Tuesday, April 4, 2017


This is the communique from the SSPX on Pope Francis solicitude for them as His Holiness strives to reintegrate them into the full communion of the Church in union with the pope:

Communiqué from the General House about the letter from the Ecclesia Dei Commission concerning marriages of the faithful of the Society of Saint Pius X (April 4, 2017)


As with the measures taken by Pope Francis granting to the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X the faculty to hear confessions during the Holy Year (September 1, 2015), and extending this faculty beyond the Holy Year (November 20, 2015), the General House has learned that the Holy Father decided “to authorize Local Ordinaries to grant faculties for the celebration of marriages of faithful who follow the pastoral activity of the Society.” (Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dated March 27, 2017, published on April 4).

This decision by the Supreme Pontiff foresees that:Insofar as possible, the Local Ordinary is to grant the delegation to assist at the marriage to a priest of the Diocese (or in any event, to a fully regular priest), so that the priest may receive the consent of the parties during the marriage rite, followed, in keeping with the liturgy of the Vetus ordo, by the celebration of Mass, which may be celebrated by a priest of the Society.”

But it also provides that: “Where the above is not possible, or if there are no priests in the Diocese able to receive the consent of the parties, the Ordinary may grant the necessary faculties to the priest of the Society who is also to celebrate the Holy Mass, reminding him of the duty to forward the relevant documents [attesting to the celebration of the sacrament] to the Diocesan Curia as soon as possible.”

The Society of Saint Pius X conveys its deep gratitude to the Holy Father for his pastoral solicitude as expressed in the letter from the Ecclesia Dei Commission, for the purpose of alleviating “any uncertainty regarding the validity of the sacrament of marriage”.

Pope Francis clearly wishes that, as in the matter of confessions, all the faithful who want to marry in the presence of a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X can do so without any worries about the validity of the sacrament. It is to be hoped that all the bishops share this same pastoral solicitude.

The priests of the Society of Saint Pius X will strive faithfully, as they have done since their ordination, to prepare future spouses for marriage according to the unchangeable doctrine of Christ about the unity and indissolubility of this union (cf. Mt 19:6), before receiving the parties’ consent in the traditional rite of the Holy Church.

Source: FSSPX/MG – DICI dated April 4,


Marc said...

It is worth noting that, when the SSPX just emailed to this to everyone, they included links to older materials explaining supplied jurisdiction for marriages and confessions. There statement is less than clear in explaining that this move by the pope does not confer anything that they were lacking. Although, it does state that there has never been any doubt about the validity of the sacraments and makes clear that the priests will continue to do what they have always done.

From a practical perspective, I would be concerned about the sort of things a local bishop may attempt to impose on SSPX parishioners seeking his "permission" to marry -- things like a pre-Cana class, for example, are generally problematic in their content and unsuitable for those preparing for the vocation to marriage.

Note too in this communique the nod toward the pope's current programme of undoing the indissolubility and sanctity of marriage. It's rather funny that the pope who maintains that most marriages are invalid, yet many who cohabitate have the grace of the sacrament, and who also promotes sacrilegious communions by those living in concubinage and adultery, sees fit to issue such a letter directed at the few Catholic who are bothering to adhere to the faith.

That said, I suppose it is in keeping with the spirit of romanitas, so dear to Abp. Lefebvre, that the SSPX has issued a statement saying what this one says and in the way it says it.

rcg said...

I am glad they are happy with this. The few SSPX I know of grow quite close to FSSP parishes. So the technical execution of this is easy for those American diocese. I would prefer, however, if the bishops would find some NO types that are willing to learn the Vetus Ordo and participate in this.

FrAJM, are you going to raise your hand?

rcg said...

Marc has an interesting point about classes, etc. these could indeed be problematic and give occassion for conflict.

Mark Thomas said...

Thanks to His Holiness Pope Francis, we have moved beyond the nonsense that for decades marked the Rome-SSPX saga.

That is, on the SSPX's side, we have moved beyond the "Rome has lost the Faith...modernist Rome...New Rome...New Church...Rome must convert to the Faith" nonsense in which Archbishop Lefebvre and his ilk had trafficked.

On the other side, we have moved beyond the nonsense in which Bishop Morlino (2015 A.D. pastoral letter: "...my advice, my plea to the traditionally-minded faithful of the diocese is to have nothing to do with them") and his ilk had trafficked.

Those who applauded (Father Zuhlsdorf, Michael Voris, etc.) Bishop Morlino's 2015 A.D. letter in question were wrong in regard to their approach to the SSPX.

Then we have the anti-Pope Francis bloggers who, in response to today's positive development in regard to Rome-SSPX relations, have bellowed their "it's a trap, it's a trick" nonsense.

Fortunately, Pope Francis has the final say in regard to the manner in which the Holy See will proceed with the SSPX. In that regard, as he is a holy man of peace, Pope Francis (from his days in Argentina) has forged a holy, solid relationship with the SSPX.

Bishop Fellay has made it clear that he trusts Pope Francis. Pope Francis is the SSPX's trusted spiritual father...a true friend.

Thanks to Pope Francis, upon the SSPX's regularization and the establishment of the traditional "super diocese" (Bishop Fellay's term), the TLM will flourish beyond belief.

Deo gratias for Pope Francis.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

And yet the SSPX is not "jumping" at full reconciliation with Rome because they know the instability of Francis. They know they can't trust Francis. Who would trust a pope who causes confusion, refuses to defend define doctrine. Francis HATES Catholics who actually believe in the Catholic Faith. But I say reconcile and then continue to publicly denounce all the scandalous teachings and actions of Francis and his German cohorts.