In an interview to La Croix, Pope Francis said that the Society of St. Pius X are "Catholics on the way to full communion" and that a personal prelature was "a possible solution".
Pope Francis has given an exclusive interview to the French Catholic La Croix newspaper published on May 17, 2016. In the broad-ranging conversation with journalists Guillaume Goubert and Sébastien Maillard, Pope Francis discussed matters ranging from healthy secularism and the right way to understand and live according to the Church’s universal missionary mandate, to the idea of Europe in relation to the migration crisis and the possibility of peaceful coexistence among Muslims and Christians.
Towards the end of the interview, Pope Francis was asked about his meeting with Bishop Bernard Fellay earlier this month.
On April 1, you received Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Priestly Society of St Pius X. Is the re-integration of the Lefebvrists into the Church again under consideration?
Pope Francis: In Buenos Aires, I often spoke with them. They greeted me, asked me on their knees for a blessing. They say they are Catholic. They love the Church.
Bishop Fellay is a man with whom one can dialogue. That is not the case for other elements who are a little strange, such as Bishop Williamson or others who have been radicalized. Leaving this aside, I believe, as I said in Argentina, that they are Catholics on the way to full communion.
During this year of mercy, I felt that I needed to authorize their confessors to pardon the sin of abortion. They thanked me for this gesture. Previously, Benedict XVI, whom they greatly respect, had liberalized the use of the Tridentine rite mass. So good dialogue and good work are taking place.
Would you be ready to grant them the status of a personal prelature?
Pope Francis: That would be a possible solution but beforehand it will be necessary to establish a fundamental agreement with them. The Second Vatican Council has its value. We will advance slowly and patiently.
In the first part of a three-part video interview with Edward Pentin, published today in the National Catholic Register, Bishop Fellay comments on the way Pope Francis sees the Society of St. Pius X.
Source: La Croix - May 17, 2016