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Soap opera episode no. 889…

SSPX-Rome Reconciliation:
Vatican’s “Abp.” Guido Pozzo says “The Holy Father is Pressing Forward”

These days, barely a day goes by when someone in the Vatican isn’t giving some sort of an interview. Today it was “Archbishop” Guido Pozzo’s turn once more.

Pozzo is the secretary for the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Vatican’s dicastery that exclusively deals with matters pertaining to the Lefebvrist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The name Ecclesia Dei is derived from the document that established the commission, John Paul II‘s eponymous motu proprio of July 2, 1988, in which the definitive rift with the SSPX was formalized after Abp. Marcel Lefebvre and Bp. Antonio de Castro Mayer had consecrated four bishops two days prior, in defiance of John Paul II’s express prohibition. The bishops in question were Bernard Fellay, Richard Williamson, Alfonso de Galarreta, and Bernard Tissier de Mallerais.

In the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Pozzo’s immediate superior is the Modernist “Cardinal” Gerhard Ludwig Muller, long a foe of the Lefebvrists, who just recently claimed — according to SSPX Superior Bp. Fellay — that he wants the SSPX to come aboard the Vatican II Church so that they can help fight Modernism! This reported statement of his is as credible as a career arsonist recruiting for the local fire brigade, but that’s another issue.

In today’s interview for the German daily Die Tagespost, from which we provide excerpts in English below, Pozzo mentions once again that the SSPX will have to agree to a doctrinal declaration presented to them some time ago by the Vatican. No word yet on when “Cardinal” Muller will be required to make his own profession of faith and explicitly renounce his heresies (he denies the dogmas of Transubstantiation, the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the bodily Resurrection of Christ), but we suggest you not hold your breath.

The full interview in German translation (original presumably in Italian) can be read here:

As a complete translation of the text is not yet available, we have translated the following passages from the interview that we find to be the most salient (unfortunately, time constraints do not permit a full translation of the entire text at this point, but much of what he says is nothing new or extraordinary):

[Interviewer:] …How optimistic are you that the rift between the SSPX and the Holy See will be healed and a personal prelature will be set up this very year?

[“Abp.” Guido Pozzo:] …Today we can say that the rapprochement [between the SSPX and the Vatican] is far advanced, and one can be optimistic that the rupture will soon have been surmounted with the canonical recognition of the SSPX in the legal form of a personal prelature. In order to reach this goal, for its part the SSPX is asked to agree to the “doctrinal declaration” formulated by the Holy See. At the same time, [the Holy See] guarantees, by means of a special law with the appropriate statutes, the preservation of the spiritual, theological, liturgical, disciplinary, and pastoral identity of the SSPX. There are no fixed temporal deadlines, however….

[Interviewer:] …Has the Pope made the reconciliation with the SSPX his [own special] mission?

[Pozzo:] The Holy Father has always cared about the unity of the Church, and he has always encouraged [us] to magnanimously and readily seek the encounter [with the other] and listen to one another. This does not mean that one will always agree with one’s dialogue partners, but the Holy Father is pressing forward towards a positive and constructive attitude of dialogue…

[Interviewer:] What doctrinal questions must be resolved first with the SSPX, in your opinion?

[Pozzo:] …In an interview last year, Bp. Fellay stated that the SSPX will reserve the right to point out ambiguities and errors they believe to see [in the wording of the conciliar documents and in post-conciliar practice], but that the authority to clarify and dispel the critical points, belongs to Rome. I think that even after a reconciliation, the reservations and difficulties the SSPX points out must be taken into consideration in order to arrive at a clarification, a deepening, and a retrospective explication of these points. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, incidentally, has intervened multiple times in the last forty years to explain, clarify, and even correct certain wrong interpretations or certain misunderstandings regarding the [Second Vatican] Council’s doctrines. I don’t see why this work of [giving] clarifications and answers to doubts and reservations, if they are raised in an ecclesiastical and not a polemical spirit, couldn’t be continued.

[Interview:] What sort of [doctrinal] agreement can be said to exist already?

[Pozzo:] There is complete agreement with the SSPX on one absolutely fundamental point: The Magisterium of the Church is not above the written or transmitted Word of God but is as its service by not teaching anything except that which has been handed down (cf. [Vatican II’s] Dei Verbum, 10). …This means that if an interpretation or an understanding or a practice of Vatican II is suggested that represents discontinuity or a rupture with the Catholic doctrine [as] previously defined or taught, [then] such an interpretation must be rejected as wrong or improper. The problem, then, is not the Second Vatican Council as such but a certain manner of understanding, applying, and practicing the council, in other words, the so-called “spirit of the council”. Pope Benedict XVI has spoken of a “true council” and a “virtual council”, although the latter is the fruit of the mass media, of modernist theological currents, in other words, of the “conciliar ideology” which has eclipsed the authentic “mens” [Latin for “intent” or “understanding”] of the council fathers.

(Regina Einig, “Der Heilige Vater drängt”Die Tagespost, Mar. 17, 2017; our translation.)

So it seems they are now back to the ancient argument that Vatican II itself is not the problem but just some evil interpretations which — naturally! — are opposed by the pristinely-orthodox Novus Ordo Magisterium. This is essentially the thesis of Ralph McInerny in his lackluster book What Went Wrong with Vatican II (1998), and he was not the first one to come up with it.

Of course the claim runs afoul of reality: Vatican II has been implemented, interpreted, and practiced by the entire Novus Ordo Sect from the top on down. The “New Mass”, the new Canon Law, the Directory on Ecumenism, the Assisi prayer meetings, the ecumenical shenanigans, etc. — all these things came from the “Holy See”. To claim that the contradiction with traditional Catholic doctrine and practice is just a big misunderstanding that was never actually imposed, enabled, or given impetus by the Vatican and directed by it, is simply a lie. Will Bishop Fellay fall for it?

It looks like this unending soap opera is running out of ideas and falling back on reruns.

Either way, it is no doubt to be continued.