The problem I have with this is that even if -- even IF -- you gave the SSPX superiors the most generous of benefits of the doubt that this was all one big innocent misunderstanding, what was so hard about being open about this immediately as it was happening?
Maybe I missed it, someone correct me if they did say this months ago, but if not why not? The whole "secret" aspect to these talks is disasterous. If they are telling the truth, we don't really know, and if they are putting information out there piece by piece strategically as it suits them, we don't know either.
To come out with it now reeks of backpeddaling. As if, after all this time, the "rumor-mongers" can't be silenced and it's clearer every day that +Fellay was dead wrong, i.e. the Pope has NOT changed afterall, so now they add in the quaint little bit of information that will make eeeeeveryone happy. Oh the Vatican added the conditions that we must accept VII at the last minute so we had to decline. Now everyone be happy again. Really? REALLY?
First of all, this is and always has been the Vatican's modus operandi with traditionalist groups but it was never required of the SSPX until last minute? Remotely possible but HUGE stretch.
Secondly, if this was added last minute and was declined, let's say we try really hard and swallow that one for half a second, it still doesn't explain why +Fellay was already speaking the language of ambiguity regarding VII. It was already in his heart and rolling off his tongue so it's tough to believe it wasn't already on paper too. There's just too much that doesn't add up.
I think they (whether just the Vatican or both the Vatican and +Fellay, God knows) needed to test the waters and the backlash was still strong enough to make them back off. The way the majority was so easily scared out of critical thinking though doesn't bode well for the future.