SSPX head says group does not have to accept all Vatican II teachings
The leader of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said talks with the Vatican demonstrate that “Rome no longer makes total acceptance” of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council a condition for his group’s full reconciliation with the church.
Accepting the council’s teaching is no longer “a prerequisite for the canonical solution” of the status of the society, said Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the SSPX.
In an interview published June 7 on the society’s news site, www.dici.org, Bishop Fellay said it was the Vatican that approached the society, and not the society that went to the Vatican, asking to begin the talks.
“So the attitude of the official church is what changed; we did not,” he said. “We were not the ones who asked for an agreement; the pope is the one who wants to recognize us.”
In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications that had been incurred by Bishop Fellay and other SSPX bishops when they were ordained without papal permission 11 years earlier. Also in 2009, the pope established a Vatican committee to hold doctrinal talks with society representatives.
In September 2011, the Vatican gave Bishop Fellay a “doctrinal preamble” outlining “some doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity” to the formal teaching of the church. Neither the Vatican nor the SSPX has made the text public, but the Vatican said it leaves room for “legitimate discussion” about “individual expressions or formulations present in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the successive magisterium” of the church.
Bishop Fellay submitted his first response to the document in March, but the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of Pope Benedict, defined it as “insufficient.” The bishop gave the Vatican his second response in April and, as of June 7, it was still under study at the Vatican. [More]