A meeting today between representatives of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and officials from the Vatican identified the doctrinal differences that still separate the Society from the Roman Catholic Church. The gathering also served to identify the manner and structure of future discussions between the two groups.
Though Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication of four Lefebvrist bishops earlier this year, he also told the bishops of the world that “until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.”
Today the representatives of the SSPX and the Vatican agreed that they would focus their dialogue on the concepts of Tradition, the Paul VI missal, religious freedom, the relationship between Christian and non-Christian religions, Catholic principles of ecumenism, themes regarding the unity of the Church, and the interpretation of the documents of Vatican II in continuity with Catholic doctrine.
The themes will be examined over the next few months, probably in bi-monthly discussions.