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SSPX leader plans prompt response to Vatican offer

September 15, 2011

The head of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has acknowledged that the Vatican has asked for the traditionalist group to accept a document regarding the teachings of Vatican II as “a preliminary condition for any canonical recognition of the Society of St. Pius X on the part of the Holy See.”

Bishop Bernard Fellay told reporters that the “Doctrinal Preamble” presented to the SSPX by Vatican officials at a September 14 meeting is confidential. While he would not discuss the contents, he said that he would respond to the Vatican promptly, after reading it carefully and consulting with SSPX colleagues.

The Vatican has indicated that if the SSPX accepts the document--which apparently affirms the fundamental authority of Vatican II teachings, but allows room for debate on the formulation of particular statements by the Council--the Vatican would be prepared to regularize the SSPX, perhaps establishing it as a personal prelature.

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, for one, is skeptical about the prospects for an accord between the Vatican and the SSPX.


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