Papal decision today on SSPX?
June 13, 2012
Pope Benedict XVI has reached a decision on the reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), and the head of the traditionalist group will receive the Pope’s decision today, according to a leading Italian journalist.
Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa--who has been consistently on target in predicting Vatican developments during this pontificate—reports that the Pontiff has weighed the SSPX response to the “Doctrinal Preamble” that would form the basis for a canonical accord. Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the SSPX, was to hear the Pope’s decision today, at a meeting with Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
The Rome-based news agency I Media confirmed that Bishop Fellay was in Rome on Wednesday, June 13. Bishop Fellay did meet with Cardinal Levada late in the day. The Vatican did not release a statement following the meeting.
Tornielli reports that at a meeting last Saturday, June 9, the Pope and Cardinal Levada discussed the Doctrinal Preamble and the SSPX response. The Pope then made his own reply to the SSPX response, the Italian journalist says.
“If Fellay, after having received the Vatican response, signs the doctrinal declaration, the agreement will be officially announced,” Tornielli writes. A spokesman for the SSPX said that Bishop Fellay would have several days to weigh the Pope's position before making his own decision.
The Vatican has not made any official announcement on the case. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, that talks with the SSPX were still continuing. That statement would not exclude the possibility that a final agreement is imminent, pending Bishop Fellay’s acceptance.
The lengthy discussions between the Vatican and the SSPX have appeared to be nearing a conclusion that would allow the reconciliation of the traditionalist group, ending a split that dates back to the 1970s. But fissures have appeared within the SSPX, and in May, Bishop Fellay cautioned that there are “some discrepancies” among the leading members of the traditionalist group. Some informed observers have suggested that if Bishop Fellay agrees to a reconcliation with the Vatican, the three other bishops of the SSPX may refuse to accept the accord.
The Vatican addressed the potential for a split within the SSPX with a terse announcement in May, indicating that regarding the other three SSPX bishops, “their situations will have to be dealt with separately and singularly.”
- Rome-SSPX - Decisive moments? Pope's response to be delivered to Bp. Fellay today (Rorate Caeli)
- Pope one step closer to decision on Lefebvrians (La Stampa)
- CDF discusses reconciliation with SSPX (CWN, 5/16)
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