Sunday, November 20, 2016
SSPX May be Recognized on Monday by Pope Francis
(Rome) On Monday the 21st of November, Pope Francis Francis will publish the Apostolic Exhortation Misericordia et Misera at the end of the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy. This was announced by the Vatican Press Office in yesterday's bulletin. Internet blogs, which are close to the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, report that Pope Francis will come out with a bang on Monday.
According to the announcement, the pope would announce the reunion of the full unity of the priestly society established by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, with the Holy See. At the same time, he would be able to build canonically the Pius Brotherhood as a personal prelate. Is it only speculation? Since last April the signs of such recognition have been condensed.
The Society, founded in 1970, was denied canonical recognition in 1975. Since then, their status has not been clarified. Officially, it does not exist as a separate legal entity for the Holy See. An open break took place in 1988. Rome declared the founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, and the four consecrated bishops as excommunicated, for their valid if unauthorized episcopal ordinations. The validity of the celebration of the sacraments by priests of the Society, without the permission of the Church, was repeatedly questioned. According to Benedict XVI, the excommunication was annuled. At the same time, doctrinal conversations were held between the Holy See and the Pius Brotherhood. In 2012 the recognition of the Society by Rome seemed to be near, but at the last moment was stymied because internal Church resistance. Since then it has been assumed that the failure of recognition is a reason that Benedict XVI. had resigned.
Under Pope Francis came an unexpected resumption of contacts. In September 2015, Francis proclaimed, with the proclamation of the Holy Year of Mercy, that during the jubilee the sacrament of penance by priests of the Society was "valid and permissible". The Society then expressed its thanks for the "paternal gesture".
According to sources close to the Society, the canonical establishment was intended as a personal prelature. Thus the Society after the Opus Dei would be the second ecclesial community to have this new legal status. It envisages that a priest with the rank of a bishop stands at the head, and the members of this family are largely excluded from the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishops.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: CWW (Screenshot)
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