CDF takes over efforts to reconcile with Society of St Pius X

Ecclesia Dei, the Vatican commission responsible for the re-admission of four Society of St Pius X  (SSPX) bishops into the Catholic Church has been placed under the control of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Benedict  has announced in an Apostolic Letter 'Motu Proprio Ecclesiae Unitatem’.

The letter states that Cardinal Hoyos is stepping down from the commission. Efforts to reconcile with the Society of St Pius X will now be headed by Cardinal William Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In his Apostolic Letter the Pope notes that the Ecclesia Dei commission, was set up by Pope John Paul II to supervise efforts to achieve reconciliation with the Society of St Pius X (SSPX).

By allowing broader use of the traditional Latin liturgy (with his earlier Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum), and by lifting the excommunication of the SSPX bishops, Pope Benedict has advanced that cause of reconciliation.

Pope Benedict writes: "Precisely because the problems that now have to be examined with the Society are essentially doctrinal in nature, I have decided - twenty-one years after the Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei" and in keeping with what I had intended to do - to reconsider the structure of the Commission "Ecclesia Dei", joining it closely to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."

"It will be the task of the president, with the assistance of the secretary, to submit the principal cases and questions of a doctrinal nature for study and discernment according to the ordinary requirements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and to submit the results thereof to the superior dispositions of the Supreme Pontiff."

He concludes: "With this decision I wish in particular to show paternal solicitude towards the Society of Saint Pius X, with the aim of rediscovering the full communion of the Church.

Some commentators have described the move as a rebuke to the commission,  which came under heavy criticism after it emerged that they were unaware that one of the SSPX bishops had denied the Holocaust.

Although it is true that the top officials of the Ecclesia Dei commission have been replaced, the president of the commission, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, had reached his 80th birthday on  4 July 4 and was due for retirement. More significant is the fact that the commission's longtime secretary, Msgr  Camille Perl, is replaced by Msgr  Guido Pozzo, a current staff member of the CDF.

Source: VIS

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