Are SSPX priests more strict than regular priests?


The comments about Luther aren’t untrue but your diaconate priest not speaking about abortion because it might offend others of different beliefs?

That’s just sad priest shouldn’t try to appease the masses they need to speak the truth even if it makes people uncomfortable.

Luther was a herectic and shouldn’t be celebrated or made to look like some sort of antihero.

Abortion is murder end of story.


"might offend people who have different beliefs”
Did the priest say this?


I can’t say for that case in particular but I can’t imagine it being a very large extension of the the Truth.

Christianity is dead in the UK for this very reason. That same excuse. It’s all the various churches and clergy seem to be able to say over here.

Of particular timeless insult; was the point at which one of our soldiers was beheaded by a jihadist and the church met the uproar with the extremely politically correct ‘we are all Muslims’ campaign.

Effectively showing solidarity with the faith that killed him, because if not the ‘religion of peace’ political charade might have been undermined.

Any priest who thinks we are ‘all muslims’ to avoid offence, might want to reconcile Muhammad’s famous chant of ‘I have been made victorious through terror’ and a dozen other calls to slaughter those who lack the stupidity to bow to pagan moon God Allah. While at it, they might also seek out a thing formerly known as a ‘backbone’. Seems those are all too lacking today.


Yes 1 and 2 Esdras were 3 and 4 Esdras in the Latin Vulgate as Ezra and Nehemiah were 1 and 2 Esdras. I believe before the Council of Trent they followed 1 and 2 Esdras in the Vulgate. And I believe the Prayer of Mannaseh followed Chronicles.

I could be wrong. I do know that the Council of Trent did not reaffirm these as Canon, and I’m not sure if they ever were Canon in the Church ( I do know they have some status in some Orthodox Churches. )

But yah following the Council of Trent, I forgot the Pope who did it but he put these three texts in an appendix "Lest they perish all together ". It is interesting . Part of me wishes Catholic Bibles had them as an appendix. I believe the original Douey Rheims did however following the Challoner version they no longer were. However it isn’t hard to get these texts in any common Bible. The RSV and NRSV had them as they include books Orthodox consider scripture.


It is not really more “strict” for a priest to say he will only obey some pope or bishop-ordinary of the past. Genuine strictness is when a priest will actually obey the pope and bishop-ordinary of the present.

With dead popes, you can always hunt around to find a quote from 1910, another quote from 1937, and so on, to justify whatever you want to do at the moment. You can easily talk about the importance of apostolic succession, as long as you only obey it up till 1958 or so.

It is harder to obey the current pope in your lifetime; it is harder, let’s say stricter observance, to obey the current ordinary in your own diocese, this year. Unlike the dead bishops of the apostolic succession theory, that current bishop downtown does know you personally. His direction may call you to greater conversion, he may point out some blind spots you don’t want to think about.

This strictness is what the SSPX priest misses out on.


You’re correct - the 1582-1609/1610 Rheims-Douai original Bible included 1/2 Esdras and The Prayer of Manasseh in an appendix.


It should be clarified that there is a difference in talking about individuals who are involved with the SSPX and the institution itself. While the SSPX officially has no canonical status, not everyone involved with the institution has been excommunicated.

On the surface, it would seem that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s actions do not constitute schism because he made no active attempt to break from the Church, but a mere act of disobedience. But Canon 1382 says: “A bishop who consecrates some one a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.” Therefore, Lefebvre, the co-consecrator, and the four new bishops were excommunicated. This was verified by Cardinal Gantin on July 1, 1988.

Canon 751 defines schism as “the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” This does not mean than this “withdrawal of submission” has to be ongoing, or about all of the Holy Father’s views. One single act of refusing to submit to the Pope’s authority within one and the same controversy is already considered schism.

Cardinal Gantin had given Lefebvre a formal canonical warning, stating that Lefebvre’s planned consecrations were against the specific instructions of the Pope himself. He was also very clear in stating that performing the consecrations without a Papal mandate would lead to Lefebvre’s excommunication. Thus, not only is Lefebvre guilty of performing episcopal consecrations without approval, he was also going directly against the Pope’s wishes, and Canon 1629 states: “No appeal is possible against: a judgment of the Supreme Pontiff himself, or a judgment of the Apostolic Signatura.” There are no excuses here.


To continue…

Many SSPX sympathisers also claim that Lefebvre was not excommunicated because he acted out of necessity. Canon 1323 does not apply here. If Lefebvre was not sure of the applicability of this canon, he did have recourse to other options. Canon 6§2 states: “Insofar as they repeat former law, the canons of this Code must be assessed also in accord with canonical tradition.”

Under Pope Pius XII, canonical tradition was clear that grave fear or necessity did not excuse bishops who consecrated others as bishops illicitly or illicitly receive consecration from automatic excommunication. The Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office decreed April 9, 1999:

“Episcopus, cuiusvis ritus vel dignitatis, aliquem, neque ab Apostolica Sede nominatum neque ab Eadem expresse confirmaum, consecraus in Episcopum, et qui consecrationem recipit, etsi metu gravi coacti (c. 2229 A73:3É [CIC 1917]), incurrunt ipso facto in excommunicationem Apostolicae Sedi specialissimo modo reservatam” (AAS 43 [1951] 217-218).

Canonical tradition dictates that grave fear or necessity does not excuse the aforementioned bishops’ disobedience. Therefore Canon 1323 is not applicable in this situation.

To sum it up: the bishops were definitely excommunicated, so Lefebvre died under excommunication and in schism. The four bishops he consecrated later petitioned to have their excommunications revoked, which Benedict XVI did. However, these bishops have continued to disobey the Pope down to the present day. As for the SSPX as an institution, it still has no canonical status and should first seek to regularize their status before doing anything else, including their ministry and celebration of the sacraments.

In general, when priests are ordained, they also receive their faculties. However, due to the SSPX’s canonical irregularity, they were not granted faculties at first because their institution had no relations with the bishops of the dioceses in which they resided in. However, for the Year of Mercy Pope Francis allowed them to have faculties to hear confessions and celebrate marriages.

This was simply done for the good of souls and no, the pope is NOT endorsing the SSPX.

Besides, if someone didn’t know a priest didn’t have faculties, he/she would still be absolved validly due to the concept of “common error.” In these cases, the principle of “Ecclesia supplet” applies - the Church supplies the faculties in certain circumstances.


That is true…by the extraordinary magnanimity of the Holy See – and actually of Pope Saint John Paul II because the norm would be excommunication for formal adherence to a schismatic act as what was perpetrated, as the Pope himself declared.

In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfil the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement. Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law.

This, however, is not correct. They were founded canonically. Their status was subsequently revoked by the Church’s Supreme Authority. Lefebvre refused, repeatedly and with malice, that submission which he was strictly obliged to give to the head of the College of Bishops. The Vicar of Christ therefore suspended him for being so prodigal and faithless to the Church. I remember the events as though they were yesterday.

It was, moreover, easy to know that the Pope, toward whom Lefebvre acted so despicably, was in fact a man of extraordinary holiness who would be raised to the altars. He was a spiritual father to so many who had the privilege to know him. Not everyone lived to see that happy moment…but a number did, by God’s goodness.

This is most true…and forever to remembered. The fruit does not fall far from the tree.


Prayer is needed for all persons involved in or with the SSPX, including any officials from the Vatican or dioceses who make decisions related to the SSPX.


I believe the SSPX are in dispute as they don’t accept Vatican II as a legitimate council.

I do not know if they have valid masses or not.


Well, I don’t know the depth of your interest but this would give you a reasonably comprehensive treatment:


History is crucial. It is important to know the events and persons involved, in Vatican II, in the movement developed by the Archbishop while still in communion with the Church, and the consecrations of the 1980s. Having said that, I wanted to focus on the OP topic, are the SSPX priests now “more strict”?

Keep in mind the SSPX clergy now are very different from the 1970s. In the 1970s the great majority had worked and trained extensively in different ministries of the Church itself, ministered under a bishop - ordinary, and alongside many religious orders, participated in diocesan ministries.

In 2017, relatively few SSPX priests have worked much in any diocese, have not worked under a bishop - ordinary, have not worked alongside religious orders, have no experience working or training in most kinds of Catholic institutions. In recent years, most of their seminary teachers and superiors got almost all their own training and experience only in SSPX.

SSPX seminarians in the 1970s were trained by priests who had a long history of strict obedience to popes, at least till a few years earlier. Seminarians in recent years had teachers who likely had no history of strict obedience to any pope.

This huge difference between SSPX 1977 and SSPX 2017 is relevant to the OP. One can argue that in terms of Catholic “strictness”, it is much less now than it was then.


Yep. They strike me as pretty darn liberal in their open defiance of the successors of the apostles… it’s very progressive.


In fairness to them, they might argue they are “strict” in the Catholic Faith, though they can’t be “strict” in the drifted-away Catholic Church. There is a part of me that is sympathetic to this, after seeing abuses at the parish, diocesan, institutional, and national level.

I think their current position is wrong, for the reasons given in my post 35. Those priests who have now joined their diocese and/or FSSP are more likely to be able to live and share the “strict” Catholic Faith, and also be a part of the effort towards reduction of abuses within the Church, and the exterior foes of the Gospel. The SSPX is absent in those 2 efforts.

But make an effort to understand those current SSPX priests and attached laity, how they got to this position. Attack and ridicule hardens them in their current position. Quoting documents and citing events from the 1970s and 1980s is ok, but people act based on their feelings in 2017.


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