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Ecclesia Dei commission to be merged with Vatican doctrinal office?

June 11, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI will soon release a motu proprio making the Ecclesia Dei commission a part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to a report by Andrea Tornielli, the Vatican-watcher for the Italian daily Il Giornale. The Vatican has offered no official comment on the report.

The Ecclesia Dei commission was established by Pope John Paul II to coordinate outreach to traditionalist Catholics. With the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, calling for broader access to the traditional Latin Mass, Pope Benedict XVI fulfilled the key liturgical demand made by traditionalists of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). However the SSPX remains at odds with the Vatican on theological questions, primarily involving the interpretation of Vatican II. A move to incorporate the Ecclesia Dei commission into the Vatican's top doctrinal body could facilitate the theological dialogue with the SSPX. Italian news outlets have reported that Bishop Bernard Fellay, the SSPX leader, visited the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith earlier this month.

Tornielli's story also reports that within a few days the Pope will name Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, to become Archbishop of Colombo in his native Sri Lanka-- a move that has been rumored for months. The Il Giornale reporter says that Archbishop Ranjith's place at the Vatican will be taken by an American Dominican priest who is currently serving at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Father Augustine DiNoia.


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