Andrea Tornielli has written (in my translation, emphases and comments):
Bp. Fellay’s moment of truth [Italian: "Il bivio di monsignor Fellay" is literally the "fork in the road". Which path to choose?]
I am in Rome and I have gathered some additional information which helps to frame better the five conditions presented in the letter of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos to Bp. Fellay. Above all these conditions were not posed to the Lefevbrites in general, but precisely to their Superior, that is, the Bp. Fellay himself. In conversations he manifests the will to dialogue, but then he writes and agrees with very harsh attacks on the Pope. The five conditions re therefore a preliminary step to begin the journey that will lead to the revocation of the excommunication. Central to this is the point dedicated to the fact that the SSPX, and its superiors, give the impression to feel themselves superior to the Pontiff himself, to judge him from above, as if the SSPX were the "true" Church and the "true" Rome, and the Catholic Church lead by Benedict XVI was a separated group that has to reenter in full communion with Econe and Menzingen. The truth, unfortunately, is that there are by now stratified attitudes and positions (some comments on the preceding post demonstrate this is true [I think we can well believe that to be true!]) which make make recognizing this given dimension difficult: the Lefebvrites are not the true Church, the true Catholic Church is that which is in communion with Benedict XVI. Never before as in this moment is the Pontiff’s generous pastoral heart, through the mediation of Card. Castrillon, open to reconciliation. But it is the SSPX that must return to the sheepfold about the schismatic act of illicit consecrations by Lefebvre, and not the Holy See that must ask pardon of the Lefebvrites.
Responding to questions from French journalists on this issue the director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Lombardi, gave the following declaration:
The recognition of the Second Vatican Council as a true Ecumenical Council of the Church and the recognition of the validity of the Mass celebrated according to the liturgy renewed after the Council are not absolutely put in question. The five points cited by Tornielli – as even is clear from their tone – concern the minimum conditions why there can be a relationship characterized by respect and openness toward the Holy Father and by a constructive ecclesial spirit. They are, then, of another nature and it is for this that they make no reference to the Council or the liturgy, not because these topics do not remain fundamental. It is evident that the Pope desires to extend the hand so to make possible a return to communion, but so that there can can be the necessary steps, it is needed that this offer – this "outstretched hand" – be received with an attitude and spirit of charity and communion. Clearly the finve points invite this.
I think that Bp. Fellay’s sermon in Paris at the beginning of June, may have been the catalyst for this. On Sunday 1 June Bp. Fellay made harsh statements about Pope Benedict in a public sermon. On 4 June Bp. Fellay met with Card. Castrillon in Rome. The five points came from that meeting. Remember at the time I posted about that sermon, many hard supporters of the SSPX basically cried out here on this blog "But Father! But Father! You mustn’t ever point out anything negative that anyone in the SSPX has done! That’s bad for dialogue!" No, friends. It is not. Bp. Fellay’s words shaped the dialogue and so did reporting them here.
The big point here is that the five conditions were presented to Bp. Fellay not the SSPX. Formally, at least. I don’t anyone is under the impression that they don’t also pertain to everyone else in the SSPX. I am not talking about laypeople here, who really can’t be members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, as the SSPX is truly called. These conditions ultimately apply to the four bishops and to the priest members. They must. There cannot be a double standard.
But Bp. Fellay, who must be under tremendous pressure – poor man – set the tone. He is the public face and leader of the SSPX now. When he speaks in public, people hear the official position of the SSPX. Ironic, no? The bishops originally by Archbp. Lefebvre’s design were not supposed to take on that role. But that is what happened. Perhaps now for the best. If Bp. Fellay can set another example -then God will reward him abundantly. Think of the good he can do.
The Holy See is say that these points are addressed to Bp. Fellay. Fine. We accept that. But they must also be accepted, eventually, by anyone who desires communion with Rome.
So, it is still game on for the entire SSPX.
What pressure will some of them be putting on Bp. Fellay? I shudder to think.
If he accepts the conditions, there could be a split, just as if the conditions had been put to every member.
Almighty God, before whom the shining ranks of holy martyrs
cast down their crowns and palms of victory,
strengthen by the Holy Spirit’s sealing Confirmation,
the heart, mind and will of Bernard Fellay
and increase the serenity and patience of all who are around him.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle…
Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Sts. Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.
Glory be to the Father...