US Catholic Faith in Real Life

SSPX knows best?

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Despite Pope Benedict XVI's overtures toward the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, it looks like talks between the Holy See and the SSPX are going nowhere and may soon be suspended. "We are coming to the conclusion (of the talks), because we have made the tour of the major questions raised by the Council," said SSPX head Bishop Bernard Fellay, according to Reuters. The Vatican, it seems, refused to say that the teachngs of the Second Vatican Council on relations with other religions, to name one teaching opposed by the SSPX, were wrong.

This will be a blow to B16's hope of reconciling the only schism after Vatican II, and it came at great cost in terms of political capital. Benedict cause an uproar when he withdrew the excommunication of four bishops ordained by SSPX founder Marcel Lefebvre, especially after it came to light that one of them, Richard Williamson, denied the extent of the Holocaust. Bendedict's wide permission to make use of the pre-Vatican II liturgy also drew criticism, especially from fellow European bishops.

I'm a bit puzzled by the SSPX on this one. It seemed to me likely that they would have been given a situation similar to the Anglican ordinariate, with freedom to do pretty much what they pleased, if they would just admit that the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are authentically Catholic. Did they really think that the pope was going to say that Vatican II was in error?