Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.
From the intrepid Andrea Tornielli’s Vatican Insider of the Italian daily La Stampa. My emphases and comments.
The Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X writes to his priests: “We are waiting, an agreement will happen if concessions which touch upon the faith are not asked from us and if we are assured true freedom“
The Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X , Bishop Bernad Fellay, in the evening of the 14th of April took hold of paper and pen to send a message reserved to the other three bishops and to all priests belonging to the Lefebvrist group, confirming the state of relations with the Holy See.
Fellay, in reference to the media rumours on a possible positive outcome of the dialogue with Rome, would have explained that, for the time being, nothing of a definitive nature has yet taken place, neither in the direction of a canonical recognition, not in the direction of a rupture, and it is therefore time to wait and see.
The bishop, according to the rumours gathered by Vatican Insider, wished to confirm to the priests of the Society that which he had already written a few days ago, recalling the two principles that guide the Lefebvrians in the relations with Rome: the first is that no concessions be asked from the Society that touch upon the faith and that which derives from it (liturgy, sacraments, morals, and discipline); [A possible problem here is that if hard-liners within the SSPX insist on some “deal-killer” this whole thing grinds to a halt. The SSPXers have been doing their own thing for a long time now. Some of them have never known unity with the See of Peter. Such a “deal killer” could be, for example, insisting that the Holy Father repudiate the Council’s documents which, obviously, ain’t gonna happen, thus freezing in amber the SSPX’s status. If, however, they say that they want to have some freedom in the matter of interpretation of the Church’s teaching on religious liberty, I don’t see why that could not be conceded. Fr. Feeney was reconciled over a very thorny question of salvation outside the Church without having to abjure his position. Why not the SSPX on a question that is by no means cut and dried?] the second, that true freedom and autonomy of action be granted to the Society of Saint Pius X, which would allow it to grow and develop. [That could be accomplished fairly easily, with the provisos that somewhere along the lines they cannot just ignore diocesan bishops (who have, among other things, tribunals.]
How to interpret this message of the General Superior? Above all, it is interesting to note that the possibility of a positive outcome – which many sources, both those close to the Society of Saint Pius X and those within Vatican, consider at this moment probable and imminent – is not denied at all. Fellay, who is aware that there is a group within the Society that is outspokenly opposed to the agreement (approximately 25% of the Society, including the other three bishops, Williamson, Tissier de Mallerais and Galarreta, though with different positions among themselves), probably wanted to reassure his partners that the canonical setting and the re-entry into full communion will take place according to those two conditions already made public by him in the past few weeks.
In this time after Easter and bridging the liturgical year to Pentecost, ask the Holy Spirit to
Flecte quod est rigidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.
Bend what is hard,
warm what is chilled,
correct what is astray.