Society of St Pius X and Vatican open to further dialogue

Both the Society of St Pius X and the Vatican have left the door open for further dialogue after an exchange of statements in which the SSPX affirmed it recognises the authority of the Pope over the universal Church.

The SSPX issued a statement drafted by 40 of its most senior members who met in a general chapter in Switzerland to discuss a Vatican proposal for healing the traditionalist group’s 24-year break with Rome.

The Vatican had offered the SSPX the status of a personal prelature in return for its agreement on certain doctrinal matters including, apparently, the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

The SSPX statement — which was communicated in advance to the Vatican — said the general chapter “determined and approved the necessary conditions for an eventual canonical normalisation”, but it did not spell out those conditions.

“We have decided that, in that case, an extraordinary chapter with deliberative vote will be convened beforehand,” the declaration added.

But the statement took a provocative swipe at “the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors”, and said the SSPX waited for “the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities”.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Holy See did not consider the statement to be “a formal response” by the Society of St Pius X to the last document it asked Bishop Bernard Fellay, the society’s superior general, to sign.

Rather than make a formal response, he said the Holy See had “taken note” of the statement but awaited an official communication from the SSPX as its dialogue with the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei continued.

Previously, when it appeared Bishop Fellay was close to signing an agreement with the Vatican, internal tensions arose within the SSPX. The latest statement said the group had recovered its “profound unity”.


Catholic News Agency

Catholic News Service

Society of St Pius X statement

Vatican Information Service

Image: Catholic Herald

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