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CDF discusses reconciliation with SSPX

May 16, 2012

The Vatican has confirmed that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) met on May 16, 2012 to discuss a proposed reconciliation between the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and the Holy See.

A short announcement from the Vatican press office indicated that the CDF had concentrated on the response of Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the traditionalist group, to a proposed “Doctrinal Preamble” that could form the basis for a reconciliation. The CDF made “some observations, which will be considered in further discussions between the Holy See and the SSPX,” the statement said.

Widely published reports, based on leaked correspondence among SSPX leaders, have indicated that Bishop Fellay faces vigorous internal opposition, with the three other bishops of the SSPX opposing a deal with the Holy See. The May 16 statement from the Vatican responds to those reports, saying simply: “Regarding the positions taken by the other three bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, their situations will have to be dealt with separately and singularly.” Thus the Vatican, like Bishop Fellay, has shown a willingness to proceed with a reconciliation even if some members of the SSPX resist.

In the US the district superior of the SSPX, Father Arnaud Rostand, issued his own statement emphasizing that Bishop Fellay speaks for the organization, and members of the SSPX should be prepared to abide by his decision.

The CDF discussion is understood to be the penultimate step toward a reconciliation. Pope Benedict XVI will make a final determination, reportedly by the end of this month.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - May. 17, 2012 5:55 PM ET USA

    Bishop Fellay appears to be a good man in a very bad position. Let us pray for him.

  • Posted by: koinonia - May. 16, 2012 10:52 PM ET USA

    There are powerful prelates who do not want this to happen, and they do not want to face the implications if and when it does happen. There is without question a struggle within. In his comments, Bishop Fellay has stated clearly about His Holiness Pope Benedict: "If this recognition happens, it is thanks to him, and to him alone." There is much truth in these words, and they are descriptive of greatness.