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Vatican resumes talks with traditionalist SSPX

September 23, 2014

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), met on September 23 with officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), led by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller.

The meeting, which had been scheduled earlier this month, allowed for the first conversations between the CDF and the breakaway traditionalist group since 2012, when negotiations aimed at reconciliation of the SSPX broke down. With relations at an impasse, then-Archbishop Müller, the prefect of the CDF said last December that bishops of the SSPX remain suspended from the sacramental life of the Church because “by their schism they have broken away from communion with the Church.”

With talks now renewed, the Vatican announced that “it was decided to proceed gradually and over a reasonable period of time in order to overcome difficulties and with a view to the envisioned full reconciliation.” The talks explored both canonical and doctrinal concerns, the Vatican revealed.

Along with Cardinal Müller, the CDF officials participating in the September 23 meeting included three archbishops: Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, the secretary of the CDF; Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, the adjunct secretary, who had headed the earlier talks with the SSPX; and Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission, which was established to provide for the pastoral needs of traditionalist Catholics.


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  • Posted by: Nuage - Sep. 23, 2014 10:37 PM ET USA

    The expansion of the SSPX has continued unabated over the past quarter of a century, unchecked by Rome. Few bishops have had the courage to speak out and warn the Catholic faithful about the spiritual perils of joining this schismatic group. Now their accumulated wealth and power are a huge obstacle to reconciliation

  • Posted by: koinonia - Sep. 23, 2014 2:20 PM ET USA

    One cannot help but wonder what was said, but I cannot imagine- with all that is going on in the Church and the world- that Bishop Fellay didn't take advantage of the opportunity to advise Card. Mueller personally that the SSPX intends to do what it can to help in his defense of the Faith. Further, it's hard to see Fellay being any less accommodating than the German bishops who have very publicly opposed him. Perhaps both men are a bit surprised at the surprising, unlikely circumstances.