VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The first round of talks between the Society of St. Pius X and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will take place next week, a Vatican spokesman said.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, revealed today in a brief statement that the meeting will take place Monday, Oct. 26.
Father Lombardi said the content of the meeting “will be strictly reserved,” but that a communiqué will be published at its conclusion.
The meeting will take place in the Palace of the Holy Office. The Vatican representatives will include Monsignor Guido Pozzo, the secretary for the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and by Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Also present will be three consultors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Dominican Father Charles Morerod, secretary-general of the International Theological Commission; Father Fernando Ocariz, vicar general of Opus Dei; and Jesuit Father Karl Josef Becker.
In July, Benedict XVI restructured the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, uniting it more closely to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The commission was formed in 1988 for those communities and persons who, coming from the Society of St. Pius X or from similar groups, wish to return to full communion with the Successor of Peter.
The president of the commission is the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, currently Cardinal William Levada. The Holy Father appointed as secretary Monsignor Guido Pozzo, who is currently assistant secretary of the International Theological Commission and official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In March, Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of four Lefebvrite bishops who were excommunicated in 1988 when they received episcopal ordination illicitly at the hands of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who ordained them without papal permission.
The decree to lift the excommunications was made public days after one of the four — Bishop Richard Williamson — appeared on Swedish television in a previously taped interview in which he refuted the extent of Holocaust. A furor ensued which led Vatican-Jewish relations to the breaking point.
In a March letter to the world’s bishops explaining why he had lifted the excommunications, Benedict XVI announced his intention to place the commission under the guidance of the doctrinal congregation.
He said it “will make it clear that the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the popes.”