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SSPX criticise Pope for causing ‘painful confusion’ among faithful

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St. Pius X (CNS)

The Society of St Pius X (SSPX) has accused Pope Francis of spreading confusion and errors about the faith.

A statement from the traditionalist group suggested that a new attempt at reconciliation with Rome had stalled, and that the society was divided over next steps.

The statement indicates that the SSPX believe that “painful confusion” currently exists within the Church and considers “a large number of pastors, including the Pope himself” responsible for what the group regard as doctrinal errors in teaching. The SSPX believe that the “cult of man” has replaced the worship of God.

The statement added that the SSPX conduct “penance” for the actions of the Pope in the hope that he one day may “have the strength to proclaim Catholic faith and morals in their entirety.”

The late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre founded the society in 1969, in opposition to the Second Vatican Council’s modernizing reforms, introduction of Mass in the vernacular and style of outreach to Jews and other Christians.

Talks with the group began under St. John Paul II and continued throughout the papacy of Benedict XVI.

St John Paul had excommunicated SSPX leader Bishop Bernard Fellay and other prominent members of the society in 1988 when they were ordained without papal permission, but the Vatican resumed reconciliation talks in 2014.

In April this year, Pope Francis met with Bishop Fellay in further attempts to resolve the differences between the two sides.

The society said on Wednesday that its primary aim wasn’t legal recognition but restoring Catholic tradition to the church.