Vatican City, Mar 22, 2006 / 22:00 pm
As the Pope met today with members of the College of Cardinals, who are in Rome for tomorrow’s Consistory where 15 new cardinals will be added to their ranks, the subjects of the schismatic Saint Pius X Society as well as the use of the Latin missal and retirement age for bishops largely held the floor.
According to CNA’s sources in the Vatican one of today’s main topics of conversation surrounded the possibility of lifting the excommunication on Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the four bishops ordained by him before his death. Their group, the Saint Puis X Society broke away from the Church following the Second Vatican Council.
In addition, the Pope and the Cardinals discussed whether or not they may declare a full amnesty for the free use of Pope V's Latin missal; and how to do so without betraying the spirit of the Vatican II Council.
The second major topic of conversation surrounded the retirement age for bishops.
Given that life expectancy and quality of life have improved since the original age of 75 was put in place, some cardinals have suggested the possibility of postponing the legal age of retirement to 80.
150 of the 193-member College of Cardinals were in attendance today for a day of prayer and reflection called for by Pope Benedict ahead of the Ordinary Public Consistory--including the 15 which will be incorporated tomorrow. The Vatican said that today’s meetings followed the general format of discussions used prior to last year’s papal conclave.
The official languages of today’s meetings have been English, Italian, French and Spanish.