Do SSPX priests still have faculties to hear confessions?


Yeah, wouldn’t want any inappropriate beliefs outside the fold. Come into the fold where all the beliefs are pure and never under question.


What does this mean theologically?


It means the mumblings and ceremonies they performed are unsanctioned by Mother Church, but they still do what they intend.

Baptisms cleanse original sin, Eucharist is transubstantiated, etc.


Illicit means illegal.


Isn’t any priest who is not in the state of grace saying the Mass illegally?


The Pope granted confessions and marriages why? Because he cares about thousands of Catholics who were attending these chapels. Let’s say there was no other reason. In the very next breath he could have addressed attendance, he could have addressed an illicit society or Mass or any issues regarding attendance. He didn’t. Instead he moved them closer to regularizatuon and by doing so cleared up any reservations attendees may have had.
By following this with marriage. … again a mercy to the people who exclusively recieve their sacraments from the society he again normalized through permission the society and added a communication with the local bishop. These Masses illicit though they may be, are indeed allowed and even requested.


Along the same lines, the pope also is telling pastors to reach out to the thousands of Catholics who are already caught up in irregular quasi family type arrangements.

This doesn’t mean he is neutral about whether a new couple should, or not, start living together and having children without marriage. Mercy to those already caught in an illicit situation does not eliminate the need for Prudence by new people who “prefer” to begin this new option (illicit chapel, or bed n board).

I’m sure there are some who will rationalize that Pope Francis says it’s ok to start cohabitating because we have to reach out to cohabitators.


Sure. But even when reaching out one usually says" hey, dont do this" he isnt.


Most of them may be illicit, but they’re still the Sacraments, and valid ones at that. They are not mere “mumblings and ceremonies”.


True. He isn’t reiterating that to people in irregular, family-like situations, nor to those in irregular, parish-like situations. Maybe he thinks that repeating a message they’ve already heard is ineffective.


Google Canon 844 Section 2 which reads: “Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage (as far as them being good Confessors) commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ’s faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a catholic minister (one not in communion) may lawfully receive the Sacraments of Penance, the Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick from non-catholic ministers (not in communion) in whose Churches these Sacraments are valid.” (This determination is made by the recipient of the Sacrament, especially when the determination is made for a moral reason.)

Note: This code supplies jurisdiction/faculties and so there’s no need for special consideration from the Pope or the local Ordinary where the minister has Sacraments that are recognized to be valid; and the Pope has obviously recognized the SSPX Sacraments to be valid, or he would not have allowed them during the year of Mercy. Also, since the Sacrament of the Eucharist is normally confected and received at Mass, this Canon and the Pope’s permission, tacitly implies that their Masses are valid. Can it be possible that his Eucharist is valid but his Mass is not? Or that his Mass would not fulfill your Sunday or Holy Day obligations? The Bible is the place where validity is spelled out for the Sacraments. Jesus’ Mass consisted of Consecration and Communion only. So that’s all that’s necessary for a ‘valid’ Mass. (Validity is forever and not subject to an on/off switch. They may be declared illicit but not invalid.) Does this not say that the Sunday or Holy Day obligations are met?

I invite you to look up Canon 844 on all but the “Note”. I received the information in the note from a retired Bishop who shall remain nameless to avoid persecution.


Canon 844 does not apply to the SSPX, as canonist Peter Vere points out, because the Society does not constitute a separate juridical “Church” (note the capital-C) which is not in communion with the Church. I accept the arguments of supplied jurisdiction regarding the SSPX prior to 2016, and now, there is no need to resort to canon 844 anyway because the Holy Father has granted ordinary jurisdiction.


Their masses may be vallid but they are illict.


I was speaking of jurisdiction for hearing confessions, which unlike the celebration of Mass, requires jurisdiction (faculties, as they are known today) to be no only licit, but also valid.


Mass also needs faculties to be licit. Did I misunderstand your post?


The word “also” implies that a priest does need the faculty to say Mass; however, it would only be necessary for liceity, and is not necessary for validity. Penitential jurisdiction, on the other hand, is necessary for both validity AND liceity when it comes to giving sacramental absolution. I am in agreement with you that a priest needs the faculty to say Mass; however, your first response to me was a non sequitur because I wasn’t speaking of SSPX Masses, but SSPX confessions, which are both valid and licit as Pope Francis has stated.

With regard to attendance at SSPX Masses, I can only conclude that the priest’s faculties are supplied, because Rome has never declared their Masses illicit. On the contrary, as other posters have pointed out already, their Masses fulfill the Sunday obligation. Otherwise, the situation would not make sense, and as Cardinal Burke said, the situation with the SSPX is an “anomaly”.

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