On April 12, 2015, the Argentinian newspaperClarin announced the decision of the Secretary of Religion, Guillermo R. Oliveri, published in the official bulletin of the Argentine Republic on April 9, 2015; according to this decision the Society of St. Pius X is recognized in Argentina as a juridical person and has been added to the Register of the Institutes of Consecrated Life in which are listed the Catholic orders and religious congregations present in Argentina.
This decision was made possible, among other formalities, by a letter from the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, addressed to the Secretary of Religion as a part of the procedures undertaken by the Society’s authorities in 2011. This letter, in which the archbishop of Buenos Aires “asked that ‘the Society of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary’ (Society of St. Pius X) be considered as an association with diocesan rights, until a definitive juridical framework is granted to it in the universal Church,” is a necessary condition for all religious congregations in Argentina.
Cardinal Poli’s document has no canonical authority, for he cannot substitute himself for the Roman authority that alone can settle the Society’s canonical status. It is simply a procedure that allows the State of Argentina to make an administrative decision until “a definitive juridical framework is granted (to the Society) in the universal Church.”
It is important to know that in Argentina, Catholic religious congregations can only exercise their apostolate within an administrative and juridical framework conditioned by their inscription in the register of the Institutes of Consecrated Life, on the ecclesiastical authority’s recommendation.
The fact that Cardinal Poli is Cardinal Bergoglio’s successor to the archiepiscopal see of Buenos Aires is a legitimate reason to believe that this decision was not taken without consulting Pope Francis. Nonetheless, it is nothing more than a strictly administrative procedure in the restricted context of the Republic of Argentina.
(Sources: FSSPX-MG/Clarin/BO Rep. Arg. DICI, 4-13-2015)
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