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SSPX has sent new response to Holy See on 'doctrinal preamble'

April 13, 2012

The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has reportedly sent the Vatican a new response to a proposed “doctrinal preamble” that could form the basis for reconciliation between the traditionalist group and the Holy See.

In March, Bishop Bernard Fellay met with Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to discuss an earlier SSPX response to the “doctrinal preamble.” Cardinal Levada informed the SSPX leader that the response was inadequate, and asked for a “clarification” of the SSPX position by April 15.

According to a spokesman, Bishop Fellay has now made that clarification. The spokesman said that the SSPX would not have any further public comment on the matter until the Vatican responds.

The Vatican made it clear in September that the SSPX would be asked to accept the “doctrinal preamble” as a condition for reconciliation with the Holy See. Although the contents of the document have not been made public, the Vatican was asking for an acknowledgment from the SSPX that the teachings of Vatican II are valid.

In a first response to the “doctrinal preamble,” SSPX officials said that they could not accept the document as it was written, and suggested some amendments. In March the Vatican revealed that Bishop Fellay has been advised that “the position he expressed is not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems which lie at the foundation of the rift between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X.” The Vatican said that it as urgently seeking a more favorable response “to avoid an ecclesiastical rupture of painful and incalculable consequences.”


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Apr. 15, 2012 2:48 PM ET USA

    The SSPX is desperately trying to avoid what I would term "theological implosion" according to demark86r6. They are looking straight in the face at what is the fruit of their own disobedience, and that is confusion and even darkness. The purpose of Vatican II was never to give license to disobedience and rebellion, but to give faithful Catholics more latitude to worship and serve sincerely. It is in their love of their own stubborness "as virtue" that they must condemn the courage of our Bishops

  • Posted by: demark8616 - Apr. 14, 2012 12:57 PM ET USA

    In "Religious Liberty Under Attack" Michael Potemra reports.."The SSPX, however, has just issued a pretty straightforward rejection of an important Catholic doctrine. On the website, they have denounced the recent document from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops protesting the Obama administration’s contraception mandate,.." "Unfortunately, the USCCB is exhorting Catholics to legitimately defend the Church’s liberty via the false principle of “religious liberty” ."

  • Posted by: demark8616 - Apr. 14, 2012 12:47 PM ET USA

    Sorry to say, I'm more wary than ever about the SSPX. In an interview where Fr Schmidberger speaks to Die Welt he says "It is true that the reigning Pope shows us some favor, and I hope that we will find a solution during his pontificate." My opinion is that they wish to retain their automony while pretending to be Catholic.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Apr. 13, 2012 7:59 PM ET USA

    What a fascinating mystery...

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 13, 2012 4:09 PM ET USA

    I'm sure we hope all that the SSPX will be able to reassimulate into the Church and that they realize that "asking for an acknowledgment from the SSPX that the teachings of Vatican II are valid" is not the same as the "spirit" of Vatican II.