Lifting SSPX Bishops’ Excommunication–A Compromise?

The Congregation for Bishops has published a decree signed by its prefect, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, and dated 21 January, concerning the Pope’s remission of the excommunication pronounced on four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. (

There has been concern expressed that this action is a compromise with the SSPX over its dissent from some of the teachings of Vatican II. Ironically, the Vatican has indicated this action of mercy is an application of those teachings and an attempt to draw the SSPX closer, removing a source of pain for them, so that the causes of division can be better addressed. The lifting of the excommuications does not resolve those difficulties. Thus, the decree states:

It is hoped that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.

Let us pray, with the Holy Father, that the bishops whose excommunications have been lifted will respond with filial obedience and submission.

Read the Decree: “A Sign for the Promotion of Unity in Charity” (from Zenit)

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