Communiqué from the General House of the Society of Saint Pius X (April 18, 2012)
The media are announcing that Bishop Bernard Fellay has sent a “positive response” to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that consequently the doctrinal question between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X is now resolved.
The reality is different.
In a letter dated April 17, 2012, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X responded to the request for clarification that had been made to him on March 16 by Cardinal William Levada concerning the Doctrinal Preamble delivered on September 14, 2011. As the press release dated today from the Ecclesia Dei Comission indicates, the text of this response “will be examined by the dicastery (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) then submitted to the Holy Father for his judgement”.
This is therefore a stage and not a conclusion.
COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE PONTIFICAL COMMISSION "ECCLESIA DEI"
Note from JV: Unlike earlier reports, this Communiqué does not specify that Bishop Fellay signed anything, but merely that he delivered a new text. We will await developments...
of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei"
The text of the response of His Excellency Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, requested during the meeting in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of March 16, 2012, was delivered on April 17, 2012. This text will be examined by the Dicastery and submitted afterwards to the judgment of the Holy Father.
[Source: original texts in Italian and French]
Fr. Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press Office, said that, with the latest response, “steps forward have been taken, that is to say, that the response, the new response, is rather encouraging. But there are still developments that will be made, and examined, and decisions which should be taken in the next few weeks.” See below
[Update: Apr. 18, 1220 GMT:] Father Lombardi, head of the Holy See Press Office, offers his comments (transcript provided by the French service of Radio Vaticana - oral style kept):
"Today's news means that yesterday Bp. Fellay's response, that had been requested by Cardinal Levada at the last meeting, was delivered to the Congregation, to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Now, this response, it is a reponse that, according to the words of those who could see it, is a very different response from the previous one, and this is encouraging, we proceed forward. But, naturally, we also find in the response the addition of some details or integrations to the text of the doctrinal preamble that had been proposed by the Congregation for a doctrinal agreement, and this response will be discussed, it will be examined first by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in one of its meetings of the next few weeks and, afterwards, it will also naturally be examined directly by the Pope. It can be said that steps forward have been taken, that is to say, that the response, the new response, is rather encouraging, but there are still developments that will be made, and examined, and decisions that should be taken in the next few weeks. I think thw wait will not be long because there is the desire to reach a conclusion in these discussions, in these contacts."
Linked from: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2012/04/communique-of-pontifical-commission.html
Up Close: The SSPX and Rome
Two hour discussion - now archived on line
Host: Colleen Hammond
The SSPX sent their letter of clarification to Rome last week. What will happen? Join us as we discuss what has taken place, what effect it can have on the Church, and what we can expect. Call in with your thoughtful questions! Our guests include Louie Verrecchio, John Vennari, Dr John R.T. Lamont, and Stephen Dupuy. April 16 webcast. Listen to on line or download: click here
April 15 Update from JV: Despite all the talk about the April 15 deadline, there is a good chance we won't learn much of anything on the 15th anyway. One of Bishop Fellay's assistants has said they will wait for Rome to review what they send, and then the SSPX will talk to the press. See Vatican Insider on the SSPX
In a later report in Vatican Insider, Andrea Tornielli claimed the Vatican and SSPX are "Reaching an Agreement" It should be noted, however, that Tornielli has no direct word from Bishop Fellay that the SSPX had modified its stance from last month. Tornielli is only piecing things together, it appears, from sources outside the SSPX, but has no direct knowledge. No one will know how the SSPX has responded until it is made public by the SSPX itself.