What in the world is going on? The government of Argentina has given an SSPX group official recognition as a Roman Catholic entity, and this with the assistance of a very liberal Cardinal.
The Spanish article titled, The FSSPX Is Recognized in Argentina as Part of the Roman Catholic Church.
The following is a translation of the Spanish, by Michael Fuller found here:
“In Argentina, members of the ultraconservative community founded by the French bishop Marcel Lefebvre -excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in 1988 along with four other bishops formally returned to the Catholic Church. This follows a decision by the Secretariat of Worship of the Nation -published in the Official Gazette at the end of this week- in which it recognizes that the Fraternity of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary or the SSPX (the Lefebvrists) as a juridical body -the key- and incorporates it into the Registry of the Institute of Consecrated Life, which makes up the congregations and Catholic orders.
“For this incorporation a mediation was needed by an order of ecclesiastical authority, in this case, made by the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Poli.
“The incorporation into the country by the Lefebrists into the Catholic Church occurs while the Vatican maintains difficult negotiations with that community worldwide for its return to Rome. The discussions began in 2000 as was the will of John Paul II. In 2009, Benedict XVI decided to lift the excommunication of the four bishops -Lefebvre died in 1991, which was one of the demands of the ultraconservative community.
“Joseph Ratzinger’s decision -not lacking in controversy- gave a big headache to the German Pope because declarations almost immediately became known from one of the bishops benefiting [from the lifting of the excommunications], residing in Argentina, Richard Williamson, who denied the Holocaust. Then, the government led by Cristina Kirchner decided to deport him.
“As Williamson insisted, at least partially, with his opinions, he was put in the forefront of the most radicalized group of the Lefebvrists. He was expelled from the Society of St. Pius X in 2012.
“In turn, Benedict XVI suspended him “ad divinis” and in a letter to all bishops admitted being mistaken, by not being informed about the previous denial [of the Holocaust] of Williamson.
“The return of the Lefebvrist to the Church in Argentina, which is deducted as having been the approval of Pope Francis- is seen from those near the pontiff as an achievement because it implies that at least one sector of the followers of Lefebvre have accepted the Second Vatican Council. But it certainly will not be met well by progressive sectors. After all, it was the desire of the immediate predecessors of Francis.
“In Brazil, it was already some time ago that some of the Lefebvrists returned to communion with Rome, by becoming an Apostolic Prefecture, reporting directly to the Pope.”