Vatican-SSPX discussions: an update

A very useful summary of the dialogue which has begun between Rome and the traditionalist Society of Pius X (SSPX) slipped out of a homily given in Argentina on 19 December by Msgr Alfonso de Galarreta, as reported by an Argentinian site called Panorama Catolico Internacional (h/t The Tablet's man in Rome, Robert Mickens).

According to Msgr de Galarreta, the first meeting -- to agree the framework and topics for discussion -- has gone well. The themes are purely doctrinal and do not include any discussion of a canonical nature with respect to the SSPX's possible future place in the Catholic Church (so no talk of SSPX ordinariates). The "common doctrinal point of reference" is the Magisterium prior to the Council. (Presumably, it's important to start with what both sides can agree on).

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The "conversations" follow a systematic method. First, the topic. Then, the SSPX sends a paper laying out its doubts. The Vatican representatives answer in writing. Then both sides meet to discuss the exchanges.

The meetings will be filmed and recorded by both sides, which may indicate a healthy mutual scepticism but will make for fascinating material for future historians. The conclusions of each discussion are then taken to the Pope and the Superior General of the SSPX.

The frequency of the meetings will depend on whether the topic is a new one or has already been discussed: if the first, the conversations will take place about every three months; if the second, every two.  The next meeting is scheduled for mid January.

According to Msgr de Galaretta, the theologians representing the Vatican are "people we can talk to" -- which no doubt means Thomists. It would be nice to know who they are.

Among the topics mentioned by de Galaretta that will be considered in the discussion are: the Magisterium before and after the Council; liturgical reform; ecumenism and interreligious dialogue; papal authority and collegiality; freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, secularism, as well as human rights and human dignity in the doctrine of the Council.

Even if they go fast, on this timetable it'll take a good three years to get through that number of topics.

It would be nice if they put the videos of the meetings on YouTube, so we could all follow them.

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Eric Stoltz
8 years 5 months ago
I'm trying to imagine watching YouTube video of Lefebvrites explaining things such as how their confessions are valid because the penitent is in good-faith error about the existence of faculties. Not quite sure it would be exactly riveting. Then again, perhaps with some deft edits, quick transitions and a retro pop soundtrack, it could take off. I'm thinking ''Teach Your Children Well'' by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Susan Boyle, watch out!
8 years 5 months ago
The big next Vatican problem will be keeping the SSPX out of the Pius XII sainthood squabble.Imagine a Holucast denier giving an interview about it. Film at 11!
JERRY BROHL
8 years 5 months ago
I would hope that, at some point, the Vatican would be as eager to sit down with progressive reformers as it has been to sit down with the SSPX.
John Smythe
8 years 4 months ago
Of course we will see various Priests and Bishops sitting down with ''progessive'' ''reformers''.  It will be in the confessional when these ''progressivists'' realise they are going against not only the Tradition and Doctrine of the Church.  Therefore, since the Holy Catholic Church is the only true Church of God these people will realise they have gone against the one True God - since God founded the one True Church.
 
As for the validity of Sacraments given by the Society of Saint Pius X, the Vatican has been clear repeatedly these are valid Sacraments - however, the Vatican has also been quite clear the ''sacraments'' given out by modernists who are supposedly within the Church (how can one truly be of the Church when they practice against it?  Whereas the SSPX has never gone against any Tradition nor Scripture - so, logic tells us who is truly representing the Church of God and therefore who is truly representing God Himself).
 
If one asks ''what Sacraments are the modernists not fulfilling?'' the answer is to be found in the Vatican document on ''Liturgical Abuses'' which can be read here:
Introduction to:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_present-card-arinze_en.html
 
Document itself:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_redemptionis-sacramentum_en.html
 
As can be read in the introduction, the Vatican makes it quite clear these abuses can ''make the sacrament invalid''.  One would be quite interested in finding among those readers of ''America'' journal how many witness just these very abuses weekly at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in their local Diocese...
 
It is interesting to note, that one would never find any of these abuses at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered by the SSPX.
 
Another the Vatican has been quite clear on is the Priest actually saying, ''absolve'' during the Sacrament of Confession.  If the Priest does not clearly state he absolves you of the sins which you have confessed to then you are not forgiven. 
 
The same is made quite clear by the Vatican for the Sacrament of Baptism where, just like in Confession, a very strict formula must be used and the Priest must state clearly and only, ''I Baptise thee in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit'' as THE person who spoke these words pours the water over the head of the person to be Baptised - not a proctor, as many have witnessed - which makes the Baptism invalid.
On Feb. 8, 2008, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addressed the related question of those ministers of baptism who changed the precise terms of the Trinitarian form of the sacrament. With the approval of the Holy Father it answered the following questions:   ''First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas 'I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier' and 'I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer' is valid?   ''Second question: Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?   ''RESPONSES ''To the first question: Negative. ''To the second question: Affirmative.''   The expression forma absoluta means that the baptism is done without using any conditional phrases because there is no doubt that the original baptismal ceremony was invalid.
So, when we speak of invalid Sacraments and ''progessivists'' in the same topic it is quite clear who the Vatican really needs to sit down and talk to ...

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