Cold feet, of course, are fairly common before any wedding. Itâ€™s thus probably no surprise that as Rome and the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, popularly known as the â€œLefebvrists,â€ prepare to walk down the aisle, important voices on both sides of the match are having some second thoughts.
Leaked correspondence shows that three of the four bishops of the society are strongly opposed to a deal, while the top French traditionalist has denounced the â€œplagueâ€ of the Second Vatican Council. The societyâ€™s superior has openly admitted a split may be in the works.
Meanwhile in Rome, even some of the popeâ€™s best friends are voicing concern that a deal should not signal a retreat from Vatican II.
Sources say that an offer for reunion could be made by the end of May, along the lines of a â€œpersonal prelatureâ€, a non-territorial diocese status currently held by Opus Dei. In mid-April, the superior of the Society of St. Pius X, Swiss Bishop Bernard Fellay, approved a â€œdoctrinal preambleâ€ laid out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Though long opposed to Vatican IIâ€™s teachings on liturgy, religious freedom and ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue, the society did not split from Rome until 1988, when the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ordained four bishops in defiance of Pope John Paul II.
While a deal to heal that breach seems imminent, thereâ€™s trepidation within the society. [more]