LEFEBVRE and the
March 18, 1988
Letter Of Cardinal Ratzinger
To Archbishop Lefebvre
role of Cardinal Gagnon stops with this letter. Clearly the Pope
removes him and replaces him with Cardinal Ratzinger. The
latter takes the initiative of continuing the negotiations, and
works out a plan of reconciliation, presenting the first stage of
it to Archbishop Lefebvre. The removal of Cardinal Gagnon
from the negotiations was the first of a long series of disappointments
after hopes had been so high in the fall of 1987.
At the stage
we have reached in the reflection undertaken following the Apostolic
Visit to canonically regularize the situation of the Society of
Saint Pius X, and considering your letter to the Holy Father dated
last February 20, it appears extremely useful to be able to proceed
to an exchange of views on the concrete propositions whose application
can be envisaged.
To get it
under way, Cardinal Gagnon and I would like to propose to you that
a meeting take place between two experts (a theologian and a canonist)
designated by the Holy See, and two experts (likewise, a theologian
and a canonist) of the Society designated by yourself, presided
over by a personality designated by the Holy Father in the role
of “moderator.” Obviously, this stage consisting of
a mutual exchange of views would still not be the place for definitive
decisions, but it would have to constitute an important step on
the way to these decisions.
If, as we
hope, you accept this proposition, please be kind enough to inform
us of it. After this moment, the place and the conditions
of this meeting could be fixed rapidly, of course in the conditions
of the most rigorous discretion.
Deign to accept,
Excellency, the assurance of my prayer, with the expression of my
respectful and devoted sentiments in the Lord.
Courtesy of the Angelus
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