ROME, JAN. 25, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a statement from Bishop Bernard Fellay, secretary-general of the Society of St. Pius X, in response to a decree published Saturday by the Congregation for Bishops, advising of the lifting of his excommunication and that of the three other bishops ordained without papal permission by Marcel Lefebvre in 1988.
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Response From Leader of Society of St. Pius X
The excommunication of the bishops consecrated by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on June 30, 1988, which had been declared by the Congregation for Bishops in a decree dated July 1, 1988, and which we had always contested, has been withdrawn by another decree mandated by Benedict XVI and issued by the same Congregation on January 21, 2009.
We express our filial gratitude to the Holy Father for this gesture which, beyond the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, will benefit the whole Church. Our Society wishes to be always more able to help the pope to remedy the unprecedented crisis which presently shakes the Catholic world, and which Pope John Paul II had designated as a state of “silent apostasy.”
Besides our gratitude towards the Holy Father and towards all those who helped him to make this courageous act, we are pleased that the decree of January 21 considers as necessary “talks” with the Holy See, talks which will enable the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to explain the fundamental doctrinal reasons which it believes to be at the origin of the present difficulties of the Church.
In this new atmosphere, we have the firm hope to obtain soon the recognition of the rights of Catholic Tradition.
Menzingen, January 24, 2009
Bernard Fellay[Text provided as press release from the secretary-general of the Society of St. Pius X]