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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dialogue About the SSPX is Brewing

So, this has happened:
Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano


In the past few weeks, requests of clarification have reached the Diocesan Chancery regarding the celebration of Sacraments at the "Society of Saint Pius X" of Albano Laziale.

Regarding it, it is right and proper to point out that the above-mentioned "Society" is not an institution (neither parish, nor association) of the Catholic Church.

This applies even after the decree of the Congregation for Bishops of January 21, 2009, by which the Holy Father Benedict XVI, reaching out in good will in response to reiterated requests by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, revoked the excommunication in which the four Prelated had incurred since June 30, 1988.

This was highlighted by Benedict XVI with his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church of March 10, 2009:"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." (in AAS CI [2009], n. 4, p. 272). The same Benedict XVI, in the following Letter m. p. Ecclesiae Unitatem, of July 2, 2009, added: "the remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the context of ecclesiastical discipline to free the individuals from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. However, the doctrinal questions obviously remain and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry." (in AAS CI [2009], p. 710-711).

As a consequence of the above, it is right and proper to restate what had been formulated in the Pastoral Note on the Society of Saint Pius X of [former bishop of Albano] Dante Bernini, in which it can be read:

The Catholic faithful cannot participate at Mass, neither request and/or receive Sacraments from or in the Society. Acting otherwise would mean to break communion with the Catholic Church.

Therefore, any Catholic faithful who requests and receives Sacraments in the Society of Saint Pius X, will place himself de facto in the condition of no longer being in communion with the Catholic Church. A readmission to the Catholic Church must be preceded by an adequate personal path of reconciliation, according to the ecclesiastical discipline established by the Bishop.

It is sincerely saddening that such options [measures], particularly when in reference to the Christian Initiation of Children and Adolescents, be in constrast with the pastoral orientations of the Italian Church and, consequently, with the choices of the Diocese of Albano, where formative paths for the growth and maturation of the life of faith are favored.

To the Parish priests, the duty of providing adequate information to the faithful.

From the Albano Chancery, October 14, 2014, Prot. 235/14.

+ Marcello Semeraro, Bishop.

This letter can be found with additional commentary on the blog Rorate Caeli.

Bishop Marcello Semeraro is said
to be one of several speech writers
for Pope Francis.
I honestly don't know what to say.  I neither attend SSPX services, nor would I recommend anyone to them.  I'm a Catholic, so I recommend people to the Catholic Church.  

However, I do recognize some decent things that have come out of the SSPX community.  One is the preservation of the Tridentine Latin Mass.  Indeed, it is likely the SSPX who is the lone cause for the creation of the FSSP (which I sometimes attend) as well as a new surge in diocesan Latin Masses (which I mainly attend).  Yet, the SSPX is also responsible for providing a robust intellectual front against the horror of Modernist thought.  I enjoy this fact immensely, and I've gained a lot from my discussions with people who support the SSPX.  

However...the letter speaks for itself.  

I have a feeling that we're going to see more discussions about exactly what the SSPX is before the next Synod meeting next year.  

My mind has never been made up on the matter.  I've avoided the issue.  But the issue is making itself bold, plain, and obvious these recent days.  I will be looking forward to future discussions about it.

-Laramie Hirsch

1 comment:

  1. The SSPX must respond to Bishop Semeraro by citing Catholic doctrine on Vatican Council II which supports their position