Thursday, September 3, 2015
Society of St. Pius X thanks Pope for his "fatherly gesture"
ANDREA TORNIELLI Vatican Insider September 3, 2015 The Fraternity of St. Pius X has expressed its gratitude to Pope Francis for his “fatherly gesture”, in a statement issued by the General House of the Society, in Metzingen, headed by the Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay. “The Society of St. Pius X learned, through the press, of the provisions taken by Pope Francis on the occasion of the upcoming Holy Year,” the Lefebvrians write in their statement, dated 1 September. “In the last paragraph of his letter addressed September 1, 2015, to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the Holy Father writes: ‘I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Society of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins’.” “The Society of St. Pius X,” the statement continues, “expresses its gratitude to the Sovereign Pontiff for this fatherly gesture. In the ministry of the sacrament of penance, we have always relied, with all certainty, on the extraordinary jurisdiction conferred by the Normae generales of the Code of Canon Law. On the occasion of this Holy Year, Pope Francis wants all the faithful who wish to confess to the priests of the Society of St. Pius X to be able to do so without being worried.” “During this year of conversion, the priests of the Society of St. Pius X will have at heart to exercise with renewed generosity their ministry in the confessional, following the example of tireless dedication which the holy Curé of Ars gave to all priests,” the message concludes. The statement, therefore, represents a positive response to the Pope’s gesture. Meanwhile, the Fraternity’s leaders and Holy See authorities are still engaged in talks to try to reach a solution that can lead to full communion.