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Kevin ClarkeApril 18, 2012

On the same day that the U.S.C.C.B. and the C.D.F. brought the hammer down on U.S. women religious because of their controversial taste in conference speakers, "radical feminism" and alleged lack of sufficient enthusiasm for the church's teaching on abortion, women's ordination and homosexuality, on an altogether different front the church was taking great pains to portray its recent overtures to the Society of St. Pius X as positive steps to end the schismatic group's reign of error. The Vatican has been trying to get the society to accept a doctrinal "preamble," a statement of mutually acceptable beliefs, that should herald the SSPXers return to the fold. Their previous response to the proposed preamble's could only be described as disrespectfully dismissive. Today Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., head of the Vatican Press Office, said that, with the society's latest response to the still undisclosed preamble, “steps forward have been taken, that is to say, that the response, the new response, is rather encouraging. But there are still developments that will be made, and examined, and decisions which should be taken in the next few weeks." Other commentators have said that no substantial barriers remain to a happy reunion--except perhaps that the SSPX still expects Rome to announce its return to the SSPX fold.

The society's comments on the same matter, issued out of the home office in Menzingen, Switzerland, were decidedly less enthusiastic than Lombardi's: 

The media are announcing that Bishop Bernard Fellay has sent a “positive response” to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that consequently the doctrinal question between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X is now resolved.

The reality is different.

In a letter dated April 17, 2012, the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X responded to the request for clarification that had been made to him on March 16 by Cardinal William Levada concerning the Doctrinal Preamble delivered on September 14, 2011. As the press release dated today from the Ecclesia Dei Commission indicates, the text of this response “will be examined by the dicastery (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) then submitted to the Holy Father for his judgment”.

This is therefore a stage and not a conclusion.

It appears that the group, which considers the documents of Vatican II heretical, for that matter, Pope Benedict XVI to be a heretic, which has a soft spot for Holocaust deniers and Vichy apologists, somehow remains worthy of Rome's ardent pursuit. The U.S. nuns, however, who embraced Vatican II and remained true to its spirit while they built schools and hospitals and served the poor, are going to be rewarded for their efforts with years of "supervision" from Rome in order to effect their dependable "renewal."

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david power
10 years 4 months ago

I too have been re-reading the Council documents and have to say they do not wear well.
There is the sense of a great intuition given to a bunch of bureaucrats who strangled it to to death in jargon of equal measure diplomacy and piety.Even GS and LG are about as novel as a phonebook.
After an hour of the Council documents I quench my thirst with the Gospels of Jesus Christ. 
Chris Sullivan
10 years 4 months ago
Of course, it could just be that Rome seeks a genuine reconciliation with both the SSPX and the LCWR and one built on a doctrinal agreement on Vatican II and the Church's sexual doctrine.

God Bless
10 years 4 months ago
This is getting scary. Apparently the way to get a respectful hearing from Holy Mother Church is first to get yourself excommunicated. Of course, i'll never believe the Church is going to cave into these schismatics until six months after it does.
Jim McCrea
10 years 4 months ago
Hey, with all the people walking out the back door, these Vaticanes need all the warm, breathing bodies they can get! 
They can start recruitment ads for membership (no waiting necessary) in the Church of Heinz 57 Varieties - no heresy too large; no schism too wide; no women wanted.
10 years 4 months ago
'' The U.S. nuns, however, who embraced Vatican II''

Do you mean that they embrace the so-called ''spirit of Vatican II''?  I sometimes wonder whether they have read the actual documents.  I am currently reading the documents again and I would doubt very much that these liberal nuns would approve of the things that were stated so clearly in these documents.

This statement is particularly interesting proving my point that they must not have read the Vatican II documents:

''the Systems Thinking Handbook presents a situation in which sisters differ over whether the Eucharist should be at the center of a special community celebration since the celebration of Mass requires an ordained priest, something which some sisters find “objectionable.” According to the Systems Thinking Handbook this difficulty is rooted in differences at the level of belief, but also in different cognitive models (the “Western mind” as opposed to an “Organic mental model”). These models, rather than the teaching of the Church, are offered as tools for the resolution of the controversy of whether or not to celebrate Mass.''

Mark Nel
10 years 4 months ago
David, the fact that the documents of Vatican II do ''not wear well'' does not change the fact that they are the documents of Vatican II. The documents of Vatican II express, no more and no less, exactly what that council decided it wished to express. Even if these Vatican II documents are, as you say, as ''novel as a phonebook'', they remain valid and they cannot simply be discounted by a self created version thereof. It is this unauthorised ''spirit of Vatican II'', as Joe says, that is creating all the problems today.
david power
10 years 4 months ago

For fear of the new censors at play I will merely state that your comments had me "gently rolling on the floor laughing".
The problems today are a misinterpretation of documents that 99% of catholics have not read?
Problems ?What problems are you referring to?
Nobody in Ireland listens to the Vatican for the simple reason that they lied through their teeth for years and pretended to know nothing about the rape of innocent children.It is not a skewed reading of council documents that fuels the rupture on that Island.Jesus is still a treasured figure and once the hierarchy admit they have acted as criminals they will also begin to be able to present the Gospel again.
Documents written 50 years ago by men  educated 100 years ago do not do justice to what catholics are living.The World has passed the Church by.The Church ,but not Jesus.Peguy said that “Homer is new this morning, and perhaps nothing is as old as today's newspaper”. I would change Homer for Jesus and the newspaper for the Church hierarchy. Do not underestimate how much sin is driving the hands of those who write such documents. 
Darryl Smith
10 years 4 months ago
First of all, the SSPX do not consider the Pope a heretic. The SSPX recognizes Pope Benedict XVI as the Pope. The only thing the SSPX has ever done is defend the true teachings of the Catholic Church, the same truths that have been infallibly taught for 2000 years. 

These "nuns" are not Catholic. As soon as they support homo marriage and abortion then they have excommunicated themselves and cease to be Catholic. Thus, these nuns are the only heretics.

Vatican II was not a dogmatic council, it was a pastoral council which means there is nothing infallible about VII. The SSPX has done nothing except for fight for the Church and it's teachings.  

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