Traditionalist says Vatican statement needs changes

December 12, 2011
Bishop Bernard Fellay

Bishop Bernard Fellay

The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said a "doctrinal preamble" presented by the Vatican needs changes before it can be accepted as the basis for the group's reconciliation.

The statement by Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the society, appeared to hold out hope for further discussions with the Vatican, but it was unclear whether the Vatican would be willing to revisit the text.

"It is true that this doctrinal preamble cannot receive our endorsement, although leeway has been allowed for a 'legitimate discussion' about certain points of the (Second Vatican) Council. What is the extent of this leeway?" Fellay said in an interview posted on the society's website Nov. 29.

In September, when Fellay was handed the preamble, the Vatican did not publish the document but said it "states some doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity" to the formal teaching of the Church.

In his interview, however, Fellay said the preamble was "a document which can be clarified and modified, as the accompanying note points out."