(Rome) The agreement between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X is final. The role of Pope Francis is decisive. This is reported by the Vaticanist Matteo Matzuzzi in today's edition of Il Foglio.
"The rift between the Priestly Society of St. Pius X (Lefebvrian) and the Holy See is immediately about to be repaired," says Matzuzzi. Evidence that the "complex negotiations" are moving towards a "positive solution" are the intentions of the Society to buy the Santa Maria Immacolata building complex on the Esquiline, one of the seven hills of Rome. The complex is located close to the Lateran. The large neo-gothic church was built for an order at the end of the 19th century. This included other buildings that were used as a school in recent years.
The study center is to be built near the Lateran
According to Il Foglio, there will be a study center of the Society and additionally the General House of Personal Prelature, as soon as the Society is recognized as such by the Holy See.
The approach by Pope Francis himself has accelerated. In January on the 17-20 Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the Society, was quartered in Santa Marta in the Vatican. With him, Monsignor Alfonso de Galarreta and the Assistant General, Father Alain Nely, had come to Rome. At the talks, the Superior of the Sisters of the Society also took part. Father Nely is commissioned to complete the purchase at Esquiline.
The Society has had contacts, as Monsignor Fellay confirms, in Argentina with the then primate, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. "He has known us for a long time." If there were problems with a local bishop, one had turned to the primate. He said: "You are, of course, Catholic and not schismatic. I'll help you." He did.
That has to do with the laws of Argentina. The Latin country gives Catholic priests a residence permit only if there is an official confirmation from local church representatives that the priests are officially recognized. In this respect, in a single case (individual cases), there were interventions by Archbishop Bergoglio, who issued this confirmation for the Argentine state.
The fact that things had not already come to an agreement with Rome in 2012 led Matzuzzi to the resistance of the French part in the Society. Had it been up to the German District, the Society would already have "returned to communion with Rome".
"Fellay now seems ready to go to end the standoff, even at the cost of painful losses among his faithful and priests," says Matzuzzi.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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