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Vatican will be flexible in talks with SSPX, official says

October 24, 2014

The Vatican continues to work for a reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and will not demand the “capitulation” of the traditionalist group, the secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission has said. Speaking to the French weekly Famille Chretienne, Archbishop Guido Pozzo said that in order to be regularized the SSPX must accept the doctrinal teachings of the Church, including those of Vatican II. However, he said, “there is room for further reflection on the reservations the fraternity has expressed regarding certain aspects and the wording of the Second Vatican Council documents as well as some reforms that followed but which do not refer to subjects which are dogmatically or doctrinally indisputable.”

Archbishop Pozzo went on to say that while a few documents of Vatican II involve doctrinal statements, others are “authoritative and binding to a different and lesser degree.” The conciliar statements on ecumenism and on religious freedom, which have been most heavily criticized by the SSPX, are in the latter category, he said.

The archbishop offered no timetable for talks to reconcile the SSPX, but said there would be “no unexpected shortcuts.” Formal talks between the SSPX and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith broke down in 2012, but conversations resumed in September.


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  • Posted by: Nuage - Oct. 27, 2014 12:20 AM ET USA

    Vatican II did not contradict Tradition. Catholics are called to bring all souls to the Truth of the Gospel, to the Truth of the Catholic Faith. This will never change. What has changed is the manner in which this is done. Yes, heretics and schismatics need to be corrected and disciplined, the aim of which is a return to the Church, LEST THEY PERISH. Again, the Vatican needs to clarify the status of the SSPX. This is genuine charity.

  • Posted by: christhavemercy821235 - Oct. 26, 2014 3:47 AM ET USA

    Maybe Rome should clarify if the statements on ecumenism and religious freedom are contradicting with previous councils and Church Traditions. It is just common sense that infidels and heretics need to be converted lest they perish.

  • Posted by: Nuage - Oct. 25, 2014 12:04 PM ET USA

    All Vatican II documents are Magisterial, and they must be obeyed as a matter of discipline and obedience by all Roman Catholics. If the Vatican is serious about a reconciliation with the SSPX, the prelates should issue a clarification of the Vatican II documents in light of Tradition, to remedy the confusion that has reigned over the past quarter of a century. While they are at it, the Vatican needs to clearly specify that the SSPX is, and has been, in schism. This needs to be done in charity.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Oct. 25, 2014 7:51 AM ET USA

    Against his former reported positions with respect to the SSPX and the documents of Vatican II, Pope Francis is showing a truly ecumenical spirit of charity and wisdom. Discernment seems to be his middle name, and he is exercising it here. My advice to catechists has been to never lose sight of the opening paragraphs of the Vatican II documents in question, for no matter how weird their core may sound to pristine ears, solid Catholic doctrine undergirds later paragraphs that seem ambiguous.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 24, 2014 7:04 PM ET USA

    It was the SSPX who brought me back to communion with Rome, ultimately thru the FSSP and the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass, so my heart goes out to them. These talks will never bring back their wayward bishops, altho maybe they will be helpful in evangelizing a few of their priests and a few of the laity. But imho, the kindest thing Rome can do to them is a formal declaration of schism, so all of them know exactly where they stand, & can then make a clear decision re their own salvation.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 24, 2014 6:03 PM ET USA

    Given what happened at the recent Synod, I can't imagine why the SSPX would contemplate coming back to the RCC.