Talks between the Vatican and the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) have reached a conclusion, and Pope Benedict XVI will render a final verdict on the outcome by this summer, according to a Roman news agency.
The I Media agency, citing unnamed sources involved in the talks, reports that after months of talks, “all is currently in the hands of the Pope.”
In September, the Vatican presented SSPX leaders with a “doctrinal preamble,” explaining that if the traditionalist group accepted the contents of the document, it could form the introduction to a canonical decree regularizing the status of the SSPX.
The group has been separated from Rome since 1988, when its founder, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, consecrated new bishops without permission from Rome.
In 2009 Pope Benedict lifted the excommunications that resulted from that act, but the SSPX bishops remain suspended from active ministry.
The talks between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and SSPX representatives have been aimed to end that separation.
Although the contents of the “doctrinal preamble” have not been made public, the Vatican is reportedly seeking an acknowledgement from the SSPX that the teachings of Vatican II are valid.
SSPX officials indicated that they were not prepared to accept the document in its original form, but have submitted suggested changes.
Pope Benedict will now make a final judgment on whether an agreement is possible, the I Media report indicates.