Progress in the SSPX Discussion

New Liturgical Movement reports that Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta, perhaps to now one of the least well known of the Society of St. Pius X bishops, has said the outcome of the first official doctrinal meeting was “good”.

The main points under discussion are, understandably:

a) The Magisterium of the Council and after the Council.

b) The conciliar liturgical reform.

c) Ecumenism and interreligious dialogue.

e) Papal authority and collegiality.

f) Freedom of conscience, religious freedom, secularism and the social reign of Jesus Christ.

g) Human rights and human dignity according to the Council’s teaching.

Of course, most “traditional” Catholics who are not schismatic, such as yours truly, agree with the SSPX to some degree or other on these issues, if only that Vatican II is very confusing in the light of Church tradition. I believe in a hermeneutic of continuity, but it is rather intellectually puzzling in some cases.

Progress in these dialogues would be a great boon to the Church. If the SSPX is allowed to resume full canonical status, then it would not only be a victory for authentic ecumenism, but it would ease the minds of many troubled traditionalists–it would also infuriate a lot of liberal Catholics.

According to the article, the process of the dialogue is: a) SSPX writes a position paper on one of the issues; b) “technical experts” exchange e-mails on the subject; c) the Vatican issues a formal response; d) an in person discussion is scheduled (and recorded by both sides); e) the results are forwarded to Pope Benedict XVI and to Bishop Bernard Fellay.

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