SSPX members are marrying

Hi, I really need some advice:

A relative has been a member of a local SSPX church for twenty years, which is to say, most of his life. He is soon to be married to another SSPX member. They are getting married in a parish
that is under the jurisdiction of the diocese, and I do not know whether the priest of the parish knows of their schism. It seems highly unlikely that they have suddenly abandoned their schismatic beliefs. I am not even sure that it will be the priest of the parish who will perform the ceremony, but rather a SSPX priest who may not even be validly ordained. I don’t think that the parish priest would allow a false priest to officiate over the “marriage,” but I’m sure. Is there anything in all of this that would render the marriage invalid? Would it be licit for me to attend the wedding and reception, or even to send a gift?

Thanks for your time, and God bless.

Parishioners of SSPX chapels are not in schism. In fact, technically, SSPX is not in schism, but there is an irregular relationship at this time.

Yes, you should attend the wedding if you desire. It would not be wrong to give a gift either.

This marriage will be invalid if either (or both) of the individuals are Catholics.

They are bound by the Code of Canon Law which states that they must be married in the Catholic Church.

The Sacrament of Marriage requires that the priest receive faculties from the local bishop to perform it. As the SSPX is outside of the Catholic Church and none of its priests have the required faculties to perform the Sacrament of Marriage you should not attend and you should inform this individual on what is proper.

It would appear that if the wedding is in an SSPX facility it is invalied. However, if it is in a church under the jurisdiction of the diocese, I would assume that the pastor has fulfilled his responsibility to ensure its validity and not second guess him.

The wedding would be valid and they are not in schism. Be happy for them and be happy that they are getting married in the parish.

Most SSPX are very faithful Catholics who have just seen one too many abuses in their parishes and have been scandalized by bad behavior. Show love to them and reverence at the Mass and concentrate on your own walk with Christ. Sometimes they just reassurance that there are faithful Catholics who still believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist at a Novus Ordo parish. Encourage others to show reverence and help teach Catholics the beauty of the Catholic faith and act charitably with them as they are just as Catholic as you are. They are not schismatic or hateful, just maybe cautious of mixing with Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo Mass.

Go ahead mix with them and enjoy being Catholic there is nothing wrong with it and you wont be doing anything wrong. Heck, you might even learn something good from them.

In Christ
Scylla

I thought the Man and Woman conferred the sacrament upon each other?..not the Priest…Is this correct?

If it’s a Diocesan parish this will be a valid marriage. I’m pretty sure the Pastor will know if a priest has faculties in the diocese or not.

wonderful… i agree… that’s is nothing to attend wedding mass… for me they are my family too…

benedicite deus.

Not necessarily, there is little doubt that the priest would be validly ordained, but Canon Law also requires that the preist or deacon also be grated faculties (permission) to w the witness marriages by the local bishop.

Without those faculties, the Sacrament is invalid due to lack of Form.

Very few SSPX chapels even have requested such permission, without it, there is no difference, Sacramentally, between this and a Justice of the Peace.

This has little to do with whether the SSPX is in schism or not ( it’s not). If there was a Benedictine monastary in the diocese, and the priests there had not requested faculties, they could not validly witness marriage either. If the Abbot himself witnessed a marriage without faculties, it would not be Sacramental.

I would contact the Chancellory office of the diocese and find out if the SSPX chapel has been granted faculties to witness marriages.

If not, it’s not a true, Sacramental marriage.

That is correct. But the Church regulates the Form of each Sacrament.

As part of the Form of Marriage, the Church stipulaes that, if one party is Catholic, the Marriage must be witnessed by a priest or deacon* who has permission from the Diocesan Bishop to witness marriages. For diocesan clergy, this permission is granted automatically. That is NOT true for Order clergy, they must request permission from the Diocesan bishop.

    • In special circumstances, a bishops conference might authorize a bishop to allow lay persons to witness marriages. This is Sacramentally acceptable, as the witness is just that, a witness, the Ministers of the Sacrament are the couple themselves.

I agree with you, but since the Pope has commented that you can be saved in other religions (Hindu/Muslim/non-denominational etc.), what does it matter where (which Church) we get married and by whom?

Benedict XVI, Salt of the Earth, 1996, p. 24: “Q. But could we not also accept that someone can be saved through a faith other than the Catholic? A. That’s a different question altogether. It is definitely possible for someone to receive from his religion irectives
that help him become a pure person, which also, if we want to use the word, help him please God and reach salvation. This is not at all excluded by what I said; on the contrary, this undoubtedly happens on a large scale.”

It matters when one is a Catholic as they are bound by the Laws of the Catholic Church.

If they wish to stop being Catholic and follow the form to do so then it would not matter.

Are you going to be spamming this in every thread? It matters because they are Catholic and bounded by the Laws of the Catholic Church.

EDIT: Didn’t see ByzCath post above me. :slight_smile:

I pray that Rome and the SSPX straighten the mess out soon, VERY SOON! What a mess.

It would seem that the Church has a different opinion as to the SSPX being in Schism.

Frist schism is defined in the Catechism as…

2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

As the SSPX do exactly that, refuse submission with the Pope and are not in communion with him they meet that definition.

Also Pope John Paul II said in Ecclesia Dei

Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law.
Now if he is warning the laity against adhering to the schism then the SSPX must be in schism.

Hi Hijakita,
Sorry that you misunderstood me. What I meant is that yes it does matter in the Catholic Church of course, but since pagans are saved outside the Catholic Church (with the knowledge of Yeshua), it matters not in the end since salvation in not limited to Catholics. Whether you believe this is another question/thread entirely.

Oh yeah, not being rude but I was not spamming, but if I was what of it?

God Bless

It proves nothing; excommunications are not infallible. Funny how only the “traditionalists” are in error when there are priests and bishops who flat out deny doctrines of the Church and nothing is done. Remember, Pope Honorius was excommunicated, Pope Stephen VI falsely excommunicated an earlier pope (Formosus), and Pope Alexander VI was not very good either. Need I bring up the situation of SAINT Athanasius? The point is, the Petrine promise guards the Pope from error when defining faith and morals, not excommunications and discipline. I’m not saying we shouldn’t follow the disciplines, but keep in mind: if it can change, it can change for the worse.

I haven’t seen where the Church has made a formal judgement about their Schimatic state.

What I HAVE read is Cardinal Castrillos statement on the matter

“The Fraternity of St. Pius X is not a consolidated schism per se, but its history has included some schismatic actions…”

As he is more learned that in, and in the Pontifically delegated authority on the matter, I would lean towards his judement than my own personal interpretation of Church law.

Let’s not turn this into a debate about “are they in schism?” Cardinal Castrillos seems to say “sort of, but not really” and Archbishops Burke and Bruskewitz say “Yes, they are.” But that can be another thread.

As to the marriage:

If the marriage is being performed by a diocesan priest in a diocesan church there is not problem with validity.

If the marriage is being performed by a SSPX priest (in a diocesan church or an SSPX chapel) the marriage would most likely be invalid due to the lack of faculties on the part of the priest.

So, depending on the circumstances, the marriage may very likely be invalid. Now, if making known your concerns to your friend, you choose to attend, that is not in and of itself immoral. A catholic is not forbidden to attend a marriage that is possibly invalid. It is a prudential matter. What you cannot do is attend without telling him that what he is doing is improper and morally dangerous.

Our Holy Father is speaking about ‘Extraordinary Grace’ Brother.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.