On September 14, 2011, at the office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a meeting was held between His Eminence, Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of this Congregation and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, His Excellency, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, S.J., Secretary of this Congregation, and Monsignor Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, and Fathers Niklaus Pfluger et Alain-Marc Nély, General Assistants of the Fraternity
Following the petition addressed on December 15, 2008, by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, the Holy Father had taken the decision of lifting the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and to open at the same time doctrinal conversations with the Fraternity, aiming to overcome the difficulties and the problems of a doctrinal nature, and to achieve a healing of the existing fracture.
Obedient to the will of the Holy Father, a mixed study commission, composed of experts of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X and of experts of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, assembled eight times for meetings that took place in Rome between the month of October 2009 and the month of April 2011. These conversations, whose objective was that of presenting and examining the major doctrinal difficulties on controversial themes, achieved their goal, which was that of clarifying the respective positions and their motivations.
Given the concerns and requests presented by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X regarding the integrity of the Catholic faith considering the hermeneutic of rupture of the Second Vatican Council in respect of Tradition - hermeneutic mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI in his Address to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005 -, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith takes as a fundamental basis for a full reconciliation with the Apostolic See the acceptance of the Doctrinal Preamble which was delivered in the course of the meeting of September 14, 2011. This preamble enunciates some of the doctrinal principles and criteria of interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary for ensuring fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and to the sentire cum Ecclesia, while leaving open to legitimate discussion the study and theological explanation of particular expressions and formulations present in the texts of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium that followed it.
In the course of the same meeting, some elements were proposed regarding a canonical solution for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, which would follow the eventual and hoped-for reconciliation.
________________________________________________[Updates:]- La Stampa/Vatican Insider: On the doctrinal preamble, "its content, said the Vatican spokesman [Father Federico Lombardi], is intended to remain secret."