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Big News For Catholics

Friday, July 13, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Even most protestants will cheer a lessening of intra-denominational dispute:

SSPX leader sees “great leap” in motu proprio

Rome, Jul. 12, 2007 ( – The head of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has described the liberalization of access to the old Mass as “not a step, but a leap in the right direction,” toward reconciliation between the Lefebvrite group and the Holy See.

In an interview that appeared in the Spanish daily La Razon, Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the SSPX, said that the release of Summorum Pontificum marked a “historic day” in the life of the Church. The action by Pope Benedict XVI (bionews), he said, would bring “extraordinary supernatural assistance at a time of grave crisis” in the Church.

Bishop Fellay made his comments in an interview by the noted Italian Catholic journalist Vittorio Messori. In his own comments, published in Corriere della Sera, Messori said that the Pope’s motu proprio was an important “part of the Ratzinger strategy: Clarify that the Second Vatican Council was not a break with the past.” In a separate interview conducted by Brian Mershon for The Remnant, Bishop Fellay indicated some optimism about the prospects for another conciliatory move by the Vatican: the lifting of a decree of excommunications levied against the bishops of the SSPX, who were ordained by the late Archbishop Lefebvre without the required approval from Rome. The SSPX has listed the removal of the excommunciation decree, along with universal approval of the Latin Mass, as a condition for reconciliation with the Holy See. Bishop Fellay said that officials in Rome have told him that the effort to lift the excommunications would now be “less difficult than the motu proprio.”

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