Archbishop Gerhard Muller Interview, the Vatican’s Head Official on Doctrinal Matters
Source CNA: The interview continued with a brief discussion of the Society of St. Pius X, which was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970 to form priests, as a response to what he described as errors that had crept into the Church following the Second Vatican Council. Its relations with the Holy See became strained in 1988 when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops without the permission of Pope John Paul II.
The illicit episcopal ordinations resulted in the five being excommunicated, though in 2009 Benedict XVI, acting through Cardinal Giovanni Re, remitted the automatic excommunication from the four surviving bishops. After that time, doctrinal discussions between the Society and Rome were conducted, until the discussions effectively broke down in 2012.
Asked about the position of the Society of St. Pius X, Archbishop Müller said that while “the canonical excommunication” was revoked, “the sacramental one remains, de facto, for the schism: because they have removed themselves from communion with the Church.”
“Having said that, we do not close the door, ever, and invite them to reconcile. But they also must change their approach, accepting the conditions of the Catholic Church and the Supreme Pontiff as the definitive criterion of belonging (to it).”
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