Both the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X have confirmed that this weekend Pope Francis met with the priestly society’s superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, at the Vatican.
The Holy See press office issued a statement April 4 indicating that Pope Francis and Bishop Fellay had met April 2 at the Vatican.
An April 4 statement issued by the SSPX, meanwhile, stated that Pope Francis received Bishop Fellay at his Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican on April 1. The statement said Bishop Fellay was accompanied by Fr. Alain-Marc Nely, second assistant general of the priestly society.
“Pope Francis had wanted a private and informal meeting, without the formality of an official audience. It lasted 40 minutes and took place under a cordial atmosphere,” the SSPX stated. “After the meeting, it was decided that the current exchanges would continue. The canonical status of the Society was not directly addressed, Pope Francis and Bishop Fellay having determined that these exchanges ought to continue without haste.”
The statement from the priestly society added that on April 2, Bishop Fellay met with Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei – the Vatican office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responsible for doctrinal discussions with the SSPX.