Monday, October 16, 2006

SSPX Ready to Seek Reconciliation? ( - LEFEBVRISTS READY TO SEEK RECONCILIATION?: "16-October-2006 -- Catholic World News Brief

Oct. 16 ( - The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) might write to the Pope, asking for a removal of the excommunications levied on Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the bishops he ordained in 1998, according to a French newspaper report.

The daily Le Figaro reports that Bishop Bernard Fellay is prepared to write to the Pontiff, seeking reconciliation of the traditionalist group, if Pope Benedict XVI goes through with plans to allow broader use of the Tridentine Mass.

The SSPX denied the accuracy of the Figaro report, saying that the newspaper's reporter had misunderstood the purpose of a letter from Bishop Fellay to the Holy Father. In fact, the SSPX news agency reported, the bishop has sent the Pope a spiritual bouquet, in which traditionalists have offered 1 million rosaries for the liberalization of the old Latin rite. No request for removal of the 1988 excommunications has been made, the group insists.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, reportedly wrote to Bishop Fellay some months ago, assuring him that the Pope plans to allow free use of the pre-conciliar rite, and suggesting that the Lefebvrist group should make a request for the Pope to lift the excommunications.

SSPX leaders have consistently set conditions for their reconciliation with the Vatican, including the liberation of the old Latin Mass, the removal of the excommunications, and the freedom to question Vatican II teachings on issues such as religious freedom and ecumenism. By authorizing the universal use of the Tridentine liturgy-- as he is reporting planning to do in a forthcoming document-- the Pope would fulfill the first and most prominent of the traditionalists' demands.

Bishop Fellay avoided speculating on the reported papal initiative in discussions with reporters this weekend. But he did say that a document of the sort reportedly due to appear soon would be a "great gesture" and a major step toward reconciliation between the SSPX and the Vatican. He predicted, however, that the release of the papal document would precipitate fierce controversy within the Church.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: