Vatican warns traditionalists not to ordain priests

I thought the SSPX were supposed to behave themselves, now that they are back in the Church.

Catholic bishops had urged the Vatican to warn the SSPX not to go through with the ordinations, a plan seen as the SSPX’s latest attempt to challenge Vatican authority.

The Vatican has made several concessions to the SSPX, the biggest being the lifting in January of the 1988 excommunications of its four bishops.

This meant they were back in good standing as Catholics, but they had no official function as bishops and therefore should not use their Episcopal privileges without Vatican permission.

The Vatican warning to the ultra-traditionalist SSPX not to ordain new priests this month without Roman approval had no discernible effect on the rebel Catholic group. Soon after the Vatican declared the ordinations would be illegitimate, Father Yves Le Roux, rector of the SSPX’s St Thomas Aquinas seminary in Winona, Minnesota, said the ordination of 13 new priests there would go ahead on Friday.

“Absolutely. We are doing it,” he told our Vatican correspondent Philip Pullella by telephone. “This is something the Vatican feels it has to say. It’s a political statement but the reality is totally different.”

The SSPX seminary at Zaitzkofen, in the German state of Bavaria, declared its intention to go ahead with its June 27 ordinations in a statement posted on its website on Monday (here in German original and in English). It argued that Pope Benedict’s decision in January to lift the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops was a “confidence-building measure for the coming theological discussions with representatives of the Holy See” meant to thrash out an official position in the Church for the SSPX.” Further ordinations are due at the SSPX headquarters in Écône, Switzerland on June 29.

Defying a papal warning against ordaining new priests before its official status was clarified seems to be the opposite of a confidence-building measure on the SSPX’s part. As the BBC’s David Willey put it in his report from Rome tonight, Pope Benedict “gave them an inch and they took a mile.”

SSPX is NOT back in the Church, as since the ordaination of the four bishops, they were never in to start with.

SSPX has no canonical standing in the Catholic Church.

All the lifting of the excommunications did was to remove an obstacle from the path to reconciliation and regularization.

I don’t think anyone on either side of the negotiations expected SSPX to stop doing their thing. The lifting of excommunication was a first step to allow negotations to start. It wasn’t a final deal for the SSPX to stop performing illicit masses and ordinations.

Does anyone else find it ironic that the Vatican always seems to take a strong stand against orthodox Catholics, but embraces the heretics (Notre Dame, the San Francisco gay parish, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Joe Biden, etc)? I have to admit, I am beginning to struggle with my faith when I see this. Pope JPII recognized the dangers of Communism, but it seems to me that Pope Benedict is selling us into slavery with his support for the Obama administration and the leftists currently in power.

To say that I am disheartened is an understatement. I am beginning to wonder if the SSPX had it right all along (in disclosure, I have no affinity to the TLM as I was born in 1970 and have attended exactly one approved mass).

God is surely testing me and I am apparently no Job.

I think you need to evaluate the differences. There’s a difference between sin and schismatic action. You mentioned “leftist” individuals that are indeed sinners but are not schismatic. The SSPX essentially established itself as a rival Catholic Church. Canonically speaking, there’s a huge difference there.

Pope JPII recognized the dangers of Communism, but it seems to me that Pope Benedict is selling us into slavery with his support for the Obama administration and the leftists currently in power.

Probably because Obama is not a communist. Pope Benedict’s homeland was “ground zero” for the Cold War, so I’m sure he’s well aware of what communism is and isn’t. You need to remember that America is the only “wild west” of capitalism in the West. We are the “strange” ones to all of Europe and Canada. The Vatican is primarily made up of Europeans. Perhaps you should also reread JPII’s pointed crticisms of capitalism.

I think just the opposite is true. The leftist equivalent to the SSPX is not lay people or even the religious that disagree with the Church’s teachings, its the schismatic organizations that are out there purporting to ordain priests and bishops without authority. There isn’t much more you can do to flaunt the Church’s authority than to start making your own clergy and insisting they are Catholic. I haven’t seen the Church making any positive moves towards progressive groups that conduct illicit ordinations, but it is has been very concilitory towards the tradtionalist schismatics that are doing the same thing.

Because unlike the other groups, the SSPX isn’t engaged in heresy. Groups like those promoting women clergy are engaged in heresy since women cannot be ordained.

And if the Vatican itself has said the SSPX isn’t in schism, even before the lifting of the excommunications, then why do some of us think we know better and continue insisting that they are?

I think you need to look at your terminology.

The Holy See, the Vatican, hasn’t embraced any of the people you list. The Holy Father and the Curia haved consistently proclaimed the truth. How is the Holy Father selling us into slavery?

The SSPX may not be heretics, but they are disobedient.

Because the Vatican is using extremely technical language in an effort to keep the SSPX from turning into a completely separate church. However, the SSPX has problems acknowledging the decrees of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and it continues to ordain its own bishops and priests.
Those of us in full communion with the Church do not attempt to create a church within the church or simply do whatever we want when we want. In the common usage of the word, the SSPX are indeed schismatics. Its a tortured legal argument (though valid) to claim they are not schismatics according to canon law, but when the rubber hits the road, they are indeed.

3. In itself, this act was one of disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated. Hence such disobedience - which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy - constitutes a schismatic act

Perhaps schism isn’t technically the right word, but it seems like an organization that is ordaining its own priests and bishops in defiance of the Vatican is separated from the Church in a pretty big way. As for whether the progressive are heretical and the SSPX not, I am not certain I would agree there, either. The SSPX is pretty much in exactly the same position that the Old Catholics were in after Vatican I. They each rejected the results of an ecumenical council. The Pope is trying to bring SSPX back into the fold and prevent another Old Catholic style split, but if they don’t accept Vatican II that is where they are headed.

As for whether it is heresy to ordain women or to promote the other positions that created divisions between the progressives and the Vatican - I don’t know that it is, because I don’t think that the ordaination standards are dogma.

Regardless, the original point I was making is that its not correct to suggest that the Church deals harshly with traditionalists and tolerates progressives. Progressives are being excommunicated for the same reasons that the SSPX bishops were excommunicated - illicit ordainations. They are routinely denounced in the strongest terms, and, as far as I know, no move is made to reach any kind of understanding or bring them back. SSPX is handled with kid gloves, the Pope goes out of his way to say he understands why they feel the way they do, and the Church is working hard to bring them back. The puzzling thing to me is that while progressives would love to have the Vatican take them seriously and engage them, when Rome reaches out to the SSPX, its seems to thumb its nose in response.

I don’t see full communion soon for any of these groups, including SSPX, because they each have real differences with the Church. Just like the others, SSPX will have to change to be reintegrated. I think a lot of the members of SSPX will be willing to do that, but I don’t know that the organization will.

I think this is pretty much a statement on the part of the SSPX that their “situation” is still far from being resolved, and that there is still a long way to go. If they thought regularization were just around the corner, then they would probably have held off on the ordinations for a couple of months until they could be done licitly. However, they know it isn’t going to be any “couple of months,” so they will continue doing what they have been doing, until negotiations get closer to a resolution.

As a parent, I see this as a motherly act. Aren’t moms more strict with thier own kids than they are with the kids of the neighbors or even nephews, neices and grandkids?

The SSPX is like a child who is being rebellious but still part of our immediate family. Those politicians and ND are more like distant cousins. They have separated themselves from the Church and gone off to “do thier own thing”. It’s sad but they aren’t really part of the family anyway.

This is so inaccurate it is not even funny. SSPX has nothing in common with the Old Catholics, who rejected a defined dogma of the Faith after Vatican I, and the Old Catholic met immediately after Vatican I in Germany to unite with the diocese of Utrecht to form a seperate Church and a parallel hierarchy. The SSPX has done no such thing. The SSPX does not have differences with the Church, just with the some of the policies and undefined doctrinal positions of the Vatican, which some now erroneously feel is the Church. The Vatican is not the Church, merely the seat of its governance. I am confidant no one here can find a defined dogma or doctrine that the SSPX reject. It seems sometimes people want to make the SSPX situation into something worse than it is.

Good metaphor! :thumbsup:

I don’t see any difference whatsoever.

The Old Catholics rejected Vatican I’s teaching that the Pope was infallible under certain circumstances. The Church explained that this was not a changed dogma, but a fuller understanding of the existing doctrine of infallibility. The Old Catholics disagreed and left.

SSPX rejects many aspects of Vatican II’s teachings, perhaps most importantly the teaching that non-Christians can be saved. The council explained that Christ’s grace is extended to all in a mysterious manner known only to God, and that all who accept it are saved, even if they are not Christians or formally members of His Church. In this way Christ’s Church extends beyond what we recognize as the formal structure of the Catholic Church. The Church explained that this is not a rejection of EENS, but a fuller understanding of its meaning. As I understand their teachings, SSPX rejects this teaching, and some others that depend on it, and have therefore separated themselves.

The situations are exactly the same - in each a council announces a fuller understanding of existing doctrine, and a group claiming the teaching is a break with the past leaves.

Dear all,
I read the statement in Vatican website. In fact it is not a statement initiated by the Vatican. It was a response to questions for incoming SSPX ordination in June.
It seems questioners were not aware of two things. 1: They were not aware every third Saturday is dedicated priestly ordination for SSPX decons to priesthood. SSPX have done this since Lefebrev days.

We can recall on April where a French Bishop worried deaconal ordination for SSP seminarians to be perfomed at his diocese. It took Vatican to advice SSPX to change ordination place to Econe in Switzerland. Hence Vatican by itself cannot say no to SSPX ordination be it priestly or deaconal.

The second unkown is the fact that SSPX ordination is valid. The validity comes from Catechism of the Catholic Church. Section 1121 of Catechism states the indelible character of three sacraments being Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. Hence SSPX enjoy this sacrametal character.

To prove validity of SSPX ordination Now let read section 1576 of Catechism hereunder:is
…{Since the sacrament of Holy Orders is the sacrament of the apostolic ministry, it is for the bishops as the successors of the apostles to hand on the “gift of the Spirit,” the “apostolic line.” Validly ordained bishops, i.e., those who are in the line of apostolic succession, validly confer the three degrees of the sacrament of Holy Orders}.

Therefore Lefebrev was valid ordained bishop who fell under apostolic chain and who transfered the chain to the four SSPX bishop in 1988.

The fact that SSPX has no canonical status make these ordination illicit. But they have full priesthood. When the say a mass the the wine and bread change into blood and body as equally as any approved priest would do.

SSPX priesthood is as equally as eastern Catholic priest though SSPX yet is internal matter not yet at the ecumenism level as Eastern catholics.

Kindly Joseph Misango Magata from Tanzania in Africa

If this is your example than the SSPX at least has ground to stand on. First, the statements of Vatican II were not infallible, as Vatican I was, for they did not define anything, and they appear to contradict the previous Church teaching on this subject. We are not talking “fuller understanding,” but outright contradiction. The definitions of the Councils of Florence and Trent, which were defined and were infallible, as well other teaching on this subject by Popes such as Bl. Pius IX, do not leave for the kind of leeway in doctrine that Vatican II permitted on this subject, and the SSPX certainly has space for concern here. The definitions at Vatican II appear to be an attempt to vindicate Karl Rahner and the “anonymous christian” thesis, but this is untenable.

By extending this accusation to the SSPX, it appears that there is an attempt to paint the SSPX position worse than the Vatican does, since Rome herself has never claimed the SSPX was in doctrinal error, only in danger of schism! These are very different accusations.

So no, the situation is not the same. A group of bishops reject an infallibly defined dogma and willfuly constitute an act of schism to create a seperate church, versus a priestly fraternity who has concerns regarding certain non-infallible teachings of a council and its aftermath, and in doing do, carried their actions outside the approved norms for those actions, with danger of schism. Sorry, still do not see the similarity.

By the way, not all the Old Catholic bishops felt that the defining of papal infallibilty was a break with the past, only that it should not be defined and binding on Catholic consciences.

Let me for the record say that schismatic behavior is just plain wrong. The SSPX are acting like Protestants and whether anyone wants to admit it or not, Protestantism should not be tolerated as much as it politically is. The modern Catholic Church is falling into Contemporaryism and it is flat out wrong, the Catholic Church without a doubt needs a major return to traditionalist roots.

I don;t see where the Vatican has warned anyone about anything. I see that a couple of bishops don;t like the ordinations, and I see a statement from the Vatican saying that the ordinations at this time should be considered illicit. But everyone already knows that.

Astute observation!:thumbsup:

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