OTTAWA – An order of priests that became “like orphans” 30 years ago when it broke away from the schismatic Society of St. Pius X has prospered by observing Church tradition and stressing unity with the Holy Father.

Published in Canada
SOLOTHURN, Switzerland – After a meeting between the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X and the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the canonically irregular priestly society said the problem in its relations with the Holy See is fundamentally doctrinal.
Published in International
VATICAN – The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X elected 47-year-old Father Davide Pagliarani, an Italian member of the society, as its superior general.
Published in International

VATICAN CITY – Continuing initiatives aimed at a reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, Pope Francis has made it possible for bishops to ensure the validity of marriages celebrated in the traditionalist communities.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - As discussions continue between Vatican officials and leaders of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, Pope Francis met at the Vatican with Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the society.

Published in Vatican

A traditionalist bishop who has denied the Holocaust has been automatically excommunicated along with the priest he illicitly ordained a bishop.

Published in International

OTTAWA - Canada’s Catholic bishops have denounced recent statements made in Canada by the Society of St. Pius X superior that “the Jews” are the “enemies of the Church.”

Published in Canada

Updated 01/10/13

VATICAN CITY - The Catholic Church remains committed to deepening its relations with Jews and finds it "absolutely unacceptable" to consider the Jewish people as enemies, the Vatican spokesman said.

Published in International

Calgary Bishop Fred Henry has warned Catholics in his diocese not to attend a church purchased by the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY - Hinting at a willingness to continue discussions with the Vatican and recognizing the full authority of the pope over the church, the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said it must defend church teaching from error.

"As for all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council, which remain tainted with errors, and for the reforms derived from it," the statement said, "the society can only continue to uphold the affirmations and teachings of the constant magisterium of the church."

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said he would inform the Vatican soon on the society's official position on Vatican efforts to bring the group back into full communion with the Church.

The response will insist that the society must preserve its identity, which is "the only efficacious means to help the Church restore Christendom," said Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the society.

His remarks were contained in an interview published July 16 on the group's web site, www.dici.org, after members of the society held its general chapter meeting to discuss Vatican efforts to bring it back into full communion.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Half a century after the start of the Second Vatican Council, the reform of the liturgy initiated there has not lost its power to stoke controversy.

On June 13, after years of on-again-off-again talks with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, which effectively broke from Rome almost 25 years ago to protest the teachings of Vatican II and subsequent changes to the Mass, the Vatican announced that the traditionalists had been formally offered terms of reconciliation.

Published in Features

VATICAN CITY - Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, met for more than two hours with officials of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith June 13.

The Vatican did not immediately issue a statement on the meeting, part of ongoing talks aimed at reconciling the breakaway group with the Catholic Church. The society's founder, the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who rejected some teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the modernizing reforms instituted in its wake, was excommunicated for ordaining Bishop Fellay and three other bishops without papal permission in 1988.

In April, Bishop Fellay submitted to the Vatican his second official response to a "doctrinal preamble" outlining what the Vatican said were "some doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity" to the formal teaching of the church, presumably including the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

The bishop's reply was studied by the cardinal-members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, ultimately, by Pope Benedict XVI.

The cardinals and the pope had studied Bishop Fellay's first response, which was submitted in January, and later issued a statement saying his position "is not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems that are at the basis of the fracture between the Holy See and the society."

While Bishop Fellay has been generally positive about the possibility of reconciliation with Rome, leaked letters show that the society's three other bishops have had serious reservations about the process.

In May, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said, "In consideration of the positions taken by the three other bishops of the Society of St. Pius, their situation will have to be treated separately and individually" from the effort to reconcile with the SSPX as a whole and with Bishop Fellay.

"It is not that this is a process that necessarily will reach a solution that embraces all the positions" found among all the SSPX members, Father Lombardi said in May.

Pope Benedict's latest efforts to bring about reconciliation with the traditionalist group began when he lifted the excommunications incurred by Bishop Fellay and the other SSPX bishops after they were ordained without papal permission. The pope also established a Vatican committee for doctrinal talks with society representatives in 2009 and drafted the "doctrinal preamble" to explain the "minimal, essential" elements on which the society would have to agree for full reconciliation, Father Lombardi had said.

When the Vatican's doctrinal discussions with the society began in 2009, both sides said the key issues to be discussed included the concept of tradition in general, as well as the Second Vatican Council's teaching on the liturgy, the unity of the church, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue and religious freedom.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - The leader of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said talks with the Vatican demonstrate that "Rome no longer makes total acceptance" of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council a condition for his group's full reconciliation with the church.

Accepting the council's teaching is no longer "a prerequisite for the canonical solution" of the status of the society, said Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the SSPX.

In an interview published June 7 on the society's news site, www.dici.org, Bishop Fellay said it was the Vatican that approached the society, and not the society that went to the Vatican, asking to begin the talks.

Published in International

ROME - Pentecost is a feast of unity, as the gift of the Holy Spirit makes possible the unity that the Lord Jesus desires for His Church. To preserve the unity of the Church is one of the first duties of the pastor. The flock is to be brought into the one sheepfold. Yet that remains a very difficult and delicate task. Two current examples, much discussed in Rome these days, point to different approaches.

Consider first the Anglicans. For the better part of 40 years there have been significant numbers of Anglicans looking Romeward, particularly after the unilateral decision in the Anglican Communion in the 1970s to ordain women, something never done by either the Catholic or Orthodox Churches. Many thought that such a unilateral rupture of common sacramental practice meant a definitive abandonment of the ecumenical path by the Anglican Communion, and therefore some measure should be adopted by Rome to make it easier for Anglicans to become Catholic while preserving something of their ecclesial communities and liturgical heritage. The Holy See took rather a different view. While provision was made for individual Anglican clergy, and individual Anglican lay people could always become Catholic in the normal fashion, there was no provision for groups to enter full communion together.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza
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