Francis will do it and some may fear it, thinking the Society will compromise. What is happening, in my view, is really quite simple; the Holy Spirit and Our Lady will bring this all together are bringing this all about in spite of the personalities involved.
Pope Francis has his reasons for doing this, he certainly likes, "dialogue." Bishop Fellay and the other leadership know that it is not healthy to put another generation through the insecurity and isolation - it will not have good long-term effect. For those who fear what Francis or others might do to the Society, in my view, there is nothing which can be done to negatively affect the Society unless they "sell-out" which is not going to happen. They simply would refuse. Good heavens, have you ever met these priests? They are men of God, men of Mary, men of steel!
This is the work of the Holy Spirit right before our eyes. While on one hand we see much in the Church at near collapse, we see the work of the Paraclete actively preserving the Holy Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as I believe He did acting through Msgr. Marcel Lefebvre throughout the 1970's and 80's. The Holy Spirit also gave us Benedict XVI who was and is hated by many for Summorum Pontificum. From countless others, he is loved for this, and more. If they hate Papa Ratzinger for that motu proprio, then they hate the Holy Spirit and Christ Himself.
As for explaining why Pope Francis seems prepared to reconcile, maybe it's just as simple as he wants to do everything for everybody or maybe its the active work of the Holy Spirit dragging all of them kicking and screaming to what must happen.
La Croix: You received, on the past April 1st, Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior-General of the Society of Saint Pius X. Is the reintegration of the Lefebvrists in the Church once again being considered?
Pope Francis: In Buenos Aires, I always spoke with them. They saluted me, they asked for [my] blessing on their knees. They consider themselves Catholic. They love the Church. Bp. Fellay is a man with whom we can dialogue. It is not the case of other somewhat strange elements, such as Bp. Williamson, or others who have radicalized. I think, as I had expressed in Argentina, that they are Catholics on the path to full communion. During this Year of Mercy, it seemed that I should authorize their confessors to pardon the sin of abortion.[*] They thanked me for this gesture. Before that, Benedict XVI, whom they respect greatly, had liberalized the Mass according to the Tridentine Rite. We dialogue well, we do a good work.
La Croix: Would you be ready to grant them a status of personal prelature?
Pope Francis: It would be a possible solution, but, before, a fundamental agreement should be established with them. The Second Vatican Council has its value. We move forward slowly, with patience.