VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See will hold talks with the Society of St. Pius X in October, according to a Vatican spokesman, and not “in a few days,” as earlier reported by an Austrian cardinal.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, confirmed today that the meeting will take place during the last two weeks of October.
He also revealed the three Vatican representatives: Dominican Father Charles Morerod, secretary-general of the International Theological Commission, Jesuit Josef Becker, and the vicar general of Opus Dei, Father Ocariz Brana.
The archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, told the Passauer Neue Presse on Saturday that the talks would begin this week.
He also “the SSPX will be told very clearly what is not negotiable for the Holy See. This includes such fundamental conclusions of the Second Vatican Council as its positions on Judaism, other non-Christian religions, other Christian churches and on religious freedom as a basic human right.”
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.”