Andrea Tornielli has a piece in his Vatican Insider (English, Italian) about what is supposed to happen tomorrow when the SSPX Superior, Bp. Fellay and his assistants, go the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio in Rome, which houses the CDF and the PCED.
In brief, they will be given a summary of the Holy See’s position on the doctrinal discussions they have had with the SSPX. The Pope, apparently, has seen the document and approved it. The SSPX will have to make a response in some reasonable period of time. As a response they can either ask for clarifications or accept the document.
I lefebvriani, insomma, dovranno prendere posizione: potranno chiedere nuovi chiarimenti alla Santa Sede, ma non potranno più tergiversare. L’accettazione del documento è considerata nei sacri palazzi la condizione imprescindibile per la piena comunione, che prevede anche una sistemazione giuridica per la Fraternità fondata dall’arcivescovo Marcel Lefebvre, probabilmente attraverso la costituzione di un ordinariato simile a quello già previsto per gli anglicani.
The Lefebvrites, in short, have to take a stand: they can ask for new clarifications from the Holy See, but they cannot dawdle any more. Acceptance of the document is considered in the offices of the Holy See to be a indispensable condition for full communion, which also provide for the juridical arrangement for the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, probably through the establishment of an ordinariate similar to the one already provided for the Anglicans.
And we haven’t yet gotten past the next “Assisi Meeting” on 27 October.
There is a great deal of ground to be covered yet, it seems. But the hour is drawing near for some decisive moves.
Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.
14 September is an auspicious day for a next step. Don’t forget in your prayers to pray for a good outcome.
Our friends at Rorate also wrote about the story, above. However, they have under another entry, a blurb from Le Figaro. Here is part of the Rorate translation, with my emphases and comments.
The great novelty comes from the Roman side. Le Figaro has learned that the Holy See could, for the first time, admit that these aspects fought by the “Integrists” [This is a term commonly used in French and Italian circles for traditionalists of a certain strong stripe. I can't tell you how many times that word was shouted at me while in seminary in Rome. And I wasn't.] are not considered as “essential” to the Catholic faith to the point of keeping outside the Church those who do not admit them. And that what is foundational to the Catholic faith for twenty centuries is the sole [aspect] considered fundamental for communion with the Holy See, and not the interpretation from the last Council to this day.
All along I have been saying it. All along.
People of good will can differ on theological points and still remain in unity.
People of good will can attain unity even when they disagree on matters which are by no means clear.
The history of the Church’s great Councils underscores this fact.
How many times have I written that the so-called “Feeneyites” were able to be in union with the Church but without having to abjure their position about extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. The theological problems the SSPX has with the Second Vatican Council or the Holy See or anything else, don’t necessarily need to be the absolute obstruction to unity.
Questions of the role of the Church in the modern world or religious liberty are really hard. There is room for debate and disagreement. It is possible for people of good will to disagree about whether or not the fruits of Vatican II were all wonderful. There is a precedent for closer union even when we consider the theological concerns some SSPXers might be harboring.
Slowly but sure the climate has been changing. Hopefully we have come to a point where hearts can also be moved to open. And there must be a willingness on the part of the SSPX to submit to the Holy Father’s authority… which he is exercising in very good will in their regard.
Again, it is possible for people of good will to disagree on very hard questions and still be in union.