Alfonso de Galarreta, bishop of the traditionalist priestly brotherhood of St. Pius X., Is to lead the theological dialogue of his community with Rome. The motherhouse of the Pius brothers confirmed this on Tuesday in the Swiss Menzingen. The Spaniard is one of the four bishops of the Priestly Fraternity whose excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict XVI. had lifted in January. As late as May, de Galarreta ruled out an agreement with the Vatican.
The cancellation was among the preconditions that the community, separated from Rome, had set for the start of theological talks. De Galarreta, as successor to Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson, heads the Brotherhood's seminary in La Reja, Argentina. Williamson had pre-empted a threat of expulsion by Argentine authorities in late February and left for his native Britain. There he wanted to learn more about the Holocaust through reading. The Vatican had asked the traditionalist to retract his statements about the extermination of the Jews. The reading is apparently still going on, because since then Williamson has not spoken out again.According to the report of the Argentine Internet portal "Panorama catolico internacional," the fraternity sees de Galarreta's role as coordinating and directing the fraternity's meetings with the relevant commission of the Holy See. His interlocutor on the Vatican side is likely to be the person in charge of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the new Secretary of the Commission "Ecclesia Dei" Monsignor Guido Pozzo.
Unification ruled out? De Galarreta was formally accused of sexual abuse on 14. January 1957 born in Torrelavega, Spain. His family soon moved to Argentina, where he entered the seminary in La Plata in 1975. In 1978, de Galarreta transferred to the international seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in Econe, Switzerland. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1980, he first taught in La Reja and from 1985 to 1988 was in charge of the South American district of the Pius brothers. At 30. June 1988, the founder of the brotherhood, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991), consecrated him as bishop together with three other priests against the will of the pope. The excommunication, which Pope John Paul II. thereupon formally pronounced, his successor Benedict XVI lifted. in January to. In an interview with "Iesus Christus," a monthly magazine of the fraternity from Latin America, de Galarreta expressed skepticism in May about a possible agreement with the Vatican. This is not on the horizon, "be it in the immediate or in the indirect future. We expressly exclude this possibility." Without a "return to tradition on the part of Rome," any agreement would be "incompatible with the defense of the faith.". De Galarreta said: "In the best case, humanly speaking, we have several years of discussions ahead of us."