Vatican official, now archbishop, returns to post on traditionalists

A former official at the Vatican office responsible for reaching out to Catholic priests in schism with the church over the Second Vatican Council has been returned to the post, less than a year after being moved away.

Guido Pozzo, a curial official who was made an archbishop in the interim period, is once again the secretary for the pontifical commission "Ecclesia Dei."

The commission, a part of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is primarily responsible for reaching out to members of the Society of St. Pius X.

A traditionalist organization of priests, the society is known for sharply criticizing the council, a 1962-65 meeting of the world's bishops that led to wide reforms in the Catholic church.

During his first stint at the pontifical commission, the archbishop participated in a number of discussions with members of the Society of St. Pius X on their possible formal reunification with the church. 

Those talks fell apart last summer when society representatives said the Vatican's offer to the group, which included that it accept the teachings of the council, was "clearly unacceptable."

Pozzo, a native Italian, was first made secretary for the pontifical commission by Pope Benedict XVI in July 2009 before being named in November 2012 as an "Almoner of His Holiness," a Vatican office that oversees the pope's acts of charity.

Pozzo was ordained an archbishop of a titular see that month by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's Secretary of State. 

His move back to the pontifical commission means there are now two archbishops leading the office, as New-York native Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia serves as its vice-president.

As the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Muller serves as the commission's president. Di Noia was appointed to the commission in June 2012, after having served as the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Pozzo's reappointment was announced by the Vatican Aug. 3.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR national correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

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