PCED suppressed

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, otherwise known as the PCED, is now suppressed, with the publication today, 19 January 2019, of the motu proprio Da oltre trent’anni given 17 January 2019. Our translation is given below.

Archbishop Guido Pozzo, hitherto Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, delivering a sermon during a Pontifical Solemn High Mass he celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in February 2011 (image from Orbis Catholicus Secundus).

APOSTOLIC LETTER
GIVEN MOTU PROPRIO
CONCERNING THE PONTIFICAL COMMISSION
ECCLESIA DEI

In the last thirty years, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, established with the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta, on 2 July 1998, has performed with sincere solicitude and praiseworthy attention the duty of working with the Bishops and the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, in facilitating the full ecclesial communion of the priests, seminarians, communities, or every religious man or woman, affiliated with the Fraternity founded by Mons. Marcel Lefebvre, who wished to remain united with the Successor of Saint Peter in the Catholic Church, preserving their own spiritual and liturgical traditions [1].

In such way, it was able to exercise its own authority and competency on behalf of the Holy See concerning said societies and associations, until otherwise provided [2].

Subsequently, by virtue of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, on 7 July 2007, the Pontifical Commission extended the authority of the Holy See unto those Institutes and Religious Communities, which adhered to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and assumed the former traditions of religious life, supervising the observance and the application of the established dispositions [3].

Two years later, Our Venerable Predecessor, Benedict XVI, with the motu proprio Ecclesiæ unitatem, on 2 July 2009, reorganised the structure of the Pontifical Commission, in order to make it more adapted to the new situation arising from the remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated without papal mandate. And, furthermore, considering that, after such act of grace, the questions dealt with by the same Pontifical Commission were primarily doctrinal in nature, He more organically associated it with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while retaining its initial goals, but modifying its structure [4].

Now, since the Feria IV (regular Wednesday meeting) of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 15 November 2017 drafted a request that the dialogue between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X be conducted directly with the aforementioned Congregation, the questions dealt with are of a doctrinal character, to this request We have given Our approval in the audience with the Prefect on the following 24 (November), and such proposal gained acceptance from the Plenary Session of the same Congregation celebrated from 23 to 26 January 2018, We have reached, after ample reflection, the following Decision:

Considering the conditions, which have moved the Holy Pontiff John Paul II towards the establishment of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, as already changed today;

noting that the Institutes and the Religious Communities that habitually celebrate in the Extraordinary Form, have now found a proper stability in number and life;

realising that the goals and the questions dealt with by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei are of a predominantly doctrinal order;

desiring that such goals be rendered always more evident unto the conscience of the ecclesial community,

with this present Apostolic Letter, given ‘motu proprio’,

We Decree:

1. That the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, established on 2 July 1998, with the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta, is suppressed.

2. The duties of the Commission in question are entirely assigned to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, within which shall be established a special Section charged with continuing the work of supervision, of promotion, and of protection thus far conducted by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

3. The budget of the Pontifical Commission shall devolve back to the usual account of the aforementioned Congregation.

We Establish, moreover, that the present motu proprio be observed all things to the contrary notwithstanding, even those worthy of special mention, be promulgated by means of its publication in the daily L’Osservatore Romano to be issued on 19 January 2019, entering immediately in full force, and be eventually included in the Official Commentary of the Holy See, the Acta Apostolicæ Sedis.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 17 January 2019, the sixth of Our Pontificate.

Francis

[1] Cf. John Paul Pp. II, Apostolic Letter given motu proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta (2 July 1988) 6a: AAS 80 (1988) 1495–1498.
[2] Rescript from the Audience of the Holy Father (18 October 1988) 6: AAS 82 (1990) 533–534.
[3] Cf. Benedict Pp. XVI, Apostolic Letter given motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (7 July 2007) 12: AAS 99 (2007) 777–781.
[4] Cf. Benedict Pp. XVI, Apostolic Letter given motu proprio Ecclesiæ unitatem (2 July 2009) 5: AAS 101 (2009) 710–711.