Vatican City - The Vatican is set to hold talks with representatives of the rebel ultra-traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) in the second half of October, the Holy See's radio station said Wednesday.
The talks stem from the ongoing doctrinal disputes between the Vatican and the SSPX which broke with Rome in 1988 when its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, consecrated four bishops in violation of a papal order.
The Vatican delegation at the talks would consist of Swiss Dominican Rev Charles Morerod, the German Jesuit Rev Karl Josef Becker and the Spanish vicar general of Opus Dei, Rev Fernando Ocariz Brana, papal spokesman Federico Lombardi said, according to Vatican Radio.
The announcement, which provided no further details, came after Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said in a newspaper interview last weekend that the talks would begin "in the next few days."
In January Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of the SSPX's four bishops imposed by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.
But Benedict's overture triggered controversy in the Catholic Church and with Jewish leaders when it emerged that one of the four was a Holocaust denier.
Since then the SSPX, clinging to its original dispute with the mainstream Church, has defiantly refused to accept the teachings of the Second Vatican Council - the 1960s reform process which changed Catholic attitudes towards other religions, including Judaism.
Benedict has made the SSPX's full re-integration into the Church conditional on its members' full acceptance of the Second Vatican Council. (dpa)