Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SSPX Meeting With Cardinal Levada

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 14 SEP 2011 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy See Press Office released the following communique concerning the postion of the Society of St. Pius X:

"On 14 September at the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the congregation and president of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'; Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer S.J., secretary of the congregation, and Msgr. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the pontifical commission, met with Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, who was accompanied by Fr. Niklaus Pfluger and Fr. Alain-Marc Nely, respectively first and second assistant general to the society.

"Following the appeal of 15 December 2008, addressed by the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the Holy Father decided to remove the excommunication against the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre. At the same time, he approved the opening of discussions with the society in order to clarify doctrinal problems and to heal the existing rift.

"In order to put the Holy Father's instructions into effect, a joint study commission was set up, composed of experts from the Society of St. Pius X and from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who met in Rome on eight occasions between October 2009 and April 2011. Their discussions, which aimed to identify and study the essential doctrinal difficulties in the controversial issues, had the result of clarifying the positions of the two sides and their respective motivations.

"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.

"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".
OP/ VIS 20110914 (450)
I see nothing momentous yet, but it appears that the document was given to Bishop Fellay, in which case previous rumours indicate that he has two weeks to respond or ask for clarification.
ETA: I'm not seeing any of the recent articles mention this two weeks thing that I heard before. Maybe that was a mistaken rumour. In any case, according to CNS, they are expected to respond rather soon.
ETA2: This link goes into just a tiny bit more depth, saying:
"The “doctrinal Preamble” offered today to the Lefebvrians, as foreseen yesterday by the Vatican Insider, is a concise two to three page long text, which reaffirms the fundamental principles of the Catholic faith, needed to maintain the unity of the Church. The Vatican’s spokesman, Federico Lombardi, however, said that its content is supposed to be kept secret." 
 Slightly further on:
"The “doctrinal Preamble” therefore, does not seem to contain an explicit request for “full recognition of the Council and the teaching of John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI himself.” This was affirmed by the Secretary of State, in a communiqué published issued in December 2009." 
I find this last paragraph especially to be very encouraging. Maybe this is going to be quick and painless...

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