Sunday, August 9, 2015
MIXING APPLES AND ORANGES OR NOT? THE LCWR AND THE SSPX
In the case of these two sacraments, those who receive them from the SSPX are not receiving these sacraments. It would be like going to an Episcopal priest in the high church tradition and thinking one is receiving the sacraments in a valid way--you aren't. In fact it would be better to go to an Eastern Orthodox priest, since they are in true schism and do not require canonical approbation for the validity of their Sacrament of Penance and Holy Matrimony.
In the case of both the Anglicans and the SSPX, who is the only person in the world who could decree such a thing? The pope of course, but canon law supports the invalidity of Confession and Holy Matrimony when canonical status is not present in those groups that are not legitimately in schism.
For example, I could still be a priest in good standing for Baptism and Mass, but my faculties to preach, hear confessions and officiate at weddings could be removed by my bishop as a sort of punishment or acknowledgment of my incompetence, but he wants me to still say Mass. If I heard confessions and officiated at a wedding after my canonical privileges were revoked, these sacraments would be invalid.
But some are asking about other far out groups in addition to the SSPX in the Catholic Church, like the LCWR and priests who illicitly celebrate Mass by changing words and doing all kinds of stupid things, but just short of making the Mass invalid. Why aren't they treated like the SSPX by the Magisterium?
The LCWR hasn't ordained any bishops, that is a big difference. But nuns who have participated in the simulation of the sacrament of Holy Orders of women have been excommunicated as well as those who receive in an invalid way.
It is up to local bishops to discipline priests who celebrated the Mass and other sacraments illicitly albeit validly. If a breakaway progressive group opposed the pope and ordained bishops without his permission, they would be the opposite spectrum of the SSPX. There are some groups like this, but very small and will never be reconciled to the Church until there is a renunciation of heresy and sacrilege. These are truly in schism.
Holy Mother Church and her valid Magisterium are willing to work with the SSPX because so much of their lack of canonical status is tied up in discipline not heresy or sacrilege (although the invalid celebration of Penance and Matrimony come extremely close) and the fact that an Archbishop of the Church ordained bishops validly but illicitly. They have more in common with the fullness of the Church surrounded by Saint Peter than the Orthodox and Anglicans. This has to be made clear and they have more in commmon with the true Church than the LCWR, but the LCWR hasn't ordained bishops, thus a big difference.
But the difference between the LCWR and the SSPX would vanish if a bishop is ordained validly but illicitly without Rome's approval. Then the LCWR and the SSPX would be in the very same boat but on opposite sides of the ideological divide when it comes to discipline in the Church., as long as the LCWR comes under validly, but illicitly ordained bishops and priests.