Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BOMBSHELL: POPE FRANCIS WANTS FULL COMMUNION WITH FSSPX AND GRANTS THEM THE AUTHORITY TO HEAR CONFESSIONS AND ABSOLVE SINS!

"A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity. In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins."

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bombshell: Traditionalists suddenly think Papa Frank is OK after all.

Lefebvrian said...

Father, after all these years of blogging, you finally have an actual bombshell to report!

:-)

This is really an interesting thing, if you think about it. This letter assumes that the faithful may go to the SSPX Masses, and now they may have assurance that the SSPX confessions are valid due to ordinary jurisdiction. In a sense, this is a recognition of "communion" as the Church has always understood it -- it is full sacramental communion with Rome.

I'm interested to see the SSPX response to this, although I suspect they knew it was coming. In a recent letter, Bishop Fellay discussed the so-called Year of Mercy. While he made it clear that there were some problematic elements, he also made it clear that the Society would take part in this jubilee year in some way. He didn't, in that letter, discuss the specific. He told the faithful that the local superiors would have more information on that later. Perhaps he knew something like this was coming.

Unfortunately, there will be those in the Society's fringes who see this as some sort of nefarious "deal" between the modernists and the SSPX. While I have my own thoughts about the current situation in Rome, we should rejoice at this clarification as it might get more people to go to their local SSPX Chapel and explore Catholicism in all its richness and fullness.

Lefebvrian said...

Anonymous at 9:12,

While it is good that the pope has seen fit to write this letter clarifying things for those in doubt, the SSPX already had jurisdiction (from their perspective). The pope's actions, then, are necessitated by justice. This is analogous to Pope Benedict's purporting to lift Abp. Lefebvre's and the other bishops' "excommunications" or when he "liberated" the Mass. These are all acts of justice, not benevolence.

I don't know that any but the most uninformed Catholics would suddenly see this as making the pope "OK after all." There is, among many other things, the fact that this clarifying letter is based on his apparently errant understanding of mercy during this truly bizarre "Jubilee Year of Mercy."

Again, though, this is cause for some celebration as it might lead many souls to the SSPX who wouldn't otherwise venture that way. And once they see actual Catholicism, they might be tempted to stay and join the fight.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course only the pope and not on their own authority, could give the SSPX the authority to hear and absolve sins not only validly but licitly. This is huge as the SSPX had no right to say they already had this, for they didn't but now they do--that's a big bombshell and an indication Pope Francis has listened especially to Bishop Schneider of Kazakhstan in his recent visitation to the SSPX under the auspices of the Vatican!

And yes, to make the SSPX regular and I pray it happens and the SSPX won't throw up anymore roadblocks, would be wonderful for Catholicism and her on-going post-Vatican II reform.

Anonymous said...

Now when you say " POPE FRANCIS WANTS FULL COMMUNION WITH FSSPX " I don't know if that is exactly true. At least I don't see it stated as that. The faculty to absolve sins yes. Full Communion? Hold your horses.

Anonymous said...

Good heavens, don't let Fr. K--well, you-know-who see this! Everyone knows these folks are in "schism"!

Anonymous said...

So what is this about the Pope granting the Priests ability forgive abortions? I thought they could already do that.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Maybe Francis isn't the ---------- after all! This really is major.

Calvin of Hippo said...

This is no surprise. The Pope is no stickler for doctrine or dogma...because of some of the problems associated with SSPX, many Priests and Bishops are circumspect even though they may be sympathetic to SSPX. But, this Pope has no such scruples. Hey, who am I to judge...homosexuals, communion for the divorced, Teilhard, Communists in the Vatican, SSPX. Big deal.
Now, I believe the SSPX is where the true Faith may take up residence, but there is absolutely no way this Pope is advocating a rapprochement with SSPX because of any appreciation of traditional Catholicism. More softening us up for other things.

John Nolan said...

Don't underestimate Pope Francis. He intends to be a pontifex, a bridge-builder.
After Mass I pray the En Ego, with the Pater, Ave and Gloria for the Pope's intentions. Benedict and Francis.

Marc said...

The SSPX has responded in a measured and kind manner:

The Society of St. Pius X learned, through the press, of the provisions taken by Pope Francis on the occasion of the upcoming Holy Year. In the last paragraph of his letter addressed September 1, 2015, to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the Holy Father writes:

«I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Society of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.»

The Society of St. Pius X expresses its gratitude to the Sovereign Pontiff for this fatherly gesture. In the ministry of the sacrament of penance, we have always relied, with all certainty, on the extrdaordinary jurisdiction conferred by the Normae generales of the Code of Canon Law. On the occasion of this Holy Year, Pope Francis wants all the faithful who wish to confess to the priests of the Society of St. Pius X to be able to do so without being worried.

During this year of conversion, the priests of the Society of St. Pius X will have at heart to exercise with renewed generosity their ministry in the confessional, following the example of tireless dedication which the holy Curé of Ars gave to all priests.

Menzingen,
September 1, 2015
[SOURCE]

Mark Thomas said...

Deo gratias for His Holiness Pope Francis. Deo gratias for his holy and merciful approach to the Catholics, clergy, religious, and Faithful, of the Society of Saint Pius X.

I pray that, with His Holiness Pope Francis as His conduit, God Our Father has today initiated the beginning of the end to the ridiculous situation in regard to the SSPX.

Pope Francis today destroyed the extremes that pertain to the SSPX question.

On one side are the "shunners"...beginning with bishops who exhort the Faithful to shun the SSPX. Said bishops insist that we are not to have anything to do with the SSPX.

"Shunner bishops" release bizarre declarations that acknowledge that the SSPX is 100 percent Catholic...perform holy work, love Jesus Christ...then after having praised the SSPX, they exhort us to shun the SSPX.

Meanwhile, "shunner" bishops promote ecumenical and interreligious events that allow Catholics to pray and worship with non-Catholics.

Shunner bishops teach that Catholics may pray and worship in Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches...may participate in interreligious events held within synagogues and mosques...but insist that Catholics are to shun the 100 percent Catholic SSPX.

Then there are "shunner" laymen who insist that Catholics may not assist at Masses offered by the SSPX. Shunner laymen go as far as to claim that attendance at a Sunday Mass offered by an SSPX does not satisfy one's Sunday Obligation.

Even though Canon Law permits Catholics to receive Holy Communion from the Catholic priests of the SSPX, shunner laymen insist otherwise.

Shunner laymen engage in utter nonsense in regard to the SSPX.

His Holiness Pope Francis today overthrew the "shunner" approach to the SSPX.

Pope Francis also overthrew today various claims offered by Traditional Catholic extremists who insist that Pope Francis is a "modernist, schismatic...hates Holy Tradition...hates the TLM...hates the SSPX..."

Pope Francis demonstrated today that Catholics attached to the Traditional Latin Mass and lifestyle associated with the TLM have every reason to love him. Said Catholics have every reason to trust him.

His Holiness Pope Francis demonstrated today that he is a holy and merciful man. He is the Pope of all people.

Deo gratias for His Holiness Pope Francis and his refusal to shun holy people.

Pax.

Mark Thomas


Anonymous said...

For all practical purposes the SSPX has been reincorporated in the Church, officially, by the Pope. All arguments to the contrary are made by dogs in the manger. SSPX priests are priest in good standing to hear confessions and say Mass. Great day indeed. All the prayers of the faithful have been heard. Who would argue against it, Pray tell?!

anon-1

witness said...

Practicing the traditional Roman Catholicism draws the soul into the communion of the saints. Historically priests and nuns uniformly taught that upon entering the church before mass, we are to kneel and pray in remembrance of the Virgin Mary's presence offering her love, the saints presence, the apostles, the martyrs, the angels, all present for Mass.

We were continually reminded that our souls are to be purified so that we may offer ourselves with Our Lord at the Holy Sacrifice. The Roman Catholic Rite is the Rite of martyrdom ...the martyrs knew that by the Mass they entered into the Lord's sacrifice knowing it may cost them their mortal lives. There were cleansed and ready to meet God.

The Latin Rite, with the 'offering up' our lives, actions, sacrifices at the offertory is a doorway into a spiritual world and upon entering one can taste and see the flavor, mood, experience Jesus of the generations of church fathers, martyrs, and saints that preceded us.

The desert fathers saw the child Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The child Jesus can be seen only through the great love of the Blessed Sacrament. The child Jesus lives in the Holy and Pure temple of Mary, .. the Holy Church itself.

And what do we make of the presentation of the faith today? Do you really believe we are faithfully teaching the standard of the apostles and martyrs ... or have we given up and conceded to get with the times?

Mark Thomas said...

I just finished scanning a few Catholic blogs in regard to the SSPX news in question.

Predictably, a few Traditionalists have played the old and tired card..."I don't trust Rome...Pope Francis is still a modernist...it's a trick to induce the SSPX into accepting 'New Church'..."

Same old nonsense.

Certain conservatives have offered their spin on the news in question.

For example, Father John Zuhlsdorf has "interpreted" Pope Francis' comments and action today in regard to the SSPX. As usual, Father Zuhlsdorf could not resist in taking a couple of digs at the SSPX.

Well, my "spin" is as follows: I will rely upon Pope Francis' declarations and actions to form my understanding of the relationship between Rome and SSPX.

-- Pope Francis has made it clear today that the "shun the SSPX" approach offered by various Churchmen is unacceptable.

-- The SSPX is a Catholic society.

-- The SSPX is not in schism.

-- The SSPX must continue to cooperate with Rome (the SSPX has never separated from the Church) and, in fact, are expected by Pope Francis to obtain a "near future" agreement with the Holy See.

-- Pope Francis has thrown in with his "Brother Bishops" who hold in high regard the SSPX and the Faithful who assist at Masses offered by the SSPX.

-- Pope Francis made it clear today that he is not anti-TLM...he isn't the enemy of Traditionalists. The opposite is true as Pope Francis declared that he is "motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful..."

-- Pope Francis does not cast aspersions at the "faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X..."

That is my "spin" on Pope Francis' declaration in regard to the SSPX.

I welcome from Father McDonald and/or his many readers criticisms and discussions related to my "spin" in regard to the topic at hand.

Finally, I pray that the SSPX will regularize in the "near future" its relationship with the Holy See. The Society has every reason to trust His Holiness Pope Francis.

On the one hand, there simply isn't any reason to bash and trash the SSPX...as is the case with various Catholics. On the other hand, the days of pro-SSPX Catholics "distrusting" Pope Francis must end...now.

Pope Francis has just consigned to history the "shun the SSPX" nonsense as well as the "distrust 'modernist' Rome" nonsense that certain Catholics promote.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Lefebvrian said...

Mark, I agree with some of your spin, but I disagree with your idea that this news means that Pope Francis is not anti-TLM or the enemy of Traditionalists and that the opposite is true. I also disagree with you that this somehow demonstrates that Rome is not run by modernists and that the hierarchy can suddenly be trusted.

I don't think this news indicates anything about the pope's disposition toward "Traditionalists." Instead, it indicates his disposition toward his understanding of "mercy."

There are numerous reasons for Catholics to continue to distrust this pope -- for one thing, he continues to call us names, as recently as yesterday, just because we go to Church regularly and adhere to the devotional life. For another thing, we still have the upcoming synod in October with all its attendant problems (completely caused by this pope).

None of that is to say that today's news is somehow "bad news." But it really doesn't resolve any of the concerns that Catholics should legitimately harbor. We simply must maintain the fasting and prayer in hopes that the human element of the Church will convert to a steadfast proclamation of the faith.

gob said...


Do the poor souls who are in Hell now because they died with an invalid SSPX confession get paroled?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

GOB you have a silly 1960's authority complex. When a Catholic eats meat on Good Friday in defiance of the Church's legitimate authority, it isn't the eating of the meat which condemns the person to hell, but the disobedience in a serious matter, knowing it is serious and doing it with full consent of the will.

For a Catholic who goes to an SSPX knowing that they had at the time no faculties to hear validly let along illicitly confession is grave matter. IF they know it was wrong, (and there could be some wiggle room here) and then they do it with full consent of the will and they are unrepentant about it. They are in trouble, but we won't know till we get to heaven or hell ourselves.

So GOB, what is your silly point again?

Dialogue said...

Pope Francis is exercising pastoral solicitude in reaching out with mercy to this schismatic group, and it is a stroke of genius to do so through their own schismatic priests.

Calvin of Hippo said...

No, this is just typical of this Pope's indifferentism. He wants everybody under the umbrella...including protestants, homosexuals, adulterers, muslims...doesn't matter. The umbrella can be adjusted or expanded or re-dyed to fit everybody. Let the good times roll, baby!!!!

Anonymous said...

Was disobeying the Church's discipline and eating meat on Friday every really a "serious matter?"

Matters of discipline can and do change. I don't know how any of them could rise to the level of "serious."

Isn't this a case of "You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”?

Jdj said...

Cal, I think a mistake being made by many (particularly the MSM, but also by many of us) with our Holy Father is trying to put him in a box. Many, many Popes have fit in a box, so we are used to that common, easy dynamic. This Pope, I believe, continually refuses to fit that pattern. Yes, he says and does impulsive things (at least by my reckoning); yes, he is an enigma (again, by my reckoning); he can be exasperating at times by my reckoning. But I must admit that this compulsion to "box" him is often driven by our personal religio-political persuasions and is indigenous to our American style of thinking.
Francis IS our Holy Father. As a Catholic I owe him my respect and prayers. Unless he overtly (and not as interpreted by an individual, as Protestants are allowed and wont to do) teaches contrary to the faith deposit or morals, he remains the head of our Church. That headship is truly Catholic--we reject that at the risk of our eternal salvation, hard won for us by Jesus' appointing Peter as our first head.

Mark Thomas said...

Lefebvrian said..."...I disagree with your idea that this news means that Pope Francis is not anti-TLM or the enemy of Traditionalists and that the opposite is true. I also disagree with you that this somehow demonstrates that Rome is not run by modernists and that the hierarchy can suddenly be trusted."

Lefebvrian, thank you for your comments. I agree with your comment (not noted above but part of your post) that we must fast and pray for the "human element" of the Church. We have to fast and pray for each other. We also need within the Church, as you noted, a steadfast proclamation of the Faith.

Please note that I didn't say that the Pope's proclamation in regard to the SSPX and Sacrament of Penance "somehow demonstrates that Rome is not run by modernists and that the hierarchy can suddenly be trusted."

But as those topics have been broached, I do not believe that Rome is run by Modernists. I do not doubt that wolves are to be found within Rome. Although he contributed to the downfall of his Pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI was ravaged by Roman wolves.

Wolves did not disappear in Rome upon Pope Francis' election. They are there. They despise the TLM and Holy Tradition. They despise the SSPX.

But Pope Francis governs (runs) Rome. I trust him.

As far as trusting the hierarchy is concerned...I realize that opposition to the TLM, Traditional Catholics, and perhaps most of all, the SSPX, is rampant throughout the hierarchy.

For example, in my diocese, we have an FSSP parish. However, our Chancery is determined to "ghettoize" the TLM, Latin, Gregorian Chant, and Holy Tradition.

They are determined to prevent the spread of Holy Tradition beyond our FSSP parish. They gave us one TLM Mass and that is that.

With few exceptions, about the best that we can expect from the hierarchy is a bit of "tolerance" in regard to Holy Tradition. The Latin Church hierarchy is, by and large, determined to keep the lid on the TLM and Holy Tradition.

That said, His Holiness Pope Francis has the God-give authority to bypass wolves in Rome and much of the anti-TLM hierarchy in regard to the SSPX.

Pope Francis proved that today. He laid waste to the wolves who insisted that the Faithful must shun the SSPX. He laid waste today to claims that the SSPX is heretical, schismatic, anti-Catholic...all the nonsense that has been hurled at the Society.

Lefebvrian, it is clear to me (you disagree) that Pope Francis is not an enemy to the SSPX, TLM, and Catholics attached to the TLM.

Bishop Fellay and SSPX priests in Argentina have insisted that during his days in Argentina, then-Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) cooperated with and praised the SSPX.

Pope Francis continued that today as he noted the SSPX's "good faith and sacramental practice." He also expressed his determination to "respond to the good" of the Faithful who are attached to the SSPX.

Lefebvrian, do you have any examples as to when His Holiness Pope Francis failed to deal honestly with the SSPX?

Again, from Bishop Fellay to priests of the SSPX in Argentina, they have reported that Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio always treated the SSPX well.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

George said...

Mark Thomas:

"Finally, I pray that the SSPX will regularize in the "near future" its relationship with the Holy See."

That is something that any faithful Catholic can agree with.

The Holy Father is establishing the validity of SSPX confessions "that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins."

The operative phrase here is"during the Holy Year of Mercy". It will be interesting to see (1) how the SSPX responds to this and (2) what transpires after the Holy Year of Mercy.

What does this all mean? I don't know. The image came to me that what the Holy Father is doing (this Holy Year of Mercy) is not unlike a chaplain with his troops on the eve of a great battle.

Calvin of Hippo said...

Being suspicious of a Pope because of his very suspicious and boorish behavior is not grounds for damnation. Neither is just plain not liking him.

Calvin of Hippo said...

You can be sure that the SSPX will be very circumspect with regard to embracing this Pope and his caveat. If they do not leap to him with open arms, he may use it as an excuse to really nail them. I would not put ANYTHING past this guy.

Mark Thomas said...


Lefebvrian said..."I don't think this news indicates anything about the pope's disposition toward "Traditionalists." Instead, it indicates his disposition toward his understanding of "mercy."

"There are numerous reasons for Catholics to continue to distrust this pope -- for one thing, he continues to call us names, as recently as yesterday, just because we go to Church regularly and adhere to the devotional life. For another thing, we still have the upcoming synod in October with all its attendant problems (completely caused by this pope)."

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

I thank Father McDonald for the opportunity to respond to you...and I thank you, Lefevbrian, for your comments.

Lefebvrian, I believe that Pope Francis' SSPX-related announcement today is a definite indication as to his "disposition toward "Traditionalists."

Actions speak louder than words.

I agree with you that his decision in question "indicates his disposition toward his understanding of mercy." But I also believe that Pope Francis demonstrated that he is solicitous toward his spiritual children who are attached to the SSPX.

From the first seconds of his Pontificate, many "Traditionalists" insisted that Pope Francis hated them, the TLM...they insisted, "get ready to return to the catacombs. Pope Francis will 'outlaw' the TLM. He will persecute the FSSP. He will persecute the SSPX."

Last September, a meeting scheduled for that month between Bishop Fellay and Rome had been made public.

Such "Traditionalists" as Louie Verrecchio unleashed dire predictions that Pope Francis had planned to take a wrecking ball to the SSPX.

Pope Francis has not smashed the SSPX as many "Traditionalists" predicted. The dire warnings from many "Traditionalists", that Pope Francis would send "Traditional" Catholicism underground, have not materialized.

Lefebvrian, what is Pope Francis' disposition toward "Traditionalists?" How do we determine what constitutes his disposition toward "Traditionalists?"

A man's actions speak volumes to me. Do you adhere to that belief?

Pope Francis'/Cardinal Bergoglio's actions in regard to the SSPX have always been friendly and indicated his belief that the Society is 100 percent Catholic.

Thank you.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

George said...

Mark Thomas:

One of the aspects of Pope Francis' papacy is to bring those who have left the Church back into full communion with her. His emphasis has been on the Mercy of God. He is granting a special dispensation for SSPX confessions to be valid during the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy.
Keep in mind that this brings out front and center what many on this blog have pointed out, i.e., that SSPX confessions are not valid.
As Dialogue says above:
"Pope Francis is exercising pastoral solicitude in reaching out with mercy to this schismatic group, and it is a stroke of genius to do so through their own schismatic priests."

Anonymous said...

This is not pastoral solicitude. You can be sure it is very calculated. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

Mark Thomas said...

George said..."One of the aspects of Pope Francis' papacy is to bring those who have left the Church back into full communion with her. His emphasis has been on the Mercy of God. He is granting a special dispensation for SSPX confessions to be valid during the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy. Keep in mind that this brings out front and center what many on this blog have pointed out, i.e., that SSPX confessions are not valid."

Is that certain? I don't know. I have read several reports that insist that just the opposite occurred yesterday. That is, His Holiness Pope Francis demonstrated that confessions to priests of the Society were valid.

Anyway, that is a topic that may interest other folks.

All that I know is that the SSPX has always been Catholic. They have never been in schism from the Church. Catholics have always been free to assist as Masses offered by the SSPX.

Pope Francis has just overthrown the notion that SSPX priests should be shunned.

Pope Francis has made it clear that he is fine with Catholics who attend SSPX chapels.

Pope Francis has made it clear that Catholics are free to pray and worship with the holy Catholic bishops and priests of the SSPX.

Pax.

Mark Thomas