Rome: The SSPX on the agenda for the upcoming meeting of heads of dicasteries?

Source: FSSPX News


According to the Italian daily Il Giornale of February 2nd, the canonical situation of the SSPX would be on the agenda of the meeting of heads of dicasteries convoked by the pope on February 13 at 10:30 am. According to Vatican specialist Andrea Tornielli, this meeting which can be compared to a "Cabinet meeting" of the Vatican, would study -- among other issues – the possibility of lifting the excommunications incurred by the bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro-Mayer in 1988.

Il Giornale also mentions the fact that Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, would have predicted long ago the hypothesis of a "canonical agreement, making provision for the establishment of an apostolic administration" for the priests and faithful attached to Tradition.

Cardinal Dario Castrillo Hoyos, head of the Congregation for the Clergy and president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, in charge of the traditionalist dossier, remains silent on the subject; but a well informed source, questioned by I.Media press agency and related by CIPA, confirmed that a meeting was scheduled soon to talk about "a possible reconciliation of the Church with the SSPX". But it was immediately specified that if a "rapprochement" between the SSPX and the Catholic Church is talked about, no "great change" is expected for all that. As a matter of fact, "it is still too early" to speak about a "decisive" change, it is thought.

In Menzingen, where is located the General House of the SSPX, they say they learned the news through the newspapers. Bishop Bernard Fellay was in no way warned by the Roman authorities of the agenda for the meeting of February 13. On the other hand, during his sermon at the seminary of Flavigny, on February 2nd, he again explained the position of the Society with regard to the canonical sanctions of 1988 (see our Documents section): "We have always refused to acknowledge the validity of these excommunications, so we cannot ask that they remove something which does not exist. And even before doing this, we had asked, of course, the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication, its annulment; but even to say "annulment" already means that we would acknowledge something. We had asked this from the very beginning; it was one of the conditions we had set. And, for the first time, Rome seems to be heading in the direction we had proposed in the year 2000."

Already during his conference in Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet, on December 11 last, the Superior General of the SSPX explained the meaning of these preliminary conditions to a subsequent doctrinal discussion with the Vatican: " From the very beginning, in 2000, we said to Rome: Before discussing, before going any further, there must be preliminary conditions, and we had given two: freedom for the Mass, freedom for all priests, since we already have this freedom, it is not for us. And since they always use this excommunication thing as a scarecrow to frighten people away and limit the good we could do, let them remove this scarecrow. Up to now Rome had always refused. I think that, with the new pope, they are beginning to think it over. I believe that Rome no longer rules out the idea we had proposed at the beginning, which was to create a new situation for the Society, in which it would be in absolutely no way bound to the novelties. We remain as we are but if we may say so, freed from these gibes, these labels which scare people away. And we say to Rome: During that time, you quite simply stand by and watch us. You do not commit yourself in any way either, you watch, and you grant this freedom for the Mass." (Integral text of the conference in Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet to be published in the upcoming issue of Christendom, January-February 2006, n° 4)