The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is reportedly close to an agreement to purchase a parish property in Rome that could become its headquarters, and rumors are swirling in Rome that the Lefebvrite group is also close to an agreement with the Vatican that would regularize its status.
Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the secretary for the Ecclesia Dei commission
that has been conducting talks with the traditionalist group, met with
Pope Francis on Monday, February 27.
Last month Archbishop Pozzo
confirmed that the talks were aimed toward the creation of a personal
prelature for the SSPX.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the SSPX, has also said that
an agreement is close. Bishop Fellay said that the SSPX is anxious to
reach an accord that would establish its canonical status. He said that
the group would not wait for a perfect situation, but would agree to an
A personal prelature is a new canonical structure, envisioned by
Vatican II, that is established for a special pastoral purpose.
prelature is a non-territorial structure under the leadership of a
prelate—who may or may not be a bishop—named by the Pope. The prelature
has its own clergy, but lay members of the prelature remain under the
jurisdiction of their local diocesan bishops. To date the only personal
prelature in the Catholic Church is Opus Dei.
According to a report in the Italian daily Il Foglio, the
SSPX has reached a tentative agreement to purchase the property of Santa
Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, a large complex in the center of Rome,
roughly midway the Victor Emmanuel monument and the basilica of St. John
The complex could be used as a center for studies and a
headquarters for the newly established prelature.
Il Foglio reports that Pope Francis played an important role in paving the way for the agreement to purchase the new property.