Pope Francis received SSPX Bishop Fellay

UPDATE:

The Holy See Press Office has confirmed the meeting.  HERE

_____

Hope springs eternal.  Yesterday was the Season Opener of Baseball, it is the beautiful feast of the Annunciation after the joyous Octave of Easter, and now this…

This news was posted on the SSPX-USA site on 4 April (not 1 April) and on their DICI site:

Breaking news: Pope Francis received Bishop Fellay on Friday, April 1, 2016.

Pope Francis received Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, accompanied by the Society’s Second General Assistant, Fr. Alain-Marc Nely, at Domus Sanctae Marthae, at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2016.

Bishop Fellay did not have an opportunity to meet Pope Francis since the Holy Father’s election in March 2013, other than exchanging very brief salutations at Domus Sanctae Marthae, on December 13, 2013 (see DICI no. 296 of 5-16-2014). However, some priests of the Society were previously received by the Supreme Pontiff, regarding certain administrative difficulties in the Society’s District of Argentina (see DICI no 314 of 4-24-2015).

Pope Francis had wanted a private and informal meeting, without the formality of an official audience. It lasted 40 minutes and took place under a cordial atmosphere. After the meeting, it was decided that the current exchanges would continue. The canonical status of the Society was not directly addressed, Pope Francis and Bishop Fellay having determined that these exchanges ought to continue without haste.

The next morning, Saturday, April 2nd, Bishop Fellay met with Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, in keeping with the normal relations of the Society with this commission following the 2009-2011 doctrinal discussions and the visits of several prelates in 2015-2016. (See DICI no. 307 of 12-19-2014 and no. 311 of 2-27-2016)

Without haste….

Part of me wants them to hurry up a little!

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20 Responses to Pope Francis received SSPX Bishop Fellay

  1. Robbie says:

    Interesting, intriguing, and hopeful. Still, the case of the FFI is a cautionary tale as the SSPX weighs its choices.

  2. CradleRevert says:

    “…Pope Francis and Bishop Fellay having determined that these exchanges ought to continue without haste.”

    *sigh*

    With all the chatter and excitement on the interwebs, here I was thinking that reconciliation was imminent. I guess I can put my Te Deum away for now.

  3. Giuseppe says:

    HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
    – T.S. Eliot

  4. JesusFreak84 says:

    Well, let’s hope “without haste” prevents a “make a mess” scenario…

  5. Beau says:

    “Breaking news: Pope Francis received Bishop Fellay on Friday, April 1, 2016.”

    I started checking for the “Eye of the Tiber” by line there when I saw the date…:)

  6. Elizabeth D says:

    I was hoping for “Pope Francis asked Bishop Fellay whether it would be acceptable to him if the SSPX were canonically erected as a personal prelature and whether Fellay would be willing to be the prelate.”

  7. anilwang says:

    CradleRevert, recognize that the Church runs on “Vatican time”, which is always delayed since Rome likes to do things slowly and since steering a ship of a billion people can’t doesn’t is by no means easy.

    The SSPX is cautious as well. Even if Rome gave them everything they wanted, I don’t think they’d accept….at least under this pontificate, especially since ad experimentum changes being floated in the Tridentine liturgy. [Ummm…. ] IMO could happen with the next Pope if the next Pope is so inclined, but Pope Francis has ironically made it easier for the next Pope to affect reconciliation.

  8. WmHesch says:

    This is awesome!!! I predict Pope Francis will unilaterally recognize the Society on or about June 29th: feast of Sts. Peter & Paul, and the day before the anniversary of the 1988 Ecône consecrations.

  9. Nan says:

    Anilwag, the only ad experimentum going on with the Tridentine Mass was Z experiment to induce spittle flecked nutties among the readers of this blog. If Bp Fellay fell for it, then perhaps there would be an issue.

  10. Legisperitus says:

    Clearly the “confession indult” was not a random and isolated act.

  11. St. Irenaeus says:

    I think there’s always more discussed–or sometimes not discussed but understood and even subtly communicated–at these sorts of meetings, and the public statements generally hide more than they reveal.

    I wonder if we’re not about to enter a “only Nixon can go to China” moment.

    A real concern, though, is that if Francis does welcome them fully in, as it were, through some mechanism (personal prelature?), that it wouldn’t really resolve the real issues but be a haphazard, slapdash fix (the “There, I Fixed It” meme comes to mind), that as part of a piece with Francis’ pragmatism would make for real problems down the road. Benedict, learned theologian and sensitive pastor, refused to wave any magic wands because there are real issues. (I’m not certain–and I don’t know if any of us can ultimately be–why the agreement Benedict was working on ultimately didn’t happen).

  12. I’m pretty convinced that, considering +Benedict was so involved with the SSPX question since the 80s, the failure to reconcile the order to full canonical status is one of those things that must be a point of sorrow for him. So close at one point…yet so far.

    It may be, as someone above said, that it is going to be a “Nixon going to China” moment when/if +Francis, who for all appearances is ambivalent to the Traditional Mass, actually closes that cycle and gets the job done. Not for nothing, the Company Men are not known for letting things stand in their way when they set their mind to it…good and bad.

  13. Thorfinn says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the next step — the unknown that seems to be very much in the works based on Rorate’s hints — is one or more moves to embrace the SSPX & its lay adherents without fully resolving the canonical irregularity: making the confession bit permanent, granting priestly faculties across the board (how?), perhaps ordaining a bishop. That way there would be a further period to build trust & goodwill before the final step(s).

    It just doesn’t make sense having 600 priests with suspended faculties — I can imagine Pontifex thinking ‘fix this now and worry about minor technicalities like canon law & doctrine later, trust in the God of surprises!’

    [It seems to me that the SSPX is relying a bit more on the God of Working Out Details Rationally Before The Group Photo.]

  14. Giuseppe says:

    I had some crazy notion a while ago that Pope Francis would pull off a full union, but then sabotage it at the end by insisting that the reunion would take place on the St. John XXIII’s feast day.

    I noticed that Papa F’s televised masses have him saying the canon in Latin. JPII and BXVI do that as well? I’m having a memory lapse.

  15. iamlucky13 says:

    “A real concern, though, is that if Francis does welcome them fully in, as it were, through some mechanism (personal prelature?), that it wouldn’t really resolve the real issues but be a haphazard, slapdash fix (the “There, I Fixed It” meme comes to mind), that as part of a piece with Francis’ pragmatism would make for real problems down the road. Benedict, learned theologian and sensitive pastor, refused to wave any magic wands because there are real issues.”

    I only have a rudimentary understanding of the situation for the SSPX, but the post by St. Irenaeus parallels my own reaction. I actually read the “without haste” part as potentially positive, meaning both Pope Francis and Bishop Fellay want to work towards a lasting resolution, rather than rush to make a “mission accomplished” announcement.

  16. Getting this right is more important than getting it fast. I do hope they get it sorted out though.

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  18. robtbrown says:

    St Irenaeus says,

    A real concern, though, is that if Francis does welcome them fully in, as it were, through some mechanism (personal prelature?), that it wouldn’t really resolve the real issues but be a haphazard, slapdash fix (the “There, I Fixed It” meme comes to mind), that as part of a piece with Francis’ pragmatism would make for real problems down the road. Benedict, learned theologian and sensitive pastor, refused to wave any magic wands because there are real issues. (I’m not certain–and I don’t know if any of us can ultimately be–why the agreement Benedict was working on ultimately didn’t happen).

    My understanding is that any theological problems were settled under BXVI.

    Papa Ratzinger is well known for his searing intelligence and devotion to the Truth. That notwithstanding, IMHO, he didn’t have the administrative chops to effect reunion.

  19. Spade says:

    I could see a bad letter on the 8th easily scuttling it though. Another reason for doing things slowly. It would be annoying to come back and then have a “what the heck is this schism inducing garbage?” moment.

  20. kurtmasur says:

    “I noticed that Papa F’s televised masses have him saying the canon in Latin. JPII and BXVI do that as well? I’m having a memory lapse.”

    As far as what I can remember, Benedict always said the canon in latin (at the very least), regardless if it was Christmas, Easter, or other major feast/solemnity. He also made it a point to say the canon in latin in the public masses of his apostolic journeys. Francis, on the other hand, says the canon in latin only if the entire mass is to be said in latin, and I notice that happening mainly on the most important liturgical days (Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost, and the Divine Mercy Sunday that just passed). I’m guessing that he chooses to use latin especially in masses with a large international audience (when he celebrates in Rome). Otherwise his other Roman masses are in italian (canon included) because he figures it’s mostly italians that will be present.