Catholic World News

Agreement on prelature could be close, SSPX leader confirms

March 09, 2017

The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has denied reports that the group has purchased a headquarters building in Rome, but confirmed a suggestion that the SSPX could become a personal prelature.

Speaking in Poland, Bishop Bernard Fellay said it is true the SSPX is looking for new headquarters in Rome. But no purchase has been completed, he said. Specifically, he said that “there is no plan to purchase a building complex at Santa Maria Immaculate all’Esquillino. Reports that the sale was imminent had appeared in the Italian press late in February.

The SSPX superior said that the proposal under discussion for the regularizaton of the group involves the creation of a personal prelature—a possibility that he had discussed a year ago. The prelature would be led by a bishop, who would be chosen by the Pope from a list of three names submitted by the SSPX, he said. The prelature would be “autonomous,” he added; it would be a worldwide structure, but not subject to the authority of local bishops.

“Everything that exists now will be recognized all over the world,” Bishop Fellay continued, under the proposed prelature. However, he cautioned that a significant problem remains unresolved in negotiations with the Vatican: the unwillingness of the SSPX to acknowledge the validity of certain Vatican II teachings. He said that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has shown a new willingness to concede that some conciliar teachings are not definitive.

Bishop Fellay concluded that he did not know whether an agreement could be reached. “I do not know, I do not think so,” he said; “but the Pope can make a surprise.”


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