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Vatican tells SSPX: your response is not good enough

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

The Holy See has said that a statement by the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) is “not sufficient” to overcome the doctrinal problems that keep it estranged from Rome.

In a communiqué published today the Holy See asked Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the SSPX, to “clarify his position in order to be able to heal the existing rift, as is the desire of Pope Benedict XVI”.

The SSPX statement had been a response to a “doctrinal preamble” issued by the Vatican outlining principles that would form the basis of any further discussion between the SSPX and Rome. The preamble, issued in September, had come at the end of years of talks.

Last November Bishop Fellay said that the preamble needed changes before it could be accepted as the basis for reconciliation.

He said the preamble was “a document which can be clarified and modified, as the accompanying note points out. It is not a definitive text.

“The proposal that I will make in the next few days to the Roman authorities and their response in turn will enable us to evaluate our remaining options. And whatever the result of these talks may be, the final document that will have been accepted or rejected will be made public,” he said.

In its communiqué the Holy See said that the SSPX response had arrived in January.