Clarity please

Reading through the various threads here I found some statements which confuse me.

  1. SSPX’s sacraments are valid but illicit except for Marriage and Confession.

  2. Orthodox confession is valid but we are not allowed to go to them?

It seemed odd to me that SSPX “Bishops” could validly ordain Priests but they can’t hear confession as they don’t have jurisdiction. Do religious order Priests have jurisdiction?

How can Orthodox confession be valid if SSPX isn’t? That baffles me.

The SSPX’s Sacraments are indeed valid. However when you get into the Sacrament of Matrimony it is another issue. Protestant Marriages, between two Protestants are valid yet SSPX marriages are invalid. This is partly due to the SSPX schism not being really formally identified at this time I believe. The Orthodox Marriages are also valid- between two Orthodox Christians.

When you get into Marriage there is a canonical issue concerning the validity- I.E. the SSPX priests are not “Catholic” priests so to say (due to the schismatic gesture of Archbishop Lefebvre ordaining Bishops without papal mandate) so no Catholics can be validly married under their auspices. It was different before the schism was declared in Ecclsia Dei Afflicta, before then their marriages were indeed considered valid.

Upon danger of death you can go to confession to an SSPX priest or even an Orthodox priest and the Sacrament is indeed valid. Remember when the Soviet Union was still in power the Catholics there were allowed to attend the Russian Orthodox Church and receive the Sacraments there.


Upon danger of death you can go to confession to an SSPX priest…

How do I KNOW when I am NOT in danger of death?
I mean, who is not in danger:
A. The one in the hospital with terminal stomach cancer & 6 weeks to live.
B. Driving home from Confession on snow covered icy highways?
C. Top trimming an 80 ft dead tree that may or may not crack off under me?
D. In a convenience store that has 2 armed robberies in the last 16 months unbeknownst to me?
E. A cop on the beat & gets a disturbance or crime in progress call?
F. A Night Traffic cop that stops a driver unknown to him as to intend or armament?

Or are all the above excluded until they are within seconds of meeting their demise AFTER the unexpected happens.
How much time DO they have?

Remember when the Soviet Union was still in power the Catholics there were allowed to attend the Russian Orthodox Church and receive the Sacraments there.

How, exactly is that defined as “danger of death”?

Well, if one has 6 weeks to live then they should be able to make a confession - several in fact.

Of course, falling trees, being shot, etc. are all reasons to make frequent confessions to a licit priest with faculties, right? Obviously if we feel we are going to be shot on the job, it would be wise to make sure you go to confession as often as possible.

Would you feel the same the same about infant baptism. There are 1,000s of things that could go wrong before we are able to have a baby baptized. Does that mean we should all start baptizing on our babies and forgo having the priest do it or should we just keep to getting it done as soon as possible?

Check this out…all of you…NOT in danger of death.

Well this thread really has gone to the dogs now hasn’t it.

If you were hit by a car and could still speak but were about to die in a few minutes and an Orthodox or SSPX priest came to you and asked you if you wanted to go to confession then and there and receive Holy Communion…well… the Church has stated it is ok…and in fact has always been that way.

The Orthodox I believe carry a pyx on a chain around their neck just for such purpose, at least the one I know does.


So basically any suspended priest should be able to hear confessions of anyone at anytime because we’re all in danger of getting hit by a bus. Again, this is why we should avail ourselves of the sacrament from a licit priest with faculties in case we are going to get hit by a bus!

Thanks for the information but this has me more confused. How can the Church say that Protestant marriage is valid but not SSPX? Schism is irrelevant in this case as Protestants are in schism aren’t they??

Its this kind of confusion that is making people leave the Church.

After I started attending the Tridentine Mass which was only offered in my city by the SPPX…I read literature pro and against the whole thing…it made my head hurt…I prayed and have put my trust in God.

I may be a fool but an honest fool…


The Protestant ministers are not trying to confer a Catholic marriage, the SSPX priests are. I would think a Catholic could ask for a dispensation to be married in an SSPX chapel, much like the dispensation for marrying a protestant in their church. I’m not sure if it would be granted, but I think it would make the sacrament valid.

As for the Orthodox, they are eastern and therefore not bound by the Code of Canon law. They do not require jurisdiction for valid confession or marriage. But as stated before, Catholics may not confess to or be married by an Orthodox priest, due to the schism.

One other interesting bit is that jurisdiction is required for validly blessing sacramentals. Though I’m sure “common error” provides jurisdiction to the SSPX priests in most cases.

Yours in Christ,

So if the SSPX don’t try to confer a Catholic marriage, will that make it valid??

I don’t know sounds kinda odd.

Well, since they are Catholic priests the only kind of marriage that they could ever confer(if given faculties) would be a Catholic marriage so you question is kind of an imponderable.:whacky:

If two Catholics get married in an SSPX ceremony it would quite easily be declared null. Because SSPX have a slightly defective understanding of the nature of the sacrament.

If two people not in communion with the Church get married in an SSPX ceremony, then it is much more difficult to declare it null, because they have made solemn vows consistent with their best understanding at the time.

Yes but its my understanding that in Catholic marriage the Minister(s) are the bride and groom. The Priest just witnesses it. This would explain why Protestant marriage is valid.

How can the SSPX have a defective understanding of marriage and not protestants? In protestant marriage it is very well permitted that a young couple may decide NOT to want children. If that were in Catholic marriage it would invalidate the marriage.

I don’t mean to sound argumentative but am I the only one who doesn’t understand the logic of this?

My point is every argument that is said for SSPX marriage being invalid CAN be made for Protestant marriage.

If two Catholics get married in a Protestant ceremony, say because they disagree with the teaching on contraception, there is good case for declaring marriage void.

If two Protestants do the same, there is a much weaker argument for declaring the marraige null and void, because they acted according to their best understanding at the time.

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