The French [Liberal ] Catholic daily La Croix published a very interesting article yesterday on the prospects of reconciliation between the Holy See and Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX). The article is filled with editorialized commentary, so we have chosen (for this and for copyright reasons) to reproduce the actual words pronounced by the Superior-General of the Fraternity, Archbishop Ricard, an unnamed cardinal (of Paris?... the paper does not say), and the rector of the Ecône Seminary.
1. An unnamed cardinal:
"We cannot at all go to the extreme of accepting two different rites in the Latin Church."
"The agreement should not be done irrespective of the cost. And one of the great principles affirmed by Vatican II -- religious liberty, ecumenism - would not be put aside."
2. Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux, President of the French Episcopal Conference, member of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and who will be created cardinal tomorrow:
"Even if we can denounce a certain number of abuses or erroneous interpretations of the Council, the Conciliar text deserves to be respected and safeguarded."
"We cannot refuse the Conciliar contribution." [The pope] "has clearly defined the limits not to be trespassed in the speech on the interpretation of Vatican II pronounced on December 22 in the presence of the Roman Curia."
3. Bishop Bernard Fellay:
"The ball is on Rome's court from now on."
Fellay recognizes that the meeting with the Pope did not substantially alter the terms of negotiation: the bases [for negotiation] are still those of the agreement proposed in 2001 which the Fraternity had at last rejected:
"We are under the impression that Rome accepts the idea of passing to the intermediate phases which we proposed."
Regarding the Papal speech of December 22:
"The philosophical vision of Benedict XVI, according to which Truth is indissociable of the historical elements in which it is inscribed, with the consequence that the Church should constantly readapt its discourse and its principles to the circumstances, is too modern." [Bishop Fellay declares to prefer] "a more classic philosophy according to which our intelligence can understand the essence of things and can abstract historical elements."
Regarding the possibility that the Society should be able to express its views on the Council and on the new Mass with freedom:
"A certain number of elements which allow us to say that this life of Tradition is possible is currently lacking"
4. The rector of the Ecône seminary, Father de Jorna, notes, regading the classic philosophy upheld by the SSPX:
"We are Thomists in the sense that the Church herself is." [The Summa is the basis of its teaching of theology] "with the aid of commentateurs used up to Vatican II, such as Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange."
5. The last paragraph of the article is the following:
The Fraternity Saint Pius X can take the risk of rejecting the Roman propositions? "If we do nothing today, it will be too late later and the situation of division will remain," warns a cardinal. "And especially Rome could be more sever," adds Father Aulagnier, who warns the Fraternity against the risk of the "Petite Église", from the name of the schism of the bishops who had refused the Concordat of 1801. Rejecting this warning, persuaded that if Rome does not return step back from the doctrine of Vatican II, the crisis of the Church will only worsen, bishop Fellay wishes to believe that he can refuse the extended hand of Benedict XVI. "There will be others," he affirms.