The Vatican confirmed in a short statement this morning that yesterday it received a response to the doctrinal preamble from the Society of St. Pius X, and it is now being examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the response is substantially different from the previous one, therefore "encouraging" and marks a "step forward" according to Catholic News Service. He also said it will be examined "quickly", and given to the Pope, probably within a "few weeks." Father Lombardi added: "we cannot consider the matter concluded yet."

"On April 17, 2012 was received, as requested at the meeting of March 16, 2012, held at the headquarters of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the text of the response of H.E. Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X. The above mentioned text will be examined by the Congregation and then submitted to the judgment of the Holy Father." 

UPDATE: The SSPX this afternoon issued its own statement, pouring cold water on media reports that the Society had given a positive response to the doctrinal preamble:

The media are announcing that Bishop Bernard Fellay has sent a “positive response” to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that consequently the doctrinal question between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X is now resolved.

The reality is different.

In a letter dated April 17, 2012, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X responded to the request for clarification that had been made to him on March 16 by Cardinal William Levada concerning the Doctrinal Preamble delivered on September 14, 2011.  As the press release dated today from the Ecclesia Dei Commission indicates, the text of this response “will be examined by the dicastery (Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith) then submitted to the Holy Father for his judgement”.

This is therefore a stage and not a conclusion.

Menzingen, April 18, 2012