Are SSPX priests Catholic priests?

Since the excommunication on SSPX bishops were lifted and SSPX priests are validly ordained, are they now considered Catholic priests, even though they’re suspended? Thank you.

I am not completely clear on this. It is my understanding that they are Catholic priests in that they can validly celebrate the Mass, but they do not have faculties to hear confession and absolve sins or perform marriages. Their bishops cannot confirm anyone. But do the have the ability to ordain? Anyone baptized Catholic, of course, can baptize.

At least that is my understanding.

That’s my understanding too.

SSPX priests are validly ordained. But one does not get faculties simply by being ordained. For example, St. John Vianney had for the first few years of his pastoral ministry no faculties to hear confessions (naturally he submitted and we know it was eventually lifted). Their bishops validly though illicitly ordain them.

Furthermore, SSPX priests are ipso facto suspended a divinis, hence why they have no faculties to hear confessions or assist in the Sacrament of Matrimony (except in danger of death and when the penitent is unaware of the lack of faculties).

So yes, they are Catholic priests. Very badly behaved Catholic priests, who exercise no legitimate ministry, but priests nonetheless.

The same could have been said for some of the current older FSSP priests, before they accepted Pope John Paul II’s offer, of course. But point taken.

But they repented, and Holy Mother Church is better for it. :slight_smile:

We should pray the brethren they left behind do the same.

At least some if not all. I’ll bet there are a few in formation who hope the matter gets resolved quickly as well. Why else would someone be studying for the priesthood 7-10 years knowing full well that he’ll never be able to hear confessions or perform his ministry to the fullest?


Archbishop Mueller:

“by their schism they have broken away from communion with the Church.”

Any priest who received Catholic baptism is canonically Catholic.

Let’s say a priest my age was baptized in 1989 and was recently ordained (still young yes). He was baptized in a schismatic organization, not the Catholic Church. He was validly ordained, not in the Catholic Church.

Likely, most of SSPX’s ministers are Catholic canonically. None of them are Catholic priests. They are all valid priests, but none of them have any legitimate canonical ministry within the Church Catholic.

So basically? No. They are not.

Non only Catholics. Anybody can baptize - as long as they use the correct formula, water and have the intention to baptize.

Indeed - the one who baptizes does not even need to be baptized him- or herself. Though I suspect such an event would be followed up with conditional baptism, not just completion/supplementation of rites, later.

What about the SSPX bishops? Are they Catholic bishops? I would think so, since the Church lifted the excommunications, which implies that they are?


Right. Everyone accepts that they are actually bishops and priests. So, if they aren’t Catholic, what authority would the Holy See have over them as far as suspending faculties, excommunicating, remitting penalties, etc.?

Yes, they are Catholic.


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