessary to ensure faithfulness to the Church Magisterium and 'sentire cum Ecclesia'. At the same time, it leaves open to legitimate discussion the examination and theological explanation of individual expressions and formulations contained in the documents of Vatican Council II and later Magisterium.
The communiqué ends with the remarkably hopeful sentence:
At the same meeting, certain suggestions were made for a canonical solution to the position of the Society of St. Pius X, with a view to achieving the desired reconciliation.
If talk of practical canonical arrangements are underway, there is a real hope of a breakthrough in the discussions. In a press conference, Fr Lombardi said that the leaders of the SSPX are expected to sign the document within a few months, and allowed speculation of the form of arrangement that would be made for the SSPX, mentioning the likelihood of a personal prelature.

At the SSPX website, there is an interview with Bishop Fellay. True to form, he is scrupulously respectful of the confidentiality of the discussions: it is a hallmark of the attitude of the SSPX that there have been no leaks about the discussions. Bishop Fellay quite reasonably promised his confreres that he would not make a decision without consulting them first, and that is the next step. The SSPX currently have a 12 million Rosary Crusade going. Given the obvious determination of the Holy See to do whatever it can to foster unity, it would be a good thing for us to join in and pray for the success of these discussions. There is a convenient Tally Sheet that you could use.
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