An Italian newspaper is once again reporting that reconciliation with the breakaway Society of St. Pius X is imminent. Il Giornale, in an article translated by the Rorate Caeli blog, said that will the re-election of Bishop Bernard Fellay to another 12-year term as head of the SSPX, he may be more amenable to an agreement.
It is possible that, in the past period, with the knowledge that his term was nearing its end, Fellay would have hesitated. Now, however, precise signals are expected in the Vatican. The terms of agreement include the acceptance of the theological agreement already agreed in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre and the then Cardinal Ratzinger, the lift of the excommunications decreed by the Holy See after the illegitimate ordination of four bishops by the same Lefebvre, and a canonical structure, similar to that of the military ordinariat, which allows the Fraternity Saint Pius X to preserve its seminaries and to incardinate [its own] priests.
Simultaneously to the agreement, the Holy See will announce a kind of liberalization of the pre-Conciliar Missal of Saint Pius V—a measure very much expected also by Traditionalists in communion with Rome.
Of course, back in the Spring, we had sources telling us that it was rock-solid certain that an agreement was coming, even within days, some even claiming it would take place during Holy Week. We saw how that turned out.
It would be nice if an agreement were reached, but I wonder how much of this is premature speculation; how much is journalists’ wishful-thinking, i.e. “We want to scoop others, so let’s say what we think is going to happen”; and how much is parties on either side using the media to gauge public support for their negotiating positions, i.e. trial balloons.
I’m taking a cautious stance on this again.
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