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St. Pius X group bows to papal authority and leaves door ajar for further talks

VATICAN CITY (CNS): In a statement from the general chapter meeting of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, which ended on July 14

The Society of St Pius X acknowledged the full authority of the pope over the Church, saying that chapter members formally affirmed their faith in the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchical structure in which “the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the pope, vicar of Christ on earth.”

However, the statement, posted on society’s website on July 19, also says it must defend Church teaching from error saying, “As for all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council, which remain tainted with errors and for the reforms derived from it the society can only continue to uphold the affirmations and teachings of the constant magisterium of the Church.” 

The statement adds that when participants “determined and approved the necessary conditions” for an eventual, full reconciliation with the Vatican and that if the conditions are met, “an extraordinary chapter with deliberative vote will be convened.” 

The posting on the website says that the statement had been sent to the Vatican prior to being posted on the online. 

However, Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesperson, said the Holy See would not comment as it does not consider the statement to be a formal response to the last document it asked Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the society, to sign. 

“The Holy See has taken note of this declaration, but awaits the forthcoming official communication” of the society as its “dialogue with the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei continues,” he said.

The society statement says members of the general chapter believe “the paramount duty of the society, in the service which it intends to offer to the Church, is to continue with God’s help to profess the Catholic faith in all its purity and integrity with a determination matching the intensity of the constant attacks to which this very faith is subject nowadays.” 

The statement said that during the meeting, the society leaders recovered its profound unity, alluding to recent internal tensions. 

At the same time, it would continue to seek guidance from the “constant tradition of the Church” as it awaits “the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.” 

It ended with a prayer “to chase the enemies out from inside the Church,” saying some inside “are trying to destroy it more radically than its enemies from outside.” 

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