Do SSPX priests still have faculties to hear confessions?


So again I’ll let others or fr z provide the technical support. But it’s my understanding that one can attend a Mass in the Roman rite. Which the EF that the SSPX have is. I attend every once in a while as it’s the only Latin Mass offered within an 8 hour drive in my diocese. (Its 1 hour away)


No, it was extended beyond the year of mercy.


I think the intent of the pope’s decree during the year of Mercy, since extended, was:
If this is where some laity are going to Confession anyway, we will extend to them - laity - the measure of generosity to know their sins are fully forgiven.
About that time the pope also reached out to other groups of laity, insisting pastors visit and offer care and concern to persons in irregular family-like situations. Or irregular parish-like situations.

Apart from the question of Valid or Licit, not every situation is equally Prudent, even though we love (not judge) the unmarried couple with a couple of kids. He isn’t recommending new people enter into irregular situations, just to love those already there.


Pope Francis gave then licitude to hear confessions. My question is: are their mass LICIT?


Yes, the SSPX have the faculty to grant absolution, which is what the sacrament actually is. So, yes, SSPX priests can hear confessions.

I have noted some misunderstandings in this thread saying that if the Holy Father had not granted them the faculty they would hear confessions validly but illicitly. This is not true. In order for a priest to grant absolution of sins (i.e. hear confessions) he requires the power of order and jurisdiction, i.e. faculties. All Catholic priests have the power of order from their ordination. They receive the jurisdiction, i.e. faculties, to grant absolution from their ordinary.

Due to their irregular position in the Church SSPX priests cannot be granted the necessary jurisdiction. However, in an extraordinary move the Pope has granted them faculties. Therefore, you can go to confession with an SSPX priest and if he grants you absolution you can be certain it is validly granted.


I could loose my time here, trying to defend the SSPX against false accusations made by some detractors, posting their links and quoting good sources, but I won’t.
I know people will drop by simply to attack the Society and those supporting them, which will eventually be converted in flags, flags that I will receive and that will give me a suspension, so I’ll simply avoid this by avoiding this discussion.


Yes. The faculties have not yet been revoked. I expect them to remain in place at least during Pope Francis’ tenure.


For an objective and honest look at the whole question of the SSPX and their role in the Church; there is a great interview by Bp. Athanasius Bishop Schneider on the whole question.


It is unknown whether the faculties of the SSPX to hear confessions was ever fully revoked. The Vatican has never investigated and declared any particular confessions null.

Thee SSPX have had no ministry in the church for many years, and thus no right to hear confessions. However, there are so many contingencies in Canon Law in favor of the faithful that it would be irresponsible gossip to for an uninvolved layperson to say SSPX confessions were invalid, especially in all circumstances. The most one could do is warn another of the ambiguity.

That said, the Pope explicitly granted faculties to the SSPX, eliminating any ambiguity. These faculties have not expired, nor been revoked.

The Pope eliminated this ambiguity for the benefit of the faithful cared for by the SSPX.

In granting these faculties, he made absolutely no statement about whether prior confessions were invalid. This was not investigated nor is it possible to investigate. Suspended priests, even defrocked priests, are bound by the seal of the confessional. Any sin confessed can never be discussed, so any contingencies in Canon Law that might have granted faculties for a valid confession cannot be known by uninvolved parties.


The SSPX is still not in full communion with the rest of the Catholic Church.


Not everything that is valid is necessarily licit. Not everything that is valid and licit is necessarily prudent.

Prudence is the variable usually forgotten in these kinds of threads. Prudence takes into account the long term effect on others, priests and laity, not just the typical “Can I get MY sins forgiven?” and “Can I meet MY Sunday obligation?”.


It doesn’t matter that the Mass is the Tridentine Mass. A priest must have faculties to celebrate Mass, and that is granted by the local Ordinary, who was appointed by the Pope to be Bishop of that (arch)diocese. If there are no faculties, then the Mass is illicit.

Licity and validity are two different things. There is no doubt that three SSPX have valid Sacraments. Whether they’re all licit – legal – is another matter entirely.


Prudence takes into account more than meeting some technical, minimum requirement. A universal permission may be granted, considering some grew up going only one place for confession, for their whole lives. The permission also may have anticipated some people have only one church in 50 miles. That may not apply to you.

But the permitted option for some might not be the most prudent option for others. In my city the diocese has allowed the TLM in a few places, with Confession there.

This is not an option in all cities. But if it is, Prudence takes that into account.

It came about because some who loved the TLM worked and waited patiently, for years to bring it about.


Let’s be careful here. The bishop normally grants facilities to hear confessions within his diocese. The year of mercy and subsequently allowed FSSPX priests to hear confessions within those dioceses without bishop’s approval. It can be debated whether all priests received this faculty.


Faculties from the Pope make it true enough for confession and marriage.


The irony I find here, in regards to the whole question of the SSPX is that you will have people here wanting to claim that the SSPX is “not in union with Rome”, and yet, they at the same time want to claim that the (Schismatic/non-Catholic) Orthodox are fine, that they have 'apostolic succession,and that ‘it would be a sin’ to want to convert them to the Catholic faith; that they are ‘a sister church’; but the SSPX, now that is another issue… . . A little bit of a double standards ?

I seem to see a double standard here based on nothing objective except peoples personal views, rather than them taking the time to look at the question properly before they comment on it. This is perhaps is common on all topics. But I think people need to look at the facts rather then put forward views based on a merely emotional response, especially since the SSPX objectively accept the Pope as the head of the Church and embrace all the Traditional Teachings of the Church without question.

This point of double standard and objective reality in regards to this whole issue was pointed out some time ago by the theologian Dr. John F Lamont, who himself is not associated with the SSPX but was able to see through the hypocrisy going on in this regard.

The title of the article he wrote was "A theologian’s Question’. For those who are not familiar with it; I highly recommend it, regardless of what you might personally think of the SSPX, especially as it comes from an objective theologian who is in no way associated with the SSPX.


I encourage all to read it.

  • He compares SSPX to the Jesuits, which is very different. Why not compare to FSSP?

  • He seems to say it’s better to be “inside the Faith, but temporarily outside the Church”, than to be “inside the Church, but outside the Faith”, which he says, with some justifications, some religious orders are.

  • He seems to have no problem with the ongoing long term non-participation of SSPX attached families in the ongoing life of their home diocese, connection to activities at other parishes, to their Ordinary, to Diocesan ministries, such as Prolife.


Yes. All Priests may hear the Confession of any who approach them. Canon 843 and 844 devote considerable effort in explaining this subject. More recently, Pope Benedict XVI wrote “Dominus Jesus” and in it, outlines that Old Catholics, Independent Catholics and other formerly separated brethren who share a valid (and proven) Apostolic Succession and who can confect a valid Eucharist, are to be accepted. We are living in a time when Priests are dwindling and more and more is being levied on those who remain. Despite what the press puts out, most of our Priests work just short of exhaustion. In my younger days, a rectory housed three to five Priests in one Parish. Now, one Priest covers three Parishes and perhaps functions in a variety of committees. I have been an Old Catholic Cleric/Prelate since 1982. I love what I do and have a great relationship locally with clergy. Go to Confession please and have no fear. Once those words of Absolution are spoken, your soul is clean. Who brings that about really matters not but if you are Roman Catholic, try to go to one of your Priests. If you cannot, get to another valid and licit Priest. My blessing to you. + Lawrence


Welcome back to posting on CAF Metroform!


Absolutely! They need to be brought back into the fold or else their illicit sacraments could open them up to further…inappropriate beliefs.

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