confirmed by Bp Williamson


#1

I received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Williamson of the SSPX 7 years ago. Did I validly receive the sacrament since the SSPX is in irregular relations with Rome?


#2

I would say this is a question that you should be asking in your own diocese, of your own priest and/or Bishop.


#3

[quote="a83192, post:1, topic:274542"]
I received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Williamson of the SSPX 7 years ago. Did I validly receive the sacrament since the SSPX is in irregular relations with Rome?

[/quote]

The issue isn't so much the irregular relations but that Bishop Williamson did not have the faculties to administer Confirmation. That falls to the ordinary of the diocese in which you live. Bishop Williamson, while a validly ordained bishop is not an ordinary nor does he have faculties from any ordinary.

All that being said, depending on the circumstances, your Confirmation might be valid but illicit or it might not be valid. As noted above, meet with your pastor and discuss this. He may need to refer you to someone in the diocese since not all parish priests are experts in the situation with the SSPX.


#4

Talk to your parish priest. If he doesn’t know, he’ll refer you to the Bishop’s office or something.


#5

You’ll get much more meaningful replies over at FE.

I wish I had only been so blessed.


#6

[quote="Corki, post:3, topic:274542"]
The issue isn't so much the irregular relations but that Bishop Williamson did not have the faculties to administer Confirmation. That falls to the ordinary of the diocese in which you live. Bishop Williamson, while a validly ordained bishop is not an ordinary nor does he have faculties from any ordinary.

All that being said, depending on the circumstances, your Confirmation might be valid but illicit or it might not be valid. As noted above, meet with your pastor and discuss this. He may need to refer you to someone in the diocese since not all parish priests are experts in the situation with the SSPX.

[/quote]

a83192, this is the better answer to go by than the last response. The last poster meant Fish Eaters which is a traditionalist site with an extreme bias that is pro-SSPX and is run by laypeople, not priests/bishops.

It has a small benefit, in that info on things assocaited with traditionalism not promoted in the mainstream, Novus Ordo Mass Catholic Church, are available. Be warned though, even in the information sections, pro-SSPX/Anti Novus Ordo opinions are expressed there.
Catholic Culture rates Catholic websites according to the Magisterium and teachings of the Church. They have examined Fisheaters, and I agree with its evaluation:
catholicculture.org/culture/reviews/view.cfm?recnum=1915&repos=2&subrepos=0&searchid=842477

What Corki is saying is true. This is the most practical thing you can do. God Bless. YCRCM.


#7

[quote="mattkubes, post:5, topic:274542"]
You'll get much more meaningful replies over at FE.

I wish I had only been so blessed.

[/quote]

What is so good about a bishop who is disobedient to Rome?


#8

[quote="mattkubes, post:5, topic:274542"]
You'll get much more meaningful replies over at FE.

I wish I had only been so blessed.

[/quote]

Blessed? Seriously? From a man who is disobedient to Rome, denies the Holocaust, and thinks women need nothing more than a high school education (if even that) and shouldn't be allowed to drive a vehicle? Wow....."Blessed" isn't exactly a word I would use......


#9

[quote="thistle, post:7, topic:274542"]
What is so good about a bishop who is disobedient to Rome?

[/quote]

He resisted changes to the Mass that watered down the doctrines concerning the sacrificial nature of the Mass and its propitiatory value. He condemned an ecumenism called "tantamount to apostasy" by Pius IX, and proclaimed the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ in the face of a "new" concept of religious liberty. I could go on, but what's not to like?

He was reacting to a seemingly extreme situation. And I thank him for the battle he fought in favour of Tradition.


#10

^ lol


#11

[quote="YoungCanRCMale, post:6, topic:274542"]
a83192, this is the better answer to go by than the last response. The last poster meant Fish Eaters which is a traditionalist site with an extreme bias that is pro-SSPX and is run by laypeople, not priests/bishops.

[/quote]

I said that because there's a poster over there by the name of a83192 who may very well be related to the a83192 we're talking to here. And I said that because why even ask a question related to the SSPX on CAF? The responses are almost always tired, loaded, and utterly predictable.

And no, not everyone at FE is pro-SSPX. That's why I suggested that the answers there would likely be more meaningful.


#12

[quote="Corki, post:3, topic:274542"]
The issue isn't so much the irregular relations but that Bishop Williamson did not have the faculties to administer Confirmation. .

[/quote]

Faculties only apply to priests. A bishop does not require faculties administer the Sacrament

Can. 882 The ordinary minister of confirmation is a bishop; a presbyter provided with this faculty in virtue of universal law or the special grant of the competent authority also confers this sacrament validly.

Can. 883 The following possess the faculty of administering confirmation by the law itself:

1/ within the boundaries of their jurisdiction, those who are equivalent in law to a diocesan bishop;

2/ as regards the person in question, the presbyter who by virtue of office or mandate of the diocesan bishop baptizes one who is no longer an infant or admits one already baptized into the full communion of the Catholic Church;

3/ as regards those who are in danger of death, the pastor or indeed any presbyter.

.

As such, the Confirmation is most likely valid, but illicit.


#13

[quote="Brendan, post:12, topic:274542"]
Faculties only apply to priests. A bishop does not require faculties administer the Sacrament

.

As such, the Confirmation is most likely valid, but illicit.

[/quote]

Actually, by your quote I would read it as invalid, and certainly illicit.

Can. 882 The ordinary minister of confirmation is a bishop; a presbyter provided with this faculty in virtue of universal law or the special grant of the competent authority also confers this sacrament validly.

Can. 883 The following possess the faculty of administering confirmation by the law itself:

1/ within the boundaries of their jurisdiction, those who are equivalent in law to a diocesan bishop;

2/ as regards the person in question, the presbyter who by virtue of office or mandate of the diocesan bishop baptizes one who is no longer an infant or admits one already baptized into the full communion of the Catholic Church;

3/ as regards those who are in danger of death, the pastor or indeed any presbyter.

7 Years ago Bishop Williamson was under excommunication and did not have any lawful jurisdiction over anyone. Nor was he equivalent in law to a diocesan bishop (he's neither a diocesan bishop, an apostolic administrator, territorial abbot, or ordinary of a religious community in good standing).

Confirmation is a sacrament that requires not just Holy Orders, but also jurisdiction if I recall.

The OP could have only been confirmed by the Bishop of the Diocese they lived in or someone designated by said Bishop (a priest with proper faculties, or if Bishop Williamson was given specific permission to give the Sacrament of Confirmation).

Canon 886:

Can. 886 §1 A Bishop in his own diocese may lawfully administer the sacrament of confirmation even to the faithful who are not his subjects, unless there is an express prohibition by their own Ordinary.

§2 In order lawfully to administer confirmation in another diocese, unless it be to his own subjects, a Bishop needs the permission, at least reasonably presumed, of the diocesan Bishop.

Bishop Williamson has no jurisdiction and therefore no subjects, and needed the permission of the local diocesan Bishop to confirm. I don't think it can be reasonably presumed either.


#14

[quote="curlycool89, post:13, topic:274542"]
Actually, by your quote I would read it as invalid, and certainly illicit.

1/ within the boundaries of their jurisdiction, those who are equivalent in law to a diocesan bishop;

Confirmation is a sacrament that requires not just Holy Orders, but also jurisdiction if I recall.

[/quote]

Jurisdiction is only required of presbyters (priests). In Canon Law, those who are equivent in Law to a diocesan bishop refers to those presbyters who administer a diocese in the absence of a bishop (in which case the universal law of the Church gives automatic jurisdiction), and to Abbots or Priors within their own monasteries. They may confirm those who are under their care, such as postulants who had never been confirmed. A Prior, who is most likely a priest, would have automatic faculties to Confirm and would not require permission from the local bishop.

As you noted, he is not an apostolic administrator, nor an Abbot. So universal law did not grant him faculties. But again, the need for faculties applies only to presbyters.

In every case listed, the granting of faculties referrers only to presbyters.Thus the first prescript of 882 applies, that a bishop (any bishop) is the Ordinary Minister of the Sacrament

The OP could have only been confirmed by the Bishop of the Diocese they lived in or someone designated by said Bishop (a priest with proper faculties, or if Bishop Williamson was given specific permission to give the Sacrament of Confirmation).

Bishop Williamson has no jurisdiction and therefore no subjects, and needed the permission of the local diocesan Bishop to confirm. I don't think it can be reasonably presumed either.

'Lawfully' refers to licitity, not to validity. What C. 886 does is to confirm (no pun) that the Sacrament was illict.

It does not reflecti validity. For that, we go back to C 882

Another example is that of Orthdox bishops. We hold that they are schismatic, and they hold no diocesan jurisdiction that the Church recognizes. But we accept their Chrismation as being valid. If a Catholic presented themselves to an Othordox bishop, and the bishop Chrismated them (in violation of their own teachings I know). The Catholic Church would hold that the person has been Confirmed and would not attempt a re-Confirmation.

Thus the same would hold true for a bishop in an irregular state, such as +Williamson


#15

[quote="curlycool89, post:13, topic:274542"]
... 7 Years ago Bishop Williamson was under excommunication and did not have any lawful jurisdiction over anyone. Nor was he equivalent in law to a diocesan bishop (he's neither a diocesan bishop, an apostolic administrator, territorial abbot, or ordinary of a religious community in good standing).

Confirmation is a sacrament that requires not just Holy Orders, but also jurisdiction if I recall. ....

[/quote]

(When previewing this comment, I noticed that "Brendan" has said basically the same thing. I'll post this anyway.)

Hello,

The issue of being "equivalent in law to a diocesan bishop" is related to presbyters who are appointed to particular Churches that are not dioceses, e.g., territorial prelature, apostolic vicariate, etc (c. 368). Those who are the ordinaries of these Churches are not always ordained bishops but for the sake of being able to govern their territory, they are "equivalent in law" to a diocesan bishop (c. 381.2). Sacramentally, however, even such a priest does not have the power of orders that a bishop has. He cannot ordain anyone, for example (c. 1012). For the Sacrament of Confirmation, however, episcopal ordination is obviously not required (c. 882). Since such a priest who is equivalent in law to a bishop does not have the faculty to confirm because of episcopal ordination, and it makes no sense for this prelate to ask someone for the faculty, the law gives it to him.

A validly ordained bishop, whether he has any office in the Church or not, can always validly confirm anyone, anywhere in the world. This is true for Orthodox Bishops as well as any of the SSPX Bishops or even Bishops who are clearly in a state of schism. Jurisdiction isn't an issue for validity, when Bishops are involved, as can be seen in c. 886.2: "In order lawfully to administer confirmation in another diocese...a Bishop needs the (at least reasonably presumed) permission of the diocesan bishop."

So, to the OP, presuming that everything was carried out properly, it can safely be concluded that you are validly confirmed. That's how I see it, anyway.

Dan


#16

Here is more on the subject from Jimmy Akin.

jimmyakin.com/2006/02/schism_confirma.html

1) Does a schismatic bishop administer Confirmation validly, even if illicitly, when there is no danger of death?

Yes. Bishops can always confirm validly, regardless of whether they are in the Catholic Church or not. Bishops are the ordinary ministers of this sacrament and so they do not need to have faculties delegated to them in order to perform it validly. The ability to do this sacrament is one of the powers that is conferred on a bishop in his ordination.

2) Does a schismatic priest administer Confirmation validly, even if illicitly, when there is no danger of death?

The law is not entirely clear on this point. There are clearly at least some circumstances in which a priest who is not a member of the Catholic Church can confirm validly. Specifically: If he is part of a non-Catholic church (in the proper sense of the term "church" with a valid episcopacy) and that church authorizes him to perform confirmations then he can do so validly. Thus Eastern Orthodox priests confirm validly.

He mentions that Confirmation by SSPX bishop are recognized as illicit but invalid. The Confirmations done by SSPX priests are doubtful pending clarification from Rome.


#17

[quote="Brendan, post:14, topic:274542"]
Jurisdiction is only required of presbyters (priests). In Canon Law, those who are equivent in Law to a diocesan bishop refers to those presbyters who administer a diocese in the absence of a bishop (in which case the universal law of the Church gives automatic jurisdiction), and to Abbots or Priors within their own monasteries. They may confirm those who are under their care, such as postulants who had never been confirmed. A Prior, who is most likely a priest, would have automatic faculties to Confirm and would not require permission from the local bishop.

As you noted, he is not an apostolic administrator, nor an Abbot. So universal law did not grant him faculties. But again, the need for faculties applies only to presbyters.

In every case listed, the granting of faculties referrers only to presbyters.Thus the first prescript of 882 applies, that a bishop (any bishop) is the Ordinary Minister of the Sacrament

'Lawfully' refers to licitity, not to validity. What C. 886 does is to confirm (no pun) that the Sacrament was illict.

It does not reflecti validity. For that, we go back to C 882

Another example is that of Orthdox bishops. We hold that they are schismatic, and they hold no diocesan jurisdiction that the Church recognizes. But we accept their Chrismation as being valid. If a Catholic presented themselves to an Othordox bishop, and the bishop Chrismated them (in violation of their own teachings I know). The Catholic Church would hold that the person has been Confirmed and would not attempt a re-Confirmation.

Thus the same would hold true for a bishop in an irregular state, such as +Williamson

[/quote]

It's not just required of presbyters. Bishops too need to have faculties to confirm. The bishop of the place doesn't need further faculties (he has them from the law itself, and from the very office, that of "ordinary" that he holds). However, a bishop who is not an ordinary does need faculties. For example, a retired bishop still needs faculties. An auxiliary bishop also needs faculties. It's true that they require faculties, even though in actual practice, they are most likely given these faculties when they first assume their ministry--but they do still need them.


#18

[quote="FrDavid96, post:17, topic:274542"]
It's not just required of presbyters. Bishops too need to have faculties to confirm. The bishop of the place doesn't need further faculties (he has them from the law itself, and from the very office, that of "ordinary" that he holds). However, a bishop who is not an ordinary does need faculties. For example, a retired bishop still needs faculties. An auxiliary bishop also needs faculties. It's true that they require faculties, even though in actual practice, they are most likely given these faculties when they first assume their ministry--but they do still need them.

[/quote]

I would disagree Father. A bishop needs permission for licitiy, but not faculites.

Faculties determine validity. As you well know, a priest without faculties cannot absolve or witness marriages (except if grave cases)

But please review Can 883-2 "In order lawfully to administer confirmation in another diocese, unless it be to his own subjects, a Bishop needs the permission, at least reasonably presumed, of the diocesan Bishop. "

Can you explain under what circumstances a bishop would have faculties, but not permission? What circumstance is this Canon addressing?

It would seem, that if you are correct that a bishop who is not the ordinary in his own diocese requires faculties, are those granted outside of permission?

The only case I can think of would be confirmations in time of grave need, and a visiting bishop did not have at least presumed permission to confirm, but confirmed a person in grave need.

But then a contradiction arises. How can a confirmation done in great need ( which is specifically provided for in law) be an illicit act, not "lawfully administerd"

Thoughts?


#19

[quote="Brendan, post:18, topic:274542"]
I would disagree Father. A bishop needs permission for licitiy, but not faculites.

Faculties determine validity. As you well know, a priest without faculties cannot absolve or witness marriages (except if grave cases)

But please review Can 883-2 "In order lawfully to administer confirmation in another diocese, unless it be to his own subjects, a Bishop needs the permission, at least reasonably presumed, of the diocesan Bishop. "

Can you explain under what circumstances a bishop would have faculties, but not permission? What circumstance is this Canon addressing?

It would seem, that if you are correct that a bishop who is not the ordinary in his own diocese requires faculties, are those granted outside of permission?

The only case I can think of would be confirmations in time of grave need, and a visiting bishop did not have at least presumed permission to confirm, but confirmed a person in grave need.

But then a contradiction arises. How can a confirmation done in great need ( which is specifically provided for in law) be an illicit act, not "lawfully administerd"

Thoughts?

[/quote]

Brendan,

The point is that every bishop needs faculties to minister. A diocesan bishop (ie an ordinary) has his faculties by virtue of his office as ordinary--as the shepherd of his diocese. Within his own diocese, he needs nothing more.

The distinction though is between an "ordinary" and a "bishop." As you well know (but I need to say it to setup the rest of the post), not every bishop is an ordinary. For example, an auxiliary bishop still needs to have faculties from the local ordinary in order to minister within the diocese--and he gets them from the ordinary just as any presbyter does*. Now it goes without saying that if a diocesan bishop has an auxiliary, he's going to grant him faculties--of course. But my point is that it actually needs to be done---in contrast to the idea that he (the aux.) has faculties by virtue of his episcopal ordination.

Keep in mind what I'm saying and also what I'm not saying. All I'm saying is that a bishop needs to have faculties---whether he gets them by virtue of the law itself, or they are granted by the ordinary (as in the case of an auxiliary or a retired bishop), he still needs to have them.

Just for example, take a look at canon 409
Can. 409 §2. When the episcopal see is vacant and unless competent authority has established otherwise, an auxiliary bishop preserves all and only those powers and faculties which he possessed as vicar general or episcopal vicar while the see was filled until a new bishop has taken possession of the see. .......

It's not that a bishop "does not need faculties" because of his episcopal ordination. They still need to have faculties, even though barring some extreme & unlikely circumstances, they will always be granted them.

Please keep in mind that all I'm saying is that a bishop must have faculties in order to minister. I'm just going about it in the long-form.

*certainly, the faculties granted to an aux. bishop are going to be different than those given to a presbyter, so don't read too much into "just as any presbyter." I don't mean they're the same, I mean that they have to be granted.


#20

[quote="FrDavid96, post:19, topic:274542"]
Just for example, take a look at canon 409
Can. 409 §2. When the episcopal see is vacant and unless competent authority has established otherwise, an auxiliary bishop preserves all and only those powers and faculties which he possessed as vicar general or episcopal vicar while the see was filled until a new bishop has taken possession of the see. .......

It's not that a bishop "does not need faculties" because of his episcopal ordination. They still need to have faculties, even though barring some extreme & unlikely circumstances, they will always be granted them.

Please keep in mind that all I'm saying is that a bishop must have faculties in order to minister. I'm just going about it in the long-form.

[/quote]

There are a number of things that 409 is presumably addressing, such as the legislative and judicial powers of the diocesan bishop. However, it's not clear to me that an auxiliary bishop would lack the faculty to confirm unless it had been specifically granted by the bishop. Even if that were the case, it's not clear that such is necessary for validity rather than simply licity.

Considering that SSPX ordinations are presumed valid, I don't see the basis for treating the Sacrament of Confirmation differently. In contrast, matrimony and penance are simultaneously sacraments and legal acts of the Church, which is why faculties are essential for their validity.

I haven't taken the time to carefully assess this, but it is worth noting that canon 883 is also cited elsewhere in canon law:

Can. 144 §1 In common error, whether of fact or of law, and in positive and probable doubt, whether of law or of fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and the internal forum.

§2 The same norm applies to the faculties mentioned in cann. 883, 966, and 1111 §1.

Interestingly, the New Commentary on Canon Law (p. 193) includes 882 in the list of canons in 144 §2. Was this deleted at some point in the last few decades by the Holy Father?


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