Vatican: SSPX Need Not Adhere to All of Vatican II for Canonical Recognition
In American politics, this would be called an “October surprise”. In the Vatican II religion, it is just another whim of Francis’ god of surprises: As the ink on the dreaded post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia has not even dried yet, the Vatican announces a curious concession to the Lefebvrist Society of St. Pius X: Adherence to all of Vatican II is not a requirement for canonical recognition by the “Holy See”. Thus says “Mgr.” Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Vatican’s Ecclesia Dei Commission in charge of dealing with the SSPX.
The French Novus Ordo paper La Croix has the story:
Certain Conciliar Texts Can Be Objects of “Discussion” With the SSPX, According to the Vatican
By Marie Malzac, April 7, 2016, 3:43 p.m.
Days after the meeting between Pope Francis and the superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX), Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia DeiCommission, indicated that “Vatican II documents (should) be welcomed according to the required degree of adherence.” The acceptance of the texts on relations with other religions [Nostra Aetate] does not constitute a prerequisite for juridical recognition of the Lefebvrist society and certain questions will be able to remain “objects of discussion and clarification,” he explained to La Croix.
The meeting, on April 1, between Pope Francis and Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Lefebvrist line, falls “within the context of the SSPX’s progression towards full reconciliation, which will come with canonical recognition of the institute,” which was explained to La Croixby Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which is in charge of relations with Tradition inside of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“At this moment, it is especially important to work towards creating a climate of trust … to overcome the hardness of distrust, which is understandable after so many years of distance and fracture,” continued Archbishop Pozzo, assuring he wants to “dispel” it in order to rediscover “the reasons for unity and for promoting the integrity of the Catholic faith and the Tradition of the Church.”
Different degrees of adherence are required
For the person in charge of discussions with the SSPX, it is fitting to recall the three essential points which make a person Catholic: “adherence to the profession of faith, the bond of the sacraments and hierarchical communion with the pope.” This is what the Doctrinal Declaration will contain, “which will be submitted to the adherence of the SSPX at the appropriate time.”
“In what concerns the Second Vatican Council, the course taken in the meetings of the last years has led to an important clarification: the Second Vatican Council can be sufficiently understood only within the context of the entire Tradition of the Church and its constant magisterium,” Archbishop Pozzo specified.
“The affirmations of truths of faith and of sure Catholic doctrine contained in the Second Vatican Council documents must be welcomed according to the degree of required adherence,” the Italian bishop continued, who repeats the distinction between dogma and certain decrees or declarations containing “directives for pastoral action, orientations and suggestions, or exhortations of a practical-pastoral character,” as is notably the case with Nostra Aetate, in its opening to dialogue with non-Christian religions.
Not an obstacle for canonical recognition
These “will constitute and be part of, after canonical recognition, a subject of discussion and further deepening, in view towards a greater precision, in order to avoid misunderstandings or equivocations which, as we know, have become widespread in the present ecclesiastical world.”
“The difficulties raised by the SSPX regarding questions of Church-State relations and religious liberty, the practice of ecumenism and dialogue with non-Christian religions, certain aspects of liturgical reform and their concrete application, remain objects of discussion and clarification,” Archbishop Pozzo added, “but do not constitute an obstacle to the SSPX’s canonical and juridical recognition.”
The SSPX is asked “to accept that the magisterium of the Church is the only one to whom is confided the deposit of the faith to be guarded, defended and interpreted.” “I believe this clarification can constitute a fixed point for the SSPX.”
(Marie Malzac, “Certains textes conciliaires peuvent être objet de « discussion » avec la FSSPX, selon le Vatican”, La Croix, April 7, 2016; our translation; underlining added.)
Perfect timing! A big “pastoral” carrot is being dangled before the SSPX and their countless adherents at exactly the time when Francis is about to offer another “pastoral”, entirely non-doctrinal (wink, wink), carrot to unrepentant public adulterers!
Francis’ Modernist Circus has an attraction for everyone! Come on in and enjoy the show!
This news comes right on the heels of a report from the Italian Il Foglio, later confirmed by both the Vatican and the SSPX, that the head of the Society, Bp. Bernard Fellay, met with “Pope” Francis on April 1 (or April 2, as the Vatican claims). We reported on this unannounced meeting here:
Perhaps it was Bishop Fellay’s abysmal performance in the Conflict Zone interview with Tim Sebastian in February that gave him the necessary credentials for a meeting with the “Pope”. In it, an unscripted Fellay proved himself not as a great anti-Modernist leader of the last remnant of true Catholics, but as a spineless pushover who caves before any aggressive challenge for the sake of human respect and diplomacy. It’s an interview the SSPX has tried to keep hidden from its followers (total news blackout!), and the American newspaper The Remnant admitted they “buried it”. Make sure you watch it:
The never-ending saga of SSPX negotiations with Rome is getting increasingly annoying. However, there are also some humorous moments to enjoy. Take, for example, the hilarious but very true observation made in September 2012 by Fr. Franz Schmidberger, the former SSPX Superior General (1982-94) and then German District Superior (2006-2013). When the head of the Vatican’s so-called Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the then-“Archbishop” Gerhard Ludwig Muller, reiterated his intolerant attitude towards the SSPX on the grounds that they don’t accept all of Vatican II, Schmidberger pointed out Rome’s double standard: The Vatican authorities have no problem entertaining the friendliest of relations with Protestants, but, Schmidberger asked rhetorically, “do Protestants accept the Second Vatican Council?!” (source; begin at 9:30 mark).
Maybe the SSPX will now get its own special “questioning this part of the council is OK” status, the price Rome might be willing to pay to finally bring this decades-old nuisance to an end. After all, just like all other “traditionalist” groups before it who agreed to be under the Modernist Vatican, the SSPX too is guaranteed to be devoured by the Modernist juggernaut (anyone remember Campos?!). And then it really won’t matter anymore whether this or that cleric has an objection to Vatican II. A steamroller called Francis will take care of that.