Catholic World News

Cardinal Müller differs with Bishop Fellay, says SSPX must embrace Vatican II teachings

May 25, 2016

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) must accept the authority of Vatican II teachings, thereby contradicting a claim by the head of the traditionalist group that the Vatican had backed off that demand.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller told the National Catholic Register that the SSPX should "unreservedly recognize" the teachings of Council, particularly on the questions of religious freedom and ecumenism: two issues on which the SSPX has expressed grave reservations. Cardinal Müller said that if one "wants to be fully Catholic, one must recognize the Pope and the Second Vatican Council."

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the SSPX superior, had recently told the Register that under Pope Francis, the Vatican has not insisted on an explicit affirmation of Vatican II teachings as a condition for reconciliation of the traditionalist group. But Cardinal Müller said that an embrace of conciliar teachings is "not an unreasonably high hurdle" for those who wish to restore full communion with the Holy See.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 26, 2016 11:26 AM ET USA

    The SSPX has problems with certain paragraphs in the documents of Vatican II that seem more consistent with the spurious "spirit" of Vatican II than with the mind of the Church. Many of us in the FSSP community share these concerns. The reason we choose to remain with Peter resides in the other paragraphs of these documents which fully accord with Scripture, Apostolic Tradition, and the mind of the Church. In a sense, our decision is prudential--the weight of evidence lies on the side of Peter.