The Vatican has given the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) little room to manoeuvre if it wants to be reconciled with Rome.
At a meeting between Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of SSPX and Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, Fellay received a document detailing the “doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine” that SSPX must accept if it is to reconciled with Rome.
The unpublished document is expected to make reconciliation impossible unless SSPX accepts the reforms of Vatican II and the authority of the Pope.
In return, CNA reports, the Vatican has been very generous.
The Vatican has not given SSPX a deadline to sign the agreement, but Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ is expecting a decision within a few months.
Lombardi, scarce with details but said that if all goes well SSPX could be offered the status of a personal prelature in order to continue their pastoral initiatives.
The personal prelature would be similar to the Ordinariate offered to the Anglicans.
SSPX was founded in 1970 in response to what it called errors which had crept into the Catholic Church following Vatican II. Their relationship with Rome became strained when its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated four bishops against the direct request of Pope John Paul II.
In 2009 Pope Benedict set aside the excommunications of the Society’s bishops in order to begin discussions with a view to restoring SSPX in full communion with Rome.
News category: World.