(Rome) Andrea Tornielli, a regular visitor to the Domus Sanctæ Marthæ, where Pope Francis lives, put the brakes in an article by Vatican Insider on the report by another publication, close to Pope Francis, Il Faro di Roma, which had reported on Monday, 10 April, that Pope Francis would announce the recognition of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X as a personal prelature on 13th May in Fatima. Was it only a Vatican test balloon to test the reactions?
This is quite conceivable, but there is still movement behind the scenes. The report by Faro was strengthened by a reference to the website of the Sacred Heart of Jesus' Seminary of the Society in Zaitzkofen. First, it was said:
"Perhaps the Society will be established as a personal prelate until June [June 2018] by Rome."
The sentence was later deleted from the report. Apparently, it had not been published with the consent of the administration, or the publication of such a hypothesis had at the time been regarded as inappropriate.
Tornielli's first-hand information
When the report of a possible announcement of the canonical recognition of the Society, in connection with the 100th anniversary of the first Marian apparition in Fatima, was taken over by numerous media, Andrea Tornielli had hit the brake on the evening of the 12th of April. Tornielli is considered to be a house and court vaticanista of the pope. The content of his report can not be exactly interpreted. The fact of his intervention, on the other hand, is probably due to the wish of Pope Francis.
Tornielli emphasized in his article that "Pope Francis took two important steps in favor of the traditionalist group by thinking in both cases of the faithful who follow the Society."
"Some sources have spoken of a possible acceleration, and the announcement of an imminent action of the granting of a personal prelature during the trip, which the Pope will undertake to Fatima on the 12th and 13th of May, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions, which have influenced the history of the 20th century."
But then the brakeman follows with some background information:
"However, the situation has not changed since a few months ago. The General Assembly of the Society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has not yet signed the modified and simplified doctrinal statement, which contains a professio fidei, considered by the Congregation of the Faith and the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei, as a necessary step before the legal process, the full return of the [Priestly Society] St. Pius X to communion. "
Tornielli then provides basic indications of a Vatican roadmap:
"The pope and the Vatican dicasteries are in no hurry and do not want to push Fellay, knowing that he has to make the bill with differences of opinion within the Society. It is also foreseeable that the Holy See, before setting up the Personal Prelature, will adequately inform the affected bishops' conferences of those countries in which the Lefebvrians are present and effective.
"The time is not yet ripe"
Tornielli emphasizes that the "followers of the Society have a special veneration for the Mother of Fatima," and a pilgrimage of the Society to Fatima will take place on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Virgin Mary's apparition.
"But the time, as important sources of Oltretevere [Vatican] inform, is not yet ripe."
A somewhat cryptic piece of information, which is not explained in more detail, why and on what page is "the time not yet ripe". Tornielli explains why in Fatima on 13th May there will be no announcement on the Society with the canonization of the seer children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and the centennial of the Marian apparitions, would be "pushed into the background."
The return of the Lefebvrians to the full communion," Tornielli said, "would be a message with a worldwide response since it would finally seal the end of the break-up in 1988." This rupture was already "partially restored," according to the papal house vativanista, in the decision of Pope Benedict XVI, "to abolish the excommunication of those who had received episcopal ordination."
Since 2012, when once - at that time still under Pope Benedict XVI. - after an imminent reconciliation, it is known that there are opposing positions in the Vatican and in the World Church, concerning a reconciliation with the Society. The different reports of media, which are close to the pope, seem to confirm a certain tug-of-war. The fact is that the voice of Andrea Tornielli is doubtless more important than that of Faro di Roma. Tornielli's report, with some concrete details on an intended procedure, confirms that he referred to his information, if not from the first hand, at least from the direct circle around the pope. The fact is that there are also parts in the Vatican, as already in 2012, who are working towards a recognition of the Society.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org