Congregation for Doctrine of Faith Meets With Society of St. Pius X

Phil Roussin

Two sides decide to take gradual approach to find solution to split

The Holy See Press Office has issued a statement to confirm that this morning a meeting took place at the premises of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith between Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X.

The two-hour meeting was also attended by Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., secretary of the same Congregation, Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., adjunct secretary and Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, along with two assistants from the Society of St. Pius X, Rev. Niklaus Pfluger and Rev. Alain-Marc Nély.

During the meeting, various problems of a doctrinal and canonical nature were examined, and it was decided to proceed gradually and over a reasonable period of time in order to overcome difficulties and with a view to the envisioned full reconciliation.

According to Vatican Insider, it was the first time Bishop Fellay, one of the four bishops illicitly ordained by Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, held a face to face meeting with Cardinal Müller since the latter was appointed head of the doctrinal congregation.

Vatican Insider pointed out that in 2012, Cardinal William Levada, then-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had delivered a doctrinal preamble to Bishop Fellay to sign. But four days later, the bishop wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI informing him that he could not agree to the terms laid out in the document.

Benedict replied, repeating his request for members of the traditionalist Society to recognize that “the magisterium is the authentic interpreter of the Tradition,” that the Second Vatican Council agrees with Tradition and that the post-conciliar liturgical reform promulgated by Pope Paul VI was not only valid but also legitimate.

Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.