Pope Benedict meets rebel bishop
Pope Benedict XVI met yesterday with Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the dissident Society of St Pius X, for talks aimed toward reconciliation between the Holy See and the traditionalist group founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Catholic World News reports that Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Vatican Press Office, reported that the meeting had been held "in a climate of love for the Church and a desire to arrive at perfect communion." He said that the Pope and Bishop Fellay were hoping to make gradual progress in overcoming differences, so that a full agreement could be reached "in a reasonable time."
In his own statement after the meeting, Bishop Fellay said that his visit to the Pope showed that the SSPX "has always been, and will always be, attached to the Holy See."
Echoing the Vatican's official statement, Bishop Fellay said that the 35-minute conversation had produced an agreement to work gradually toward a resolution of the differences between the traditionalist group and the Vatican, "in a spirit of great love for the Church."
The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, broke from the Vatican in 1988, when the French prelate ordained four new bishops in defiance of a direct order from Rome. Pope John Paul II responded by announcing that the traditionalist group had committed a "schismatic act", incurring the penalty of excommunication for Archbishop Lefebvre and the bishops (including Bishop Fellay) he had ordained. But the Vatican has repeatedly sought means of restoring normal ties with the traditionalist group.
After the meeting Bishop Fellay said that members of the SSPX would pray "that the Holy Father will find the strength to bring an end to the crisis in the Church and 'restore all things in Christ.'"
Informed Vatican officials speculate that Pope Benedict may be prepared to grant the traditionalist request for a "universal indult" allowing the use of the Tridentine rite.
Pope meets traditionalist bishop (Catholic World News 29/8/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Society of St Pius X (General House)
Society of St Pius X - District of Australia & New Zealand
Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn NSW
Society of St Pius X - USA
Pope's fresh attempt to build bridge with rebels (CathNews 24/8/05)
Schismatic society lobbies Australian priests on Tridentine rite (CathNews 3/2/05)
Schismatic group expels its own rebels (CathNews 14/9/04)
Traditionalist leader attacks Pope's ecumenical vision (CathNews 4/2/04)
Tridentine rite Mass for Roman basilica this month (CathNews 5/5/03)
Pope meets excommunicated Archbishop to heal divide (Irish Times 29/8/05)
Walesa credits Pope (Associated Press/cnews 29/8/05)
Seek God to protect human dignity, Pope says (Catholic World News 29/8/05)
The Forum: Vatican-traditionalist talks have checkered history (Catholic World News 29/8/05)
Pope meets with head of ultraconservative Lefebvre movement (Associated Press/Boston Herald 29/8/05)
Pope meets head of rebel Catholic traditionalists (Reuters 29/8/05)
Pope meets head of rebel Catholic traditionalists (Reuters/ABC 29/8/05)
Pope, leader of St. Pius X Fraternity agree on "gradual process" towards unity (Catholic News Agency 29/8/05)
Youth seek help to be witnesses of Christ, says Pope (Catholic News Agency 29/8/05)
Pope faces controversy on gay priests and HIV/AIDS (Ekklesia 29/8/05)
Pope Calls Pilgrimage 'Extraordinary' (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 28/8/05)
Pope moves to end rift with rebel group (Irish Independent 29/8/05)
To Ignore God Would Imperil Man, Says Pope (Zenit 28/8/05)
Benedict XVI Mourns Paris Fire Victims (Zenit 28/8/05)
Archbishop Dziwisz Begins New Mission in Krakow (Zenit 28/8/05)
Pope Benedict XVI: On Evangelization (Zenit 28/8/05)
30 Aug 2005