.- Pope Benedict is planning on lifting the excommunication pronounced in 1988 by his predecessor John Paul II against the bishops of the Saint Pius X Fraternity, founded by schismatic bishop Marcel Lefebvre, according to the Italian paper “Il Giornale.”
Pope Benedict will receive in an audience on February 13 at 10h30 the cardinals-heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curie. A reflection on the status of Saint Pius X Fraternity should be on the table that day.
Pope Benedict has called on a meeting of all the cardinals of the dicasteries of the Holy See to treat the issue. It would amount to the first general consultation of the all the cardinals of the roman curie by the recently-elected pope. Most of these cardinals had called during the papal vacancy for a greater frequency of these meetings.
Benedict XVI would be willing to talk on February 13 about the extension of the usage of the pre-counciliary missal, requested by the Saint Pius X Fraternity. Nowadays, celebration of Mass according to the Saint Pius V Ordo is allowed but only with the local bishops consent. The Fraternity would like to be free to celebrate it in any diocese, independent from the local bishops decision.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, from which the Ecclesia Dei commission depends and who is in charge of this case, will meet in Rome for a plenary assembly next week should review the question too.
This information follows the enthusiastic comments made by Bishop Fellay, the head of the Fraternity on January 13t, in which he expressed his confidence of being accepted back into the Church.