This is, however, definitely not the case with the remaining two sacraments, which cannot always be celebrated validly by all clerics everywhere—far from it! An SSPX priest I really trust says that they are valid. The penitent takes it for granted that the priest must have the ability—i.e., the faculty—to forgive sins, or else he wouldn’t be sitting in the confessional in the first place! Re-post: Confession and General Absolution. He goes in, confesses his sins, and receives absolution from the priest there. Canon 966.2 notes that this faculty is given to a priest either by the law itself, or by competent ecclesiastical authority. That naturally includes SSPX priests as well. The diocesan bishop, in whose territory SSPX priests may reside, is responsible for the spiritual well-being of the Catholic faithful entrusted to his care (cf cc. SSPX sacraments are problematic. Why is it the Orthodox are considered to have faculties (valid sacraments) while completely in schism and the SSPX who are “floating” do not have such faculties (some valid sacraments others not)? This example fits the situation of all the clergy of the SSPX. With all that in mind, what is an ordinary lay-Catholic to do? (There is far more flexibility for salad than for sacraments.) It follows logically that the SSPX priest who maintains such a church is not the pastor of the territorial parish—and thus he has no authority to celebrate weddings as per canon 1108.1, mentioned above. Thus the confirmations administered by SSPX bishops, who routinely travel all over the world to administer this sacrament, are indeed valid. When the SSPX order was suspended, it, too, lost jurisdiction. If you are interested in these topics, please read on! Sanctions, Part III, addressed this issue himself back in 2009. Obviously that priest-confessor himself has a lot to answer for, canonically speaking; but the penitent who honestly erred in entering his confessional should rest easy. OTHER ARTICLES AND FILES RELEVANT TO THE SSPX: The Catholic Teaching that a heretic cannot be a valid pope [PDF file] 3.) Many other scenarios could certainly be described in which canon 144 would apply; but the question we should ask now is, does it supply the necessary faculty to an SSPX priest who doesn’t have it? That’s why in many questionable situations, it steps in to supply what otherwise might be lacking. Can a Bishop Forbid a Priest to Say Mass? A priest who says Mass in your diocese, and administers the sacraments to the Catholics of your diocese, does so licitly only if he has the permission (which, in the case of visiting priests, is normally tacit) of the diocesan bishop. These sacraments are valid, but illicit. Click here for more information. Unsigned/anonymous questions are not read, much less answered (why is it necessary even to mention this?). So did the Catholic who entered his confessional really receive absolution? If the information on this website has helped you, please consider making a contribution so that it can continue to help others. Sacraments alone aren't enough for salvation. The Sacraments that the Society distribute/ confer are most certainly valid for those of us who are Confessing, receiving Communion, marrying, receiving Baptism, Confirmation, or Holy Orders. At the same time, however, this doesn’t necessarily imply that the sacraments administered by clergy in the SSPX are invalid. But there are two other sacraments which haven’t been addressed yet. If anything, it was intended to encourage the members of that Society to regularize their status in the Church. The Church supplies, in both the internal and external forum, the executive power of governance in common error, in positive and probable doubt, whether of fact or of law. –John. Among other things, this means members could not obtain permission to minister in dioceses. SSPX priests don’t have this faculty, because they don’t have any competent ecclesiastical authority who can give it to them. Most of them just think I am a stupid "meathead" (which is kinda true). One must have the faith pure and inviolate to be saved. He assumes he has the faculty to celebrate the wedding. 1.) Holy Eucharist. This means simply that they are doing something that they shouldn’t be doing! This article was originally published in 2013, and the law regarding the validity of confessions heard by members of the SSPX was changed in 2016. Cathy Caridi, J.C.L., is an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome. She founded this website to provide clear answers to canonical questions asked by ordinary Catholics, without employing all the mysterious legalese that canon lawyers know and love. As a result, some of their sacraments would not be valid (particularly confession and marriage). A: It would have been marvelous to be able to respond to John that the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) were now fully united to Rome, and thus had a status comparable to the members of any other religious institute in the Church. As we saw in “Are They Excommunicated? But that’s because in the case of the five sacraments just discussed, the priest (or bishop) doesn’t require anything other than the power conferred on him by his ordination (or episcopal consecration) in order to truly administer the sacrament. As was discussed in “Parish Registration,” basically every inch of the populated world has been divided up by the Catholic Church into dioceses (or canonically equivalent entities, cf. Part I – The SSPX Is Not in Schism With the recent coronavirus problem, many faithful Catholics are faced with a dilemma in their parish. Conveniently missing from these sorts of analyses is any acknowledgement of the fact that the Holy Father himself reasserted just a few years ago (as seen in Part I) that the SSPX clergy have no canonical status in the Church, and thus do not legitimately exercise any ministry. Thus when the SSPX buys a plot of land and builds their own church on it, it necessarily is located within the territorial boundaries of an already existing parish! Marriages CAN be valid now IF the local bishop works with the SSPX to make sure they are; I don’t think this happens in most dioceses. [This is a change from my previously stated position.] Please check the Archives first–it’s likely your question was already addressed. Since these talks are private, there naturally are no official reports of what is discussed, and no descriptions of what progress (if any) has been made—but in the past year or so some in the Vatican (most notably the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller) have obliquely indicated that a reconciliation should not be considered imminent. Let’s look at the seven sacraments one by one, and see whether clergy of the SSPX are indeed able to confer them validly. The SSPX was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and is dedicated to the formation of priests and in … A law is legitimate only when it is duly promulgated by the lawfully constituted authority. They understand the significance of the territorial boundaries of the parish where they reside (or in the case of visiting-priests, where they want to celebrate the wedding), and the need to obtain delegation. I recommend this booklet because it deals with an important topic and one which more Catholics need to be better informed about. Consequently, if a Catholic marries in a ceremony conducted by an SSPX priest, the marriage is invalid, for lack of canonical form. It seems absurd that Protestant ministers can officiate valid weddings but not SSPX priests. In the current Code of Canon Law it is found in canon 144. As was seen in Part I of this article, all of the sacraments administered by SSPX clergy—with the exception of absolution in danger of death (c. 986.2, discussed in “Can All Priests Always Hear Confessions?”)—are administered illicitly. The laity, especially families, attending the SSPX Masses and participating in parish life … A fuller discussion of the distinction between validity and liceity can be found in “Are they Really Catholic? If one can donate to the SSPX, then one can donate to the Greek Orthodox or any schismatic group or the Indult priests which have valid sacraments. Confirmation. Let’s say that the retired priest interprets the delegation the same way that the pastor did, namely, that it is valid until the pastor’s return on September 1. This is not because the Church doesn’t mean what it says! The Virus and the Bishops: Twisting a Vatican Document to Further an Agenda. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. That’s because the average lay-Catholic isn’t expected to understand all the niceties of canon law regarding confessional faculties, or the canonically problematic situation of the SSPX overall. Sadly, however, this is not the case! The SSPX have erected their own churches in countries all over the world, but they are not parish churches. Maybe he is a former theology professor at the diocesan seminary, whose faculties were revoked by his bishop after he stubbornly persisted in teaching questionable moral theology to the seminarians. It’s not uncommon to find a diocesan bishop requesting help from (say) a retired bishop, when the diocese has so many parishes that its bishop is physically unable to travel to all of them and confirm everyone by himself! Can All Priests Always Hear Confessions?”. Later in describing some of the canonical penalies incurred by the SSPX the author describes those SSPX sacraments which are not valid which are confession and marriage. Why Would a Catholic Cleric Desecrate an Altar? This was discussed more fully in “Can a Priest Administer the Sacrament of Confirmation?”  In the case of the SSPX, however, it is largely irrelevant because they leave it to their bishops to administer the sacrament of confirmation.). Readers who find this classic statement (often referred to simply by its first two words in Latin, Ecclesia supplet) completely mystifying aren’t alone. Additionally, SSPX bishops can validly administer Confirmation and Holy Orders. If they’re not valid, then every sacrament he performs is invalid regardless of his “intent”. Can a Priest Administer the Sacrament of Confirmation? This is because the marriages aren’t being celebrated in the parish church by a properly delegated cleric—so they are invalid for lack of canonical form. Let’s say that a Catholic enters St. Margaret’s Church and sees a light on in the confessional. Their priests have no proper faculties for those sacraments. 986.2.). Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. If, for example, a priest comes to town who is well-known for heterodox theological views, or for other questionable/scandalous conduct, the local bishop can tell him he is not welcome, and insist that he leave—and the priest is expected to obey, deferring to the local church authority. Personally, I do not have good experience with "trads" in general. Then we should be able to see whether it can be applied at all to SSPX priests, who lack faculties to celebrate Penance and Matrimony. Marriage tribunals rarely encounter such clear-cut invalidity as this. The fact is, Ecclesia supplet does not validate any marriages celebrated by SSPX clergy, period. Since that is not the case with these priests, these sacraments are invalid. c. 368), and these in turn are split into parishes, with precise boundaries. 4.) The only thing that may have been lacking here was the faculty—and the Church supplied it. Louie should be focusing on the validity of Francis’ “priesthood” and “episcopal consecration”….both of the New Rite of Paul VI. Sacraments are like salad — within limits, you can add or leave out certain parts and still have a salad, or a sacrament. Re-post: Can We Receive Holy Communion Twice on Christmas Day? Sanctions, Part III,” the status of the SSPX from its very inception was canonically questionable, as its founder, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, had established it in 1970 without the following the procedures and obtaining the approbations that were required at the time. While most engaged Catholics have no idea how serious the need for this delegation really is, priests do. Let’s say, for example, that a Catholic couple want to marry in their parish, St. Elizabeth’s, on August 31. The SSPX was providentially established WITHIN the Church for the important work of providing the faithful with valid, indubious sacraments and solid catechesis. 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