Traditional Mass

Friday, April 27, 2012

[video] Lefebvrians: One step closer to Rome


Confessor and Doctor of the Church

Peter Canisius (1521-97) was drawn to the Society of Jesus by the preaching of Bl. Peter Faber, the first disciple of St. Ignatius. Peter Canisius realized that in the Germany where Luther had recently been preaching heresy, many Catholics had no clear knowledge of their religion. He wrote a catechism that was of incomparable value to the heroic missioners of the Catholic Counter Reformation. He was a pioneer of the Catholic press, and founder of many Catholic colleges in Germany, Austria, and Bohemia. According to the Catechism of Petrus Canisius, 'the veneration of the Virgin Mary, is the best way to Jesus Christ and His Church.'

Mass of a

O God, You made the blessed confessor Peter a bulwark of virtue and learning in the defense of the Catholic Faith. May his example and teaching lead the erring back to the path of salvation and strengthen the faithful in bearing witness to the truth. Through Our Lord . . .
O Lord, let the blessed confessor and doctor Peter always help us, and through his intercession accept our offering and pardon our sins. Through our Lord . . .

O Lord, may this sacrifice bring us closer to our salvation through the intercession of your blessed confessor and illustrious doctor Peter. Through our Lord . . .

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Popes and Martyrs

[In some places]

Cletus was third in the succession of popes after Peter. He died a martyr about A.D. 91, during the reign of Emperor Domitian. Like Pope Cletus, Pope Marcellinus was a Roman. He was Vicar of Christ from 296 to 304, and acquired great glory during the stormy persecution of Diocletian, who ordered his beheading.

Mass of a

O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Cletus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and keep it under Your continual protection. Through Our Lord . . .

O God, you have founded Your Church firmly upon the rock of Your apostles and defended her against the fearful powers of hell. May the intercession of the blessed martyr and supreme pontiff Marcellinus preserve her always unwavering in Your truth and keep her safe under Your protection. 

The devotion of Our Lady of Good Counsel originated at Gennazzano in Italy A.D. 1467. A picture of Our Lady originally at Scutari in Albania, was miraculously transferred to the Augustinian church, then in course of construction. This Church, in which is enshrined the miraculous picture, became a place of popular pilgrimage.

O God, who didst give us the Mother of Thy beloved Son for our Mother, and wert pleased by a wondrous apparition to glorify a beauteous picture of her, grant, we beseech Thee, that ever hearkening to her counsels, we may be enabled to live according to Thy Heart, and happily to reach our home in heaven. Through our Lord . . .

We have offered our gifts to You, O Lord. Let Your light graciously shine upon Your Church, so that this flock may everywhere prosper, and its pastors, under Your guidance, may be truly pleasing to You.

O Lord, graciously accept the gifts which we joyfully offer to You. May Your Church, through the prayers of blessed Marcellinus, always live in peace and rejoice in the security of her faith. 

Sanctify, O Lord, the Sacrifice we bring; and by the most salutary intercession of Blessed Mary Mother of God, Mother of Good Counsel, grant that it may avail us unto salvation. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth . . .
O Lord, govern the Church, which You have been pleased to nourish with Your heavenly Food. Guide her by Your powerful direction so that she may enjoy greater freedom and remain unshaken in the fullness of faith.
O Lord, increase the spirit of grace which You have bestowed upon Your Church. Let the prayers pf Your Martyr and supreme Pontiff aid her so that she may never fail in obedience to her Shepherd, and the Shepherd may never be wanting in His care of the flock. 

O Lord, may the venerable intercession of Thy glorious Mother, Mary ever Virgin, be our hope. May she who has showered upon us continual benefits ever make us see what it behoveth us to do, and strengthen us to fulfill the same: Who livest and reignest . . .

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

(For the Religious of the Good Shepherd)

Fidelis (1577-1622), a native of southern Germany, became a lawyer of such noble integrity that he was known as "The Advocate of the Poor." In the year 1612 he entered the Capuchin Order and was sent as a missioner to Switzerland. He had marked success in persuading Protestant Swiss to return to the Catholic Church. Eventually Father Fidelis was waylaid by a band of ruffians. One of them felled the priest with a violent blow, and as he struggled to his knees, another of the murderers stabbed the martyr. He died after uttering the prayer, "Lord, forgive my enemies!"

Mass of a 

O God, You set the heart of Fidelis on fire with a seraphic love, and granted him both the triumph of martyrdom and the gift of miracles in preaching the true faith. May his merits and prayers make us strong in faith and love, so that by Your grace we may be faithful in Your service until death. Through Our Lord . . .

By her enlightened zeal, Sister Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (1796-1868) developed the French Institute of the Religious of the Good Shepherd into a world-wide congregation. She was accused by her adversaries of ambition and disobedience; but her innovations were approved by Pope Gregory XVI, as being entirely in harmony with the spirit of the Gospel. During the 33 years that she served as mother general of her congregation, ecclesiastical authorities in every part of the world requested the soul-saving aid of her Sisters.

O God, by Your gift the blessed virgin Mary Euphrasia followed in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd. May we imitate her example on earth to gain the rewards of heaven promised to those who are merciful. Through our Lord . . .

Accept our offerings and prayers, O Lord. Cleanse us by this heavenly rite, and in Your mercy hear our petitions. Through our Lord . . .

We offer You this spotless host, O Lord, in honor of the virgin Mary Euphrasia. For the glory of Your holy Name may we be fired with zeal to save souls through her intercession. Through our Lord . . .

O Lord our God, may we who now joyfully commemorate Your Saints on earth rejoice one day with them in heaven. Through our Lord . . .

We are refreshed by Your divine Gift, O Lord. May the intercession of the blessed virgin Mary Euphrasia bring Your abundant blessing upon the sheep of Your fold. Through our Lord . . .

Monday, April 23, 2012


George from an illustrious family, was a Cappadocian who who fought in the Roman army during the third century. He rebuked Diocletian when that ruler began to persecute the Christians, and was in consequence tortured and beheaded. The brave and defiant cheerfulness of the young officer during his torture was so great an inspiration to Christians of succeeding centuries that both the East and the West surrounded his bright figure with clusters of beautiful legends. St. George is the patron of England, and Christian soldiers. He was especially venerated in Christian Russia.

Mass of a

O God, the merits and prayers of Your blesses martyr George are a source of happiness for us. Grant us as a gift of grace the blessings we seek through him. Through Our Lord . . .

EPISTLE II Tim. 2:8-10; 3:10-12
Dearly Beloved: Be mindful that the Lord Jesus Christ is risen again from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my gospel: Wherein I labour even unto bands, as an evildoer. But the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with heavenly glory. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience, Persecutions, afflictions: such as came upon me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra: what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me. And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Bless these gifts we offer You, O Lord, and through the intercession of Your blessed martyr George may they cleanse us from the stain of our sins. Through Our Lord . . .

Almighty God, we humbly ask through the intercession of Your blessed martyr George that those who are nourished with Your Sacrament may live a life of worthy service pleasing to You. Through Our Lord . . .

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20
(Mass of preceding Sunday)
[Requiem or Votive Mass allowed]

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Moynihan Report Letter #8: 7th Anniversary of Benedict's Election/Lefebvre, the Council, the Mass...


April 19, 2012 -- 7th Anniversary of the Election of Pope Benedict XVI





Seven Years... And a Prayer for Seven More


"And now, at this moment, weak servant of God that I am, I must assume this enormous task, which truly exceeds all human capacity. How can I do this? How will I be able to do it? All of you, my dear friends, have just invoked the entire host of Saints, represented by some of the great names in the history of God's dealings with mankind. In this way, I too can say with renewed conviction: I am not alone. I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone. All the Saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith and your hope accompany me." —Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at the Mass for the Imposition of the Pallium and Conferral of the Fisherman's Ring for the Beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome, St. Peter's Square, April 24, 2005


"The purpose of our lives is to reveal God to men. And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him. The task of the shepherd, the task of the fisher of men, can often seem wearisome. But it is beautiful and wonderful, because it is truly a service to joy, to God's joy which longs to break into the world." —Ibid.


"My dear friends – at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love his flock more and more – in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves." —Ibid.


The sun in Rome is shining on this 19th of April, the 7th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's election to the See of Peter. It is a holiday in the Vatican for that reason.


I remember this day seven years ago. It was a Tuesday evening, about 6 p.m., when the smoke began to fly up from the Sistine Chapel roof. It looked grey, then, white, then grey again, and then fully white. The Pope had been elected. Who was he?


A few minutes later the Square was filled, and people were pouring in through all the columns of the colonnade. And then the announcement came: "We have a Pope. His name is Joseph Ratzinger. He has chosen to call himself Benedict XVI."


At the balcony, Benedict's first words to the crowd, given in Italian before he gave the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing in Latin, were:

"Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with insufficient instruments comforts me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the Risen Lord, confident of his unfailing help, let us move forward. The Lord will help us, and Mary, His Most Holy Mother, will be on our side. Thank you."

Then the new Pope appeared. He seemed happy, peaceful.


The most important thing to say is to wish the Holy Father well (he turned 85 three days ago, on April 16).


My prayer for him would be something like this:


May the Lord be with you as you continue in the task God has called you to, of leading and ruling Christ's Church, of teaching the truths of the faith, and of bearing witness to the final, eternal reality, the glorious holiness and the immeasurable justice, mercy and loving-kindness of the triune God. May you be consoled in moments of difficulty, may you be strengthened in moments of weakness -- moments all flesh is heir to -- and may you be protected  by Mary, the Mother of God, and of the Church, and richly blessed with profound joy and peace as you continue your mission. Ad multos annos... unto many more years. As you yourself prayed on Holy Saturday, just 12 days ago, "Let us pray to the Lord at this time that He may grant us to experience the joy of his light; let us pray that we ourselves may become bearers of his light, and that through the Church, Christ's radiant face may enter our world (cf. LG 1). Amen."




"It Was On the Third Day of the Council..."


(Left: Archbishop Lefebvre with Padre Pio in 1967, a year before Padre Pio's death)


"On 29 June 1976, (Archbishop) Lefebvre went ahead with planned priestly ordinations without the approval of the local Bishop and despite receiving letters from Rome forbidding them. As a result Lefebvre was suspended a collatione ordinum, i.e., forbidden to ordain any priests. A week later, the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops informed him that, to have his situation regularized, he needed to ask the Pope's pardon. Lefebvre responded with a letter claiming that the modernisation of the Church was a 'compromise with the ideas of modern man' originating in a secret agreement between high dignitaries in the Church and senior Freemasons prior to the Council. Lefebvre was then notified that, since he had not apologised to the Pope, he was suspended a divinis..." —Wikipedia, Marcel Lefebvre,


"On 18 September 1991, Cardinal Silvio Oddi, who had been Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 1979 to 1986, visited Lefebvre's tomb, knelt down at it, prayed, afterwards saying aloud: "Merci, Monseigneur". Thereafter Cardinal Oddi said he held Archbishop Lefebvre to have been 'a holy man' and suggested that the Society of St Pius X could be granted a personal prelature by the Holy See like that of Opus Dei. —Ibid.


Lefebvre, the Council, the Mass...


The report which follows concerns a matter of great importance -- a matter that cannot be dealt with in one email. I will try to follow the story as it unfolds, as it is, in some ways, the story of the Church, and her trials, in our age...


Yesterday, the Vatican Press Office released a little note which almost all observers agree marks a pivotal moment in one of the most important developing news stories in the Church, and in the world, at this time.


The note said that a letter had been received in the Vatican from the head of the Society of St. Pius X.


That is all the note said.


And yet, the internet and the press was soon filled with reports that this note marked a "breakthrough" in the multi-year process of negotiations between Rome and Society of St. Pius X, which is not in full communion with Rome.


Here is the text of the note, entitled: Communique of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" (a commission now under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the chief doctrinal office in the Church).


The communique reads:


"The text of the response of His Excellency Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, requested during the meeting in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of March 16, 2012, was delivered on April 17, 2012. This text will be examined by the Dicastery and submitted afterwards to the judgment of the Holy Father."



Why is this little note generating so much excitement?


Because many believe the note presages a solution to the break between Rome and the Society, and expect that solution to be announced within days, or weeks.


Some are even saying that this letter received, referred to in this note, is a "birthday present" to the Holy Father on his 85th birthday.


However, that goes beyond what we know for sure.


Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., the spokesman of the Holy Father, yesterday in the Press Office, had this to say (the following is a transcription of his oral comments to journalists; I bold-face the two phrases which are the "news" in this comment):

"Today's news means that yesterday Bp. Fellay's response, that had been requested by Cardinal Levada at the last meeting, was delivered to the Congregation, to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Now, this response, it is a reponse that, according to the words of those who could see it, is a very different response from the previous one, and this is encouraging, we proceed forward. But, naturally, we also find in the response the addition of some details or integrations to the text of the doctrinal preamble that had been proposed by the Congregation for a doctrinal agreement, and this response will be discussed, it will be examined first by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in one of its meetings of the next few weeks and, afterwards, it will also naturally be examined directly by the Pope. It can be said that steps forward have been taken, that is to say, that the response, the new response, is rather encouraging, but there are still developments that will be made, and examined, and decisions that should be taken in the next few weeks. I think the wait will not be long because there is the desire to reach a conclusion in these discussions, in these contacts."


A spokesman for the Society of St. Pius X was, if anything, even less positive about this letter than Lombardi. He said the following:

Communiqué of the General House of the Society of Saint Pius X

The media are announcing that Bishop Bernard Fellay has sent a "positive response" to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that consequently the doctrinal question between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X is now resolved.

The reality is different.

In a letter dated April 17, 2012, the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X responded to the request for clarification that had been made to him on March 16 by Cardinal William Levada concerning the Doctrinal Preamble delivered on September 14, 2011. As the press release dated today [April 17] from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith indicates, the text of this response "will be examined by the dicastery then submitted to the Holy Father for his judgment".

This is therefore a stage and not a conclusion.

Menzingen, April 18, 2012


How this matter is resolved -- and how it will finally be resolved is still not at all clear -- will have much to do with how Benedict XVI's pontificate is viewed by future historians.


Benedict now finds himself at the center of many very powerful interests who will wish to sway his judgment as he decides this matter. For this reason, he will need our prayers.


But more important than the effect on the historical judgment of this pontificate, the way this matter is resolved will have a profound impact on the Church herself, on how she views herself and her mission in the world, in time, in history, and, therefore, on how the Church orients her activity and life with regard to the secular world outside of the Church.


The matter at issue is the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X and whether it will be received back into full communion with Rome, but the deeper question is the Second Vatican Council and how that Council should be interpreted. 


Therefore, the matter directly concerns several hundred thousand Catholics who followed and sympathized with the French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and who ended up in an irregular position on the edges of the Church -- "Traditionalist Catholics," they are labeled -- after Lefebvre was suspended a divinis (from all sacramental activities) by Pope Paul VI in the 1970s, and then excommunicated latae sententiae (i.e., automatically) by Pope John Paul II in 1988, after he ordained four bishops against the Pope's explicit request not to do so.


Lefebvre died in 1991. I did not know him personally, but I have spoken with cardinals who did know him, including with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI). All have praised him for his upright moral character, his personal integrity, and his profound desire to be faithful to Catholic tradition; in short, for his personal goodness. Lefebvre was a missionary for many years in Africa, and then one of many bishops -- for the sake of simplicity, let us say there were about 600 of them -- who at the Second Vatican Council composed a "conservative" group concerned that the Council was moving too far, too fast. So he was by no means unique, or marginal, or "bizarre," at that time. It is a sign of how rapidly and profoundly the times and mentalities have changed that he should be so regarded by some today. In the 1960s, he was well within the "norm" of a large group of bishops who agreed with him.


But, he was the only bishop who, after the Council, founded a functioning Society which had a structure capable of surviving over time, and of carrying on his ideas which, in effect, were the ideas of the 600 conservative Catholic bishops at the Council.


For those who loved and followed him, he was a modern St. Athanasius, alone against the world. (St. Athanasius in the 4th century was arrested, deposed from his see in Egypt, had to flee into exile, and was opposed by hundreds of bishops who had become Arian in their theology, that is, heretics, but was supported by the Pope of the time. That is why we speak of St. Athanasius as "Athanasius contra mundum" -- Athanasius against the world. And when we speak of him using that phrase, we are praising him for his intransigence, for not giving in to the majority...)


(Note: In his biography of Lefebvre, The Horn of the Unicorn, David Allen White said that Lefebvre received a small number of votes -- variously reported as three or "several" -- in the August 1978 conclave that elected Pope John Paul I, a matter that, he said, caused some consternation among the cardinals, as Lefebvre was not a cardinal, and casting a vote for a non-cardinal in a papal election is unusual, although permitted by Church law.)

Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict, came to know Lefebvre well, for the two met personally to negotiate a possible agreement in the spring of 1988. (That negotiation was preceded by a 1987 investigatory visitation of the Lefebvre seminary at Econe and their houses and centers elsewhere by Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, whom I knew. Gagnon was impressed by the piety and discipline he observed.)


In fact, an agreement between Rome and Lefebvre was reached, and Lefebvre signed the agreement on May 5, 1988. The agreement would have avoided the schism that then occurred, and it suggests that Lefebvre found reason to trust Ratzinger enough to sign the agreement.


But that very night, Lefebvre, having returned to Albano outside of Rome -- just next to Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence -- felt uneasy in spirit. His assistants told me that he stayed up late praying in his private chapel. He was on his knees for most of the night, asking for God's guidance. (I went out to visit that chapel, and to talk to his assitants, not long after that night.)


In the morning, Lefebvre changed his mind. He felt, his assistants told me, that he could trust Cardinal Ratzinger, but not the Vatican, that the document he had signed allowed too much leeway for Vatican authorities to eventually influence who would become the leaders (the bishops) of his Society, and that the outwardly secure, safe agreement that Ratzinger had urged him to sign, and which he had agreed to sign, would slowly be unraveled, in time, by others, and that all his work would risk, eventually, being dismantled.


"He simply could not make a leap of trust," one observer close to the negotiations told me.


But why could he not make that "leap" of trust?


Some argue that it was because of his character, that he was by nature a bit "rigid," not "expansive" and trusting.


But others say there were solid reasons for his lack of trust. They note, especially, that he had observed how some actions in the Church had been "pushed through" even by almost violent means, breaking procedures previously agreed upon.


In order to understand this better, one must go back to the Council itself. And, in order to do that, I thought I needed to go talk with someone who had been present at the Council. So I went to talk to Monsignor Brunero Gherardini.


Gherardini lives inside the Vatican, in the Fabbrica of San Pietro, the palace between the Paul VI Hall and the back of St. Peter's. He lives on the 5th floor.


He is a tall, slender, white haired-man with friendly eyes and a ready smile. He is almost 90, but his mind is crystal clear. He taught theology for decades at the Pontifical Lateran University. He is considered a "conservative" and some say he is the last great representative of the "Roman School" in theology.


I rang three times, and he wasn't in -- I was late for our meeting. I waiting five minutes, then left. I would have missed him, but he was walking into the archway below, with a newspaper he had gone out to purchase. "Hello!" he said. "Turn around and come back upstairs with me and we'll talk."


And so I joined him in his apartment. He moved two chairs until they faced each other, and we began to talk. We spoke of the Pope's anniversary today, and then I asked about the possible reconciliation with the Lefebvrists. He said these days are historic, and he is hopeful of a good result.


Then I asked about the Council. Whenever I think about the Council, I said, I always have one image in my mind: an aging Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, now blind, about age 80, limping, the head of the Holy Office and so the chief doctrinal officer of the Church, born in Trastevere to parents who had many children, so a Roman from Rome, from the people of Rome, takes the microphone to speak to the 2,000 assembled bishops. And, as he speaks, pleading for the bishops to consider the texts the curia has spent three years preparing, suddenly his microphone was shut off. He kept speaking, but no one could hear a word. Then, puzzled and flustered, he stopped speaking, in confusion. And the assembled fathers began to laugh, and then to cheer...


"Yes," Gherardini said. "And it was only the third day."


"What?" I said.


"Ottaviani's microphone was turned off on the third day of the Council."


"On the third day?" I said. "I didn't know that. I thought it was later, in November, after the progressive group became more organized..."


"No, it was the third day, October 13, 1962. The Council began on October 11."


"Do you know who turned off the microphone?"


"Yes," he said. "It was Cardinal Lienart of Lille, France."


"But then," I said, "it could almost be argued, perhaps, that such a breech of protocol, making it impossible for Ottaviani to make his arguments, somehow renders what came after, well, in a certain sense, improper..."


"Some people make that argument," Gherardini replied.


Father Joseph Ratzinger was among the leaders of the progressive movement at the Council, along with Karl Rahner, Dominique Chenu, Yves Congar -- "Congar was the master-mind of the group," Gherardini said -- and others.


But the ways of God are mysterious. Ratzinger failed to bring Lefebvre back into full communion with Rome in 1988, and in 2005, he was elected Pope -- seven years ago today.


During his pontificate, one golden thread has been his effort to reverse that 1988 defeat, and to bring the Lefebvrists back into union with Rome.


On July 7, 2007, he promulgated Summorum Pontificum, against vociferous protests by many cardinals and bishops, encouraging free use throughout the Church of the traditional Tridentine liturgy.


And now, the final acts of the negotiation with the successors of Lefebvre are about to be played out.


(to be continued)






April 19
(Mass of preceding Sunday)
[Requiem or Votive Mass allowed]

Bishop & Martyr


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Communiqué from the General House of the Society of Saint Pius X (April 18, 2012) | DICI

The media are announcing that Bishop Bernard Fellay has sent a “positive response” to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that consequently the doctrinal question between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X is now resolved.
The reality is different.
In a letter dated April 17, 2012, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X responded to the request for clarification that had been made to him on March 16 by Cardinal William Levada concerning the Doctrinal Preamble delivered on September 14, 2011.  As the press release dated today from the Ecclesia Dei Commission indicates, the text of this response “will be examined by the dicastery (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) then submitted to the Holy Father for his judgement”.
This is therefore a stage and not a conclusion.
Menzingen, April 18, 2012

SSPX response delivered to Ecclesia Dei Commission: Catholic World Report

And the timing has liturgical significance
This just in from the Vatican Information Service: 
Vatican City, 18 April 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, today released the following communiqué:

“On 17 April, as requested during the 16 March meeting held at the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Commission received the response of Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X. The text of the response will be examined by the dicastery then submitted to the Holy Father for his judgement.”
The date on which the response was submitted is significant.  In the Traditional liturgical calendar, April 17 is the feast of St. Anicetus, pope and Martyr (actually “Confessor”), who reigned for about a decade in the mid-second century A.D.  The 1917 Catholic Encyclopediarelates: 
While Anicetus was Pope, St. Polycarp, then in extreme old age, came to confer with him about the Paschal controversy.  Polycarp and others in the East used to celebrate the feast on the fourteenth of the month of Nisan, no matter on what day of the week it fell, whereas in Rome it was always observed on Sunday, and the day of the Lord’s death on Friday. The matter was discussed but nothing was decided. According to [the early fourth-century Church historian] Eusebius: ‘Polycarp could not persuade the Pope, nor the Pope, Polycarp. The controversy was not ended but the bonds of charity were not broken.’  The Pope permitted the aged saint to celebrate on the day he had been accustomed to in the Church of Smyrna.
Sancte Anicete, ora pro nobis!


St. Pius X Society gives mixed response to Vatican

By David Kerr

Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Bernard Fellay.
.- The breakaway Society of St. Pius X has given its assent to a statement of doctrinal belief presented to it by the Vatican, but with some suggested amendments to the text.
It will now be for Pope Benedict XVI to decide whether the traditionalist group's response is sufficient to permit them back into full communion with the Catholic Church. 
Weekend media speculation suggested that there has been behind-the-scene dialogue between both sides in recent weeks trying to smooth reconciliation.
“Unofficially and in the utmost discretion, the envoys have worked on both sides to reach agreement,” wrote Jean-Marie Guenois, religion correspondent for the French newspaper Le Figaro April 13.
“In recent weeks, the final adjustments have been finalized between Rome and Ecône (the Society’s Swiss headquarters) to best respond to requests for ‘clarifications’ sought by the Vatican, 16 March.”
A public announcement by the Vatican on the latest state of play with negotiations is likely to be made this week.
If agreement can be reached, the Society could be offered the status of Personal Prelature within the Church. That is a jurisdiction without geographical boundaries designed to carry out particular pastoral initiatives. At present, the only personal prelature in the Church is Opus Dei.
The Society of St. Pius X was presented with a “doctrinal preamble” by the Vatican in September 2011, which outlined points of belief that the Church needed clarified before finally healing the decades-long rift between the two sides. 
An initial reply in January 2012 was deemed “not sufficient” by the Vatican who then invited the Society to further clarify its position by mid-April. 
The Society has had a strained relationship with the Vatican since its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve, consecrated four bishops against the orders of Pope John Paul II in 1988.
Archbishop Lefebrve founded the Society in 1970 as a response to what he described as errors that had crept into the Catholic Church following the Second Vatican Council.
In 2009, Pope Benedict remitted the excommunications of the Society’s bishops and set talks in motion aimed at restoring “full communion.” The Pope said at the time that to achieve full communion the members of the Society would have to show “true recognition of the Magisterium and the authority of the Pope and of the Second Vatican Council.”