(Rorarte Caeli) - URGENT: Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli reports today in Il Giornale that an agreement of the Holy See with the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) may be very near. Some days ago, the Superior General of the Fraternity, Bishop Bernard Fellay, met with the President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" and, before next June 28, the Fraternity should decide to accept the five conditions proposed by Rome....THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In analysis, if the reports are true, it would appear the Vatican has made its last and final ultimatum to the SSPX. It is, in fact, the SSPX's last chance to survive as an institution. If the SSPX accepts the terms, which center around acceptance of the Second Vatican Council, then it will enjoy full communion within the Catholic Church. The excommunications of Archbishop Lefebvre, and the bishops he consecrated, will be removed. The SSPX will become a personal prelature of the pope, much like Opus Dei. They will continue to operate freely throughout all the diocese of the world. They will continue to ordain priests freely within their organization. In all of this, they will enjoy the personal protection of the pope. The SSPX couldn't have asked for a sweeter deal than that.
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If however, they refuse, this offer will expire. The Vatican will probably move ahead with plans to beef up the Fraternal Society of St. Peter (FSSP), as the pope's personal prelature instead, which will operate much in the same way as the SSPX would have, had they accepted the offer. The SSPX will then be left to fade away into obscurity and irrelevancy.
Apparently, the SSPX has until June 28 of this year to make its decision. That's just five days away from the date of this blog entry.
In the opinion of 'The Catholic Knight,' the leaders of the SSPX would be insane to reject this offer. Failure to accept it will spell certain doom to the organization. Pope Benedict XVI has already restored the Extraordinary (Tridentine) form of the mass, with plans to make it available to the faithful in every parish eventually. The Tridentine mass was the primary force driving the success and growth of the SSPX in decades past. Now that they no longer have a virtual monopoly on it, thanks to Pope Benedict XVI, the only thing they have left that distinguishes them from the rest of the Catholic world is their apparent rejection of Vatican II. As Pope Benedict XVI continues to move the Church toward a more orthodox and traditional interpretation of Vatican II, the message of the SSPX will slowly become more irrelevant.
The time has come for the SSPX to return to Rome. If it doesn't, it's over. The SSPX will die a slow death, fading into obscurity over a period of several years. The SSPX cannot survive without the papacy. It needs the papacy, but the papacy does not need the SSPX. Pope Benedict XVI is capable of making the necessary reforms in the Church with, or without, the help of the SSPX. Therefore, the advice of 'The Catholic Knight' to the SSPX is "TAKE THE DEAL!" You'll never get another opportunity like this again. If you want to honor the life and memory of Archbishop Lefebvre, take the deal! Remember, Archbishop Lefebvre never chose to leave the Catholic Church. He never chose schism with Rome. He never chose to be excommunicated. These things just happened, and they happened because of actions taken by Rome in response to Archbishop Lefebvre's lack of obedience to Pope John Paul II. Had Archbishop Lefebvre had a choice in the matter, he would have never picked to break away from Rome. Had Archbishop Lefebvre been given an offer like this, he most certainly would have taken it. If the SSPX refuses to accept the Vatican's offer, then the SSPX has for the first time ever, actually CHOSEN, to break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Now we shall wait and see what happens.