The formerly excommunicated SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson says on his blog Dinoscopus that some particulars of the necessary talks between the SSPX and the Holy See have been hammered out.
The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the terms that the Holy See issued to the leadership of the SSPX last year, and the lifting of the excommunications of the four bishops were necessary steps to reach the next step: theological discussions.
You can see the logic of associating the PCED more closely with the CDF. That move, when it comes, will not be a punishment (as the liberal Catholics and their dour press wanted to paint it because they are full of fear-born hate for Catholic Tradition). It is a necessary move to keep the process directed to a positive conclusion.
The SSPX has problems with the documents of the Second Vatican Council. They have the right to present their concerns. Holy See, in turn, has the right to present responses.
Let’s see what Bp. Williamson said with my emphases and comments.
From Bishop Tissier de Mallerais speaking in Paris we hear that terms have been fixed for the doctrinal discussions due to take place between the Society of St. Pius X and the Church authorities in Rome. The discussions are to be in writing, which is wise, insofar as there is less room for passion and more time for careful thinking. [It is also far safer for the SSPX since they have fewer resources.] Also they will not be made public, a provision which at best eliminates "grand-standing" by either party, otherwise known as playing to the gallery, because there will be no gallery present. [A good idea, since the SSPX does have a base to be worried about.]
From Rome we hear that the impetus towards a Rome-SSPX understanding which was generated by the Pope’s January "re-incommunication" [odd word play… figure it out…] of the four SSPX bishops, was seriously slowed down by the distrust generated by the media uproar [is that what we are calling it? Distrust?] of January-February, which is what that uproar was designed to achieve. [probably] Yet subjectively speaking, there is certainly still good will on the part of the Pope towards the SSPX, [Good grief man! Of COURSE there is! And he took a huge hit for you guys. Do you think for a moment he didn’t know he would have to take a hit?] and there is no lack of good will on the part of the SSPX towards the person of the Holy Father. [QED… good]
The problem for these discussions is that, objectively speaking, as on either side there may be some reluctance to admit, we are in the presence of an irreconcilable clash between the religion of God and the religion of man. [hmmmm] Vatican II mixed the two together, which was too much of the religion of man by half. Let us then say that Benedict XVI wishes to combine Vatican II with Catholic Tradition. That is still too much of the religion of man by a quarter. Let us now suppose that the SSPX and Benedict XVI were to agree to come half-way towards each other. That would still represent one eighth of the religion of man mixed with seven eighths of the religion of God, which for the purposes of Almighty God would still be one eighth too much. [Sorry… but this is silly. I am reminded of the futility expressed by Eliot’s coffee spoons. But that is not how these things work.]
For just as it takes a disproportionately small amount of water mixed with a tank full of gasoline (or petrol) to stop a car engine dead, so it takes only a small admixture of idolatry to stop dead the true religion of God. [So… we can understand by that the Bp. Williamson thinks that .. well.. at least he is the arbiter of what is the True Catholic Faith. Is this going to be the position of the leadership of the SSPX? Thus, does this signal a break between Williamson and Fellay?] The Lord God Himself tells us that He is a jealous God (Exod. XX, 5; etc.), and will not endure any false gods beside Him. To anybody in the SSPX who might be tempted to worship with the neo-modernists, as to any neo-modernist who might wish to share worship with the Catholics, the Old Testament prophet Elias would say as he said to the hesitating Israelites, "How long do you halt between the two sides ? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him." Scripture (III Kings, XVIII, 21) then says, "The people did not answer him a word".
Subjectively, the Israelites wanted to have it both ways. Objectively, that was impossible. For ourselves too. Kyrie Eleison.
This offering of the formerly excommunicated and now "re-incommincated" SSPX bishop – who really ought to be living out a quiet retired life – raises a few questions. I included a few of them above.
However… I think the way to sort this out is to remember that people of good will on both sides should be able to disagree about those things which are not able to be nailed down with clarity… and still remain in communion with each other.