Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

The latest on Vatican -SSPX talks


A friend has sent me the text of a communique relating to the Society of St. Pius X, released this morning by the Holy See Press Office.

“During the meeting of 14 September 2011 between Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei,’ and Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, the latter was presented with a Doctrinal Preamble, accompanied by a Preliminary Note, as a fundamental basis for achieving full reconciliation with the Apostolic See. This defined certain doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation Catholic doctrine, which are necessary to ensure faithfulness to the Church Magisterium and ‘sentire cum Ecclesia.’

“The response of the Society of St. Pius X to the aforesaid Doctrinal Preamble, which arrived in January 2012, was examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before being submitted to the Holy Father for his judgement. Pursuant to the decision made by Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Fellay was, in a letter delivered today, informed of the evaluation of his response. The letter states that the position he expressed is not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems which lie at the foundation of the rift between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X.

“At the end of today's meeting, moved by concern to avoid an ecclesial rupture of painful and incalculable consequences, the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X was invited to clarify his position in order to be able to heal the existing rift, as is the desire of Pope Benedict XVI.” (VIS)

I suspect the key line is the last one, indicating that the door is still open, and bearing in mind both Bishop Fellay's statement some time ago that although the Preamble was not to their liking that SSPX were willing to respond and the Pope's manifest wish to attain a true reconciliation, stemming from his part in the negotiations in 1988, there is much still to hope for - and to pray for. Back to the Rosary.


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