Society of Saint Pius X

What is the position of this organization?

They are in schism for ordaining bishops against the order of the Holy See.

“For the right of ordaining bishops-belongs only to the Apostolic See, as the Council of Trent declares; it cannot be assumed by any bishop or metropolitan without obliging Us to declare schismatic both those who ordain and those who are ordained, thus invalidating their future actions.”

Pius VI, *Charitas *, 1791

I can barely help myself in answering your question with a single word that would be funny but I would get in trouble. So, I will refrain.

Their position is quite frankly dishonest. The majority of them claim to believe that Benedict XVI is a valid Pope but that they are in disobedience to Rome so that they are obedient to the Church. Some, have more definitive schismatic dispositions. An example is Bishop Williamson who has publically claimed that the Deposit of Faith is no longer present in Rome but that the Society is the holder of the Deposite of Faith.

The short answer is that they are Schismatic, at most, in tendancy and at least they are Excommunicated. However, their sacraments apart from Matrimony and Penance are valid albeit illicit.

The valid magesterium of the Holy Catholic Church delcared that they are in schism. The schism was not over the celebration of the TLM, but it was over the disobedience of Archbishop Lefebvre towards Pope John Paul II. The penalty incurred is within the bounds of Canon Law and affirmed by the Supreme Legislator who is the Pope.

I read Pope Benedict XVI recently met with them… What was that for?

They are trying to work out a reconciliation so that they will return to the unity of the Church.

What is their take on Holy Tradition? What little I have read is that they hold to the valid teachings of the Church Post-Vatican II. How is that schismatic?

Schism takes many forms but in this sense they deny the legitimate authority of the Holy Father at least in the right to regulate the ordination of Bishops. The act of ordaining Bishops without the proper authority from the Holy Father is itself a Schismatic act.

Don’t Orthodox Bishops ordain their own Bishops without proper authority from the Holy Father? I don’t see the Pope excommunicating them. Why not? Why the double standard?

Because the Orthodox are already in Schism so it is redundant. It is not as if they are part of the Church.

Well you have some issues with Vatican II which states that the Orthodox are actually ‘part’ of the Church and Pope John Paul II ‘lifted’ the anathamas from the Ecumenical Partiarch.

Note this is the ‘same’ Pope who excummunicated the Bishops in Schism (SSPX). Don’t you see an issue with this?

On the one hand a Schismatic Body is getting special treatment (Orthodox) but on the other hand (SSPX) they are getting excummunicated for the exact same thing. Why?

What is your take on this?

First of all your interpretation of Vatican II is mistaken and so is your historical timeline. The Orthodox are united in a special way to the Church. And in fact they are part of a religion that is considered so united to the Body that they are officially called Churches as they have thus far retained Apostolic Succession. However, to be fully a member of the Body you must do two things.

  1. Be validly Baptized
  2. Profess the true and complete faith

Their lack of the second qualification brings a degree of separation.

The juridical action of lifting an excommunication is not necessarily related to the state of Schism. Schism as defined is an internal disposition that cannot be legislated. Plus, if memory serves me correctly the excommunication of all the East was lifted by Paul VI, but I could be wrong. Further, we are not talking apples to apples. The SSPX are not a Church but rather a suppressed priestly fraternity thus they do not have the same rights as a suri juri Church.

I see no contradiction. Give the SSPX about 1000 years of being excommunicated and then we can lift the ban. Then they will be equal to the Orthodox. [/absurdity]

The power of excommunication is done for specific reasons and used as needed. The Supreme Legislator (the Pope) has the final say on what is proper and what is not. To paraphrase canon law on this matter - to judgments made by the Holy Father there is no recourse.

To clarify mosher’s position, JPII did not excommunicate Lefevbre. Rather, JPII notified Lefevbre that through his act of disobidience, he excommunicated himself, automatically (ipso facto excommunication latae sententiae) per Canon Law, i.e., Lefevbre did it to himself.

Mark Wyatt
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com
JMJ+

Orthodox has vailid holy orders, SSPX does not.

I thought that this topic was banned. I can see why.

Not correct. The SSPX does have valid orders.

Concerning your second sentence - Why?

Okay, let me get this straight. A paragraph later you agree that Vatican II recognized the Orthodox as ‘part’ of the Church ‘with some degree of separation’. Now this “fraternity of Pre-Vatican II Catholic Priests” is not considered ‘part’ of the Church? Somehow ‘they’ have held to Catholic Tradition for 40 years and ‘they’ are schismatic but ‘no longer’ part of the Church and the Orthodox who have maintained ‘their’ Tradition which contradicts our own for over one thousand years and ‘yet’ they are ‘part’ of the Church and you are telling me that we are not witnessing special treatment? Come now!

The juridical action of lifting an excommunication is not necessarily related to the state of Schism. Schism as defined is an internal disposition that cannot be legislated. Plus, if memory serves me correctly the excommunication of all the East was lifted by Paul VI, but I could be wrong. Further, we are not talking apples to apples. The SSPX are not a Church but rather a suppressed priestly fraternity thus they do not have the same rights as a suri juri Church.

Holding to Tradition that has served the Chruch for 4 decades is somehow Schismatic? What was once Catholic is ‘now’ nolonger Catholic? How can this be?

I see no contradiction. Give the SSPX about 1000 years of being excommunicated and then we can lift the ban. Then they will be equal to the Orthodox. [/absurdity]

Yes this is absurdity.

The power of excommunication is done for specific reasons and used as needed. The Supreme Legislator (the Pope) has the final say on what is proper and what is not. To paraphrase canon law on this matter - to judgments made by the Holy Father there is no recourse.

Is the Holy Father the servant ‘of’ Holy Tradition? How can he change it? Does he actually hold the power to do so?

So ‘ipso facto’ does Orthodox excommunicate themselves when they ordain Bishops without the will of the Holy Father?

No, you misunderstand. They are not part of the Church but are rather united to the Church in some way. In a sense their degree of separation is not as grave as others.

You are also misunderstanding why the SSPX is apart from the Church which I will explain later.

You are assuming that the issue of the SSPX Schism is related to Tradition. However, this is not so at its root. This I will explain later.

Again, you are mistaken that it is about Sacred Tradition which is a false premise as I will now explain.

The central reason why the SSPX is excommunicated is because the founder and current bishops participated in an act that was at its very a schismatic act in that it was a denial of the authority of the Holy Father as Patriarch of the Western Church in his right to regulate the ordination of bishops. This, act caused an automatic excommunication of all the bishops involved due to the Moto Proprio issued by Pius XII requiring a mandate from the Pope for the Ordination of Bishops in the West. I mention in the West because the East including the Eastern Catholic Churches are not bound by our Code of Canon Law but rather by their own Code. Thus, the act that caused all this was the Schismatic act of ordaining bishops without permission. The reason is not relevant to the discussion because we are talking about why they are excommunicated and not about the reason for the act which is irrelevant to the juridical act of excommunication anyway.

No, the Code only applies to the Roman or rather Western Church; as I stated elseware the Eastern Catholics are not even bound by our Code of Canon Law but rather have their own Code. This is the same for the Orthodox.

The SSPX’s only real problem (in my opinion) is that they are in schism. And they are in schism only due to the fact that they have Bishops who were ordained illicitly. Certainly they are not in schism because they celebrate the Tridentine Mass. The Tridentine Mass is still valid. No one is implying otherwise.

I believe it is possible that they will be part of the Church again under BXVI.

Mark Wyatt
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com
JMJ+

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