What Rome Expects of the Society of Pius X -- Interview of Archbishop Guido Pozzo
Archbishop Guido Pozzo (Ecclesia Dei) on the "Preconditions" for the canonical recognition of the Society with Rome
(Rome) What Rome expects from the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) said Curial Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei . The interview was held by Luca Marcolivio for the press Zenit .
About two weeks ago Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX was received by Pope Francis at the Vatican. The private audience caused quite a stir since it is known that Francis has no strong sympathies for tradition.
New "Doctrinal Preamble"?
Curial Archbishop Pozzo described the meeting as "useful" on the "path" of the SSPX, "towards a full reconciliation" that "will be made a canonical recognition of the institute." Currently it is "primarily" about creating a more trusting and respectful air, "to overcome hardening and distrust".
When asked which "basic requirements" Rome is urging of the SSPX for recognition, Pozzo said that the SSPX would submit a "doctrinal statement" which "at the appropriate moment," is one that will contain all the "essential and necessary points". Pozzo described such points as: "the approval of the creed, the sacramental bond and hierarchical communion with the Roman Pontiff, the head of the episcopal college united with him."
Specifically the Curial Archbishop explained, "that the SSPX is asked to recognize that only the Magisterium of the Church is entrusted with the preservation, defense and interpretation of the deposit of faith, and the Magisterium is not higher than the Word of God, but this serves only to hand down doctrine." The supreme Magisterium is the "authentic interpreter" even of the previous texts of the Magisterium "in the light of the everlasting tradition," including those of the Second Vatican Council. So there is no place for "opposing novelties", but only for a deeper understanding of the Depositum fidei, "always in the same doctrine, the same sense and in the same tradition."
Discussions have "led to a significant clarification" of Vatican II
As for the Second Vatican Council, the trodden path of the "recent years" have "led to a significant clarification," said Pozzo. "The 2nd Vatican Council can only be understood in the context of the entire tradition of the Church and her constant magisterium in an appropriate manner." In addition, a different weighting and thus binding of each document is observed. The person in charge of Ecclesia Dei emphasized that there even after "the canonical recognition" the conciliar documents can continue to be discussed. The aim of the "discussion, deepening" must be to "avoid any misunderstandings and contradictions" that "to our knowledge are currently spread throughout the Church".
Outstanding issues such as religious freedom, ecumenism are not "an obstacle to recognition"
The open questions about the relationship between church and state, freedom of religion, practice of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue as well as "some aspects of liturgical reform and their actual use" would "be discussed and remain points to be clarified." but however, "they are not an obstacle for the canonical and legal recognition" of the SSPX.