Vatican: Cardinal Pozzo Speaks of the Theological Discussions

Source: FSSPX News

At the end of the interview granted to the website Nouvelles de France, on June 8, 2011, Cardinal Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, answered three of journalist Pierre de Bellerive's questions on the discussions between Roman theologians and those of the Society of St. Pius X.

NFD: The content of the discussions that take place between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X is secret, but what points do they touch and in what manner do they progress?

Msgr. Pozzo: The essential point is of a doctrinal nature. In order to reach a true reconciliation, it is necessary to pass over certain doctrinal problems that are at the basis of the current fracture. In the ongoing talks, there is a confrontation of arguments between the experts chosen by the Society of St. Pius X and the experts chosen by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the end, conclusive summaries of the positions of both parties are written. The themes under discussion are known: primacy and episcopal collegiality; relations between the Catholic Church and non-Catholic Christian confessions; religious liberty; the Missal of Paul VI. At the end of the talks, the results of the discussions will be submitted to the respective authorized levels for an overall evaluation.

NFD: It does not seem conceivable that a call into question of the Second Vatican Council may happen. Therefore, where do these discussions might lead ? To a better understanding of this?

Msgr. Pozzo: They concern a clarification of points that detail the exact meaning of the teaching of the Council. It is what the Holy Father started to do on December 22, 2005, by interpreting the Council within a hermeneutic of renewal in continuity. Nevertheless, there are certain SSPX objections that do make sense, because there has been an interpretation of rupture.  The objective is to show that we must interpret the Council in the continuity of the Tradition of the Church.

NFD: Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge of these discussions for nearly 20 years. Does he still follow the progress now as Pope?

Msgr. Pozzo: First, there is the role of the secretary, which is that of organizing and taking care of the good development of the discussions. The evaluation of these is the responsibility of the Holy Father, who follows the discussions, with Cardinal Levada, is informed of them, and gives his opinion. The same goes regarding all points with which the Congregation deals.

See more of this interview here.

We see in Cardinal Pozzo's answers that the results of these theological discussions must be submitted to “ respective authorized authorities for an overall evaluation” (Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay, editor's note) and that “certain objections from the Society of St. Pius X” to Vatican Council II are not senseless.

On June 17, journalist Jean-Marie Guénois of the Figaro wrote on his Religio blog:  In Rome as in Ecône, it is silence radio.  There is no question of commenting on the state of the doctrinal discussions between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X, the disciples of Archbishop Lefebvre.  But the discussions are over.

“This discretion is intentional, on both sides, so as not to put pressure on the outcome of very delicate conversations that have united, since October 2009 and according to the will of the Pope, a commission of theologians from both horizons to draw up a meticulous and soundly argued inventory of the points on which there is an agreement and of the points of contention, essentially concerning Vatican Council II.

“But this “phase” of work, according to several authorized and corroborating sources, is considered accomplished.  “The contact continues.  We are probably coming to the end of a phase of discussion” Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St. Pius X, gave to understand on June 1st of this year, in Libreville (Gabon). (see DICI #236, from June 11, 2011).

And he addes: “(...)the theological technicians have simply formulated – speaking together directly around a table, which is a new thing and beyond compare – the state of affairs.  But this theological cartography, in itself, resolves nothing. (…)  On both sides, indeed, it is recognized that in spite of this elucidation in which each knows on what and why he is opposed, “nothing is clear yet” for the future. (…) In any case, the ball is in the hands of the two deciders – and not of the commentators – in this case and matter, Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay.”

In the sermon he gave for the priestly ordinations at the seminary of Winona (United States), on June 17, Bishop Bernard Fellay pointed out the precise context in which the present state of the relations between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X should be seen – Read in our Documents Bishop Fellay's clarifications in Winona. (Sources: NDF/Religioblog/FSSPX-NG – DICI#237, June 25, 2011)

See more commentary of Msgr. Pozzo’s interview here.

You can also read :
Germany: Father Schmidberger Speaks about the Meetings with Rome
The Vatican: The Second Theological Meeting between the Roman Experts and the SSPX held on 18 January
Opening of the Doctrinal  Discussions Between Rome and the Society of Saint Pius X
Interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay, Roodepoort (South Africa), September 15th 2009