Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pope, cardinals discuss several issues, including SSPX

[Excerpts from todays meeting between the Pope and the Cardinals. Full Article: CNS STORY: Pope, cardinals discuss several issues, including dialogue with Islam]

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI and most of the world's cardinals sat down for closed-door discussions on a number of administrative and pastoral questions, including dialogue with Islam.

The pope presided over the day of reflection and prayer March 23, the day before he was to hold a public consistory to induct 15 new cardinals. The cardinals-to-be, dressed in bishops' purple, were also invited to the meeting in the Vatican's synod hall.

There was no formal agenda, but in an opening talk the pope mentioned three specific concerns for discussion, according to a Vatican press statement:

-- "The condition of retired bishops."

-- "The question raised by (Archbishop Marcel) Lefebvre and the liturgical reform desired by the Second Vatican Council."

-- "Questions connected with the dialogue between the church and Islam."

The pope invited the cardinals to raise other issues of their own and said the exchange should take place in a spirit of unity and communion.

In the morning session, several cardinals spoke about recent Vatican efforts to reconcile with the followers of the late Archbishop Lefebvre, one cardinal told Catholic News Service. Among those who spoke was Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, head of the Congregation for Clergy, who has spearheaded a recent move to bring the Lefebvrites back into communion with the church.

The comments were varied, with some questioning the terms on which such a reconciliation could and should occur.

Cardinal Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa, told CNS that he did not think the pope was looking for a "yes or no" response from the cardinals on the Lefebvrites.

For one thing, Cardinal Napier said, the situation among Lefebvrites is so different in various parts of the world that a thorough investigation would probably be needed before any global solution is reached.

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