Rorate Caeli

How to welcome Calvinists, Lutherans, Orthodox, Anglicans - and the SSPX

Farel, Calvin, Beza, Knox - Reformation Wall, in Geneva
Swiss Dominican Charles Morerod took part as a Vatican representative in the doctrinal talks with the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), in 2009-2011, and was named afterwards Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg. Bishop Morerod signed a document recently on the use of churches and chapels of the Diocese "by other religions, confessions, or religious groups, as well as by the Society of Saint Pius X" (January 20, 2013 - available here, in French).

The document includes the following:

2. Use by other Christian churches or ecclesial communities

2.1 Based on the indications of the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, of March 25, 1993, (n. 137), permission for placing churches and chapels at the disposal of communities of other Christian confessions may be granted for reasons of pastoral need.

If the aforementioned pastoral need presents itself, Catholic churches and chapels can only be placed at the disposal of Catholic-Christian [Old Catholic], Evangelical-Reformed, Lutheran, Orthodox, and Anglican communities.

3. Use by members of the Society of Saint Pius X

3.1 The excommunication declared regarding the bishops of the Society on June 30, 1988, was lifted by a decree of the Congregation for Bishops, of January 21, 2009.

3.2 In his letter "concerning the remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre", of March 10, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI wrote to the bishops: "The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church" [suspensio a divinis].

3.3 Due to the aforementioned reasons, it is forbidden to the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X to use the Catholic churches and chapels for all priestly service, in particular for the dispensation of the sacraments.

4. Use by non-Christian religious communities

4.1 Requests by communities belonging to non-Christian religions for the use of a church or a chapel shall receive a negative response.