Saturday, July 05, 2008

Some Thoughts for the SSPX Folks

I excerpted these from the entire letter/document found on Fr Z's blog. They are answers given by the Ecclesia Dei Commission in Rome--to questions submitted by an American SSPX sympathizer.

...there has been no official declaration on the part of the Holy See that the Society of St. Pius X is in schism


“The bishops of the Society of St. Pius X are excommunicated according to the prescription of canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law


The priests of the Society of St. Pius X are validly ordained, but suspended, that is prohibited from exercising their priestly functions because they are not properly incardinated in a diocese of religious institute in full communion with the Holy See

...which has serious implications:

...the Masses offered by the priests of the Society of St. Pius X are valid, but illicit, i.e., contrary to Canon Law. The Sacraments of Penance and Matrimony, however, require that the priest enjoys the faculties of the diocese or has proper delegation. Since that is not the case with these priests, these sacraments are invalid

There is a caveat attached to the foregoing.

It remains true, however, [pay attention] that, if the faithful are genuinely ignorant that the priests of the Society of St. Pius X do not have proper faculty to absolve, the Church supplies these faculties so that the sacrament is valid

....which should be a really big relief to those who are ignorant---that is to say, until they read this blogpost.

As to attending Mass?

“While it is true that participation in the Mass at chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute “formal adherence to the schism” (cf. Ecclesia Dei 5, c), such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a schismatic mentality which separates itself from the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and the entire Catholic Church

Are these answers authoritative?

“This Pontifical Commission does its best to transmit responses which are in full accord with the magisterium and the present canonical practices of the Catholic Church. One should accept them with docility and can act upon them with moral certainty.”

Stay tuned. There's another chapter or two coming up soon.

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