The Vatican is hoping to announce early next week the Society of St. Pius X’s clarifications to the fraternity's earlier response to a “Doctrinal Preamble” that could form the basis of reconciliation with Rome. But as of April 14th, those clarifications had not been received.
Speaking to the Register this morning, Msgr. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” – the Vatican body charged with helping to bring reconciliation with the SSPX - said “we haven’t yet received a response” but he added that the fraternity have “preannounced they will arrive at a final clarification, therefore I am hoping that at the beginning of next week we’ll be able to know their position and then take consequent positions.”
Asked whether he thought the response would be positive, Msgr. Pozzo said “certain press reports, certain information, have been encouraging but we cannot predict their response until they give it to us.”
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said last month the society had been told it had until mid-April to clarify its position in order to heal “the existing fracture”, although the date of April 15th was not considered an ultimatum.
In January, Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the SSPX, gave the society’s response to the doctrinal preamble, issued in September, which aimed at clarifying some doctrinal principles necessary for reconciliation. His response was then examined by the CDF, culminating in the Holy Father’s judgment, which was made public on March 16th.
The Vatican published that evaluation in a communiqué, saying the position of the society was “not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems that are at the basis of the fracture between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X” but invited the SSPX to clarify its position.
Officials have warned that the SSPX risks losing the historic opportunity to reconcile with the Catholic Church and that it needs to make sacrifices for unity.
Msgr. Nicola Bux, a consulter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the Register March 25th that if the society “does not accept the offer of a pope like Benedict XVI, who has already made possible the gestures to meet them halfway, a historic opportunity would be lost, and, above all, there would be a further injury to the mystical body of Jesus Christ.”
Msgr. Pozzo said he was “confident that early next week there will be an announcement” which will be made by the Holy See press office.