I am sure this topic has been thoroughly beaten about, but I am bringing it up here again, mostly to avoid hijacking another thread.
Now, I didn’t come here to defend the SSPX and have never been in one of their chapels, but much of what is said about them just does not make sense.
So, at the risk of forever being labeled a “Lefebvreist” here goes.
The heart of the controversy seems to boil down to to the Apostolic letter "ECCLESIA DEI" of Pope John Paul II given on July 2, 1988. It can be found here: vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_commissions/ecclsdei/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_02071988_ecclesia-dei_en.html%between% Oddly enough, I could find no link to this lettter on the “Apostolic Letters” page for John Paul II. In any case, this is the sticking point:
Hence such disobedience - which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy - constitutes a schismatic act
It all seems very straight forward but I ask you to look a little deeper. In order to believe that the Society of St. Pius X is a schismatic sect, you must also believe all of the following:
- Consecration of bishops without Pontifical approval is a “schismatic act”.
1a To believe 1 above, you must believe that the disobedience ( which is bad in itself) is an offense against Faith and Unity
- Everyone who performs a schismatic act is, by definition, schismatic.
- An individual (or, four individuals in this case) can taint ( infect?) any organization to which they belong. - Guilt by association, I suppose.
- Schism is an entity that persists after the individual believed to be schismatic has died.
Again, I do not want to be known as a “Defender of the SSPX” (although I would be in good company when you remember Michael Davies), but would be interested in continuing a discussion. In my opinion, this touches on subjects far beyond the specifics of this particular issue.