Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some News about the SSPX Discussions

Via the website Panorama Católico Internacional (found via messainlatino.it) come news about the doctrinal discussions between the Holy See and the SSPX.

The follwing is a synthesis of remarks made by Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta, head of the SSPX delegation for the discussions, on the occasion of recent ordinations of the SSPX at its Argentinian seminary of La Reja.

1) The outcome of the first meeting has been good.

2) Primarily the agenda and the method of discussion were established.

3) The issues to be discussed are of a doctrinal nature to the express exclusion of any canonical question regarding the situation of the SSPX.

4) The common doctrinal reference point will be the Magisterium prior to the Council.

5) The talks follow a rigorous method: an issue is raised, and the party raising it sends a paper substantiating its doubts. The Holy See responds in writing, after prior email exchanges among the technical advisers. At the meeting, the issue is discussed.

6) All meetings are taped by both parties and filmed.

7) The conclusions of each topic will be submitted to the Holy Father and the Superior General of the SSPX.

8) The timing of these meetings depends on whether the topic is new or is already being discussed. In the first case, it will be approximately every three months. In the second, every two. The next meeting is planned for mid January.

10) The theological representatives of the Holy See "are people you can talk with", they speak "the same (theological) language as we". (meaning presumably they are Thomists).

11) Some of the topics mentioned by the bishop in his homily, not exhaustively, are:

a) The Magisterium of the Council and after the Council.

b) The conciliar liturgical reform.

c) Ecumenism and interreligious dialogue.

e) Papal authority and collegiality.

f) Freedom of conscience, religious freedom, secularism and the social reign of Jesus Christ.

g) Human rights and human dignity according to the Council's teaching.

The Bishop repeated that the results of the first session are good, compared to the previous situation. The parties talked entirely freely and only about doctrinal issues in a Thomist theological framework.

No one can foresee what will happen in the future. One will move forward day by day, as prudence and evangelical spirit direct.