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SSPX no closer to reconciliation with Holy See, superior acknowledges

April 17, 2013

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the Society of St. Pius X (SPPX), has acknowledged that the traditionalist group has made no major progress toward reconciliation with the Holy See, despite intensive talks last year.

In an April 15 message to SSPX members, Bishop Fellay said that the group’s relations with the Vatican today are essentially unchanged. He said that negotiations with the Holy See in 2012 put the traditionalist group in a “delicate position,” referring to serious divisions among members about the wisdom of proceeding with the talks. Bishop Fellay charged that “lack of clarity” on the part of Vatican officials complicated the situation.

However, the SSPX leader said that the confusion ended when it became clear that reconciliation would require the SSPX to recognize the validity of Vatican II teachings and liturgical reforms. The group “could not and we never can” accept that condition, he said.


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  • Posted by: demark8616 - Apr. 25, 2013 4:34 AM ET USA

    Agreed!! This extract from the letter of Pope Paul VI to Archbishop Lefebvre in 1976 shows that nothing has changed. "What is indeed at issue is the question - which must truly be called fundamental - of your clearly proclaimed refusal to recognize in its whole, the authority of the Second Vatican Council and that of the Pope. This refusal is accompanied by an action that is oriented towards propagating and organizing what must indeed, unfortunately, be called a rebellion. This is the essential issue, and it is truly untenable."

  • Posted by: Jim.K - Apr. 20, 2013 1:04 PM ET USA

    Yes, Bishop Fellay, "reconciliation would require the SSPX" (and everyone else in the world) "to recognize the validity of Vatican II teachings and liturgical reforms." Anyone who cannot "accept that condition" is simply not a Catholic and should not pretend to be one. You cannot be a little bit pregnant and you cannot be a little bit Catholic. You either are, or you are not.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 18, 2013 8:46 AM ET USA

    For as long as the FSSP and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest remain licit orders of priests within the Church, members of the SSPX will have a place to express their preference for the 1962 liturgy and sacraments. My former archbishop told me that proper words of institution, true bread, and real wine are all that is necessary for a _valid_ Mass, even if the other aspects are illicit. The SSPX's problem with the Rome seems more disciplinary than dogmatic.

  • Posted by: demark8616 - Apr. 18, 2013 3:34 AM ET USA

    I can't help a cynical smile whenever I see the words "confusion" and "unclear" in regard to Bishop Fellay/SSPX not knowing that accepting Vatican II and the 'New Mass' were conditions that were insisted on for their organization to achieve full communion!! Do they realize how crazy they are coming across as? How many more Popes and talks on just those two issues have there been? I it possible they can believe their own lies?

  • Posted by: richardols3892 - Apr. 17, 2013 8:18 PM ET USA

    In two different previous posts, I expressed the opinion that because of their hardness of heart, the SSPX would not reconcile with the Catholic Church. This latest from them clinches it for me. The Church ought to deal with them as it does with Anglcans and the Lutherans. Sucking up to them and catering to their demands only demeans our Church. Leave them alone!

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 17, 2013 5:40 PM ET USA

    There is a place for the SSPX in the Church, but their obstinacy is doing them in. The Church will never renounce VII, though the Church leaders need to re-read the documents and put to right some 50 years of nonsense, too.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Apr. 17, 2013 5:09 PM ET USA

    Well, that ends that. Expect the breakup of the SSPX and an increasing flood of returns to the Church.