Rorate Caeli

Pope Francis speaks: "The Society of St. Pius X are Catholics on the path to full communion."

[UPDATED BELOW] Pope Francis granted an extensive interview to Guillaume Goubert, the director, and Sébastien Maillard, the Rome correspondent of the semi-official daily of the French Bishops, La Croix, on May 9. The interview (including videos) has been published today, and included the following very relevant excerpt:

La Croix: You received, on the past April 1st, Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior-General of the Society of Saint Pius X. Is the reintegration of the Lefebvrists in the Church once again being considered?

Pope Francis: In Buenos Aires, I always spoke with them. They saluted me, they asked for [my] blessing on their knees. They consider themselves Catholic. They love the Church. Bp. Fellay is a man with whom we can dialogue. It is not the case of other somewhat strange elements, such as Bp. Williamson, or others who have radicalized. I think, as I had expressed in Argentina, that they are Catholics on the path to full communion. During this Year of Mercy, it seemed that I should authorize their confessors to pardon the sin of abortion.[*] They thanked me for this gesture. Before that, Benedict XVI, whom they respect greatly, had liberalized the Mass according to the Tridentine Rite. We dialogue well, we do a good work.

Would you be ready to grant them a status of personal prelature?

Pope Francis: It would be a possible solution, but, before, a fundamental agreement should be established with them. The Second Vatican Council has its value. We move forward slowly, with patience.

UPDATE (May 17, 8 AM): La Croix has released this Tuesday their English translation of the full interview.

[*] And others as well.
(Rorate translation. Tip: various readers; source: La Croix)