Rome or Econe: who has to change?
The Lefebvrite Priestly Society of St. Pius X released today a communique resulting from their general chapter concluded a few days ago. The most important paragraphs seem to be these:
For this reason it seems opportune that we reaffirm our faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the unique Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation nor possibility to find the means leading to salvation; our faith in its monarchical constitution, desired by Our Lord himself, by which the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth; our faith in the universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of both the natural and the supernatural orders, to Whom every man and every society must submit.
The Society continues to uphold the declarations and the teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church in regard to all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors, and also in regard to the reforms issued from it. We find our sure guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its teaching authority, transmits the revealed Deposit of Faith in perfect harmony with the truths that the entire Church has professed, always and everywhere.
The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.
The first paragraph quoted here sets out the three matters on which the Lefebvrites believe Vatican II was (as it is put in the second paragraph above) “tainted with errors.” These are (1) the Council’s ecumenical statements, including that the means of salvation can be found outside the Roman Catholic Church; (2) the assertion of the collegial authority over the entire Church possessed by the college of bishops; and (3) the compromising of Christ’s social reign by the endorsement of religious freedom. These are the three teachings that Archbishop Lefebvre said introduced “the principles of 1789) into the Church: fraternity, equality, and liberty.
The third paragraph appears to regard the present discussions with Rome to have failed. The Society can only wait for the day “when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.” It is the ecclesiastical authorities, that is, Rome, that must move, not Econe.
But the Vatican’s Press Office says that the dialogue with the Society continues:
Vatican City, 19 July 2012 (VIS) – Early this afternoon, the Holy See Press Office released the following English-language communique concerning the declaration which emerged from the General Chapter of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X.
“The recently concluded General Chapter of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X has addressed a declaration regarding the possibility of a canonical normalisation in the relationship of the Society and the Holy See. While it has been made public, the declaration remains primarily an internal document for study and discussion among the members of the Society.
“The Holy See has taken note of this declaration, but awaits the forthcoming official communication of the Priestly Society as their dialogue with the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ continues”.
We’ll have to see what else develops in the next days.