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SSPX leaders have rejected Vatican statement, says superior

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the SSPX, ordains a priest in Econe, Switzerland (Photo: CNS)

Leaders of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) have agreed that the doctrinal preamble presented to them by the Vatican is “completely unacceptable”, according to the society’s district superior in Britain.

In a newsletter posted online and subsequently removed, Fr Paul Morgan said SSPX superiors had rejected the doctrinal principles set out by the Vatican as the basis for further discussion.

The superiors met last month in Albano, Rome, but said they would only issue a response to the Vatican after further study.

In an official statement today the SSPX said that “only the General House of the Society of St Pius X is entitled to make public an official communiqué or authorised commentary on this matter”.

In his letter Fr Morgan said it was “disappointing” that the doctrinal statement, handed to SSPX leaders by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “failed to acknowledge the break between traditional and conciliar teachings”.

“Instead,” he wrote, “it insisted upon the ‘hermeneutic [interpretation] of continuity’, stating that the new teachings included and improved upon the old!

“So it was perhaps not surprising to learn that the proposed doctrinal basis for any canonical agreement in fact contained all those elements which the Society has consistently rejected, including acceptance of the New Mass and of Vatican II as expressed in the New Catechism. Indeed, the document itself conveys the impression that there is no crisis in the Church…

“Hence the stated consensus of those in attendance was that the doctrinal preamble was clearly unacceptable and that the time has certainly not come to pursue any practical agreement as long as the doctrinal issues remain outstanding.”

The Vatican statement listed several principles that the SSPX had to agree with in order to move towards full conciliation with Rome.

It came after two years of doctrinal talks between leaders of the SSPX and officials at the Vatican.