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SSPX response to 'Doctrinal Preamble' surprises Vatican

December 21, 2011

The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has delivered its official response to a Vatican offer for reconciliation, but the response is not what the Holy See expected, reports leading Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli.

Last week the SSPX submitted a response to the “Doctrinal Preamble” that was presented to the traditionalist group in September as the possible basis for a reconciliation with the Holy See. The document allowed for some amendment or clarification, but the Vatican made it clear that the SSPX would be expected to accept the essence of the statement, acknowledging the authority of Vatican II, before the traditionalist group could be regularized.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the SSPX, had already disclosed that the group would not accept the Doctrinal Preamble as it stands. His public comments seemed to indicate that the SSPX would suggest amendments to the document. (The text of the Doctrinal Preamble has not been made public. Bishop Fellay explained that it will remain confidential until a final decision has been made.)

However, according to Tornielli, the formal response submitted by the SSPX to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is neither an agreement nor a proposal for changes in the document. Tornielli suggests that the SSPX response seems to be a bid to gain some extra time for internal discussions, because Bishop Fellay—who appears to be leaning toward an accord with the Holy See—faces stiff opposition from hard-line traditionalists within the group.


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  • Posted by: ILM - Dec. 21, 2011 1:48 PM ET USA

    Pray that an accord is reached.