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Vatican names Bishop Fellay to hear canonical charge against SSPX priest, despite bishop's suspension

June 04, 2015

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), reports that he has been appointed by the Vatican as judge in the canonical trial of an SSPX priest.

Bishop Fellay observed that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles serious accusations against clerics, named him to hear the case although he is suspended from active ministry and the Vatican does not recognize the SSPX. It is “a beautiful contradiction indeed,” he said.

The Vatican’s decision to give Bishop Fellay canonical jurisdiction in the case could also be seen as a sign that the Holy See continues to hope for reconciliation of the SSPX. Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission, told Vatican Insider: “I see no contradiction here, but rather a step toward reconciliation.”


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  • Posted by: Nuage - Jun. 05, 2015 1:39 PM ET USA

    It is not unusual that the Vatican would ask the head of this priest's community to participate in such a decision. Just as Catholics acknowledge the valid priesthood of Orthodox priests, we acknowledge the validity of SSPX priests. What is troubling is that Bp Fellay is himself in a state of suspension; he intentionally disobeys Canon Law & the Pope every day. He refuses to submit to the Pontiff, offers public Masses, administers Catholic sacraments, ordains illicit priests. WHAT IS GOING ON?