Article By Marc Aupiais
2 July 1988: ECCLESIA DEI: John Paul II: 4 "Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X "/"SSPX"/"FFSPX" Bishops Excommunicated "LATAE SENTENTIAE" on 30 June 1988; as had been declared the day before, by Decree of the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops on 1 July 1988;
Ecclesia Dei: Organization formed to facilitate relations with SSPX: with aims of bringing them back into full communion: doctrinally and sacramentally
27 October 1998: STATUS OF THE SOCIETY OF ST. PIUS X: Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei: SSPX a schism, however: as it is a priestly schism: not all laity attending their churches are in schism: in extreme danger of such though
7 July 2007: SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM: Benedict XVI: ON THE USE OF THE ROMAN LITURGY PRIOR TO THE REFORM OF 1970: Priests may perform the mass via: Tridentine Liturgy's Order of the (Latin) Mass
21 January 2009: DECREE REMITTING THE EXCOMMUNICATION "LATAE SENTENTIAE" OF THE BISHOPS OF THE SOCIETY OF ST PIUS X: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re: Congregation for Bishops: Re lifts Excommunications, after Benedict XVI expressed wishes to explore new avenues of bringing SSPX back into full communion. Excommunication is a pastoral measure to ignite repentance, and prevent spread.
Radio Vaticana: Vatican Lifts excommunications of SSPX Bishops: "The four bishops are Bernard Fellay the superior general of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso del Gallareta" : 25 / 01 (Jan) / 2009: following oaths of allegience the Vatican gained from the four
10 March 2009: LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI:TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CONCERNING THE REMISSION OF THE EXCOMMUNICATION: OF THE FOUR BISHOPS CONSECRATED BY ARCHBISHOP LEFEBVRE: Benedict XVI: notes controversy around Williamson, SSPX are not legitimate part of hierarchy, Pope wants to place the commission of "Ecclesia Dei", set up to deal with SSPX as part of "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith",
Radio Vaticana: copy of same letter by Benedict XVI: they publish it on 12 March 2009
12 March 2009: Radio Vaticana: "Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, Head of the Press Office of the Holy See" on Benedict XVI's Letter explaining the lifting of the excommunication
12 March 2009: Radio Vaticana: "Bishops Welcome Pope's Letter"
As the SSPX reportedly desires to ordain 30 new priests, in multiple different (The BBC mentions Germany and the United States of America (U.S.A)) countries: both one German Diocese, and the Vatican itself, have set out tough warnings.
Of the situation in Germany, on Monday the Eighth of June, it was reported: that Regensburg Diocese, under Bishop Gerhard Müller, has warned German SSPX leaders, that their Bishop, and the priests he validly, but illicitly ordains: will "almost certainly" (Zenit News Service (Catholic; Independent; American) 15 / 06 (June) / 2009) face excommunication, if they go through with ordinations (to be done by Levebvrite (SSPX) Bishop Alfonso de Galaretta), set for 27th June 2009: in Bavaria, inside the well known Western European country.
The rector, of the SSPX's Zaitzkofen, Bavarian seminary, has declared that the ordinations will go ahead, citing an alleged "Emergency" situation in the Church, and the recent decline in the Church in Europe, claiming loyalty to church and pope.
On the 17th of June, the situation had Yesterday, possibly escalated:
Vatican Information Service (V.I.S), published a Vatican Press Release:
"ORDINATIONS BY FRATERNITY OF ST. PIUS X REMAIN ILLEGITIMATEReconstitution of "Ecclesia Dei"
VATICAN CITY, 17 JUN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office published the following communique at midday today:
"In response to the frequent questions that have been raised over recent days concerning the priestly ordinations by the Fraternity of St. Pius X, scheduled to take place at the end of June, suffice it to refer to what the Holy Father wrote in his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on 10 March this year: "As long as the Society (of St. Pius X) does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. ... Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers ... do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church".
In the same Letter, the Pope also announced his intention to change the status of the Commission 'Ecclesia Dei', making it part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. There is reason to believe that the definition of this new status is imminent. This constitutes a premise for launching dialogue with the leaders of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, with a view to clarifying the doctrinal questions, and consequently the disciplinary questions, which remain unresolved".
OP/ORDINATIONS/FRATERNITY ST. PIUS X VIS 090617 (230)"
The second notice, while reported as though fresh by some: possibly from reading the V.I.S. article, as regards the restructuring of Ecclesia Dei, is not unexpected, as Pope Benedict XVI had already in March expressed such a desire to reconstitute the organization. In fact, is seems to us, as you may note above, to simply be a reference to the same letter, in which Benedict XVI, expressed such desire in March. This would mean that the hype over this reference to Ecclesia Dei, was due to human error on behalf of the media which reported this as fresh, and a misreading of the release.
The possible confusion, which sees such desire as fresh, may relate to a likely accurate report that: SSPX Bishop Bernard Fellay, had already claimed (in an article Zenit published on the 15th of June), that:
Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had on the 5th of June, informed him, that the Pontifical Commission of "Ecclesia Dei", would be reconstituted as a part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
As many of the surface differences between the SSPX and the Vatican are doctrinal, especially involving the Vatican II Council, this possible reconsttution of "Ecclesia Dei" was, at the time in March, when first mentioned: not an unexpected move, theoretically.
When Cardinal Re, of the Congregation for Bishops: lifted the excommunications of the 4 SSPX bishops: there was allot of confusion, and mixed statements from various bodies. In our timeline, we have noted some main events, which link to speeches and inter alia: Vatican based articles. These are meant to give some context.
As our service had already noted long before the mainstream news: the lifting of their excommunications did not give the SSPX / FSSPX Bishops any legitimate authority within the church: the excommunications' lifting: meant that they could possibly go to confession, or take communion, the second being: provided they were not inter alia in Mortal Sin. They could not legitimately act as bishops, or priests.
The statements by the Vatican, mean that the situations in Germany and the United States, have been noted. It may simply be another statement of accepted facts on the half of the Vatican, but once again possibly signals more trouble in the negotiations process.
It could also mean that perceived progress, has only been on the surface, with both Society (of st. Pius X), and Vatican: remaining in the same general situation as before.
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