Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei"
The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" was established by John Paul II with the Motu Proprio of 2 July 1988 with the "task of collaborating with the bishops, with the Departments of the Roman Curia and with the circles concerned, for the purpose of facilitating full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, who may wish to remain united to the Successor Peter in the Catholic Church".
By virtue of the faculties granted by the Supreme Pontiffs, the Pontifical Commission exercises the authority of the Holy See over various institutes and religious communities which it has erected which have as their "proper Rite" the "extraordinary form" of the Roman Rite and observe the previous traditions of the religious life.
The Pontifical Commission looks after and promotes the pastoral care of the faithful attached to the antecedent Latin liturgical tradition, present in various parts of the world, who find in it a point of reference for their necessities.
The Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of his Holiness Benedict XVI, published on 7 July 2007, amplified the faculties of the Pontifical Commission, affirming that "the same Commission, beyond the faculties which it already enjoys, with exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and the application of these dispositions" (art. 12).
The same Apostolic Letter of the Holy Father Benedict XVI provided that the Commission "would have the form, the tasks and the norms which the Roman Pontiff should wish to grant it" (art. 11).
With the Motu Proprio Ecclesiae Unitatem, promulgated on 2 July 2009, His Holiness updated the structure of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in order to adapt it to the new situation created by the removal of the excommunication (21 January 2009) of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre. That removal was a provision within the perimeter of canonical discipline in order to free persons from the weight of the gravest ecclesiastical censure, but still with the awareness that doctrinal questions remain and until they are resolved the "Priestly Society of St. Pius X" cannot enjoy a canonical statute in the Church and its ministers do not exercise any legitimate ministry in the church. Since the problems are essentially of a doctrinal nature, the Holy Father has decided to join the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
According to the Motu Proprio the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" retains its present configuration with some modifications in its structure:
1.) The President of the Commission is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
2.) The Commission, with its own organizational chart, is composed of the Secretary and the officials.
3.) The task of the Cardinal President, assisted by the Secretary, is to refer the principal cases and questions of a doctrinal character to the judgment of the ordinary sessions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Consultors and Members of the Ordinary and Plenary Sessions) and to submit the results of these deliberations to the supreme dispositions of the Supreme Pontiff.
With the new Motu Proprio, the Holy Father wished to show his particular and fatherly concern for the "Society of St. Pius X", in order to overcome the difficulties which still persist so as to the arrive at full communion with the Church.
The President is H.E. Msgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller.
The Vice-President is H.E. Msgr. Joseph Augustine Di Noia.
The Secretary is