Is it true?! The happy buzz, not yet confirmed by official Vatican sources, is that Bishop Fellay of the Society of Saint Pius X, the group of traditional priests that protested certain Vatican II teachings and the Novus Ordo Mass and split away from full Communion with the Church, has, following clarifications, signed and delivered the doctrinal statement that had been proposed by the Holy See to help restore unity. This would surely be an answer to so much fervent and persevering prayer, and the next hoped for step would be canonical regularization of SSPX, whose priests till now are suspended under Church law, and do not have faculties to absolve or witness marriages validly. The National Catholic Register’s recent article with the priceless headline “Get Ready for SSPX Pandemonium” (St Michael the Archangel, be ready!) expresses both the joy of this and the certainty of “weeping and gnashing of teeth all across the spectrum.” Read the article for a humorous but pretty incisive explanation.
Bishop Morlino is a real friend to Traditionalists and sometimes celebrates the old Mass himself. Within his territory but out of full Communion, SSPX has been offering the Sacrifice of the Mass in that form at the Saint Therese Chapel on the far west of Madison, for many years. If any of you St Therese Chapel folks happen by this little blog, welcome! I hope you also are praying and longing like I am for real healing of the rift, for the great good of the Church.
Fr Z, intimately familiar with this whole complex drama and normally cautious, has dared to say “If it isn’t time to chill the Veuve quite yet, it is time to buy the Veuve.”
Update: The Vatican spokesman gave more information this morning and this is looking positive:
Father Lombardi said that because Bishop Fellay’s latest response “asked for changes” in the text of the “doctrinal preamble” the Vatican asked him to sign last September, “the changes must be examined” and then submitted to the pope for his final evaluation.
The society’s response will be examined quickly and given to pope, probably within “a few weeks,” he said.
“We cannot consider the matter concluded,” Father Lombardi said, but “we can say it is a step forward and more encouraging” than Bishop Fellay’s previous response.