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Ever since the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Society, consecrated four bishops in 1988—against the expressed will of St.John Paul II—the Society and the Vatican have been at odds, to put it mildly.
When Palmaro received the call, he was stunned—not least because he had just co-written a sharp op-ed piece, for a prominent Italian daily, entitled, “The Reason Why We Don’t Like this Pope.” But Francis wasn’t upset—saying he understood the critique was motivated by “love for the Pope”—and expressed far more concern about Mario’s well-being.
Palmaro, who sadly would die in 2014, didn’t withdraw his concerns about Francis, but he did balance them with praise: “Pope Francis wanted to act as a priest. [H]e is a very special priest and bishop, by calling me and paying attention to my health.” More recently, Francis met with Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the traditionalist Society of St.
While many traditionally minded Catholics claim that the Society of St.
Pius X maintains the only fully authentic Mass of the Catholic Church, the truth is that the SSPX rejects the legitimate authority of the Bishop of Rome and exists outside the Fold in a state of material schism.
He did not reject in principle the Liturgical reform of Vatican II, but he rejected the Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969.