Readers may recall a post I published in October last year, The SSPX: Vatican recognition de facto and ad hoc. In recent days a couple of new items have appeared about Rome’s relations with the Society. They are both rather interesting and indeed intriguing, and in view of this it seems quite a good time to gather the three pieces together in one place.
The first new item is that Bishop Bernard Fellay and other leading figures of the Priestly Society of St Pius X have been summoned to a meeting at the Vatican. The date of the meeting will be 14th September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the fourth anniversary of the coming into effect of Summorum Pontificum. The sources of this information are Rorate Caeli, Andrea Tornielli and La Stampa’s Vatican Insider (English version here).
Beyond these facts, there is an understandable element of speculation. Briefly, it is thought that a memorandum may be put to Bishop Fellay and his companions, clarifying certain doctrinal points. Subject to the doctrinal difficulties being overcome, the next step is thought to be “a proposal for a canonical adjustment”, which may be along the lines of the Ordinariate established for Anglicans.
The second item, courtesy once again of Rorate Caeli, concerns a Sister of the "mainstream" Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of New Zealand, who has transferred to the Dominican Sisters of Wanganui, a congregation established by Bishop Fellay. And this is the interesting bit: her transfer was given special permission from the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes in Rome.
It’s fascinating to note these manifestations of a practical relationship in anticipation of what I hope will eventually (and soon, God willing) become a full restoration of unity in all respects.