Rorate Caeli

The Papal Meeting of February 13

The first papal-curial high-level meeting on the talks between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X and their consequences will be held today. As Andrea Tornielli first explained in Il Giornale, confirmed later by Sandro Magister of L'Espresso, the Swiss Catholic News Agency APIC, the French "Progressive" Catholic Magazine Golias, and recorded yesterday by Alejandro Bermudez of the Catholic News Agency, the topics will be the following:

-(1) A text on the remission of the canonical censures imposed on the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and co-consecrated by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer in 1988;
-(2) The parameters for a stable canonical structure for the bishops, priests, orders, and lay faithful attached to the Classical rites of the Latin Church (this structure would probably use some form included in the Code of Canon Law-CIC, but could in many details be defined by particular law, as allowed by the principles of canon law and by precedent);
-(3) A clear definition of the existence and limits (of a canonical or pastoral nature) of the rights of the priests of the Latin Church to celebrate the Mass and Sacraments according to the Ancient rites of the Latin Church.

The second, more definitive meeting, will be held in mid-April, with the heads of the dicasteries. Bermudez rightly informs that the meeting of this Monday is "one of consultation, so hopes should not go that high". There will not be, with almost complete certainty, any official note on the matter.

One important note, however: Benedict knows the matter better than anyone in Rome; he knows the problems, and he knows the possible solutions. It will not be a mere consultative meeting -- that was already held by John Paul II in 2001 for discussion of the same matter, as Tornielli rightfully remembers in his report, with the opposition of the Curia to further discussions. Benedict will listen, but he will also say what he wants to be done and he will order it done.
Update [12oo PM GMT]: the Bollettino has confirmed that the meeting took place ("with the Cardinals and the heads of the dicasteries"), but no further information has been released. Andrea Tornielli in today's edition of Il Giornale informs that the second meeting will take place not in mid-April, as rumored, but on March 23 (that is, right before the date of the consistory, predicted to take place on March 24-25).
Update 2 [0215 PM GMT]: AGI reports that "Benedict XVI ... has confirmed his will to find solutions in a quick time to the problem of the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre... According to what has been learned, the Pontiff would agree that the followers of the schismatic bishop may keep their liturgy and a certain disciplinary autonomy, as if it were a ' rite' by itself, therefore with its own Ordinary". [See topic (2) above for a more appropriate explanation of the possible papal plans; the canonical structure would be for all such Catholics.]

We recommend all our readers to be careful with interviews and rumors from some sources (including Cardinals) who are not as knowledgeable on the matter as one would be led to believe from their titles. Above all, let us pray. "Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves."


  1. Thank you for getting these updates to us. We in Ithaca are certainly following them with attention.

  2. My sentiments as well. We held hostage in the Roman Protestant Diocese of Raleigh, NC most certainly do appriciate your excellent postings.

  3. Greetings,
    Thanks so much for the relevant news of Holy Mother Church. True, gossip from Cardinals is only surpassed by gossip from Seminarians! We must pray, that all may be one!

  4. So it looks like there is a possibility that the Lefebverist schismatics will become novus ordo heretics.

  5. LOL. Funny, but sadly, true.


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