Rome (KAP) The "Society of St. Pius X"(SSPX), according to unofficial information, have been given only until Saturday for reconciliation with Rome. The most recent demand for a reply to the Vatican's offer set a deadline of the 22nd February, the Italian Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli wrote in his blog (Monday). If the SSPX gave their approval a personal prelature for the SSPX could be erected on the same date.
The Catholic Church celebrates on the 22nd February the "Chair of Peter". It commemorates the adoption of the Roman bishopric by the Apostle Peter and to his appointment to the office of leadership. Pope Benedict XVI who has very much driven forward agreement with the traditionalist Society who is separated from Rome, leaves office on 28 February.
Up to now it was known that the CDF had again urged the Superior General of the SSPX, Bernard Fellay to give a response at the beginning of a response. However Tornielli writes, citing French observers, including that the letter signed by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller acting as prefect dated 8th January contains an ultimatum date of 22nd February.
If by then, no binding position of the SSPX arrives, Rome could possibly try to persuade individual members of the SSPX to return to communion with the Pope, according to Tornielli referring to French media.
The SSPX was created in 1969 in rejection of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Contentious issues are especially liturgy, ecumenism and religious freedom. The founder of the SSPX, the French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991) made the break with Rome by conducting the ordination of bishops in 1988 which was not allowed by Rome.
In an effort to reach agreement, Benedict XVI in 2007 re-permitted the sole form of Mass prior to the Council. In 2009, he lifted the excommunication against the four bishops consecrated by Lefebvre.
This was followed by one and a half years of dialogue between experts from the Vatican and the SSPX.
In September 2011 the Vatican put to the SSPX a "preamble" for signature that includes a commitment to the full magisterium. After an answer from Fellay in April 2012 and a debate in the Vatican Fellay received the request to clarify open questions.