Rome and the Society of Saint Pius X: "The Meeting Went Well" -- "It Goes in the Direction of a Personal Prelature"
"The Meeting Went Well", according to Il Foglio according to its Vatican Sources
(Rome) Matteo Matzuzzi, the Vatican expert of the Italian daily Il Foglio , reported initially on Monday that Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, was received by Pope Francis in private audience last Friday. Here is Matzuzzi's piece:
The Pope Met Bernard Fellay, head of the Lefebvrians
The pope on Saturday 1 received Bernard Fellay, the superior general and direct successor 2 of Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre at the head of St. Pius X. The conversation "was positive" as Il Foglio learned from Vatican sources. Between Francis and Fellay "the consultation went well."
It is a further step towards canonical recognition of the Fraternity to the Holy See in the form of an ad hoc erected Prelature on the model of Opus Dei, therefore with far-reaching and not only organizational autonomy.
In an interview recently translated into five languages and published on the website of the Society, Fellay showed himself very open to dialogue, by repeatedly emphasizing his appreciation for the reigning pope:
"I would not be more surprised if he sees us as one of those margins, to which he obviously gives preference. And precisely in this perspective he uses the expression "to travel part of the way" with the people on the periphery, in the hope of being able to improve things. This is therefore not a firm resolution to come directly to the destination, one way or another, a way to go ... but the main thing is is quite peaceful, nice, without knowing very well where that will lead. This is probably one of the main reasons. "
Already towards the end of 2013 there was, as the internet site Rorate Caeli brought to light, a first meeting in Santa Marta. However, It was not a conversation, but more of a chance encounter.
In an interview Fellay noted another aspect of which reveals how far the path to reconciliation has already progressed:
"Very surprising, since it is clear that Pope Francis wants to give us life and to survive. To anyone who wants to hear it, he says he will never do anything evil to the Fraternity. He also said that we are Catholic. He has refused to convict us as schismatics, he said, you are not schismatic, you are Catholic ', even if he subsequently used a somewhat enigmatic word when he said we were on the way to full communion. For this expression, full communion, 'we would like to have a clear definition, because it looks as if it corresponds to nothing precise. This is a feeling ... you do not know exactly what it is."
A decision in Econe where the Society has its headquarters 3 was particularly appreciated, relates to the pope granting permission that Catholics may confess to Lefebvrian priests. The Pope explained that in the letter last September 1, in which he granted an indulgence for the Jubilee Year:
"A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity. In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins."
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Il Foglio (Screenshot)
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