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SSPX & Rome? commentary | 4-18-2012

Accustomed to instant news, many Catholics often express impatience towards the SSPX’s policy of not providing immediate information concerning its relations with Rome.

However, the SSPX’s discrete manner of handling these media affairs (as seen in this recent clarifying communiqué) is dictated not only by prudence, but also by the respect owed to the Holy See.

In fact, normally such activities between a religious congregation and the Roman Curia are not only conducted in private, but kept private afterwards. However, due to the particular circumstances of the ecclesial crisis, the SSPX’s situation is relevant for the entire Church—thus when deemed appropriate, it informs those outside its society of any new developments.

Thus today the SSPX’s General House published a communiqué concerning Bishop Fellay’s reply to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, about which many speculations have been spread by the media during the past few days.

At least one Vatican insider has posited that Bishop Fellay gave a “positive” response and also signed in acceptance a modified form of the Doctrinal Preamble. However, speaking today to the French news agency, APIC, SSPX spokesman, Fr. Alain Lorans states that while a “clarified Preamble” was sent to Rome with Bishop Fellay’s reply, beyond these facts one is “speaking too prematurely” when referring to an imminent agreement between the SSPX and Rome. Fr. Lorans went on to clarify that Bishop Fellay’s response is simply another step “in a stage of studies” and that “not everything is already fixed” for an agreement.

Thus at this juncture, it is best to “watch and pray” as developments continue between the SSPX and the Holy See.

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