Vatican Confirms Lefebvre Group Has Responded

Doctrinal Congregation to Examine Reply

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By Kathleen Naab

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 18, 2012 ( Hopes are high that the ultra-traditionalist Society of St. Pius X might be on the way to communion with Rome.

Dialogue has been ongoing with the splinter group since it was created with the illicit ordination of four bishops by founder Marcel Lefebvre. 

It is known that reconciliation with the Society is a desire close to the Pope’s heart, as he was at the forefront of the Church’s efforts to bring reconciliation during his years leading the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In recent months, the dialogue moved to a new level, with the doctrinal congregation proposing to the Society last September a «doctrinal preamble» that the Vatican hoped would be the basis for finally achieving reconciliation.

The Society of St. Pius X considered the preamble and in January of this year, gave a response to the Vatican, which was examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and judged insufficient by Benedict XVI.

The Society was informed in mid-March of the problems with their position and asked for further clarification. Today’s communiqué states simply, «On 17 April, as requested during the 16 March meeting held at the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Commission received the response of Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X. The text of the response will be examined by the dicastery then submitted to the Holy Father for his judgement.»

Though there has been no further official word from the Vatican, nor from the Society, it is reported that Bishop Fellay’s response was positive, and hopes are high that the splinter group is on its way back to communion with Rome.

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