VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican has formally proposed a way to reconcile with a breakaway group of traditionalist Catholics in a final bid to end a quarter-century of schism.
The Vatican said Thursday it had proposed making the Society of St. Pius X a "personal prelature" - akin to a diocese without borders - during a meeting Wednesday with the society's superior. Currently, only the conservative Opus Dei movement enjoys that designation.
The society's superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, was given "a reasonable amount of time" to consider the proposal and the Vatican's demands that the group accept core doctrinal points.
The society split from Rome over its opposition to the liberalizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The pope has been working to bring them back, fearing the spread of a parallel church.