Rorate Caeli

"Lefebvrists: the agreement is closer - The pact is ready, but Fellay has not yet decided"

from Rome [Il Giornale - report by Andrea Tornielli]

All is ready for the agreement between the Holy See and the Fraternity Saint Pius X, founded by the "rebel" Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The Vatican forwarded several weeks ago precise propositions to reach peace [a peaceful solution] and the reentrance of the Lefbvrists into full communion with Rome.

The negotiations, begun in 2000, have, as is well known, accelerated after the election of Benedict XVI, who, last August received the superior of the Traditionalists, Bishop Bernard Fellay, at Castelgandolfo.

However, from Menzingen, where the head of the Lefebvrists resides, no affirmative signal has so far arrived. Exactly two days ago, the same bishop Fellay was reconfirmed at the helm of the Fraternity, by the General Chapter, for the next twelve years. He had guided it since 1994.

As his "first and second assistants" Father Niklaus Pfluger and Father Marco Nely were elected. The first belongs to the harder line, while the second belongs to the more moderate wing.

It is possible that, in the past period, with the knowledge that his term was nearing its end, Fellay would have hesitated. Now, however, precise signals are expected in the Vatican. The terms of agreement include the acceptance of the theological agreement already agreed in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre and the then Cardinal Ratzinger, the lift of the excommunications decreed by the Holy See after the illegitimate ordination of four bishops by the same Lefebvre, and a canonical structure, similar to that of the military ordinariat, which allows the Fraternity Saint Pius X to preserve its seminaries and to incardinate [its own] priests.

Simultaneously to the agreement, the Holy See will announce a kind of liberalization of the pre-Conciliar Missal of Saint Pius V -- a measure very much expected also by Traditionalists in communion with Rome.

Source: Il Giornale (Andrea Tornielli)