Pope makes final offer to breakaway SSPX group

VATICAN CITY — The leader of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) met for more than two hours … Continued

VATICAN CITY — The leader of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) met for more than two hours with officials from the Vatican’s doctrinal office on Wednesday (June 13), as negotiations to end a decades-old split in the Roman Catholic Church draw to an end after almost three years of talks.

The breakaway group rejects the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), including the acceptance of religious freedom and ecumenism.

According to the Vatican Insider website, Pope Benedict XVI reviewed a final draft of a reconciliation proposal aimed at bringing the SSPX back into “full communion” with the Vatican. The draft was then submitted to Bishop Bernard Fellay, the SSPX superior general, during Wednesday’s meeting by American Cardinal William J. Levada, who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

An SSPX spokesman, the Rev. Alain Lorans, told Agence France-Presse that it will be “a few days” before Fellay decides whether or not to accept the Vatican’s final offer. Its contents, he said, won’t be made public “before the end of this week or the beginning of the next,” adding that today’s meeting was “just a step.”

The Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, struck a similar note describing the meeting as a “step in a process that is still ongoing.”

Last September, the Vatican submitted to the SSPX a “doctrinal preamble” as a prerequisite for full reconciliation. The traditionalist group’s first response, in January, was considered “not sufficient” by the Vatican and the pope, and Fellay delivered a second one in April, which has been reviewed by the Vatican’s doctrinal office and then forwarded to Benedict.

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  • PT

    I pray that this reconciliation will take place between the Catholic Church and the SSPX. It will not be easy, and the Church right now is desperately in need of looking once again at her Tradition. The Church in our times has neglected its holy doctrine; I thank God for the Tradition retained for us by the SSPX. Not, of course, that we don’t have this doctrine, only much has now been highly watered down or is even omitted in teaching to our youth. Bishop Fellay, may Our Lord bless your efforts in this, as well as our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Please do all you can toward this reconcilliation!

  • lp6

    I, too, pray for the SSPX group, that they see the true Catholic way in opening our hearts in a Christ-like way to the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust. By denying the Holocaust this group turns its back on the strides the Catholic Church and the Pope his holiness have made in healing from one of the world’s greatest human suffering events. Without this, SSPX cannot follow the true path of Catholicism, and is right to remain outside the realm of the Vatican and its mission in the world.