Brick by brick with the SSPX

Our alert friends at Rorate posted news that SSPX Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior of the SSPX, was received at the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith… or at least, I add, at the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio.  The offices of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei are in the same building.

Either way, this more than likely concerns the necessary theological discussions that must take place between the Holy See and the SSPX.   It could concern some other immediate concrete question, but I suspect it is about the discussions.

The Spanish religious website Religión en Libertad reports:

Bishop Bernard Fellay received on Friday at [Congregation for the] Doctrine of the Faith
Last Friday, rumors about a possible arrangement between the Vatican and the Fraternity of Saint Pius X [FSSPX / SSPX], founded in 1970 by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991) reappeared in Rome. It all began with the news of the presence in the Eternal City of the Superior of the society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, who last Wednesday had an appointment in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

There are many who simply want the SSPX to bend immediately, show proper submission to the Holy Father, and then begin to work out theological difficulties.   Others want to work through those questions before a formal reunion.

Step by step we have seen Pope Benedict with Card. Castrillon changing the climate slowly but surely so that a fuller unity can be joined.

What is clear, however, is that when these talks begin, both side remember that people of good will ought to be free to disagree when it comes to theological points, ecclesiological points, which have not been clearly and unambiguously defined. So long as everyone involved is interested in the truth, the discussions which take place will be of great benefit to everyone.

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  1. Paul Bailes says:

    Dear Father,

    that’s great news, and if I may be so bold, your commentary (esp. the last para.) helps us all see the good in what’s under way between the Vatican and the SSPX.

    God bless

  2. Sal says:

    God bless everyone concerned.

  3. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Praise God, and may He continue to bestow His magnificent graces upon Bishop Fellay! May there be fruitful dialogue (for the sake of the Truth) and reconciliation soon!

  4. Ken says:

    This week will be a reminder of the hurdles that remain with the liturgy, when the pope and all traditional Catholics will celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi on Thursday, while the novus ordo rounds it off to Sunday (and not as an external solemnity, I might add, but as a transfer).

    Bishops in, for instance, England, are still telling traditional Catholics they must round off holy days of obligation to Sundays. This is not helping to unify dioceses and the Society of Saint Pius X. I am with the SSPX on things like this — either the 1962 calendar/missal/discipline is followed or it isn’t.

    The Vatican needs to understand barriers to unity extend beyond mere access to the traditional Latin Mass.

  5. Mitchell NY says:

    I hope as a result of these discussions, not only are the SSPX fully reintergrated into the Church but that some statements and clarifications come from the Holy Father as to what the faithful have believed correctly and incorrectly all these years in regards to the abbiguities in question. Closed door discussions are fine and probably appropriate at this point, but the whole world needs to know from the Pope what to do from now, going forward. A grand scale Cathechis..

  6. Andy K. says:

    Pardon my ignorance, but aren’t the discussions going on right now?

    I was under the impression they are

  7. Paul Haley says:

    Bishop Fellay has said in the past that he is obligated to go to Rome when the Roman authorities wish to speak to him. I see this visit as a good thing and I have every confidence that Bishop Fellay will be seen for the man that he is, an exceptional, one might even say extraordinary (pun intended), bishop whose only desire is to help the church in its hour of need and yet maintain unity within the Society and further the Holy Traditions of the Church in every way possible.

    Cardinal Hoyos remarked once concerning Bishop Fellay: “Now there’s a bishop!” My hope is that the same conclusion will be reached by Cardinal Levada and the members of the CDF, if, in fact he is visiting them. One thing I am absolutely sure of – Bishop Fellay will never sell out to Modernism or to doctrinal ambiguities. He will be quiet, diplomatic, and respectful of authority but he will not give up on principle. IMHO we need to pray for him and for the members of the CDF for they are engaged in a very serious matter affecting the salvation of souls both within and without the Church.

    We cannot surmise that every time Bishop Fellay goes to Rome or visits the CDF or PCED that some dire catastrophy is in the works. I see it as a very good thing and my hope and prayers are with the good Bishop and all those he meets in his discussions.

  8. DocJim says:

    Bishop Fellay is an extraordinary man. I suppose I have read more from Bishop Sheen and Cardinal Ratzinger than Bishop Fellay over these past 3.5 years, since I got pushed across the Tiber by the Holy Spirit, but Fellay stands up well as a holy, thoughtful and sincere man. All three of these men have been given uncommon graces and I would feel privileged to follow any of them.

    I hope for the sake of Christendom that the SSPX and the Vatican are reconciled thoroughly.

  9. I don’t care much for the rhetoric Fellay and others in the SSPX use. I believe they are substantially in error confusing use and abuse. But that being said, it is good to see Rome is working to bring them back sincerely to the fold. It is the example of the Good Shepherd bringing back the one lost sheep.

  10. pjsandstrom says:

    Do you think that maybe the discussion concerned the question of the announced ordinations at the SSPX seminaries?

  11. Mike says:

    What we really need is a rehabilitation and an apology to the followers of Father Feeney. Three groups are approved in the Diocese of Worcester that hold what the Church always taught– that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. We should demand that since so much time of day is given to LIBERALS like the SSPX, that the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond be considered for canonical status in the Church. Unlike the SSPX, they WANT canonical status but are not granted it!

    Maybe many of you are unaware, but Archbishop Lefebvre believed that people in FALSE RELIGIONS could be saved. No joke, just read \”Letter to Confused Catholics\”. Whether you believe in baptism of blood and baptism of desire (which the Saints who believed it applied only to catechumens) or not, this idea of Archbishop Lefebvre is HERETICAL.

    If you want to know about this issue please read a paper written by Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S. on the matter. Fr Harrison is a professor in the Pontifical University of Puerto Rico. He is also an author for Catholic Answers\’ \”This Rock\” magazine.

  12. Thomas says:

    Fr. Feeney was reconciled to the Church before he died, wasn’t he?

  13. I see the SSPX as a modern day prophet. Like the prophets of old, they challenge people through their words and actions to be better thant they are. True, his methods arent always desirable, given some of the rhetoric used, but the desired end result is a stronger church, and more Holy liturgy. This is something that Satan is very opposed to, and it should be expected that the road to that, is going to have bumps along the way. The important thing about the SSPX and Rome, is both sides, for the most part, deep down, mean well.

    It is a stark difference between, say the Palmarians, or other Sedevacanist groups, who’s only goals seem to be protestant in nature, in other words, throw their hands up and make their own church somewhere else. Some might argue Bishop LeFebvre did this, I disagree. He did disobey, but, he wasnt out to create a separate church, only to preserve (al beit bullheadedly), that which is sacred

  14. Jason Keener says:

    Eventually, I hope the rest of us in the Church will find out exactly what was discussed between Rome and the SSPX. The entire Church needs clear clarification on the topics that I am sure the SSPX is asking about.

  15. Paula Spart says:

    I don’t like the idea of Ascension, a Holy Day of obligation being “moved” to the following Sunday and our bishop doesn’t either. But he was outvoted by the other bishops so our “obligation” is met on that Sunday.

    I attend the Traditional Latin Mass said by an FSSP priest at my church on Sunday mornings. The priest announced that he will have a Mass at our church on the Thursday itself. He said something about “we Traditionalists” being unhappy with the change of this Holy Day to the following Sunday. He said that anyone who doesn’t like this change from Thursday to Sunday should either go to this Mass or stop complaining. I did go to his Thursday Mass and saw a lot of people I see at the Sunday Latin Masses there.

  16. mfg says:

    Bishop Fellay has an exceptional relationship with the Holy Spirit. Any Superior who has nearly 500 priests, overwhelming young in age, and next year expects to have nearly 600 priests, has an extraordinary relationship with the Holy Spirit. When one considers the ubiquitous culture of death which pervades, and the secularization of our society, and how difficult it is to prodduce one seminarian today, one has a greater appreciation of Bishop Fellay. I read that Ireland was not able to produce one vocation to the priesthood last year. Please pray for Bishop Fellay and for Pope Benedict, for the success of their discussions, and that no one, within or without the Curia, will be able to derail their intentions.

  17. Sixupman says:

    +Fellay is denigrated by an element within SSPX, basically by supplicants to and adorers of +williamson.

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