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Vatican, SSPX close to agreement?

Catholic World News - September 13, 2011

The Vatican is close to an agreement with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) that would regularize the status of the breakaway traditionalist group, according to a report in Le Figaro.

Jean-Marie Guenois, the veteran religion correspondent for the French daily, predicts that a September 14 meeting between the SSPX leader, Bishop Bernard Fellay, and key Vatican officials will lead quickly to a resolution of the split that began in 1988 when the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ordained 4 traditionalist bishops without permission from Rome, resulting in the excommunication of the SSPX leaders. Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications in 2009, but the bishops and priests of the SSPX remain under suspension. That suspension could be lifted, and the SSPX given formal approval by the Holy See, under the terms of the agreement the Figaro writer envisions.

The Vatican and SSPX recently concluded a series of talks on theological issues, designed to identity the points on which the SSPX questions the teachings of Vatican II. According to Le Figaro, the proposed agreement would state that the issues raised by the SSPX are not fundamental doctrines of the Church, and it is possible to question them without challenging the authority of Church teaching.

Liberal Catholics will be unhappy with a regularization of the SSPX, Guenois concedes. But liberals will find it difficult to object to the proposed agreement, since they regularly claim to be loyal Catholics while raising questions about certain aspects of Church teaching.

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  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Sep. 14, 2011 12:46 AM ET USA

    Those of us who cherish loyalty and obedience to the Holy See have always heard with charitable sorrow of the errors of dissident Catholics, whether "Liberals" on the one hand or the SSPX and their ilk on the other. We will continue to do so.

  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Sep. 13, 2011 11:04 PM ET USA

    Division never heals. Expressing one's spirituality in the way led by Holy Spirit seems to me to bear no need for condemnation. If the Spirit is truly leading one to Christ, we must be grateful for what all faithful Catholics bring to the Altar. "You did not choose me...". The Spirit is at work and we can learn from each other. We all wear the same clothes of original sin and we are all redeemed by the same Lord.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2011 9:34 PM ET USA

    Those of us who cherish the mysterious, almost hiding, beauty of the Holy Mass in the 'extraordinary' form will with charitable sorrow hear of and bear the displeasure of Liberal Catholics in this matter. But, bear it we will.

  • Posted by: pschloss4164 - Sep. 13, 2011 8:34 PM ET USA

    "since they regularly claim to be loyal Catholics while raising questions about certain aspects of Church teaching". Wouldn't that make SSPX members "liberal" as well? :)

  • Posted by: Jim.K - Sep. 13, 2011 7:49 PM ET USA

  • Posted by: Steve214 - Sep. 13, 2011 6:49 PM ET USA

    "But liberals will find it difficult to object to the proposed agreement, since they regularly claim to be loyal Catholics while raising questions about certain aspects of Church teaching." Indeed.

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