Universal Hierarch Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication from the bishops of the St. Pius X Society

Friday, 30 January 2009, 22:54
On January 24, 2009, the Vatican reported that, after protracted dialogue between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X, which was represented by its superior-general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Pope Benedict XVI accepted a repeated request from him and also the three other bishops of the society about lifting the excommunication with which they were punished for 20 years...
On January 24, 2009, the Vatican reported that, after protracted dialogue between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X, which was represented by its superior-general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Pope Benedict XVI accepted a repeated request from him and also the three other bishops of the society about lifting the excommunication with which they were punished for 20 years. On June 30, 1988, Bernard Fellay and three other priests without papal blessing received episcopal ordination from the hands of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and with it they incurred excommunication by the force of the law itself, which means they were separated from the Catholic Church. On July 1, 1988, the Congregation on Matters of Bishops released a formal confirmation of this punishment. On December 15, 2008, Bishop Fellay for the second time in written form appealed to the Universal Hierarch Benedict XVI with a request to lift the excommunication. He, in particular, declared expressly in it that "we will to remain Catholic and to place all efforts at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which the Roman Catholic Church is. We accept its teachings with filial submission. We affirm our belief in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives and that is why the present situation inflicts us with great suffering.» His Holiness Benedict XVI, aiming to overcome the schism of the Society of St. Pius X, met with Bishop Bernard Fellay on August 29, 2005, expressing the desire gradually and at an appropriate time to resolve the mentioned problem. And now, through the decree of the Congregation on Matters of Bishops dated January 21, 2009, the excommunication has been lifted with which the four mentioned bishops were punished, wishing that the moment of complete reconciliation and complete unity come as quick as possible. «A few days ago I decreed to remove the excommunication to which the four bishops were subjected who were ordained without papal mandate in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre,» said the Holy Father in a general audience on January 28, 2009, explaining that he took this step since these hierarchs repeatedly stated that the situation in which they were was a cause of suffering, and added: «I hope that this step of mine will be accompanied with a rapid effort from their side to carry out necessary steps for achieving complete unity with the Church, witnessing to truthful loyalty and truthful confession of the teaching and authority of the Pope and the Second Vatican Council.”

From materials of the Ukrainian section of Radio Vatican

www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/ucr/Articolo.asp?c=261001
www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/ucr/Articolo.asp
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