are sspx sacraments valid

Therefore, the seven Sacraments administered by SSPX bishops and priests, though usually administered illicitly, are valid, as long as the essential requirements for validity are met. There is no doubt about the validity of the ordination of the priests of the Society of St. Pius X. Benedict XVI addressed this issue himself back in 2009: As long as the Society [of Saint Pius X] does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church…. Can All Priests Always Hear Confessions?”. The Church supplies, in both the internal and external forum, the executive power of governance in common error, in positive and probable doubt, whether of fact or of law. Conveniently missing from these sorts of analyses is any acknowledgement of the fact that the Holy Father himself reasserted just a few years ago (as seen in Part I) that the SSPX clergy have no canonical status in the Church, and thus do not legitimately exercise any ministry. The couple, and their family and friends who attend, all assume the same thing. We can see that while the Church enforces its rules, there are loopholes in certain specific circumstances, thanks to canon 144. Scholars have written thousands of pages analyzing the way that this generic assertion is—and isn’t—applicable in real life. Maybe he is a former theology professor at the diocesan seminary, whose faculties were revoked by his bishop after he stubbornly persisted in teaching questionable moral theology to the seminarians. With all that in mind, what is an ordinary lay-Catholic to do? The short answer to the question are the sacraments administered by the SSPX valid is that under a layman’s understanding of Catholic cannon law five of the seven sacraments baptism, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick including Last Rites and Ordination are valid but are illicit in most cases. We’ll look at what the Code of Canon Law has to say about validly celebrating the sacraments of Penance and Marriage in the next column. Q: What’s the canonical status of priests ordained by SSPX bishops, and what’s the canonical status of the sacraments they administer? She founded this website to provide clear answers to canonical questions asked by ordinary Catholics, without employing all the mysterious legalese that canon lawyers know and love. Please check the Archives first–it’s likely your question was already addressed. None of the content of this website may be reproduced, either in whole or in part, without the advance written permission of the author. Although theoretically it would be possible for a priest to celebrate sacrilegiously in the traditional rite by having a positive counter intention, it is hardly likely, given that the correct intention is repeated several times, which is not the case in the new rite. Sacraments are like salad — within limits, you can add or leave out certain parts and still have a salad, or a sacrament. In the current Code of Canon Law it is found in canon 144. Additionally, SSPX bishops can validly administer Confirmation and Holy Orders. Orthodox sacraments are valid, and provide some unity. Just seems like we … SSPX Marriages are Incontestable - District of Canada Which Mass Fulfills My Sunday Obligation? Obviously, therefore, some significant SSPX-related events took place during the papacy of Benedict XVI—but even more have been going on behind the scenes. Sadly, however, this is not the case! That’s why a thorough discussion of canon 144 is simply impossible in this space. Cathy Caridi, J.C.L., is an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome. As we saw in Part I, SSPX priests are able to celebrate validly the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist (because they can celebrate a valid Mass), and Anointing of the Sick. As canon 1108.1 states clearly, for validity, a marriage must be celebrated in the presence of two witnesses, and also the local bishop, the pastor of the parish, or another priest (or deacon) delegated by either of them. We thus know that, at least in these limited cases, the Vatican has acknowledged certain absolutions granted by SSPX priests are valid. If the information on this website has helped you, please consider making a contribution so that it can continue to help others. What Happens When a Religious Who’s Vowed Poverty Becomes a Bishop? Obviously that priest-confessor himself has a lot to answer for, canonically speaking; but the penitent who honestly erred in entering his confessional should rest easy. But this did not automatically bring with it a reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the whole institute of the SSPX, which remains a separate issue. If you search the internet you are bound to find very confident sounding answers to this question from various “experts.” These answers are typically couched in most impressive canonical terms. Re-post: Confession and General Absolution. That’s why in many questionable situations, it steps in to supply what otherwise might be lacking. One must have the greatest possible moral certitude, as … Consequently, as we saw in “Can a Bishop Forbid a Priest to Say Mass?” a bishop can order a priest who is visiting his diocese not to say Mass or administer the sacraments there. (Note that the priest in the confessional was truly a priest! In the past Cathy has published articles both in scholarly journals and on various popular Catholic websites, including Real Presence Communications and Catholic Exchange. One might think that this is the end of the story—but there’s a longstanding canonical twist. Are absolutions given by Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) priests in the Sacrament of Penance valid? The Virus and the Bishops: Twisting a Vatican Document to Further an Agenda. (It should be pointed out that under the current Code of Canon Law, under certain circumstances a parish priest can administer this sacrament too. Eleven years later, as was already discussed in “Canon Law and the SSPX,” Pope Benedict lifted the excommunications of the four bishops. If you are interested in these topics, please read on! Refusing First Holy Communion to Children Who Are Ill-Prepared, Ecclesia Supplet: Making Invalid Sacraments Valid, Invalid Baptisms and Unaccountable Clergy. If he doesn’t, the marriage is invalid. At first glance, it may appear that merely being a priest is enough for the valid administration of this sacrament, since  canon 965 asserts simply that only a priest can administer the sacrament of penance. Consequently, it is forbidden to accept a likely or probably valid ordination for the subsequent conferring of sacraments. Baptism. But let’s say that in his haste, the pastor worded his written delegation very poorly, stating that the retired priest “is delegated to assist at all weddings in St. Elizabeth’s parish for the next couple of weeks.”  Of course the pastor meant the entire time of his vacation, which would include August 31; but if he dated the delegation August 16, it certainly isn’t clear whether August 31 should technically be included or not! Frequently they term it “supplied jurisdiction,” and invent convoluted justifications for their claims—justifications which in fact are sheer fantasy, pure and simple. A fuller discussion of the distinction between validity and liceity can be found in “Are they Really Catholic? The confessions heard by SSPX priests, however, may be another matter. On another post, Militia Immaculata said that a suspended priest cannot hear valid confessions (although the Church supplies what is lacking when a penitent who doesn't know this, goes to a suspended priest (such as all SSPX priests) for the sacrament of Penance. But let’s say that in reality, this priest has no faculties to hear confessions at all. Period. As was seen in Part I of this article, all of the sacraments administered by SSPX clergy—with the exception of absolution in danger of death (c. 986.2, discussed in “Can All Priests Always Hear Confessions?”)—are administered illicitly. He may have decided, in a huff, to disregard the bishop’s declaration and hear confessions anyway! OTHER ARTICLES AND FILES RELEVANT TO THE SSPX: The Catholic Teaching that a heretic cannot be a valid pope [PDF file] Not necessarily. Sanctions, Part III, addressed this issue himself back in 2009. As we saw in “Are They Excommunicated? Note that the other elements of canonical form in this scenario were clearly met: the couple was married in the parish church, there were at least two witnesses, and the retired priest is definitely a priest! Why Would a Catholic Cleric Desecrate an Altar? This, in turn, means that these priests really do possess the power of orders, and consequently they are able to administer validly those sacraments which require nothing else. If one can donate to the SSPX, then one can donate to the Greek Orthodox or any schismatic group or the Indult priests which have valid sacraments. Many other scenarios could certainly be described in which canon 144 would apply; but the question we should ask now is, does it supply the necessary faculty to an SSPX priest who doesn’t have it? Put simply, they don’t. A typical Catholic would walk into the abovementioned (and fictional) SSPX “Saint Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church,” see a priest sitting in the confessional, and naturally assume that he could hear confessions! All rights reserved. The SSPX was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and is dedicated to the formation of priests and in … 4.) When the SSPX order was suspended, it, too, lost jurisdiction. Therefore, even when a priest says Mass against the wishes of the diocesan bishop in whose territory he is, the Mass is valid, as the Eucharistic sacrifice really does take place. Even while they were still under excommunication, these true bishops in turn could validly ordain priests. In other words, SSPX clergy may celebrate a beautiful and edifying Mass, but since their status in the Church has not yet been regularized, what they’re doing is illicit. In the meantime, Pope Benedict’s 2007 motu proprio document Summorum pontificum inadvertently confused the issue in the minds of many Catholics even further. Thus the confirmations administered by SSPX bishops, who routinely travel all over the world to administer this sacrament, are indeed valid. While most engaged Catholics have no idea how serious the need for this delegation really is, priests do. This means simply that they are doing something that they shouldn’t be doing! Re-post: Can We Receive Holy Communion Twice on Christmas Day? We’ve been looking at the sacraments administered by priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), an institute which, despite numerous attempts at reconciliation, still has no canonical status in the Catholic Church. Neal Webster mangles the essential words necessary for validity Big news out of Boston, Kentucky: This past Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Bp. Additionally, SSPX bishops can validly administer Confirmation and Holy Orders. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church. The Church supplies the faculty; it does not supply holy orders.). It remains true, however, that, if the faithful are genuinely ignorant that the priests of the Society of St. Pius X do not have proper faculty to absolve, the Church supplies these faculties so that the sacrament is valid … The SSPX ignores this prohibition by continuing to claim a state of necessity, which the Society says requires that it offer the sacraments for the good of the Church and the salvation of souls. If, for example, a priest comes to town who is well-known for heterodox theological views, or for other questionable/scandalous conduct, the local bishop can tell him he is not welcome, and insist that he leave—and the priest is expected to obey, deferring to the local church authority. Confessions have only been valid since 2015. Why is Google hiding the posts on this website in its search results? It seems absurd that Protestant ministers can officiate valid weddings but not SSPX priests. 9 posted on 08/01/2013 2:46:46 PM PDT by vladimir998 –John. Re-post: Confession and General Absolution. Therefore the priests ordained by SSPX bishops are validly ordained priests, with the sacramental power—but not the authorization!—to administer the sacraments as already described above. It follows logically that the SSPX priest who maintains such a church is not the pastor of the territorial parish—and thus he has no authority to celebrate weddings as per canon 1108.1, mentioned above. This article also summarizes some of their errors and heresies. I think they never showed their hands on this issue. Refusing First Holy Communion to Children Who Are Ill-Prepared, Ecclesia Supplet: Making Invalid Sacraments Valid, Invalid Baptisms and Unaccountable Clergy. Cathy Caridi, J.C.L., is an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome. Such an unequivocal statement by the Vicar of Christ inherently carries with it the assumption that these canonically unrecognized, illegitimate ministers have no faculties! This is exactly what needs to be done according to canon 1111: the pastor can delegate the faculty to assist at marriages within the parish territory, but it must be given to a specific person(s). A priest who says Mass in your diocese, and administers the sacraments to the Catholics of your diocese, does so licitly only if he has the permission (which, in the case of visiting priests, is normally tacit) of the diocesan bishop. SSPX priests don’t have this faculty, because they don’t have any competent ecclesiastical authority who can give it to them. The Virus and the Bishops: Twisting a Vatican Document to Further an Agenda. This is a case of “common error,” as anybody walking into the church and seeing the priest in the confessional would reasonably assume that the priest can hear confessions. The validity of the marriage depends on it! Neal Webster consecrated Fr. This general stance has been echoed by some in the SSPX as well, who do not appear overly anxious to regularize their status in the Church. Again, without authorization from church superiors, they shouldn’t be doing any of these things; but the fact remains that they do indeed have the power to do them. It’s not uncommon to find a diocesan bishop requesting help from (say) a retired bishop, when the diocese has so many parishes that its bishop is physically unable to travel to all of them and confirm everyone by himself! The only way to have moral certitude of valid sacraments is to assist at the traditional rite of Mass. Marriage tribunals rarely encounter such clear-cut invalidity as this. Ordinations of priests/deacons and consecrations of bishops are illicit. Again, the law is perfectly clear, as canon 1012 states that the minister of ordination is a consecrated bishop. Click here for more information. Matrimony and regular confession are not valid among the SSPX. They may put a sign out front saying, “Saint Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church,” or suchlike, but canonically, it is not a parish church, which can only be constituted by the diocesan bishop (c. 515). Then we should be able to see whether it can be applied at all to SSPX priests, who lack faculties to celebrate Penance and Matrimony. The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) to receive 40 million dollars for their heretical seminary project. He goes in, confesses his sins, and receives absolution from the priest there. canonlawmadeeasy@yahoo.com The SSPX priest is presumably a validly ordained cleric; but for the validity of a Catholic marriage, ordination is not sufficient. Which Mass Fulfills My Sunday Obligation? This is why, for example, when a couple tells the pastor that they’d really like their wedding to be celebrated by the bride-to-be’s uncle, who’s a priest in another diocese, the pastor must delegate that priest-uncle the authority to do this. Unsigned/anonymous questions are not read, much less answered (why is it necessary even to mention this?). As a result, some of their sacraments would not be valid (particularly confession and marriage). Why, then, do they suggest that the Code of Canon Law can somehow give them something that the Supreme Legislator—the Pope—has publicly declared that they lack? Can I Attend an SSPX Church, Since My Parish is Closed? This is, however, definitely not the case with the remaining two sacraments, which cannot always be celebrated validly by all clerics everywhere—far from it! An SSPX priest I really trust says that they are valid. Valid means, yes they work, but illicit means current Catholic authorities say you shouldn’t … And precisely on this score, the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) is most defective as was attested at the time of its promulgation by no less than Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci: The legal aspect here does not address so much the question of the suppression of the Old Mass, since its continuous e… Later in describing some of the canonical penalies incurred by the SSPX the author describes those SSPX sacraments which are not valid which are confession and marriage. Their sacramental ministry is illicit, or illegal. Canon 966.2 notes that this faculty is given to a priest either by the law itself, or by competent ecclesiastical authority. If he had been an imposter who had gained access to the confessional, canon 144 wouldn’t have helped. Rather, as has been seen before in this space, the Church is concerned above all with the spiritual wellbeing of the Catholic faithful. Nevertheless, for many years the SSPX grew (and in many areas of the world, it positively thrived) on a sort of parallel track with the Catholic Church, without being directly and formally condemned by Rome. But does this mean that the sacraments administered by SSPX priests are also invalid? In light of last week's news from Rome regarding the SSPX and our marriages, we here present some initial reflections on what it means for us practically, the state of necessity, and the future. But did this retired priest really have the necessary delegated faculty to assist at a wedding in St. Elizabeth’s parish on August 31? Can a Bishop Forbid a Priest to Say Mass? A law is legitimate only when it is duly promulgated by the lawfully constituted authority. 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