Tuesday, April 4, 2017

BRICK BY BRICK, SSPX WELL ON THE WAY TO FULL REINTEGRATION

New pastoral provisions for Sacrament of Marriage for SSPX

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (file photo). - REUTERS
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (file photo). - REUTERS
04/04/2017 11:59:

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See has established new provisions for the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony by members of the faithful who are attached to the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).
Listen to Christopher Wells' report: 
 
In a letter approved by Pope Francis, Cardinal Gerhard Müller says, “The Holy Father . . . has decided to authorize Local Ordinaries the possibility to grant faculties for the celebration of marriages of faithful who follow the pastoral activity of the Society.” The Pope's decision adopts a proposal by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, both of which are headed by Cardinal Müller. 
The new provisions are part of a number of ongoing meetings and initiatives aimed at bringing the Society into full communion; Cardinal Müller’s letter mentions specifically the recent decision of Pope Francis to grant all priests of the Society the faculty to validly administer the Sacrament of Penance to the faithful in order “to ensure the validity and liceity of the Sacrament and allay any concerns on the part of the faithful.”
The grant of faculties for the celebration of marriage is subject to several provisions: “Insofar as possible, the Local Ordinary [that is, normally the local Diocesan Bishop] is to grant the delegation to assist at the marriage to a priest of the Diocese (or in any event, to a fully regular priest), such that the priest may receive the consent of the parties during the marriage rite, followed, in keeping with the liturgy of the Vetus ordo, by the celebration of Mass, which may be celebrated by a priest of the Society.” That is, a priest in good standing is to preside at the celebration of the marriage itself, which in the extraordinary form takes place before the nuptial Mass. The Mass itself may then be celebrated by a priest of the SSPX.
The letter also foresees that circumstances may exist where those provisions are not possible, or where no Diocesan priest is able to receive the consent of the parties. In such cases, the Pope allows the Ordinary to grant faculties to the priest who will celebrate the nuptial Mass.
Cardinal Müller closes his letter expressing his conviction that “in this way any uneasiness of conscience on the part of the faithful who adhere to the Society of St. Pius X as well as any uncertainty regarding the validity of the sacrament of marriage may be alleviated, and at the same time that the process towards full institutional regularization may be facilitated”; and that, to that end, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei “relies” on the cooperation of the prelates of the Episcopal Conferences concerned in this matter.
Below, please find the full text of Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s letter: 
Your Eminence,
Your Excellency,
As you are aware, for some time various meetings and other initiatives have been ongoing in order to bring the Society of St. Pius X into full communion. Recently, the Holy Father decided, for example, to grant all priests of said Society the faculty to validly administer the Sacrament of Penance to the faithful (Letter Misericordia et misera, n.12), such as to ensure the validity and liceity of the Sacrament and allay any concerns on the part of the faithful.
Following the same pastoral outlook which seeks to reassure the conscience of the faithful, despite the objective persistence of the canonical irregularity in which for the time being the Society of St. Pius X finds itself, the Holy Father, following a proposal by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has decided to authorize Local Ordinaries the possibility to grant faculties for the celebration of marriages of faithful who follow the pastoral activity of the Society, according to the following provisions.
Insofar as possible, the Local Ordinary is to grant the delegation to assist at the marriage to a priest of the Diocese (or in any event, to a fully regular priest), such that the priest may receive the consent of the parties during the marriage rite, followed, in keeping with the liturgy of the Vetus ordo, by the celebration of Mass, which may be celebrated by a priest of the Society.
Where the above is not possible, or if there are no priests in the Diocese able to receive the consent of the parties, the Ordinary may grant the necessary faculties to the priest of the Society who is also to celebrate the Holy Mass, reminding him of the duty to forward the relevant documents to the Diocesan Curia as soon as possible.
Certain that in this way any uneasiness of conscience on the part of the faithful who adhere to the Society of St. Pius X as well as any uncertainty regarding the validity of the sacrament of marriage may be alleviated, and at the same time that the process towards full institutional regularization may be facilitated, this Dicastery relies on Your cooperation.
The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei on 24 March 2017, confirmed his approval of the present letter and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 27 March 2017.

Gerhard Card. L. Müller
President

+ Guido Pozzo
Secretary
Titular Archbishop of Bagnoregio

04/04/2017 11:59

19 comments:

Marc said...

I cannot imagine anyone who will follow this guideline. I don't expect to see local diocesan priests showing up at our parish to witness marriages anytime soon because I don't expect any of the SSPX faithful to request such a thing. This is especially true since, among other things, many SSPX faithful doubt the validity of the orders of Novus Ordo priests (that is why Novus Ordo priests are conditionally re-ordained for the most part when they join the Society). Put simply, if the SSPX faithful desired the involvement of the Novus Ordo clergy, we wouldn't be SSPX faithful in the first place.

So, for a number of reasons, this is a bizarre guideline. Bishop Fellay will be at our parish on Low Sunday -- perhaps he'll mention this.

rcg said...

Is this a good thing? It seems to imply that the SSPX priest is not allowed to officiate marriages in his own church. It therefore seems to formalise doubt as to the validity of the previous marriages in that chapel. What will be done about them after the reunion? The good news is that it requires each diocese to have a priest competent in the Vetus Ordo available. That carries a lot of ancillary requirements.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, I think Bishop Fellay fully recognizes the Orders of the Catholic Church of which he has said His Excellency is a part. That doesn't mean that there aren't fanatics or heretics who belong to the SSPX, clergy or laity, who believe what you state, but that is indeed heretical if not sacrilegious also.

RCG, I have to delegate a priest who is not assigned to my parish, who has been invited to celebrate a wedding here. If I do not delegate him, even if one of my diocesan brother priests in good standing, that marriage ceremony is invalid.

rcg said...

As an addendem to my comment: my wife and I were married in the parish of a very liberal priest. He may be known to our host. He could not officiate so the priest from my county was asked. He was very conservative. He asked the liberal priest if it was permissable for him to witness the marriage and there was some concern he would not be allowed. But it seemed only right and respectful to at least ask.

Marc said...

Father, if Bishop Fellay believed as you say, then the Society over which he is Superior General would not conditionally re-ordain those coming from the Novus Ordo. Conditional reordination is not a fanatical position within the SSPX, either among the clergy or the laity. This was the position of Abp. Lefebvre and continues to be the position of the Society.

It is not an heretical or sacrilegious position, either. The Society undertakes an involved investigation into the question before deciding how to proceed in individual cases. Having valid priests is of very great importance, which is why these situations are handled as they are.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, I have not heard of this about the SSPX until now and if it is something that is done "conditionally" like a conditional baptism, than perhaps any agreement with Rome on the SSPX reintegration into the full Communion of the Church would address this peculiar issue.

The Catholic Church does not re-ordain priests from the Orthodox Tradition but she does from Protestant sects to include the Anglican/Episcopal Communion.

John Nolan said...

This is significant in that Cardinal Müller has heretofore taken a hard line regarding the SSPX.

Had there been a sprit of compromise and understanding in the 1970s on the part of the Vatican, this sorry situation need not have arisen. But the implacable intransigence of the French hierarchy, and the fact that Cardinal Villot was actively briefing Paul VI against Abp Levebvre (and being thoroughly dishonest in the process) militated against this.

Paul VI's great fault was that he was too easily influenced by unscrupulous individuals. Bugnini is a prize example.

TJM said...

Fr. McDonald,

If you do not delegate, do you mean the ceremony was not licit? I assume it would still be valid

Marc said...

Father, conditional re-ordinations are done without advertisement or fan fair for what I think are obvious reasons.

I'm sure that any agreement with Rome would address this question. That is why any agreement with Rome is sure to result in splintering of the SSPX clergy and faithful since the assurance of having valid priests is a rather major issue for many of the faithful. That is, after all, the very reason that Abp. Lefebvre founded the Society and the sole purpose of its existence. For those reasons, I'm not sure that I agree it is a "peculiar issue," although I can see why you and others might view it that way since you aren't very familiar with the Society.

The Church's practice with regard to the Orthodox is irrelevant to this question. The Church's practice with regard to Anglicans is more directly on point since the issue is whether the new rite of priestly ordination includes the proper intention, specifically with regard to ordination for the purpose of offering sacrifice.

Mark Thomas said...

Must priests who come to Tradition be re-ordained?

This article by Fr. Peter Scott first appeared in the September 2007 issue of The Angelus magazine.

Ought priests of the Conciliar Church to be “re-ordained” when they come to Tradition?

http://sspx.org/en/must-priests-who-come-tradition-be-re-ordained

========================================================================

At the end of the above SSPX article:

For regardless of the technical question of the validity of a priest’s holy orders, we all recognize the Catholic sense that tells us that there can be no mixing of the illegitimate new rites with the traditional Catholic rites, a principle so simply elucidated by Archbishop Lefebvre on June 29, 1976:

"We are not of this religion. We do not accept this new religion. We are of the religion of all time, of the Catholic religion. We are not of that universal religion, as they call it today. It is no longer the Catholic religion. We are not of that liberal, modernist religion that has its worship, its priests, its faith, its catechisms, its Bible."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

TJM, if a priest celebrates a wedding in my parish boundary, he must receive my canonical delegation or the marriage is invalid not just illicit.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

TJM, you may have noticed I don't publish your comments if you are disrespectful to any clergy by not using proper name or title or Anne calling of politicians. It is the pre-Vatican II NUN IN ME AND THE PROVERBIAL SMACK OF THE RULER ON ONE WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN BE SO SOPHOMORIC.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Name, not Anne calling

rcg said...

Anne is a name.

Just don't call him Shirley.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

I think you should refrain from publishing comments from clergy who have no regard for the Catholic faith. Goodbye!

Mark Thomas said...

http://www.dici.org/en/news/communique-from-the-general-house-about-the-letter-from-the-ecclesia-dei-commission-concerning-marriages-of-the-faithful-of-the-society-of-saint-pius-x-april-4-2017/

Pax

Mark Thomas


Communiqué from the General House about the letter from the Ecclesia Dei Commission concerning marriages of the faithful of the Society of Saint Pius X (April 4, 2017)

4-04-2017

As with the measures taken by Pope Francis granting to the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X the faculty to hear confessions during the Holy Year (September 1, 2015), and extending this faculty beyond the Holy Year (November 20, 2015), the General House has learned that the Holy Father decided “to authorize Local Ordinaries to grant faculties for the celebration of marriages of faithful who follow the pastoral activity of the Society.” (Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dated March 27, 2017, published on April 4).

This decision by the Supreme Pontiff foresees that: “Insofar as possible, the Local Ordinary is to grant the delegation to assist at the marriage to a priest of the Diocese (or in any event, to a fully regular priest), so that the priest may receive the consent of the parties during the marriage rite, followed, in keeping with the liturgy of the Vetus ordo, by the celebration of Mass, which may be celebrated by a priest of the Society.”

But it also provides that: “Where the above is not possible, or if there are no priests in the Diocese able to receive the consent of the parties, the Ordinary may grant the necessary faculties to the priest of the Society who is also to celebrate the Holy Mass, reminding him of the duty to forward the relevant documents [attesting to the celebration of the sacrament] to the Diocesan Curia as soon as possible.”

The Society of Saint Pius X conveys its deep gratitude to the Holy Father for his pastoral solicitude as expressed in the letter from the Ecclesia Dei Commission, for the purpose of alleviating “any uncertainty regarding the validity of the sacrament of marriage”.

Pope Francis clearly wishes that, as in the matter of confessions, all the faithful who want to marry in the presence of a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X can do so without any worries about the validity of the sacrament. It is to be hoped that all the bishops share this same pastoral solicitude.

The priests of the Society of Saint Pius X will strive faithfully, as they have done since their ordination, to prepare future spouses for marriage according to the unchangeable doctrine of Christ about the unity and indissolubility of this union (cf. Mt 19:6), before receiving the parties’ consent in the traditional rite of the Holy Church.

Source: FSSPX/MG – DICI dated April 4,

Mark Thomas said...

Deo gratias for our Vicar of Christ, His Holiness Pope Francis.

Pope Francis, a true man of God, a holy Peacemaker, has advanced greatly the cause of peace between Rome and the SSPX.

It is difficult to believe that as late as August 2015 A.D., Bishop Morlino declared via letter the following in regard to the SSPX:

"...my advice, my plea to the traditionally-minded faithful of the diocese is to have nothing to do with them."

Father John Zuhsldorf, Michael Voris, and additional leading conservative Catholics applauded Bishop Morlino's letter in question.

Conversely, His Holiness Pope Francis, from his days in Argentina to having become Pope, embraced the SSPX.

Not long following the publication of Bishop Morlino's unfortunate letter in question, Pope Francis recognized publicly the validity of SSPX Confessions. Pope Francis also identified Catholics attached to SSPX as "faithful" Catholics.

Now, Pope Francis, our holy Pope of peace, has taken an additional giant step to advance the process to regularize the SSPX.

Deo gratias that from his days in Argentina to date, Pope Francis embraced the SSPX.

Imagine where we would be today in regard to Rome-SSPX relations had Pope Francis followed the "have nothing to do with them" approach that leading conservative Catholics (such as Bishop Morlino, Father Zuhlsdorf, and Michael Voris) had advocated in regard to the SSPX?

Pax.

Mark Thomas








Anonymous said...

Maybe Mark Thomas can explain to me what he means about priests in a "conciliar" church being "re-ordained?"

Christopher said...

Bhahahah! This is one of the silliest things I've heard recently. Can you honestly imagine Cardinal Cupich sending a priest to assist, let alone granting and SSPX priest faculties? Bhahaha!

Most folks who attend SSPX chapels tend to be even more "Rad Trad" than the priest's who operate them. I doubt they are worried about the validation of the Post-Conciliar Church - "supplied jurisdiction" ya know ...