Pope might normalise SSPX despite Vatican II differences

The Society of St Pius X might get regular canonical status in the Church without having to recognise certain texts of Vatican II.

An internal SSPX memo indicates the traditionalist society could be ready to accept if Pope Francis made an appropriate offer.

But that would be conditional on the provision of “an appropriate ecclesial structure” by the Pope.

The memo, titled “Considerations on the Church and the position of the Society of St Pius X in it”, was written in February by Fr Franz Schmidberger, rector of the SSPX’s seminary in Germany.

Fr Schmidberger asserted that the Vatican has been “gradually lowering its demands and recent proposals, no longer speak of recognising neither the Second Vatican Council nor the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo Missae”.

In an interview with a French Catholic paper on April 6, the secretary for the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, stated that “Vatican II can be adequately understood only in the context of the full tradition of the Church and her constant Magisterium”.

“Certain questions can remain ‘subject to discussion and clarification’,” Archbishop Pozzo added.

SSPX superior Bishop Bernard Fellay met Pope Francis and Archbishop Pozzo at the Vatican on April 1-2.

The SSPX memo stated that perhaps only Pope Francis is able to take this step [towards a regular canonical status for the society], given his unpredictability and improvisation”.

“It seems the time to normalise the situation of the society has come,” the memo reads.

Fr Schmidberger’s memo asserts that whilst the group would like to “return from its ‘exile'”, further discussions would be expected: “We will not be silent, moreover, we will point out the errors by name. Before and after our normalisation.”

It has been speculated that the normalisation of the SSPX would be accomplished by recognising the group as a “personal prelature”, a canonical structure used for Opus Dei.

Among the reasons the SSPX wants normalisation are the fact it will need new bishops in the future and their consecrations should be licit.


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