Saturday, August 8, 2015

A BISHOP FRIENDLY TO THE EF MASS WARNS ABOUT THE SSPX

This is very pastoral and wise. I simply cannot stomach Catholics who call themselves orthodox attending an SSPX Mass when there are valid options for a licit EF Mass. I have a former parishioner who attends the SSPX parish in Atlanta even though there is an FSSP parish there! Go figure! The good bishop from Marlino, WI, makes it abundantly clear that the SSPX Mass is valid but illicit and that their marriages and absolutions are INVALID. Those Catholics who attend an SSPX Mass or parish are like modernist bishops and laity allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion despite their illicit marriage and excusing it with ideologies !

Bishop’s Column
Written by Robert C. Molrino, Bishop of Madison
The 50 years since the close of the Second Vatican Council have been tumultuous for the Church. Forces both inside and outside of the Church tried to distort and exploit the council and the post-conciliar liturgical reforms to create a new Church after their own image.
Too many of us endured years of sloppy or irreverent liturgy and mushy or even unorthodox preaching and catechesis. Too often when we voiced our concerns we were ignored.
Most of the faithful Catholics who saw this happening fought hard for a “reform of the reform.” Sadly, others decided that the only way forward was to work outside of — and sometimes against — the hierarchical Church and its structures.
This was the choice made by the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a worldwide society of priests best known for its strong opposition to the post-conciliar reform of the Mass. The Masses that they celebrate in their own chapels according to the 1962 Missal have attracted sizeable communities of the lay faithful, even here in the Diocese of Madison.
I want to be cautious and fair about the SSPX. Many of their concerns are legitimate. Many of their values and aspirations are admirable, and their zeal is impressive. Their priests wish to serve the Lord and His people. The people who attend their chapels are fervent.
We should always be cordial, respectful, and welcoming to them as brothers and sisters in Christ. Yet, their relationship with the Church is complex and developing. Moreover, the situation of SSPX bishops, of SSPX priests, of the faithful who formally align themselves with the SSPX, and of the faithful who occasionally or informally attend Mass with the SSPX, are all different in important ways. It would be inaccurate to call it a schismatic group in a strict sense, and we should all pray that it may someday be fully reconciled with the Church.
Having said that, all is not well with the SSPX, and my advice, my plea to the traditionally-minded faithful of the diocese is to have nothing to do with them. As Pope Benedict XVI made clear, the SSPX “does not possess a canonical status in the Church” and its ministers “do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church” (March 10, 2009, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church).
The priests of the SSPX are validly ordained priests, but because for the most part they were ordained illicitly (i.e., by a bishop who had no jurisdiction over them and no permission to ordain), they are suspended ipso facto from the moment of their ordination (c. 1383); that is to say, even though they are ordained, they have no permission from the Church, which is necessary, to exercise priestly ministry.
Their Masses are valid but are illegitimately celebrated. The same is true, in most cases, with their baptisms, their conferral of the anointing of the sick, and provided it is administered by a bishop, their confirmations. Thus, Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels or seek sacraments from the priests of the SSPX.
But there are two other, serious, sacramental problems that must be understood by everyone who may wish to attend SSPX chapels. If you take nothing else away from this letter, at least hear this — the SSPX’s marriages and absolutions are invalid because their priests lack the necessary faculties.
The SSPX argues for the validity of their marriages and absolutions based on the canonical principle that the Church supplies the faculty in cases of doubt or common error. In certain rare and exceptional cases that might apply to their situation, especially with regard to confession, but for the most part their arguments are not persuasive.
Part of their argument hinges on the faithful erroneously believing that the SSPX priests have the requisite faculty; well, if you were in error about that up until now, you are not in error anymore.
The SSPX also makes the argument that they have permission because the Church is in a state of “emergency.” However, 1) the Legislator (the Pope) and the bishops with him don’t think there is a state of emergency, and 2) the sacraments offered by the SSPX are already widely available at legitimate parishes and chapels, i.e., no one is being denied the sacraments.
This is not the place for a discourse on the technical points of canon law, but the point is: do you want to take that kind of a risk with your marriage or even with your soul? Apart from legal and sacramental concerns, there is also the danger that affiliating with the SSPX can gradually cause one to absorb a schismatic mentality.
You might attend your first Mass at an SSPX chapel for good and noble reasons, e.g., such a strong initial desire for a reverently celebrated liturgy that you are willing to tolerate the SSPX’s irregular status. But as you attend more and more, it ceases to become something you tolerate and starts to become a mark of identity, even a badge of pride. You adopt a fixed posture of separation from the Church. That is a perilous position for any soul to be in.
The larger question is why put yourself in that position in the first place? The Traditional Latin Mass (also called the Tridentine Mass, the Usus Antiquior, or the Extraordinary Form of the Mass) is celebrated regularly in parishes throughout the Diocese of Madison, both on Sundays and on weekdays. These Masses are beautifully and reverently celebrated by vibrant, faithful priests. I myself celebrate it frequently.
As interest in the Traditional Latin Mass grows, these opportunities will increase. Already, there are very few people in the Diocese of Madison who could get to an SSPX chapel on Sunday without passing by a legitimate parish in which the Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated. If you’re knowingly doing that, it’s time to take a good hard look at your motives.
In closing, I want to stress that the need for a reform of the reform is real, and it is underway in our diocese. If you see that the Church needs fixing, work with your bishop, your pastors, and your fellow lay faithful to fix it. Share your needs and your concerns. Leaving is the last thing to do; leaving just doesn’t make sense! Communion with the Church is something to be cherished, safeguarded, and nourished.
Always looking at our Blessed Mother’s fidelity to Her Son, let us turn in prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith.

88 comments:

Mark Thomas said...

Dear Father,

On August 28, 2014 A.D., you posted the following:

http://southernorderspage.blogspot.com/2014/08/bombshell-sspx-priest-and-congregation.html

"BOMBSHELL! SSPX PRIEST AND CONGREGATION CELEBRATE MASS IN SAINT PETER'S BASILICA WITH PERMISSION FROM THE HIGHEST SOURCE"

Father, there are additional examples of SSPX bishops and priests offering Masses in basilicas and churches with permission from Church authorities. However, Bishop Morlino declared that the subjects of his diocese "should have nothing to do with them (SSPX)...Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels..."

How does Bishop Morlino's statements in question square, for example, with your post from August 28, 2014 A.D?

How does the bishop's statements square with the fact that in various basilicas and churches, Church authorities have permitted Masses offered by the SSPX?

Pax.

Mark Thomas

rcg said...

My mathematical mind sees the SSPX as the opposite end of the Catholic population group as litugurgical dancers, pro choice nuns, liturgical ad libbers, and dynamic equivalence. Whay the difference in Rome's attitude toward them?

Mark Thomas said...

Dear Father, if I may follow up on my previous post, I am puzzled by the Bishop Morlino's following statements: That is, that his subjects "should have nothing to do with them (SSPX)...Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels..."

Father, the Church encourages (as is found, for example, within the Holy See's Ecumenical Directory) the Faithful to participate in religious services offered by non-Catholics.

Catholics are even permitted to receive Communion from Eastern Orthodox priests (whether the Eastern Orthodox would administer the Eucharist to Catholics is a different matter).

Popes, Cardinals, and bishops have participated in services with non-Catholics.

Popes, Cardinals, and bishops have prayed in synagogues, mosques, Eastern Orthodox churches, and Protestant "churches".

The Catholic Church encourages the above.

However, Bishop Morlino warns that Catholics "should have nothing to do with them (SSPX)...Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels..."

Father, considering that the Church encourages us to participate in religious services with non-Catholics, I must conclude that Bishop Morlino's statements in question are confusing.

My confusion in question is compounded when I consider that Bishop Morlino declared that the SSPX is not schismatic ("It would be inaccurate to call it a schismatic group") and the praise that Bishop Morlino heaped upon the SSPX and the Faithful who attend SSPX chapels ("Many of their concerns are legitimate. Many of their values and aspirations are admirable, and their zeal is impressive. Their priests wish to serve the Lord and His people. The people who attend their chapels are fervent. We should always be cordial, respectful, and welcoming to them as brothers and sisters in Christ.").

By the way, I have never assisted at a Mass offered by the SSPX. I have never set foot inside a Society chapel. I simply am confused by Bishop Morlino's statements that we should avoid the SSPX.

Again, Bishop Morlino's exhortation to avoid the SSPX doesn't make sense to me when the Church permits and encourages us to participate in non-Catholic religious services...when Popes, Cardinals, and bishops visit Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, participate in services there, and pray in synagogues and mosques.

Cardinals and bishops even bow and kneel before Protestant ministers to receive blessings. But Catholics should avoid the SSPX?

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Lefebvrian said...

What many seem to not comprehend, including this bishop, is that the SSPX is about much more than preserving the Catholic Mass. People do not attend Mass at their chapels and support their schools simply for the Mass. It is the faith that causes us to assist at their Masses and support the priests and churches. One could still be putting ones faith and his family's faith in jeopardy attending a diocesan TLM if the preaching is not sound. There are no such concerns with the SSPX.

Anonymous said...

The fact is, for large portions of Georgia, under the "very pastoral" care of two bishops--both of whom I will refrain from evaluating--have no options for the TLM. None.

If an SSPX chapel were to be built where I live, far from Atlanta or Savannah, out in the liturgical wasteland, I would go there in a hot minute. Cardinal Castrillon has already told us that we can go to Mass there so long as it is without the intent of separating ourselves from the Catholic Church.

In fact, if any SSPX superiors are reading this, here is a cry from the liturgical wastelands of rural Georgia: Build it and we will come! Our shepherds seems to have more pressing concerns.

Victor said...

I wonder if it has not come to the attention of the bishop that the SSPX is growing as people are realizing how corrupt the Church in USA has become with its heresy of Americanism, and how the current Holy Father is unwittingly alienating traditionalists who want to remain faithful to the Magisterium.

Moreover, the bishop believes, like yourself father, that the New Mass can be reformed. I gave up on that idea quite a while ago. In fact, Chant Cafe recently posted a video link about a Mass on the way to Iwo Jima during WW2 where I commented there. I cannot see any reform of the New Mass making it a source of peace and Divine comfort as the Old Mass did to these brave soldiers and sailors in that situation.

Anonymous said...

The reason for this is that SSPX represents a power structure that a) asserts its Catholicism while at the same time b) is outside the authority/power structure of the hierarchy, thus representing, in the minds of the hierarchy, a threat to its authority. A Novus Ordo Mass can be said in a McDonald-style church building by a modernist priest who doesn't believe in the Real Presence, who wants to ordain women, who counsels the use of birth control, and who uses heretical and aesthetically ugly music, and that's fine with the hierarchy. (I know. I've attended such Masses more than I'd like). But have an SSPX priest reverently say Mass the way it was said for 500 years, with a congregation that tries to follow the faith as defined for the 200 years prior to VII, and that's a threat.

Ecumenical services with Eastern Orthodox or Protestants are fine because they have hierarchical approval and, for the modernists, help promote indifferentism.

Mark Thomas said...

Lefebvrian said..."What many seem to not comprehend, including this bishop, is that the SSPX is about much more than preserving the Catholic Mass. People do not attend Mass at their chapels and support their schools simply for the Mass. It is the faith that causes us to assist at their Masses and support the priests and churches."

I agree that many people who comment upon the Society have limited understanding of the SSPX. I don't know whether Bishop Morlino falls into that category.

However, from the beginning of his article, Bishop Morlino time and again emphasized the following: SSPX=1962 Missal.

=============================================

Lefebvrian said..."One could still be putting ones faith and his family's faith in jeopardy attending a diocesan TLM if the preaching is not sound. There are no such concerns with the SSPX."

Sorry, I don't buy your final two sentences...at least, your final sentence. I have never been to a SSPX chapel.

But I have followed the Society closely since the early 1970s. I have read their publications, heard tapes of their priests preaching, spoken with SSPX priests and Catholics who attended SSPX chapels.

All is not perfect within the Society. The Society is within the Church. Problems that plague the Church are found everywhere within the Church.

There are vicious disagreements and pockets of nastiness and unsound attitudes and opinions within the Society.

There are folks within the Society who are furious with the "liberalism" that they insist has prevailed under Bishop Fellay's leadership as he seeks an agreement with "modernist" Rome.

At least one SSPX bishop, many priests and laymen associated, for example, with the SSPX Resistance, reject utterly your claim that in regard to unsound preaching and danger to one's faith, that there "are no such concerns with the SSPX."

More than a few Catholics associated with the SSPX will tell you that they have grave concerns that so-called "modernist" Rome's "liberalism" has spread within the Society.

The SSPX Resistance insist that the Society's desire to strike a "deal" with "modernist" Rome has "infected" the Society with unsound teachings and attitudes.

Sorry, Lefebvrian, but all is not well within the Society. All is not well within the Church. Nevertheless, the Society is not the Garden of Eden.

That said, overall, during the past 40 or so years, I have found that the Society (via it's preaching and publications) has uplifted me in the Faith.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The major point the bishop makes which isn't sinking in here is that SSPX bishop's and priests while validly but illicitly ordained have no canonical status. Therefore their Baptism and Masses while illicit are valid but their Sacraments of Penance and Holy Matrimony are invalid this placing those who receive those sacraments in a very precarious situation, not forgiven of mortal sin and in an unrecognized civil union . This fulfills Cardinal Kasper's hopes for people like this when they receive Holy Communion and think they should even at an SSPX Mass!

Mark Thomas said...

I feel bad for Bishop Morlino.

I concluded years ago that bishops and priests who play, as did Bishop Morlino, the "have nothing to do with them (SSPX)...Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels..." card achieve the following:

1. They are forced to offer bizarre, confusing statements to justify their desire to shun the Society.

2. They call attention to the two-faced manner in which the Society is treated by a great many Churchmen.

1. Bishop Morlino tells us to shun the Society..."have nothing to do with them."

However, we have a society of Catholic priests who, as Bishop Morlino acknowledged, are not schismatic...express concerns that "are legitimate...who wish to "serve the Lord and His people"...their "zeal is impressive"...

...and the Catholics who attend SSPX chapels "are fervent. We should always be cordial, respectful, and welcoming to them as brothers and sisters in Christ."

But we are to shun the Society? Huh? "Have nothing to do with them (SSPX)...Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels..." Really?

2. In regard to the two-faced manner in which the Society is treated by a great many Churchmen.

Our Churchmen command us to practice ecumenism and interreligious "dialogue" while we are to "Have nothing to do with them (SSPX)...Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels..."

In this time of ecumenism and interreligious "dialogue", our Churchmen declare that God is pleased whenever we interact with non-Catholics in prayer and worship. We may attend synagogues and mosques.

Imams are invited to Vatican interreligious events where they pray openly for Islam to conquer the world...but we are to shun the SSPX.

We are permitted to attend non-Catholic religious services where the Church permits us to receive Communion from non-Catholic priests...but "Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels," according to Bishop Morlino.

Really?

The two-faced approach to the "Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels", but Catholics may attend non-Catholic religious services where they may even receive Communion is glaring and unseemly.

Bishops should not play the "have nothing to do with them (SSPX)...Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels..." card.

In this time of ecumenism and interreligious "dialogue", said card exposes the two-faced approach to the SSPX when when Catholics are exhorted to pray and worship with non-Catholics...when Cardinals and bishops receive blessings from priestesses...when Popes praise and pray with non-Catholics.

Sorry, Father, for having repeated myself. I simply find it difficult to stomach the obvious and awful double standard that more than a few Church apply to the SSPX.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

John Nolan said...

When Archbishop Lefebvre established his seminary at Econe he did so legitimately and with the approval of the local Ordinary. The French hierarchy were both jealous of his success in attracting recruits and ideologically opposed to tradition. They put pressure on the Vatican to close him down. Paul VI sided with them and attempted to bully the Archbishop in one of the most dictatorial and yet hypocritical letters ever penned by a Roman pontiff. The crocodile tears are plain to see.

Paul wanted to dragoon Lefebvre into accepting a situation that he (Paul) was already coming to realize was disastrous. Why could he not have accommodated the legitimate concerns of the SSPX and admonished the French bishops for their intransigence and in some cases heterodoxy? Why move to push out a loyal servant of the Church?

The SSPX has every reason to distrust the Vatican. Despite the efforts of JP II, B XVI, and indeed Francis, the long and baleful legacy of Paul VI (the worst pope of modern times) still casts its shadow.

Great Balls of Fire said...

Yeah, we're all different but the same and some are more same than others and the springtime is never going to end until it does.

Anonymous said...

With respect, I get the point . . . I just think that the hierarchy is selectively and hypocritically applying it. Donatism notwithstanding, does it do one more spiritual damage to attend a Novus Ordo Mass as I described in my 11:08 post or an SSPX Mass? Which one is more illicit? Why aren't the bishops proceeding as strongly against the epidemic of abuses within the institutional Church?

Re marriage/confession and the bishop's statement that "1) the Legislator (the Pope) and the bishops with him don’t think there is a state of emergency," SSPX's argument likely is the very fact that they don't think so, in light of the rampant modernism, is itself what constitutes the emergency Re his statement that "2) the sacraments offered by the SSPX are already widely available at legitimate parishes and chapels, i.e., no one is being denied the sacraments," see my first point. Let's deliberately introduce as many liturgical abuses as possible while keeping the Mass valid, with an eye to confusing the theology, offending the sensibilities, turning people off to the very idea of subjecting themselves to such a mess, and still have it be OK with the hierarchy. Does this not undercut Bishop Molrino's argument?

I could take such criticism of SSPX lot more seriously if the bishops denouncing this would clean their own houses. And I write this as someone who's never gone to the SSPX for anything. I'd much rather the Church clean herself up, but I seem to be showing a lot more loyalty to the hierarchy than the hierarchy is showing to individuals in my shoes. But as long as they tacitly have the attitude that the most heinous abuses are ok within diocesan parishes, as long as they don't compromise validity, are preferable to reverent Masses celebrated in keeping with what the Church has constantly taught for 2000 years, then what they say doesn't pass the laugh test.

Mark Thomas said...

Father Allan J. McDonald said..."The major point the bishop makes which isn't sinking in here is that SSPX bishop's and priests while validly but illicitly ordained have no canonical status. Therefore their Baptism and Masses while illicit are valid but their Sacraments of Penance and Holy Matrimony are invalid this placing those who receive those sacraments in a very precarious situation, not forgiven of mortal sin and in an unrecognized civil union . This fulfills Cardinal Kasper's hopes for people like this when they receive Holy Communion and think they should even at an SSPX Mass!"

Father, very well. But Father, please help me to understand the following:

Bishop Morlino declared in regard to the SSPX that "my plea to the traditionally-minded faithful of the diocese is to have nothing to do with them. Thus, Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels or seek sacraments from the priests of the SSPX."

Father, could Bishop Morlino issue that statement in regard to Eastern Orthodox? He could not as the Church exhorts us to pray and worship with the Eastern Orthodox.

Bishop Morlino would not dare exhort his subjects to shun the Eastern Orthodox.

The Church go as far to teach that we may receive Communion from the Eastern Orthodox.

Father, I ask sincerely as to how it's possible for Bishop Morlino to declare that we are to shun the Catholic priests and chapels of the SSPX, but must declare that we may pray, worship with, and even receive Communion from the Eastern Orthodox?

Father, how is it possible that Bishop Morlino may teach that we are to shun SSPX priests and not to frequent SSPX temples, when, in keeping with the Church's ecumenical teachings, he is compelled to teach that Catholics must "get to know" Protestants and allow them to attend Protestant religious services?

I assume that Bishop Morlino upholds the Church's teachings in regard to ecumenism and interreligious "dialogue".

Therefore, Bishop Morlino is compelled to teach that Catholics in Madison, Wisconsin, are encouraged to pray and worship with non-Catholic Christians, even receive Communion from them...attend synagogues and mosques...

...but when it comes to the Catholic SSPX, Bishop Morlino declared that his subjects must "have nothing to do with them. Thus, Catholics should not frequent SSPX chapels or seek sacraments from the priests of the SSPX."

Father, how is that possible?

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said...."The SSPX has every reason to distrust the Vatican. Despite the efforts of JP II, B XVI, and indeed Francis, the long and baleful legacy of Paul VI (the worst pope of modern times) still casts its shadow."

Pope Blessed Paul VI's legacy is far removed from today's relationship between Rome and the Society. The notion that the SSPX has every reason to distrust the Vatican is untenable.

Beginning with the reign of Pope Saint John Paul II, Rome has treated the Society differently (for the better) than during Blessed Pope Paul VI's reign. Today, with Pope Francis governing the Church, the SSPX has received royal treatment from Rome.

Bishop Fellay has noted that during his days in Argentina, then-Archbishop Bergoglio declared that the SSPX was "Catholic". Bishop Fellay also declared that then-Archbishop Bergoglio cooperated fully with the Society.

Today, Pope Francis' treatment of the SSPX is first-class...even superior to the excellent treatment that the Society had received during Pope Benedict XVI's reign.

On top of that, Bishop Fellay has likened to a Rolls Royce the protective structure that Rome has prepared for the SSPX.

Sorry, but the "SSPX shouldn't trust Rome" argument is untenable.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Something smells rotten about this whole thing. The members of the SSPX believe 100% what the Catholic Church has always believed and taught. Yet they are the problem.

The LCWR who are a scandal, cause confusion, are openly pro abortion, pro active homosexual behavior, hate the Mass etc are found to be wonderful and meet with Francis and all is well.

The torn limbs of babies that were aborted and being sold like meat are dismissed by the Archbishop of Chicago as being on the same level as unemployment. But that's ok.

Cardinal Dolan publicly praises active homosexual behavior on national television......and that's okay.

Cardinal O'Malley allows a very public funeral for Ted Kennedy, a man who did more to promote abortion than anyone......and that's okay.

The entire bishops conference of Germany said they are not under the jurisdiction of Rome.........and that's okay.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated worldwide in a sloppy, irreverent manner with liturgical abuse which has become the norm....but that's okay.

We are facing a synod on the family with the goal of allowing sacraligeous communion for adulterers and the validation of active homosexuality.......but that is called merciful so it's okay. Even though it is a direct denial of the very words of Our Lord Himself.

The SSPX isn't the problem.

It's the prelates who hid the rape and molestation of children by priests for decades....THAT's the problem.

It's the bishops and popes who have allowed Catholic institutions to teach heresy and destroy the faith of millions without correcting it.....that is the problem.

It's the pope's and bishops who have allowed a tire religious orders to become havens for radical lesbians and active homosexuals who have destroyed religious life and have done nothing to correct the problem........that is the problem.

It is a pope who is silent when entire nations turn from Christ and embrace evil (Ireland)....... That is the problem.

When a pope is silent about babies being butchered and sold like meat, yet the same man cries from the rooftops about not using air conditioning...that is the problem.

Let's be real here Father. If it weren't for the SSPX I and many others would not be able to attend the Tridentine Mass tomorrow. We would have no haven from the complete and utter devastation, from the self inflicted disaster that is the Cathoic Church of 2015. The SSPX is proclaiming the truth of Christ to a corrupt Church that is infested with rot from the top to the bottom. It's not the SSPX that's the problem and we all know it.

Mark Thomas said...

"When a pope is silent about babies being butchered and sold like meat, yet the same man cries from the rooftops about not using air conditioning...that is the problem."

His Holiness Pope Francis has not remained silent in regard to pro-life issues.

He has time and again condemned artificial birth control, abortion, and additional crimes against life, which are found in the Church's Social Teachings.

By the way, in his Encyclical Laudato si, Pope Francis condemned abortion.

120. "Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion.

"How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away".

Mark Thomas

Lefebvrian said...

Anyway, I'll be attending Mass at the local SSPX Church tomorrow. Confessions are heard during Mass, so hopefully I'll be able have Confession as well. It's difficult since the lines for Confession are so long. Thankfully, the priests remain until everyone's confession is heard.

Anonymous said...

I understand the points raised by Bishop Morlino but the biggest problem remains that while Catholics are encouraged to go to protestant churches and protestants receive communion at Mass there will be those that ignore what the Church is saying as there appears to be a double standard. After all the protestant sect is condemned by the Church as heretical. So I agree with what Mark Thomas says about that.

The part that I disagree with the SSPX over, though, is that over the years some SSPX priests have discouraged people from attending, first, the indult Mass that was granted by St John Paul II The Great and more recently the Traditional Masses under Summorum Pontificum. Some SSPX priests also condemn the Fraternity of St Peter and other orders that celebrate the Traditional Mass.

I have attended an SSPX chapel a couple of times but stopped going because I found some sermons very worrying as the priet described the Catholic Church as a "new Church". Even if we disagree with many things after Vatian II, the Church is the very same Church as before Vatican II but with a large number of liberals. Therefore it seemed to me that the priest who said this regarded himself in a Church which was not part of the Roman Catholic Church, so I haven't gone back. Another friend stopped attending when he read in some instructions for confession that attending a novus ordo Mass had to be confessed.

There is also widespread dislike and condemnation of St John Paul II The Great. Even though there are some things I disagreed with, like what happened at Assisi, nevertheless who could not forget the great St John Paul II who strove so tirelessly against Communionism, who spread the pro-life message throughout the world, who was totally Mary's, who wrote so beautifully on the Blessed Sacrament and wrote his encyclicals in front of the Blessed Sacrament? He brought the Church out of darkness when devotion to Our Lady and the Blessed Sacrament was all but lost.

I think that the reason the SSPX condemn St John Paul II The Great, in particular, is because they blame him for Archbishop Leferbvre's excommunion, which happened ipso facto after he illicitly ordained bishops. Archbishop Leferbvre knew that he would incur automatic excommunication under canon law for doing so and chose to ignore the Pope's plea not to do so. The Pope pleaded with Archbishop Leferbvre "on my knees" because he knew what this action would do to the Church.

We can only conjecture that the Church might not be in as bad a state today if the traditional element hadn't been stripped from her by this action. It left very few to stand and fight for orthodoxy in the Church. While the SSPX remains in an irregular position they are of no help in overcoming liberalism or restoring the Latin Mass, and so that is left to the traditional orders that celebrate the Traditional Mass and remain faithful to the Church.

Jan

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I just want to reiterate that attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion in an SFPX chapel is less a concern to me. But invalid confessions, especially huge numbers of these and invalid marriages are a disaster !

Anonymous said...

"By the way, in his Encyclical Laudato si, Pope Francis condemned abortion.

120. "Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. "

Wow! 1 whole sentence in an encyclical. And so forceful! I bet that sentence tells 'em. I bet all those pro abort "Catholics" we're full of guilt and remorse after that sentence. 1 whole sentence after almost 3 years on the throne Peter. Yet we hear about the poor again and again and again. Truth be told Francis has made me hate the poor. I'm sick and tired of hearing how everybody is responsible for the situation poor people are in all the while giving the impression Church teaching doesn't matter.

Oh and still complete silence about Ireland. And the silence will remain otherwise the worldwide love affair would be over and Francis knows it. We live in a time of delusion. Men put on wigs and dresses and we must believe they are real females and we have a pope who we aren't sure if he believes or hates the Catholic Faith. Delusion and chaos. Francis is making that mess that he told everybody else to make. And as we all know making a mess is what grown up, clear minded, God fearing people do. Because after all Christ said go make a mess oh sorry that was Lenon, Christ said "repent and believe in the gospel". Easy mistake to make I guess. Christ, Lenon, Che.....that's the Jesuit way.

Anonymous said...

There is quite a detailed description given on Wiki about the lead up to the consecrations and I am sure that many who attend SSPX chapels these days are not aware of the seriousness of the disobedience of Archbishop Leferbvre particularly in light of the Comments of Piux XII:

"Criticism of the Écône consecrations centred on the fact that they were carried out against the explicit orders of the then reigning Pope John Paul II. Under the Catholic Code of Canon Law, the consecration of a bishop requires the permission of the Pope,[5] and (unless a papal dispensation has been granted) at least three consecrating bishops.[6] Violation of the rule about the Pope's permission expressed in Canon 1013 has, since 1951, entailed automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication reserved to the Holy See both for the consecrator and for the recipient of the consecration,[7] and in this case there was not only an absence of permission but an actual prohibition by the Pope.[8]

Lefebvre and his supporters argued that the circumstances under which the consecrations took place were such that none of the clergy involved were truly excommunicated. One of their arguments was that a 'state of necessity' existed in which the ordinary provisions of canon law could be set aside. John Paul II himself rejected this argument, stating in his apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei that "there is never a necessity to ordain Bishops contrary to the will of the Roman Pontiff". Consecrating a bishop without papal approval was also condemned by Pope Pius XII after the Chinese government set up the state-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Pius XII stated that the sacramental activity of illicitly consecrated bishops was "gravely illicit, that is, criminal and sacrilegious", and rejected the defence of necessity put forward by those involved.[9

...


On 29 June, Cardinal Ratzinger sent the following telegram to Lefebvre:

For the love of Christ and His Church, the Holy Father asks you paternally and firmly to depart today for Rome, without proceeding on 30 June with the episcopal ordinations that you have announced. He prays the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul to inspire you not to be false to the episcopacy that has been placed in your charge and the oaths you have taken to remain faithful to the Pope, the successor of Peter. He begs God to keep you from leading astray and scattering those whom Christ Jesus came to gather in unity. He entrusts you to the intercession of the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.[8"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ec%C3%B4ne_consecrations

Not only did the consecrations go against Canon Law as they were without papal authority but also the requirement for three bishops to consecrate wasa also ignored.

Leferbvre went ahead also in the knowledge that he had been granted permission by St John Paul II The Great to consecrate one bishop from the ranks of the SSPX.

"In the 1970s, Lefebvre had stated that he would not consecrate bishops to continue his work with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). It is alleged that in 1974 (at the age of 69) he told a confidant that he could not take such a step, "for this would mean I would do what Martin Luther did, and I would lose the Holy [Spirit]".[10]"

Perhaps Lefebvre was led down the path of disobedience by ambitious men ...

Jan

John Nolan said...

Mark Thomas

I don't know if you were around in the 1970s. I was, and heard Archbishop Lefebvre celebrate Mass in a function room of the Great Western Hotel, Paddington, since all London churches were closed to him. I saw the way the Vatican, in its misguided pursuit of rapprochement with the Communist bloc, shamefully treated Mindszenty, who had suffered heroically for the Church. I saw a pope who didn't issue an encyclical in the last ten years of his pontificate go through the motions but was full of inward despair and remorse as the Church he was supposed to lead collapsed around his ears. I saw the liturgy reduced in most places to a shambles.

The Vatican is not the Church. The SSPX is part of the Church but it needs to be very circumspect in its dealings with the Vatican. Bishop Fellay is neither a fool nor an extremist. He remarked that it takes 70 years for the dust kicked up by a Council to settle. He can afford to bide his time.

Incidentally, when I was last in Brussels the only liturgical life I found was in the SSPX church (which is also Belgium's national shrine). The confessionals, which everywhere else simply gathered dust, were busy with six languages being offered. Anyone who tries to tell me that those who confessed were not being absolved is hiding behind a façade of legal positivism. A few years ago the bishops announced that the feast of the Epiphany would fall on 2 January. My reaction to that was, and still is, unprintable.

Anonymous said...

Mark Thomas,

I think that papal pronouncements are less important than the widespread, long-term, systemic failure of most of the hierarchy, from parish priests on up, to address in effective ways the multiple crises facing the Church, and worse, its toleration or encouragement of heterodoxy, liturgical abuse, and dissent. Talk--even papal talk--is cheap.

Anonymous said...

As with most questions of divisions between denominations or within Catholicism, it comes down to AUTHORITY. Who has the authority to determine liturgical practice? The Pope and Bishops in union with him. Just because one individual or group think/believes that the Pope and Bishops are wrong doesn't make the dissenters right. While the historical record of the liturgy is instructive, it is not determinative when it comes to changes, reforms, additions, or deletions in the mass. It never has been (Quo Primum does not forbid changes in the liturgy) and it never will be.

In terms of ecumenism, it is the Pope and Bishops in union with him who determine how the Church should proceed. As it was once the policy to condemn all non-Catholic Christians to hell, that policy has changed - and rightly so. It is the Pope and Bishops in union with him who have the AUTHORITY of make such changes, not a seminary full of dissenting bishops, theologians, and wayward seminarians.

If the Pope and Bishops in union with him determine that dialogue with non-Christian religions is beneficial, they act with the AUTHORITY that comes to them from Christ. If there are some who are unhappy and obstinately refuse to be reconciled to the legitimate AUTHORITY of the Pope and the Bishops in union with him, let them, at their own peril, separate themselves from the Pope and Bishops in union with him.

George said...

The Catholic Church is God's Holy and Divine established institution on earth whose precepts and teachings are His Divinely revealed Truth. It is the God ordained and Divine gift, the Instrument of Salvation established and instituted by Christ as the means for our Eternal salvation.
Those ordained ministers who fail in the virtue of obedience, who fail to obey legitimate Church authority and directives do much harm not only to themselves, but to the Body of Christ and to the Catholic Church, since it is the Divinely ordained instrument of man's salvation. Pope Benedict XVI, in administering his legitimate authority to do so,declared the SSPX to have no canonical authority. The Church though has reached out. It is time for the Society to respond and come back into her. Pointing to a perceived injustice in the way the Church administers its authority in dealing with others will not have applicable force to resolve anything.

Paul said...

+1 What George said...

There is The Catholic Church that Jesus Christ established. It cannot fail, nor can it be in error. Ever.

For reasons known to Christ He bestowed authority to man. Men who fail, lie, cheat, steal and murder -- every error known to God. Christ has eternally known this situation yet His Church is still perfect, eternally patient and eternally present. Breaking away (though some may not call it that) for treacherous reasons (The Church Of England) or for flawed human concerns with the "best of intentions" (SSPX) leaves one rudderless. Despite mimicking Catholicism's traditions, pageantry and words The Church Of England has been slowly creeping away, molding itself into the image of man. It just may as well call itself "Protestant" and be done with it. Without a return to Christ's Church, I expect no less with the SSPX. It will only be a matter of time and the times are perilous.

Satan "loves" stragglers and those who think they know better.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan, the problem with what you state is that Christ gave Peter the power to bind and loose and the SSPX is subject to the Pope. Canon Law governs the Church and Canon Law states that the SSPX priests exercise no power. You say, "Anyone who tries to tell me that those who confessed were not being absolved is hiding behind a façade of legal positivism". You are free to think that if you like but, really, you are no different from those liberals who decide things for themselves and go against Canon Law. People would be wiser to ignore what you say and take notice of the Church in that regard because otherwise they risk their soul. If you want to risk your soul that is up to you but tiy shouldn't be undercutting the Canon Law of the Church, which is actually what your statement does - you think you know better - and by that put other people's souls at risk of as well as your own. I am surprised at your statement. I would have thought you had more of a modicum of sense than you appear to do.

Jan

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who tries to tell me that those who confessed were not being absolved is hiding behind a façade of legal positivism."

The "anyone" in question is a bishop in union with the Pope. When a Catholic rejects the legitimate authority of such "anyones," he is stepping dangerously away from the Church.

Yes, this applies as much to policy as to doctrine. Trying to separate the two, maintaining that Catholics can follow whatever policies/practices he wants as long as he adheres, or claims to adhere, to the teaching of the Church is a serious step toward schism.

Sixupman said...

Criticism of SSPX is puerile, when considered against the 'goings-on' in your average parish church. The bishops react to SSPX by creating a competitive Mass to the them - but only to reduce the effect on the parish/diocesan coffers, by and large they have disdain the Old Mass.

The Traditional Orders should refrain from 'sniping' at each other and that includes SSPX.

I do not currently hear Mass at an SSPX chapel. But anyone who claims that the resurgence of the TLM, in the parishes, would have taken place without the existence of SSPX is delusional.

I know of more than one bishop who would rather sell a church, than have a Traditional Order take it over and I do not refer to SSPX here, because it would affect the viability of adjacent parishes!!!!

I can only speak of the UK.

Anonymous said...

A reflection: it seems to me that the strong, well-enunciated opinions on this thread by people who give every evidence of being thoughtful and intelligent, and who wish to be loyal to the Church, but who reach very different conclusions, reveal the depth of the crisis that Catholicism faces. Here are the two positions as I understand them.

1) The mainstream Church (i.e. exclusive of SSPX), in the past half-century, has radically changed its liturgy (probably more radically and quickly than ever before in its history); that liturgy is at least arguably tinged with modernism; in many, perhaps most, parishes, minor abuses or heresies creep in, often unrecognized; in some places, perhaps many, the abuses or heresies are deliberate and can approach the horrific; obedience to the basic dictates of moral theology (e.g., abortion, birth control) is very low among laity due to the collapse of catechesis; and the hierarchy seems at best oblivious to this (with rare exceptions), when not passively or actively encouraging it at least sub silentio. Yet this is still the Church that still commands/demands 1950's-style obedience and brooks no dissent on its approach. It is justified in doing so because, for all of its failings, it still speaks with the authority of Christ.

2) The SSPX fundamentally strives to maintain the faith and the liturgy as they were understood and practiced up until the time of Vatican II. Up until that point the hierarchy, or at least the vast majority of it--the Church, if you will--obviously fully endorsed that sort of practice and belief. Now, because of Lefebvre's and other bishops' canonical disobedience, the hierarchy/Church condemns it; that condemnation seems to go mainly to the issue of canonical jurisdiction, although it may also go to SSPX's attitude towards VII (i.e., faith/morals). This condemnation takes place in the larger setting of the above-mentioned toleration far more widespread abuses and heresies and therefore seems/is arbitrary and capricious rather than a legitimate exercise of authority. Thus, the specter arises that in the past half-century the Church has in fact tolerated gross error among the hierarchy and laity if not formally teaching it while in fact, if not formally, condemning what it formerly taught as error, although doing so mainly by the oblique route of canonical/jurisdictional criticism. If this is the case, then the horrible thought arises that perhaps it is not the Church of Christ, but instead that Church is now to be found among the faithful remnant.

For those who adopt position 1, or something like it, the ultimate answer is obedience and faith. Heresy has spread among bishops before (e.g., Arianism); we just have to ride it out. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.

For those who adopt position 2, or something like it, the response is to cite the difference between auctoritas and potestas. Canon law isn't infallible, but prior dogmatic teachings (i.e., before VII) are. Heresy has spread among bishops before (e.g., Arianism); it must be identified and combated.

This is a lot to unpack, and I'm sure people will disagree with at least some of my characterizations. But perhaps it can serve as a starting point for discussion?

Lefebvrian said...

Jan, with respect, I think it is your understanding of Canon Law is lacking. In simple terms, if people having their confessions heard reasonably believe the are being validly absolved, then there is a common understanding that they are. By legal positivism, Mr. Nolan is conveying the idea that it is ridiculous to apply the law to exclude absolution. The purpose of the Church and the law is to save souls.

At my parish this morning, we had Bishop Fellay's first assistant give the sermon. He spoke of the need for the faithful to keep the faith and to spread the love for the Church, especially in the midst of the crisis. He also warned against the "stupid so-called [SSPX] Resistance." I think many here who have never entered a Society church for Mass would be shocked that it isn't a "let's hate Vatican II discussion group." Given the caricature of the Society by our host and many commenters, I think the reality is much different than the expectation.

Sixupman said...

I diocesan church I was perforce to attend, due to circumstances, the PP preached against the Magisterium as did his 'supply' priest from an adjacent parish [an ex CofE].

A Scottish bishop in my presence preached against the Ordained Priesthood' in favour of a lay-led church. He did this at the 25th. ordination anniversary Mass of a priest friend.

What about +++Kasper and his cohorts? Not to mention the masonic manque bishops'
conferences which almost ensure the election, to the episcopacy, of those of their own persuasion.


I am amazed that many clerics cannot, or do not want to, know what is happening in the actual churches.

George said...


Lefebvrian:

"if people having their confessions heard reasonably believe the are being validly absolved."

One is not absolved of ones sin because of personal belief. If a person confessed to an Anglican or Lutheran priest in the belief that they would be absolved of their sins, would that make it so? If a person has been informed that SSPX priests do not have the necessary and proper faculties to forgive and absolve in the sacrament of confession, and goes to the priest anyway, a huge problem then exists. What of a person with the proper intention and disposition, but ignorant of the canonical status, who goes to confess to a priest who does not have the necessary faculties? We can't judge that person-only God can. Once the person is aware of any canonical prohibition however, then the person must avail him or herself of a priest in good standing.

It is not for us to judge the Holy Father on the fairness or unfairness of how canonical penalties are applied.

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. did the correct thing by separating themselves from the SSPX

Pope Benedict XVI : "Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church."

Sixupman said...

George,

You twist Lefebvrian's word with regard to Confession. Clearly, he was referring to Confession before an Ordained Catholic priest - diocesan or otherwise.

You do not challenge upon the basis of that which is taught or not taught, but om the basis of [man made] Canon Law which, in any event, the episcopate use, do not use, or misuse according to their individual arbitrary whims.

Lefebvrian said...

George, as Sixupman suggests, the issue of validity of Confessions cannot be subjected to the analysis that you are applying. The Canon Law provides for supplied jurisdiction, which is what I was referring to. And I did so by explicitly disclaiming that I was simplifying things. Put simply, common mistake of the faithful can supply jurisdictional validity since the supreme law of the church is salvation of souls.

One would not reasonably suppose an Anglican "priest" (who unlike an SSPX priest isn't actually a priest) to have jurisdiction.

I hope that clairifes things for you. Thank you to Sixupman for the help in explaining this.

DJR said...

People who fret over the SSPX and canon law need to read the history of the papacy.

The election of Pope Marinus (882-884) was irregular and contrary to canon law. Was he a valid pope?

The election of one of his successors, Pope Formosus, was also contrary to canon law. Was he a valid pope?

One of Formosus' successors, Pope Stephen VI, ruled that Formosus was not a valid pope.

Stephen had the body of Pope Formosus disinterred, put on trial, had his fingers cut off and the body thrown in the river while dressed as a layman. He then proceeded to declare all of Pope Formosus' acts null and void: ordinations, episcopal consecrations, et cetera.

Subsequently, Theodore II contradicted Stephen VI and rehabilitated Pope Formosus and reversed the rulings of Stephen VI regarding the validity of Formosus and his ordinations.

Next in line, John IX ruled in agreement with Theodore II. However, he had to make an excuse for Pope Formosus' uncanonical election.

Next, Benedict IV was favorable to Pope Formosus.

Next, Leo V held the same opinion regarding Pope Formosus.

The next pope, Sergius III, took the papacy by force (canon law, anyone?) and proceeded to declare John IX and his two successors to be anti-popes. He recondemned Pope Formosus' ordinations and consecrations, thereby contradicting no less than four of his predecessors.

Sergius ordered priests who were ordained by Formosus to be reordained and excommunicated those who disobeyed. People disobeyed this pontiff.

Catholics admit that Sergius is reputed to have had an affair and fathered the future Pope John XI.

After Sergius, the election of John X was uncanonical. Was he a valid pope?

John was deposed, and Pope Leo VI was elevated to the papacy during his reign. John was still alive.

Was Leo VI a valid pope?

How could he be, if John X was still alive, and no one has authority to depose a pope? Yet the Church considers Leo VI a valid pope.

I would like to see those who pontificate (pardon the pun) regarding the SSPX as if the matter were black and white give explanations for the irregularities in the elections/actions of Roman pontiffs.

I say give it a few years. We'll see who was right, canon law notwithstanding.

George said...

Sixupman:

If that is the case then I misconstrued his words. I took him to mean going to an SSPX priest for confession. If that is not the case then I apologize to him.
Obedience to legitimate authority, which the Holy father has, is required. One cannot go by subjective interpretation of Church teaching, of "that which is taught and not taught" to decide what or who to obey or not obey. If the Church were to accept every claim and position of the SSPX tomorrow, it would not validate invalid confessions and marriages.

DJR said...

George said... Obedience to legitimate authority, which the Holy father has, is required.

Only when the legitimate authority uses its authority legitimately. See my post immediately above this, where Catholics disobeyed... and were required to do so... past popes because of the illegitimate use of their authority.

The question is when to decide that a command is illegitimate, and that's where things get difficult. Obviously the SSPX thinks it has a case.

Catholics under Sergius III disobeyed him and were excommunicated. He was wrong, and history has exonerated those who opposed him.

George said...

Supplied Jurisdiction cannot apply to SSPX bishops or priests.

Canon 966 in the Code of Canon Law states: “For the valid absolution of sins, it is required that, in addition to the power of order, the minister has the faculty to exercise that power in respect of the faithful to whom he gives absolution.” In other word, a grant of jurisdiction to hear confessions from someone who has jurisdiction.

SSPX bishops are illicitly ordained; they incurred excommunication upon ordination, and though the excommunication has been lifted, they are still operating illicitly. They SSPX lack canonical jurisdiction . This renders illicit all the ministries of SSPX bishops and priests, but it also renders absolution invalid. When a sacrament is celebrated invalidly, it simply does not take effect. Though SSPX bishops may claim to grant faculties for confession to their priests, they do not possess the requisite jurisdiction to do so.

George said...

DJR:

"The question is when to decide that a command is illegitimate, and that's where things get difficult"

Of course it gets difficult. No one of any good religious sensibility would want to open that Pandora's box. Neither Pope St John Paul II nor Benedict the XVI equate to a Sergius III. The former had legitimate authority and exercised it judiciously and prudently. Present legitimate evidence if you can that this was not the case.

Sixupman said...

DJR,
Quite the historian!!!

Anonymous said...

+AMDG

Dear Father McDonald,

Thank you for this important work of evangelization.

"This fulfills Cardinal Kasper's hopes for people like this when they receive Holy Communion and think they should even at an SSPX Mass!"

PLEASE proof your writings, for too often they are unreadable.

God bless you.

Prayerfully yours,
+T.Procopio

Sixupman said...

As a point of interest: At one time, in the UK, the SSPX Superior fostered good relations with diocesan clergy, with the latter attending SSPX Conferences. He also uses the same approach in the Far East and Australasia, not to mention getting together with FSSP and like clergy. One SSPX priest in the UK, Celebrated Mass in the crypt of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. The new structure above the crypt, is ultra-modern of circular design. The present SSPX Superior, I suspect, is of +Williamson/Sede inclination.

Anonymous said...

Lefebvrian, you and John Nolan - if you consider yourselves Catholic - are subject to the Canon Law of the Church. The Church requires that all priests have the faculties from the local bishop to hear confessions. A priest of any Catholic diocese cannot go into another diocese and hear confessions validly without the permission of the local bishop. That is Canon Law. Just as those priests who have been laicised do not cease to be priests but do not have the faculties to hear confession except in danger of death when the Church supplies, just as the SSPX and Orthodox can hear valid confessions in danger of death if there is no other priest available. But that is the only situation where the Church supplies.

Sorry, but that is the Canon Law, whether you or the SSPX like it or not. It's open to you to take the risk and trust that God will accept the validity of the absolution by the SSPX priest but as you are aware of the situation it is unlikely because you have other priests in good standing in the Church that you could go to and you are not in danger of death. The fact is I know many SSPX who knowing the situation go to priests other than the SSPX priest for confession and marriage. Obviously they are not prepared to risk their souls as you appear to be.

Interestingly, I have read that even the SSPX accept that they require the permission of the local bishop to hear confessions and to perform the sacrament of marriage, but they say because the people are ignorant of this fact then it is okay. But thanks to Fr McDonald and Bishop Morlino you can no longer claim to be ignorant.

Jan

John Nolan said...

Canon Law has as its ultimate objective the salvation of souls. There is also the principle that it needs to be interpreted in the widest sense and not the most restrictive. It is not simply a rule book like the one governing railway practice. Indeed, there was no Codex as such until 1917 but there was certainly Canon Law.

A Canon lawyer needs a knowledge of pre-1917 Canons, plus the many learned commentaries which have been written over the years. The SSPX claim, viz. that the suppliance of jurisdiction based on 'common error' and 'positive and probable doubt' (terms that laymen like myself find difficult to understand fully), is the subject of debate. 'Ecclesia supplet' in any case applies to a particular and singular act, not to any person.

Hovever, CIC 1983 has muddied the waters still further since it accepts the validity of the Sacrament of Penance when administered by schismatics (e.g. an Orthodox priest) so those who claim (wrongly) that the SSPX are in schism have to accept that all its sacraments are valid. A case of the law being an ass?

DJR said...

George said... Neither Pope St John Paul II nor Benedict the XVI equate to a Sergius III. The former had legitimate authority and exercised it judiciously and prudently.

The statement above is false when speaking of Sergius' authority. His authority certainly equates to the authority held by Pope St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, or any other pope. He was a pope!

He abused his authority. Period.

Catholics disobeyed. He excommunicated them.

He was wrong. The Catholics who resisted him were right.

I pointed out several instances where canon law was ignored in the election of popes. Were the men involved valid popes? How, when canon law was completely contravened?

Would you have disobeyed Stephen VI and Sergius III when they ordered men to either be re-ordained or accept laicization, or would you have obeyed the popes who contradicted them?

You can't have it both ways. Not possible, unless you're going to flip flop every time a new pope gets into office.

What will you do if a future pope were to contradict recent popes regarding the status of the SSPX? Which popes will you follow?

You don't think that can happen?

It most certainly can. Study the history of the papacy.

Lefebvrian said...

To latch onto Mr. Nolan's excellent post, I would say further that there is always a positive doubt when a Catholic priest presents himself in the Confessional. Has anyone here ever asked a priest in a Confessional to present his faculties before confessing to him? When a missionary priest shows up at your parish for the Lenten Mission or to ask for money for his cause, do you ask him to present his faculties before confessing to him?

While we know that Bishop Morlino has not seen fit to give jurisdiction to the SSPX priests in his diocese -- or we can infer that from his letter -- we do not have such positive knowledge about the state of the SSPX priests in any other diocese. I live in what was a rather "conservative" diocese (prior to the bishop's being ousted for his "conservatism"). It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the SSPX priests here have faculties given by a former bishop. It is not my place, as a laymen, to investigate every priest who sits in the Confessional before confessing to him, though.

I suspect that none of us here are canonists of such an order as to be able to affirmatively resolve this question. And since that is the case, it proves that the SSPX priests have supplied jurisdiction because it is a question. The law is, as Mr. Nolan says, ordered toward the salvation of souls.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan, if you want to hark back to earlier Canon Law then the SSPX are in real difficulties because, under the old Canon Law, any priest who was ordained illicitly (as the SSPX priests are and are suspended a divinis) then the Mass of such a priest was regarded as invalid and, therefore, under the old Canon Law even their Masses would be invalid - take your pick.

Jan

Lefebvrian said...

Jan, where did you study Canon Law?

DJR said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...John Nolan, if you want to hark back to earlier Canon Law then the SSPX are in real difficulties because, under the old Canon Law, any priest who was ordained illicitly (as the SSPX priests are and are suspended a divinis) then the Mass of such a priest was regarded as invalid and, therefore, under the old Canon Law even their Masses would be invalid - take your pick.
Jan


No.

The Mass of a validly ordained priest, even a non-Catholic, is valid as long as he offers it in the sense that the Church intends. It matters not one whit whether his Mass is licit.

Validity and licitness are two separate things, and the first is not dependent on the second, while the second is dependent on the first.

The present hierarchy recognizes the validity of Masses offered by the Chinese Patriotic Association. However, their Masses, as well as their ordinations, are certainly illicit.

George said...

DJR

In my statement I didn't say Sergius III did not have legitimate authority. I can see where one could imply that from what I typed which I not what I intended. My point was that if there are any who would take the position that he did not have legitimate authority to do what he did, that such a position could not be taken against Pope St John Paul II nor Benedict the XVI. If you accept he did have authority to do what he did, then certainly Pope St John Paul II and Benedict the XVI had that same authority to take action they did against the SSPX. If one wants to take the position that they abused their authority then one becomes settled in the camp of every heretic and schismatic who could also make that claim.

"What will you do if a future pope were to contradict recent popes regarding the status of the SSPX? Which popes will you follow?"

I'll accept the decision of the pope. That decision in and of itself will not validate invalid confessions and marriages.


Anonymous said...

DJR, what you state is correct under present canon law but I am merely pointing out that under the older codes of canon law the Mass of a priest who was illicitly ordained was regarded as invalid.

My point is that many in the SSPX do not accept the new code of canon law, which actually validates their Mass, whereas under older canons which they prefer their masses were ruled invalid.

I am sure that some who know about canon law will be able to verify this.

Jan

DJR said...

George said...That decision in and of itself will not validate invalid confessions and marriages.

Of course not, but the decision could be that the confessions and marriages were never invalid in the first place.

Which pope has made a definitive ruling that SSPX confessions and marriages are invalid?

The idea that popes have never abused their authority is contrary to the history of the Catholic Church. Pope Sergius did not have the authority to do what he did. The Catholics who refused obedience to him were correct, and history has vindicated them.

Pope Stephen VI was also incorrect. His declaration that Pope Formosus' ordinations were invalid was itself invalid.

We've had popes who were elected uncanonically and yet are considered valid popes. We've had popes that took the papacy by force. We've had popes that bought their office.

Your statements are ignoring the fact that a future pope can reverse the decisions of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI with regard to the SSPX. It's a fact. We have precedence for it. The events surrounding the papacy of Formosus are proof.

Stephen VI's decisions regarding the papacy of Formosus, seconded by Sergius III, were reversed by subsequent popes.

DJR said...

George said...That decision in and of itself will not validate invalid confessions and marriages.

Of course not, but the decision could be that the confessions and marriages were never invalid in the first place.

Which pope has made a definitive ruling that SSPX confessions and marriages are invalid?

The idea that popes have never abused their authority is contrary to the history of the Catholic Church. Pope Sergius did not have the authority to do what he did. The Catholics who refused obedience to him were correct, and history has vindicated them.

Pope Stephen VI was also incorrect. His declaration that Pope Formosus' ordinations were invalid was itself invalid.

We've had popes who were elected uncanonically and yet are considered valid popes. We've had popes that took the papacy by force. We've had popes that bought their office.

Your statements are ignoring the fact that a future pope can reverse the decisions of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI with regard to the SSPX. It's a fact. We have precedence for it. The events surrounding the papacy of Formosus are proof.

Stephen VI's decisions regarding the papacy of Formosus, seconded by Sergius III, were reversed by subsequent popes.

Anonymous said...

DJR, which Popes have said that SSPX confessions are valid?

The point is you appear to have scant knowledge of the Church and the way She operates. You wouldn't even challenge George if you understood the simple fact that no priest can hear confessions without the faculties granted to him by the local ordinary, pure and simple. That has been repeated ad nauseum by Fr McDonald and others.

The simple fact is that any consecrations of bishops without the authority of the Pope are illicit. Priests ordained are, therefore, suspended a divinis as confirmed by Benedict XVI. The position pertains, whether you like it or not. You can choose to go and confess to a SSPX priest but he has no faculties to grant absolution, so you are risking your soul by going - your choice - many others attending the SSPX don't take that risk, however. If you go to confession to an SSPX priest you walk out of the confessional box with the same sins you walked in with.

The SSPX can voice whatever opinion they like but the simple fact of the matter is it is the Church with the authority to bind and loose not the SSPX. Nothing you or the SSPX state or claim alters the simple fact that the bishops and priests of the SSPX have no standing under Canon Law. The best we can do in this situation is to pray for their reconciliation.

Jan

George said...


Jan, you bring up an important point below:

"My point is that many in the SSPX do not accept the new code of canon law, which actually validates their Mass, whereas under older canons which they prefer their masses were ruled invalid."

It appears that the Society wants it both ways.

DJR said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
DJR, which Popes have said that SSPX confessions are valid?

The point is you appear to have scant knowledge of the Church and the way She operates. You wouldn't even challenge George if you understood the simple fact that no priest can hear confessions without the faculties granted to him by the local ordinary, pure and simple. That has been repeated ad nauseum by Fr McDonald and others.


I am a cradle Catholic born in the reign of Pius XII and am well aware of how the Church operates.

I'm aware of canon law and the opinions expressed as to how they apply to the SSPX, but those opinions are expressed by people like you and Father, i.e., people with no authority in the Church.

I'm also aware of the difference between validity and licitness and realize that your prior statement was erroneous. A valid priest can offer a valid Mass, and licitness plays no part in it. Period.

If that were not the case, the Orthodox liturgy would be invalid, which is incorrect.

Your question at the beginning tells it all. "Which popes have said the SSPX confessions are valid?" Answer: none. But neither have they ruled otherwise. That's the point. Thus, your opinion is just that, an opinion.

A future pope can rule that the SSPX confessions and marriages are valid despite the contents of canon law... if they are... due to any number of factors, supplied jurisdiction being one.

But the point here is that it is a pope... not you... who will make that ruling. You have no competence to apply canon law to this particular circumstance.

That said, "the Church," in the person of Pope Stephen VI, ruled that Pope Formosus was an invalid pope and annulled all his acts. "The Church" reversed Stephen's ruling. Then "the Church," in the person of Pope Sergius III, reversed the reversal and re-annulled all of Pope Formosus' acts. Then "the Church" re-reversed the re-annulling.

DJR said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
DJR, what you state is correct under present canon law but I am merely pointing out that under the older codes of canon law the Mass of a priest who was illicitly ordained was regarded as invalid.

My point is that many in the SSPX do not accept the new code of canon law, which actually validates their Mass, whereas under older canons which they prefer their masses were ruled invalid.

I am sure that some who know about canon law will be able to verify this.
Jan


No. This is erroneous.

The valid Mass of a validly ordained priest cannot be invalidated by canon law. The priest either confects the Sacrament or he does not.

If he is a valid priest and he offers Mass in the way the Church intends, the Mass is valid. Period.

There is nothing in canon law that could change that.

The idea that prelates such as Archbishop Lefebvre and de Castro Mayer, et al., did not understand canon law, but Internet laypeople do, is not very tenable, in my opinion.

Lefebvrian said...

The SSPX do not reject the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which is why they are able to argue from its provisions to support the validity of their Confessions. If the canon law did not intend to have such a thing as supplied jurisdiction, then it would not include such provisions. Since it does include such provisions, it stands to reason that the provision may be met in certain circumstances. That being the case, it is obvious that a grant of jurisdiction needn't always come from the local ordinary.

Just as an interesting exercise, some people here might want to investigate just how long it has been the case that one must obtain the permission of the pope in order to consecrate bishops. Next, it might be interesting to investigate how long it has been the case that the pope selected every bishop in the world.

That sort of historical study can put things in an interesting context, in my opinion.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Lef, the situation is so grave, in the sense of invalid confessions and Matrimony for those souls who are duped into thinking these are valid, that to discuss exceptions, which Bishop Morlino has ruled out, is dangerously absurd. There could well be exceptions, but it is the full-communion bishop or the pope himself that would have to make that clear, not the ones who have broken communion!

Yes, the Eastern Orthodox, because they are in true schism, still have valid Orders and sacraments to include Penance and Matrimony. They do not need canonical permission from any Roman Catholic Bishop for those two sacraments to be valid--they are schismatic but have valid sacraments (except I think when there is a second marriage).

The Anglican Ordinariate would not need canonical approval except from their superior even though they would be in the territory of the Latin rite Bishop , as a personal prelature I believe.

The SSPX if completely reconciled to the Church could come under a personal prelature as well or similar to the Ordinariate.

George said...


"But the point here is that it is a pope... not you... who will make that ruling. You have no competence to apply canon law to this particular circumstance."

That is my point too. I and Jan and others await that ruling. And when that ruling comes (if it ever does), then we will know that we can attend an SSPX Mass and can go to one of their priests to confess our sins, and do so without reservation. My religious faith and practice does not come down to hedging a bet on what some future pope may or may not do.

Lefebvrian said...

George, what you're missing is the presumption that the law is interpreted so as to save souls. In the absence of a definitive statement to the contrary, the presumption holds true, which means that the confessions are valid. That is how presumptions work in the law.

Fr. McDonald, if one is "duped" into thinking they are valid, then they are ipso facto valid under the law. Even if one person is under that impression, then the confession is valid. This has been shown by canonists.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

LEF, again in dangerous, dangerous territory as there is a being "duped" and once the person being duped is made aware of it, by God they had better stop going to an SSPX priest for confession or Holy Matrimony--because then a sacrilege of the person's part is taking place!

Lefebvrian said...

Fr. McDonald, in reality, people aren't being duped since the confessions are valid. That being the case, there is no sacrilege involved. I am very glad that the SSPX priests are available so readily for confessions in my parish -- I have been quite edified by the advice and counsel that I have received from them during the Sacrament.

Sixupman said...

As previously stated, I do not hear Mass at an SSPX chapel. I do not have the erudition demonstrated by others contributing. I have travelled extensively throughout the UK, Ireland and Continental Europe and everywhere encountering un-Catholic teaching from the pulpit, coupled to celebration of the NOM in a manner which reinforces a Protestant approach. There are, including in the USA, members of the episcopacy who have the power to confer faculties, but who act and believe entirely contrary to Catholic teaching - but exist under the protection of Canon Law. Faculties conferred by Kasper, Marx, Mahony, et al ? Those expressing such vehement antagonism to SSPX, in a best light, are clearly delusional and oblivious to the actual goings-on in Mother Church, with such element being in death throws.

George said...


Lefebvrian:

"George, what you're missing is the presumption that the law is interpreted so as to save souls."

I'm not missing that. What you say is true in exceptional and extraordinary circumstances(which applies to general absolution also) or in the case of non-willful ignorance of the status of the Societies priests.

Where there is a problem is with persistent, willful obstinancy, in which a person knows the canonical status of the Society, but weekly attends the SSPX Mass and confesses to one of their priests anyway.

Lefebvrian said...

George, the apostasy of (what seems to be) the majority of the hierarchy (at all levels) is an extraordinary and exceptional circumstance.

Sixupman said...

And their imprimaturs worthless?

Anonymous said...

EVEN MUNDABOR, who is a great supporter of the SSPX, says HE DOES NOT GO TO AN SSPX PRIEST FOR CONFESSION BECAUSE HE KNOWS THEY HAVE NO FACULTIES:

"For the exact same reason, I never went to confession at a SSPX chapel. It’s not that I do think the priest confessing there is a bad priest (I think his chances of heaven are, in fact, extremely high, and I seriously can’t say the same of a couple of confessors I have experienced), but rather that whilst this priest has a granitic conviction he must do it, I know and cannot pretend not to know he is not authorised to hear confessions. This is unfortunate, then I do have more than a mild curiosity to experience the difference with your average V II priest, not knowing whether a torrential rain of fire and brimstone would fall unto me or whether, as it is traditionally said, the priest who is a lion from the pulpit is also a lamb in the confessional.

One thing is clear to me: even if I had doubts about the validity of the confession of many priests of the V II church, I would still go to confession to a priest of the V II, because even the V II church is my church, and the only one there is.

As I have said, this doesn’t come natural to me. A couple of times, I must admit, I was tempted to think: “this was not a confession, this was a joke; I’d better repeat it somewhere else as soon as I can”, but then I immediately reflected about the gravity of my thought, and started to realise the devil uses bad priests to lead us to doubt the institutions and the sacraments of the Church; then again, if I start to think I can decide whether a confession was valid – even if the usual and expected elements of the confession were there – Sedevacantism can’t be very far away.

This does not mean that the SSPX priest is a bad priest, as he believes the state of necessity does extend to confession. But I simply cannot agree with him on that, and whilst I am rather sure he’ll rank far higher than me in Paradise (if I make it there) I do not think going to confession to him would help me one iota in this respect.

Mundabor"

So, like George and me and others, Mundabor will not risk his soul by confessing to an SSPX priest when we all know the confessions are invalid.

Jan

Anonymous said...

Regarding the lack of an emergency if other Catholic churches are in the area (not sure if it was on this thread or the other long SSPX one:

Let's stipulate, arguendo, that mere aesthetic objections to the NO, the music, or the church building aren't sufficient justification for avoiding mainstream Catholic parishes and liturgies in favor of SSPX. Let's say, further--again, arguendo--that every Catholic parish within reasonable driving distance constantly and chronically presents one or more of the following circumstances: 1) a liturgy that is so badly mangled as to be either clearly illicit or at least arguably so; 2) priests who expressly and repeatedly state/advocate, in public (in homilies, RCIA sessions, and other contexts) ideas/actions that conflict with Catholic doctrine (e.g., it's OK to use birth control; the pope has to start allowing womens' ordination; The Eucharist is a bunch of "hocus pocus"); 3) the music used for the liturgy contains a considerable number of modernist or Protestant heresies; and 4) The parish community is also very largely like-minded, i.e. critical of Catholic doctrine. These conditions mean that the orthodox Catholic, by making himself a part of Catholic life at one of these parishes, or at least meeting his Sunday obligation at one of these parishes, is immersing himself in a heterodox culture and routinely criticized or ridiculed--or at the very least misunderstood--for attempting to adhere to orthodoxy and orthopraxis. He appeals to the local ordinary to remedy the circumstance, to no effect. These circumstances are causing him spiritual distress; anger, despair, a sense or social ostracism, and even a questioning of the faith itself. A short distance away is an SSPX parish. What should he do? What may he do?

And before anyone declares this to be an unrealistic scenario, much of it, though not all, is drawn directly from my own experience in a notorious southern diocese several years ago; none of the statements regarding the priests' and parishioners' heterodoxy and dissent are fabricated.

Discussion?

Lefebvrian said...

Jan, your argument assumes its own conclusion and, therefore, invalidates itself. If we knew the absolutions were invalid, there would be no debate. Since we do not know that, the presumption is that the absolutions are valid.

Consider the way that the annulment process works, as a comparison. Every marriage between baptized persons is presumed by the Church to be a valid Sacramental marriage until it is definitively proven to lack some aspect necessary for validity. This is how the canon law presumes that Sacraments are valid. And that presumption stands until it is overturned by conclusive evidence of invalidity.

In the same way, confessions are presumed to be valid unless definitively proven to be invalid by conclusive evidence. The lack of ordinary jurisdiction for SSPX is not conclusive evidence of invalidity because of the canon law's provision for supplied jurisdiction in cases of common error of the faithful. Therefore, SSPX confessions are presumptively valid.

This is the last I will say on the subject because I can think of no way to state this more clearly.

Sixupman said...

I agree with the scenario and I would hear Mass at SSPX. However, in the past and to some extent currently, I am unable to hear Mass with SSPX. Fortunately, there is an absolutely orthodox priest close-by and I follow him. SSPX/DICI have recently published the proposition that one is not obliged to attend NOMs, with which I wholeheartedly agree. But some SSPX adherents attack me for stating that "I follow clergy I can trust", inferring I should 'miss Mass'altogether if the SSPX/1962 Mass is not available.

Lefebvrian said...

One has a duty to avoid sin; assisting at the Novus Ordo service is a sin of superstition. Therefore, one cannot attend the Novus Ordo service. And putting oneself and one's family in a position to be instructed in things contrary to the faith is also sinful.

Since this is true with regard to a Novus Ordo service according to its approved form, it is all the more true for a Novus Ordo service as described by Anonymous above.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Lefebrian, the Tridentine Mass can be celebrated irreverently too. And I recall it as a child when I attended a daily Mass with a priest who had been drinking and who completed the Mass in about 12 minutes. But your comment about the Ordinary Form of the Mass is ridiculous and a sign of spiritual immaturity not to mention schism.

Lefebvrian said...

Priests toying with the rubrics of the Tridentine Mass commit mortal sin (something you should personally keep in mind given your penchant for unapproved experimentation). Calling everyone a schismatic because they don't agree with you is a sign of spiritual immaturity. And yet that is your usual response. How about engaging in the discussion instead of name calling and providing unrelated anecdotes from 50 years ago.

George said...


The problem as I see it is that those who attend the SSPX Masses and avail themselves of their confessions are will fully obstinate. Are there any of them that can plead ignorance of the canonical status of the Society? They emphasize validity while dismissing licitness. If a validly ordained priest is denied the faculty by his local ordinary to celebrate Mass, but he does so anyway, the Mass is valid but it is illicit. This is not an unimportant consideration for those considering attending such a Mass.

George said...



The only authority competent to grant the faculty of hearing the confessions of the faithful in the local area is a local ordinary:

Can. 969
§1. The local ordinary alone is competent to confer
upon any presbyters whatsoever the faculty to hear the confessions of
any of the faithful.

Below is a link to a good article on the SSPX:


http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2013/08/01/are-sspx-sacraments-valid-part-i/

The problem as I see it is that those who attend the SSPX Masses and avail themselves of their confessions are will fully obstinate. Are there any of them that can plead ignorance of the canonical status of the Society? They emphasize validity while dismissing licitness. If a validly ordained priest is denied the faculty by his local ordinary to celebrate Mass, but he does so anyway, the Mass is valid but it is illicit. This is not an unimportant consideration for those considering attending such a Mass.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed that so few of us have addressed my not-so-hypothetical hypothetical of 11:15. I repeat: what if these is a possibility of real spiritual damage occurring at several levels in the individual attending a diocesan Mass and participating in parish life given the situation I describe in that post?

Since we apparently need prompting, I'll ask a follow-up. I think the most likely response to my hypothetical by one concerned about SSPX would be "Go to the diocesan pariah and offer it up." But what are the limits of offering something up, in any context? Would the situation I describe in my 11:15 post transcend those limits? Why or why not?

You see, those who have objected to SSPX on this thread all seem to me to be silently assuming that everything in the diocesan parishes are hunky-dory and thus, other than mere aesthetic objections to the NO, people have no valid reason not to go there. The SSPX defenders here assume--but in their case they often expressly state--that things _aren't_ OK at the diocesen parish(es), although their definitions of "aren't OK" vary. These conflicting assumptions and their impact on our reasoning and outcomes are where I'm trying to steer the conversation. Any takers?

Anonymous said...

Lefebvrian, look at it this way it is no skin off my nose, Fr McDonald's nose, George's nose or Mundabor's nose if you continue to go to confession to an SSPX when you know concretely he has no faculties granted to hear confessions from the local ordinary. Just the same if Fr McDonald went into a neighbouring diocese without faculties from the local ordinary there and you went to Fr McDonald for confession under those circumstances the absolution would be invalid. Just as every confession you make to an SSPX priest - knowing he has no faculties from the local ordinary to hear your confession - will be invalid.

But, heck, Lefebvrian, it is your choice. If you want to take that risk with your soul that is your choice. Any Catholic Bishop or priest will tell you that a priest has to have faculties from the local bishop in order to hear confessions and to officiate at the Sacrament of Marriage. The only priests who will tell you otherwise are SSPX priests.

Some SSPX priests hear confessions relying on the fact that many lay people are ignorant of the fact that they require faculties and so in that case the Church Supplies. However, once a Catholic becomes aware that the SSPX priest doesn't have faculties the Church no longer supplies. Therefore, if you approach an SSPX and ask him about the situation that he has no faculties I am sure that some SSPX priests will honest enough to tell you that, now that you know they have no faculties, that the Church does not supply and will no doubt tell you to go to another priest.

If you need a better explanation then seek the advice of a traditional priest other than the SSPX and you will see what has been stated by Fr McDonald, George and others is correct.

Jan

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11.15 am, I think Mundabor sums it up that we have to continue on as best we can because, as he says, it is still the Church after all. What I and others have done is attend the best Mass we can find or some have moved to where things are better. That is not always possible of course because of family and job situation. If you can't do that keep on because no bad, liberal priest can ever take the Faith from you. It is a gift from God.

Apparently St Teresa of Avila had an insight into what would happen during our time and said how she would love to be born during the time of upheaval in the Church because it would be a major suffering - and it is - but a time of great grace through that trial and suffering. It seems the Church was stolen from me in my youth and has been missing for most of my adult life but the Faith in me has only grown stronger - "they may have the churches but we have the Faith".

As Mundabor - that great battler for the Faith says: "One thing is clear to me: even if I had doubts about the validity of the confession of many priests of the V II church, I would still go to confession to a priest of the V II, because even the V II church is my church, and the only one there is."

The best thing all of us can do is pray for reconciliation of the SSPX soon.

Jan

Lefebvrian said...

"[O]nce a Catholic becomes aware that the SSPX priest doesn't have faculties the Church no longer supplies."

This is an incorrect statement of the law, Jan. And I would suggest that it is your misunderstanding of this point that has you confused.

More importantly, though, I think you should stop reading Mundabor's blog. The way he expresses his opinions is unbecoming of a Catholic, and it is probably sinful to encourage him to continue by giving him visitor numbers. It is also likely a near occasion of sin against the faith to read his rants since he lacks the ability to attack the argument without attacking the person. If one wants a very good example of how not to fight the fight, Mundabor is that example. Moreover, he is ill-informed and does not have the training or study to be expressing his opinions publicly. So, I hope you will consider changing your reading habits and staying away from his poison.

George said...

Lefebvrian said..

I was not familiar with Mundabor, and since I have the day off, I decided to take a look at his blog. I concur with what you say. From what little I have read of his opinions so far, it is quite apparent to me that he can be uncharitable and polemical in the extreme. In one of his posts after the Synod, his comments and characterizations of Pope Francis are scandalous, sacrilegious, and therefore objectively at least, seriously sinful.
To me Jan was making the point that if this person can accept the authority of the Catholic episcopate, which from what I can ascertain he does, then you should certainly do so.
By the way, some of the comments I've read on SSPX web sites, while being more erudite would fit in with the camp of those such as Mundabor.

Lefebvrian said...

George, by SSPX websites, to which are you referring?

And, as I said, Mundabor lacks the ability to comprehend these issues, or at least, he doesn't seem to comprehend them. So I don't think he is a good example. I believe I understand them better than him given my background, study, and discussion with others. I cannot judge him other than by what he has written, which is not erudite or otherwise impressive in any way. His failure to understanding why SSPX confessions are valid means nothing to me, and given his methods and temperament, I am not surprised at his inability to understand.

Anonymous said...

Lefebvrian, I may not have explained it well but, no, once you understand that the SSPX do not have faculties then the Church does not supply. The Church only supplies when the penitant is ignorant. The Church only supplies under "common error". The whole argument is discussed here. The penitent who went to confession honestly believing that the SSPX had faculties can rest easy but once you know you need to stop confessing to an SSPX priest who has no faculties and find a priest that does have faculties and of course the Fraternity of St Peter does.


http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2013/08/15/are-sspx-sacraments-valid-part-ii/

Jan

Anonymous said...

I don't commonly read Mundabor's blog but I knew he was a supporter of the SSPX and so I was intersted to know what he would say about going to them for confession and he makes plain that he knows they have no faculties. Whether one likes the way he puts things or not, he is at least straightforward and honest in the way he couches things.

Jan

Lefebvrian said...

Jan, if you're still checking this post, I want to point out the logically flaw in your 9:10 comment. If one believes the Church supplies jurisdiction to the SSPX priests for Confession, then one is necessarily ignorant. Take myself, for example. You claim that I _know_ that the Confessions aren't valid. In fact, I honestly believe them to be valid because of supplied jurisdiction. Even if that weren't a tautological argument for validity, the "common error" test is not subjective -- it is objective. It is not the case that the particular penitent must be ignorant. Instead, the test is whether there is a "common error," which would apply, for example, if one confessed to a priest in an airport who did not have jurisdiction to hear confessions in that particular area, but who heard the confession and gave absolution because the person approached him as a Catholic priest.

For what it's worth, I last went to confession with a priest of the Institute of Christ the King on Saturday. I join you in questioning people who insist on only going to confession with SSPX priests. I'll pretty much go to confession with any priest, if I'm in need of confession.

Anonymous said...

Lefebvrian, if you honestly believe that the SSPX priests have faculties then maybe you can rest easy as has been stated. However, I don't want to be guilty of leading you into a false sense of security because, in light of what the Canon Law states and what is written in Canon Law made easy, I myself would find it hard to honestly believe that the Church supplies except in special circumstances. Only your conscience will tell you whether you hold that as an honest belief or not. But I do suggest that you seek clarification from an FSSP priest or a Priest of the Institute of Christ the King on whether you should continue to go to confession to an SSPX priest.

I am sure, Lefebvrian, that you will find the right way forward. Hopefully, the SSPX will be reconciled and there will be no need for us to have such conversations and we will all be on the same page.

Jan