Rorate Caeli

Tornielli: SSPX-Rome Agreement near
Updated: Offer confirmed by the SSPX

URGENT: Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli reports today in Il Giornale that an agreement of the Holy See with the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) may be very near. Some days ago, the Superior General of the Fraternity, Bishop Bernard Fellay, met with the President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" and, before June 28, the Fraternity should decide to accept the five conditions proposed by Rome.

Translation to follow soon (Italian text).
[Update: 1500 GMT - Translation:]


n. 25 of 2008-06-23 page18

The Ultimatum of the Vatican to Lefebvre's rebels: peace, if you accept the Council

by Andrea Tornielli

In exchange, they will receive a Prelature. But they must choose before June 28.

ROME -In the relations between the Holy See and the Lefebvrians the countdown has begun: by this 28 June, the Fraternity of St. Pius X, founded by the French Archbishop who would not suffer the post-conciliar liturgical reform, will in fact have to decide whether to accept the five conditions proposed by the Vatican in order to reenter into full communion with Rome. Some days ago, the superior of the Lefebvrians, Bishop Bernard Fellay, met with Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, president of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, which deals on behalf of Benedict XVI with negotiations with the traditionalist group. Fellay, who previously had written to the Pope asking for the revocation of the excommunication imposed by John Paul II in 1988 to Lefebvre and the four new bishops that he had wanted to consecrate without the consent of the Holy See (among them Fellay himself), has received a letter with the five points set by the cardinal [Castrillón] and will discuss them during the next chapter of the fraternity, to be held at the end of the month.

Never like at this moment the negotiations have come close to an agreementwhich would heal the mini-schism which had been created now two decades ago, allowing the full reentering of the Lefebvrians into the Catholic communion. Among the points that the Holy See asked to sign there would be, according to the indiscretions gathered, the acceptance of the II Vatican Council and the declaration of full validity of the Mass according to the reformed liturgy: two conditions that Lefebvre had already signed with the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1988. The Vatican, for its part, offers the traditionalist group a canonical framework similar to that of Opus Dei, namely a [personal] "prelature", which would allow the Fraternity to continue its activities and to train its seminarians.

The march of rapprochement was started in 2000, when the Lefebvrians made a Holy Year pilgrimage to Rome. It was followed by a brief audience granted by Pope Wojtyla to Monsignor Fellay and the beginning of the long and laborious negotiations with Cardinal Castrillón. Many things have changed since then however. The Lefebvrians asked, before making any step towards an agreement, that the old preconciliar missal, which fell into disuse after the liturgical reform, be liberalised. The new pope, Benedict XVI, particularly sensitive to these issues, a year ago published the Motu proprio declaring the full citizenship of the old Mass allowing it in every parish, in fact stripping the bishop of the possibility of prohibiting it. The application of the new papal directives has not been easy, there are a lot of cases of resistance - some blatant, as is known - but it is beyond doubt that by declaring the existence of an extraordinary Roman rite (the old one) and an ordinary (the reformed one), the Pope has authorized throughout the Church and without restrictions the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. Moreover, Ratzinger has reintroduced the Cross at the centre of the altar, has begun to distribute communion to the faithful kneeling, has restored ancient vestments: all signals that go in the direction of emphasizing the continuity of tradition.

Conditions this favourable for a reentering into full communion will in all likelihood not repeat themselves. Many faithful, now that they have obtained the Mass according to the ancient rite, do not understand why the Fraternity does not definitively make peace with Rome. The Lefebvrians have come to realize what is happening, even if Fellay has some problems of internal resistance. The choice is whether to make an agreement and reenter into full communion with the Holy See, or rather to remain a small separate body with the risk of turning into a little sectarian and uninfluential group.

(Translated by Gregor Kollmorgen, for The New Liturgical Movement). [ITALIAN ORIGINAL]

_______________________

[Update: 1800 GMT] Roman-based news agency I.Media and Swiss news agency Apic report that the SSPX has confirmed the Roman offer:

The Holy See, contacted by the news agency I.MEDIA, has neither confirmed not denied this information [reported by Tornielli]. It confirmed to it, however, that Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X had indeed made a visit to Rome a few weeks ago.
...
Asked Monday by [Swiss news agency] Apic, Father Alain-Marc Nély, second assistant of Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X at Menzingen (Canton of Zug), has completely confirmed the existence of proposals by the Vatican.


Unwilling to enter in the wider details, Father Nély has nonetheless confirmed that an agreement proposal has been made at the beginning of the month. With conditions. The answer will be given from now up to June 28, "God willing", and will then be made public, he explained. The number three of the schismatic [sic] community has not wished to indicate what direction Bishop Fellay's response would take.
(Source: Apic/Permanent link)

38 comments:

David said...

Out of interest, what are the 5 conditions?

Long-Skirts said...

We must pray very hard, "Through the Gate O'Morn"

THE
CARTHUSIANS

To be "Hanged in their habits"
What a glorious thing,
For their silence screamed,
"Christ is the King!"

And like the Innocents
So Holy, that died,
With sword-cut bodies
Their mothers cried

And wept like mothers
Do today,
Who send their sons
Into the fray

Like Innocent Carthusians,
With staff and rod,
Who continue the defence...
The Priest-sons of God!

Dan Hunter said...

What are the five conditions?
God bless.

Catomaior said...

David

The article says that the conditions were not disclosed but that rumors include the full acceptance of the validity of the Novus Ordo and Vatican II, as already accepted by Abp. Lefebvre in the 1988 agreement with then Card. Ratzinger.

I hope and pray that they will accept, but I am afraid that they won't. The good thing will be that the many solid priests and seminarians still with SSPX will see the folly of their leaders and will decide to come back and give a hand restore sanity to our Liturgy, clergy and formation of youth

Mornac said...

Traduction pour les francophones:

http://www.leforumcatholique.org/message.php?num=409614

(Grace à Leopardi, Le Forum Catholique)

Anonymous said...

What would have happened if there were no SSPX? So, agreeing or disagreeing, every catholic should be thankfull to God to allow them to exist.

G. K. Chocolino

Paul Haley said...

Beware, my friends, of such stories because neither Cardinal Hoyos nor Bishop Fellay have spoken publicly about such a "deal". It is unthinkable to me that Cardinal Hoyos, knowing the sensitivity of such a subject, would allow "advance information" such as this purports to be. It is even more unthinkable that Pope Benedict would allow what amounts to "public negotiation" of such a sensitive issue, considering his experience in 1988. IMO, we should treat such a report with a "grain of salt". Prayer is a much better alternative to such things.

Cardinal Hoyos should know by now that this issue is of enormous importance to all traditional Catholics, not just those associated with the SSPX and the issue of a proper juridical structure as well as the vacating ot the excommunications cannot, and should not, be the subject of "negotiations in the press." As a matter of fact, if he gets winds of this, I would anticipate him setting the record straight and saying to all: "Pray, pray hard, that holy mother church will find a way to end the separation but do not put false hopes in media reports." If I can imagine his reaction to this "story", to say he would "go ballistic" is not out of the question. I could imagine a similar kind of reaction but using more diplomatic tones from Bishop Fellay.

Dan Hunter said...

"As a matter of fact, if he gets winds of this, I would anticipate him setting the record straight and saying to all: "Pray, pray hard, that holy mother church will find a way to end the separation but do not put false hopes in media reports." If I can imagine his reaction to this "story", to say he would "go ballistic."

Rather I beleive that this is, if true a blessing to be made public.
The power of many people praying for this reconciliation is much greater than the prayers of few.
God bless you.

Anonymous said...

H.E. Bishop Fellay presented a sermon given on the occasion of the nine ordinations to the Diaconate at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, MN, June 20. In this sermon, His Excellency mentions an "ultimative"
the Society recently received from Rome. An audio of this (56 min) sermon has been added to the
"Special Events" page of this VOCR issue and is available as a CD from St Michael's Book
store.

http://www.voiceofcatholicradio.com/

Tom said...

Just a point of clarification, does "next 28 June" mean June 2008 (ie 5 days away) or June 2009? We have a tendency in some parts of the English-speaking world to use the word "next" when we mean the one after the most immediate date. I'm assuming June 2008.

SassyDefiance89 said...

And the Roman Catholic Saga continues...

I read it like 5 times... the 5 conditions were not clearly mentioned... "do I have to read between the lines?"

So, we pray, we watch, we listen, we pray some more, and we wait patiently, and see what happens... and Pray a whole lot more...

Mother Mary, Queen of the Clergy...Pray for us

DR. HERBERT R. said...

Whatever, it is time for the SSPX to decisively accept reconciliation with Rome. Time is gold. The more separate they are the more they will harden their schism.

SassyDefiance89 said...

With all due respect... I sincerely beg you pardon - -Dr. Herbert r. (is it?)

Whatever is not an option!

btw, who's in schism?!!??

Oh, c'mon... please do NOT tell me we are still hang-up on such ridiculous "labels" such as "excommunicated" & "schismatic"

GET REAL!

Ottaviani said...

Oh, c'mon... please do NOT tell me we are still hang-up on such ridiculous "labels" such as "excommunicated" & "schismatic"

Quite - we are after all, in accordance with the principle of the Second Vatican Council, to refrain from such "divisive" words and start using platitudes as "separated brethren" or "sister churches"

;-)

Pertinacious Papist said...

The five conditions have obviously not yet been made public. As with the rumors and news a year ago of the then impending Motu Proprio, there is not certitude until Rome has finally and definitively spoken. Yet what we must do, in the spirit of authentic hope, is to pray for a propitious end to this schism. The work of the Fraternity has already been important to many disaffected Catholics, and has the potential to be of invaluable benefit to the Church at large.

Jordanes said...

Beware, my friends, of such stories because neither Cardinal Hoyos nor Bishop Fellay have spoken publicly about such a "deal". It is unthinkable to me that Cardinal Hoyos, knowing the sensitivity of such a subject, would allow "advance information" such as this purports to be.

It’s not unthinkable to me at all. In recent years, Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has made several statements in the press signaling a softening of Rome’s prior “hardline” regarding the SSPX. As the process has continued towards (God willing) a reconciliation and regularization, we’ve seen Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos make hopeful and encouraging public comments, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he wouldn’t be too upset about rumors of the latest stage of negotiations getting out to news media.

Anonymous said...

According to APIC/IMEDIA news agencies, via New Liturgical Movement, the SSPX has today confirmed that an offer/ultimatum has been made by Rome to the SSPX. Further, the SSPX has evidently confirmed that an answer will be forthcoming by the end of this week "God willing", and that it would be made public at that time. No indication of the nature of the decision is being made public. Also, Bp Fellay apparently recently gave an interview in which he again praised Summorum Pontificum as a 'miracle' for the nature of its new paradigm, but that it does not fully solve the crisis of faith in the Church. This, combined with Bp Williamson's strange comment about 'paperwork', etc., would seem to indicate that something is indeed happening and is coming to a head. We should all pray that a successful resolution will occur here, which should be ascribed directly to the grace of God and the intercession of His Blessed Mother on behalf of His Church.

Paul Haley said...

It’s not unthinkable to me at all. In recent years, Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has made several statements in the press signaling a softening of Rome’s prior “hardline” regarding the SSPX.

Not to argue the point, Jordanes, but in the instances you cite, Cardinal Hoyos himself made the statements but I understand your point and he may very well have allowed this as a trial balloon to guage the reaction.

Nevertheless, I see that the SSPX has evidently said something to confirm that an offer has been made. I just hope the negotiations don't enter into the realm of public dispute. God bless.

Anonymous said...

We all such pray to assure a reconciliation.

FSSPX plese accept the offer of Rome.

Rome needs the FSSPX.

PB

Anonymous said...

Like the Motu Proprio rumors, I'll only believe this SSPX deal is true when I see it. Fortunately a date has been set, the end of this week. Until then I wont get worked up.

Anonymous said...

Would the webmaster please delete the ad for Hoffman's book? This is shameless advertizing on an unrelated forum.

Anonymous said...

"Like the Motu Proprio rumors, I'll only believe this SSPX deal is true when I see it. Fortunately a date has been set, the end of this week. Until then I wont get worked up."

Many things can happen until the 28th. I am sure the Devil will find a way to torpedo this agreement.

passing through said...

Speaking simply from the pragmatic point of view with the interests of Catholic traditionalism in mind, the best result may be the reconciliation of part of the SSPX with the Vatican, including some of its bishops, and the continuing of another part in partial schism.

I still think that it is a benefit to tradition in the Church for there to exist just outside her a group that can openly speak against the errors of Vatican II and that possesses that precious and rare commodity within Catholicism - independence. Yet, on the other hand, the reconciliation of some and the creation of a prelature also would be a big boost for traditionalism within the Church and would give to this cause finally some bishops in communion.

I think it is hard to deny that the cause of tradition was helped and might continue to be helped by the existence of a Catholic group not under Rome's jurisdiction - someone has to keep them honest! They need to have to respond to people who can call a spade a spade, who can say that the emperor has no clothes if they think he's naked - that there are contradictions between VII and previous Church reaching and that VII seems to have been bad for the Church. Once Rome's jurisdiction is established over the SSPX, the cold front of silence and conformity blows in, and we all know what that feels like.

Anonymous said...

Maybe dual communion, (as discussed in your posting on Friday) could be a solution here as well!

Alcuin Reid said...

Let all priests who are able offer Mass 'pro Ecclesiae untiate'

Lhd said...

Let us hope the SSPX will accept the agreement.

If not, the illicit of 1988 (usurpation of ecclesiastical charges) will be born, and this time it will not be possible to allege an "state of necessity" (at present, there is no need for traditional Bishops, they already exists, they only must have ordinary jurisdiction)

Jordanes said...

Passing Through said: I think it is hard to deny that the cause of tradition was helped and might continue to be helped by the existence of a Catholic group not under Rome's jurisdiction - someone has to keep them honest!

Perhaps the cause of "tradition" was helped and might continue to be helped -- but not the cause of Apostolic Tradition, because Apostolic Tradition teaches us that any group not under Rome's jurisdiction is not a Catholic group, simply by virtue of not being subject to St. Peter's jurisdiction.

Groups that are not under Rome's jurisdiction have no business keeping Rome honest. That's God's responsibility, not the responsibility of groups not in communion with the Catholic Church.

Anyway, given Bishop Fellay's reported comments about this "ultimatum," I can't hold out much hope that the SSPX will accept Rome's offer, whatever it is. I'll keep praying for reconciliation, of course, but the news doesn't look too promising right now.

Phillip said...

Let us pray for the deal to come through. Imagine this awesome scene. The deal is accepted, and Bp. Fellay and company head to Rome. There, the Holy Father celebrates an extraordinary mass in St. Peter's, at the altar of St. Pius X, his holy body laying below the altar. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos and Bishop Fellay would be assisting. Now this would be a great return.

Anonymous said...

If Rome is offering a personal prelature, the S.S.P.X should reject this, as that would give the local Mahonys the authority to exclude the Society from expanding into the territory of their dioceses. I suspect that, as in the case of 2000, the press is getting all wrong, as usual. What was offered then and must be offered is an international and personal diocese or apostolic administration, and most definitely NOT a personal prelature (unless the p.p. would be incorporated into the diocese or apostolic administration).

I suspect that Rome is prepared to erect an exempt (i.e. non-metropolitan) 'personal' (in the sense that its lay subjects would be registered in its parishes and missions) and international diocese or apostolic administration. The S.S.P.X, the Transalpine Redemptorists, the I.B.P., and others could then be incorporated into this structure.

If they are being offered a personal prelature with no exemption from Canon 297, this is a sick joke. But we must be dealing with the usual journalistic ignorance here. They won't be offered less than what they were offered in 2000 and less than what the Campos got in 2001. Obviously.

Peter Karl T. Perkins
Victoria, Canada

New Catholic said...

Dear Mr Perkins,

I believe you are correct; anything less would not make much sense. Perhaps - only perhaps - the offer of a "Prelature" would be a purely temporary situation while the theological matters are discussed by both parties.

The only certainty we have so far is that we really do not know the exact content and nature of the proposals and the canonical architecture and timetable which were proposed.

Dave said...

Without the refutation by those in authority in Rome of religious libert, collegiality and ecumenism and a total ceasing of any activities promoting these erronious principles, any agrrement with the SSPX is out of the question. Period. The Tridentine Mass was an initial disagreement and not the most important as many believed, the lifting of the decree of 'excomunication' is still a current one but the main and lasting and most important wall between an 'agreement' still remains the diametrically opposed doctrinal issues.

Anonymous said...

I find it difficult to believe that Rome would make an offer that might not be accepted. The negotiations which have obviously been happening behind the scenes would no doubt be happening without any proposals on paper. They would be penned when both sides were clear that there was acceptance. Any other approach does not seem sensible.

Reading it politically, this approach we see being played out might allow both sides to say "we won": Rome makes an offer and the SSPX go into obedience; Rome recognises it needs the SSPX and Rome has succumbed to the demands of the SSPX.

The Church needs the SSPX to stand up for the faith within the Church; there has always been arguments about doctrine, but those who hold to the Traition have the upper hand at the moment with Benedict as the Pope: the SPPX need to join the fray from within the Church and in obedience to the Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Condizioni risultanti dall’incontro del 4 giugno 2008 tra il cardinale Dario Castrillon Hoyos e il vescovo Bernard Fellay:
1) L’impegno a una risposta proporzionata alla generosità del Papa.
2) L’impegno ad evitare ogni intervento pubblico che non rispetti la persona del Santo Padre e che possa essere negativo per la carità ecclesiale.
3) L’impegno a evitare la pretesa di un magistero superiore al Santo Padre e di non proporre la Fraternità in contrapposizione alla Chiesa.
4) L’impegno a dimostrare la volontà di agire onestamente nella piena carità ecclesiale e nel rispetto dell’autorità del Vicario di Cristo.
5) L’impegno a rispettare la data - fissata alla fine del mese di gigno - per rispondere positivamente. Questa sarà una condizione richiesta e necessaria come preparazione immediata all’adesione per avere la piena comunione.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like th 4 conditions are don't criticize us and stay quiet and the fifth is RSVP.

Jeff Culbreath said...

To me, it looks like Rome is simply exasperated with the SSPX. I think Rome did indeed make an offer with the knowledge that it probably wouldn't be accepted. Perhaps this was done because a heavier discipline is coming against the SSPX, and Rome wanted to make one final attempt at reconciliation before implementing this discipline.

Ione said...

If Fellay reconciles there will be a schism within the SSPX, of that I am as certain as one can be under Heaven (it may be a great boost to the SSPV or CMRI!!!)

It's amazing that ostpolitik Rome went out of its way to reconcile the Polish National Catholic Church, but yet only throws the occasional sardonic bone to the SSPX.

Paul Haley said...

Karl Perkins said:
I suspect that Rome is prepared to erect an exempt (i.e. non-metropolitan) 'personal' (in the sense that its lay subjects would be registered in its parishes and missions) and international diocese or apostolic administration. The S.S.P.X, the Transalpine Redemptorists, the I.B.P., and others could then be incorporated into this structure.

Karl, I hope very much you are correct because, to me, putting the Society back in the position of being subject to the whims of local ordinaries would be a huge step backward and surely not something the Society would accept.

Walter said...

I am fundamentally in sympathy with the SSPX. The Roman Catholiuc Church was a far more vibrant institution fifty years ago, and all they seek to do, is roll back the clock. They have won the liturgical battle. Traditionalist orders and societies are flourishing and have an overflow of vocations, while vocations to the secular clergy and mainstream orders are in crisis.
Now the real issue seems to be ecumenism and religious liberty.
All religions are noty equal. I am not suggesting a return to the mentality of Mary Tudor or the Thirty Years War; rather the kind of toleration of different faiths that must exist in any civilized society. I do sugegst a return to Aquinas. Regarding toleration,
the record of Roman Catholic political power is far better than
any other: we need only look at the foundation of Maryland in thefuture United States, where an Act of Toleration was probably the first enactment of the sole English Catholic colony. It was repealed when Prote4stants gained control of the legislature. Thye SSPx favors the Tridentine Mass. Compared to it, the Novus Ordo is banal, and not part of our heritage. Fortunately, I live in the New York City area, and have the option of attending several traditional Masses in Manhattan, not to mention at least one in the suburbs. But for Daily Mass I must attend the Novus Ordo, and it simply is not the sane grace filled experience.
In fact, I am becomming more and more convinced that the greatly diminished role of the priest in the Mass of Paul VI, is at least one of the reasons for the decline in vocations. True, it is a valid Mass: only the priest consecrates the elements. But it lacks the sensus sacri mysterii venerandi, found in the traditional Mass, and so does not nourish belief as does the Tridentine Mass.B7ut the SSPX is not without faults. Often its propaganda can give the impression that they believe themselves to be the only remnant of authentic Catholicism. The history of the Church since the Council has been a disaster, but the Church and the Papacy still exist. Consequently Rome has every right to demand that the SSPX avow that it claims no magesterium superior to that of
Rome. The SSPX, however, has responded adequately to this demand. That done, Rome should offer it a personal prelature,
and the SSPX should accept it.
Finally,, the SSPX should recognize that In Benedict XVI it has a Pope who is far more sympathetic thqan John-Paul II. This is shown in many ways: selection of music, communion by mouth, Dominus Jesus, and the
motu proprio, for example. It is therefore time for this tragedy to have a happy ending. And we must not forget that the SSPX is above all a French instituion, and the French can be emotional, possibly,
because of their Gallic ancestors.
But, the apparent self-destructive course of the Church since the Council is something all of us should be emotional about.