Questions about SSPX
#1
I really do not want to start an argument.  I am desperatre for the Latin Mass when all this lockdown insanity is over.  The closest one is an hour away, once a month and is SSPX.  I get very mixed messages about them. Are they a schism? Has the Pope re instated some duties?  Is their Mass valid.  Any Tridentine Mass has to be more bvlaid thana Novus Ordo. JMHO.  I have read some about ArchBishop LeFebvre and he really did fight for the Traditonal mass during V2.  So please I need facts and info and history. Thank you.
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#2
Hi StancyJ,
welcome to the Tank. First of all, I'm not an expert on anything, just a fishie herein. The Holy Father did give them licity as regards Confession, and you can assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at their chapels. They are not in schism. There are those in both the trad world and the NO world who have strong feelings/opinions about them for a variety of reasons. That's often the case with people. Some in the NO world say stuff which may leave you with the impression that they are in schism, but that's patently false. Some in the trad world would castigate them for other reasons. Personally, I'd go. The TLM is, for me, the most beautiful, superior form of the Mass I've been to. I have not ever been to an SSPX chapel. You can go once, and make a more informed decision afterward, having been there yourself. Let us know, should you choose to go.
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#3
I thought that they were still not in full communion, just that some excommunications were remitted. But I don't really know, and there doesn't seem to be an official declaration as to the current status.
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#4
It is perfectly fine to attend their Masses and support their chapels and priests. They are not in schism. At all.
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#5
Here is what I posted in reply to a similar question asked by one of our members a short time ago:


(03-14-2020, 11:15 AM)SeekerofChrist Wrote: You're going to get the same three answers from different members of this forum: they're schismatics, they're part of the Church but have no canonical standing to exercise ministry, they're in the Church and can legitimately exercise priestly ministry.  I attend an SSPX chapel, so that should tell you what I think.  As for official statements from the Church, well there are a few.  The nature of these statements and how Rome has approached the SSPX in prior years and up to the present day generates confusion of the kind you've experienced from different, respected clergymen in the Church.  The 1988 episcopal consecrations led to a decree that Archbishop Lefebvre and the new bishops were excommunicated due to their "schismatic" act.  That excommunication, and any schism that supposedly occurred, applied only to the bishops. It never applied to the priests of the Society or the lay faithful who attend the Society's chapels.  The excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict some years ago.  That also included the kind of "middle position" that Fr. Ripperger takes: they have no canonical standing and exercise no legitimate ministry.  That official position fell apart almost as soon as Pope Francis showed up.  He has given faculties to the priests of the Society to hear confessions and officiate at marriages.  One cannot say that the pope has given the Society permission to illicitly celebrate those sacraments, so it is clear that, as far as the Holy See goes these days, the SSPX does exercise legitimate ministry in some cases.  The Society's position, which I hold to, is that it has always had these faculties, and for all sacraments, from supplied jurisdiction.  For a nice explanation of this from the Society, see these two videos:

 
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#6
(04-08-2020, 11:03 AM)StancyJ Wrote: So please I need facts and info and history. Thank you.
The big biography of Bishop Lefebvre is recommended. For a briefer take, his own Open Letter to Confused Catholics (English tr. 1986) works as a primer. I have never had any contact with the SSPX, but I have always been interested; in h.s. (1977) I bought Fr Yves Congar's booklet on the "Lefebvre controversy," A Challenge to the Church. (Very rare: I wish "somebody" would post a pdf scan "somewhere.")

Great interview between Taylor Marshall and a Society priest; I'd like to visit their parish in the greater Los Angeles area (Arcadia: used to be the Gibson-supported independent outpost that I and jr. high classmates were warned against at our "real" parish one town away in the early 70s). Must have been one of the first redoubts established in the U.S.? After its solo monsignor died, that chapel entered the SSPX network; I hear it's thriving. That makes me wonder, as I'm isolated out here in Southern California from hanging out with traditional congregants personally, if in more "Catholic-concentrated" areas there's more "fraternizing" between the Fraternity-or-diocesan TLM attenders and those of the SSPX, or if they stick to their own?

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#7
Disclosure: I have zero affiliation with the SSPX. Never have.

BLUF: They’re Catholic and in the Church. There is no such thing as an irregular Catholic. You are either in the Church or out of it. Jurisdiction and faculties are a separate matter, but that means they would still be in and not out.

As a trad guy with nearly all of my experience in and around the FSSP, the inflammatory SSPX situation caught my eye a few years ago. Finding information was hard because “trusted” sources at the time were often in conflict with each other. So I went for the facts and I’ll briefly explain the big talking points that let me become pretty comfortable with them.

1. The excommunications made zero sense. There was no anathema. Bishop Lefebvre allegedly incurred an automatic excommunication for a canonical infraction that at worst would have been a censure for anyone else. To sell it, they threw the word schism in, which if true, would have been referenced as a separate charge because it has its own canon.

2. Pope Benedict XVI lifted the five excommunications that were never formally given. He was very involved during the height of it all and I trust his judgement on the matter.

3. Pope Francis quickly squashed it further by giving them faculties for marriage and confession. My understanding is the Pope Francis had a great relationship with them in Argentina so naturally he didn’t hesitate to grant formal faculties.

Rome followed up by saying that the faithful can attend their liturgies as long as they don’t do it with a schismatic disposition. This further told me how little Rome understands any of the situation.

4. There is no better source for their position than hearing it from them. From their own page, I now understand that they are very much submit to the pope, pray for him at every Mass, and submit to Rome obediently. The problem is the ambiguity of VII and the chaos that has come from it. They recognize the authority of the pope to invent a new rite and a new liturgy. They recognize the sacraments but deny that it was prudent because the fruits of which have produced evil. They refuse to play along or tolerate it. They explain that VII was pastoral and not infallible. The SSPX is correct. They want Rome to acknowledge that, but that means Rome would essentially admit to 50 years of error and nonsense. Tough sell to aging boomers that think they saved the world.

5. Since JPII, there have been multiple moments when it almost came together again. From my vantage point, it seems that there is a group of people that muck it up at the last moment. The popes have been nothing but supportive. I think it’s a Curia problem.

Nothing is this easy. So here’s when it gets weird.

They have problems. The core group, actual SSPX are dedicated and faithful. In the 70’s a factional group broke off and eventually became the SSPV or better known as the Sedevacantists. Through the 70’s and 80’s Bishop Lefebvre routed them out as he found them but there seems to be an undercurrent within the minority. Thus the accusation of schism. Into the 90’s and beyond, a group of hardliners became very vocal that the leadership was selling out in order to cut a deal. They call themselves the Resistance or SSPX-MC or something to that effect. They took the name but as far as I can tell, they are not officially affiliated with the SSPX at all. The problem is whenever they are being ridiculous, the whole group is smeared.

I hope this helps untangle some of this topic. For a phenomenal introduction to their history and founding search for Michael Davies recorded talks on YouTube. He authored a four volume set on the SSPX and is pretty entertaining to listen to.


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#8
(04-08-2020, 09:43 PM)AverageJoe Wrote: 1. The excommunications made zero sense. There was no anathema. Bishop Lefebvre allegedly incurred an automatic excommunication for a canonical infraction that at worst would have been a censure for anyone else. To sell it, they threw the word schism in, which if true, would have been referenced as a separate charge because it has its own canon.

2. Pope Benedict XVI lifted the five excommunications that were never formally given. He was very involved during the height of it all and I trust his judgement on the matter.

I totally agree with your conclusion (and your other points) but you have a misstatement of fact here.  On point one, Monseigneur Lefebvre (plus Monseigneur de Castro Meyer and the men Consecrated) received the exact same punishment anyone would receive for their 'crime' (if it was a crime, but more on that later). Canon 1382 reads 'A bishop who consecrates some one a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.' 

Which brings us to point two. The Canon imposes a penalty of 
latae sententiae excommunication. Such excommunications are never 'formally given'. They are automatic, taking effect from the moment of the crime. Just like with procuring a completed abortion. The doctor, nurses, and the woman involved are automatically excommunicatiod without any formal act.

In fact, Canon 1314 explains the difference. It reads, 'Generally, a penalty is ferendae sententiae, so that it does not bind the guilty party until after it has been imposed; if the law or precept expressly establishes it, however, a penalty is latae sententiae, so that it is incurred ipso facto when the delict is committed.' So, if a crime was committed, there was no need to formally decree an excommunication.

But, if there was a crime, was it punishable? I think not for this reason (not original with me! Qualified Canonists made the argument back in '88):

Can. 1323 says,  'The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:



4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;
5/ a person who acted with due moderation against an unjust aggressor for the sake of legitimate self defense or defense of another;'

It has been argued that the excommunication was null and void because Monseigneur and the others acted out of grave fear that the Faith was being attacked and they acted  'with due moderation against an unjust aggressor for the sake of legitimate self defense or defense of another (all the Catholic Faithul);'
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#9
(04-08-2020, 11:23 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(04-08-2020, 09:43 PM)AverageJoe Wrote: 1. The excommunications made zero sense. There was no anathema. Bishop Lefebvre allegedly incurred an automatic excommunication for a canonical infraction that at worst would have been a censure for anyone else. To sell it, they threw the word schism in, which if true, would have been referenced as a separate charge because it has its own canon.

2. Pope Benedict XVI lifted the five excommunications that were never formally given. He was very involved during the height of it all and I trust his judgement on the matter.

I totally agree with your conclusion (and your other points) but you have a misstatement of fact here.  On point one, Monseigneur Lefebvre (plus Monseigneur de Castro Meyer and the men Consecrated) received the exact same punishment anyone would receive for their 'crime' (if it was a crime, but more on that later). Canon 1382 reads 'A bishop who consecrates some one a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.' 

Which brings us to point two. The Canon imposes a penalty of 
latae sententiae excommunication. Such excommunications are never 'formally given'. They are automatic, taking effect from the moment of the crime. Just like with procuring a completed abortion. The doctor, nurses, and the woman involved are automatically excommunicatiod without any formal act.

In fact, Canon 1314 explains the difference. It reads, 'Generally, a penalty is ferendae sententiae, so that it does not bind the guilty party until after it has been imposed; if the law or precept expressly establishes it, however, a penalty is latae sententiae, so that it is incurred ipso facto when the delict is committed.' So, if a crime was committed, there was no need to formally decree an excommunication.

But, if there was a crime, was it punishable? I think not for this reason (not original with me! Qualified Canonists made the argument back in '88):

Can. 1323 says,  'The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:



4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;
5/ a person who acted with due moderation against an unjust aggressor for the sake of legitimate self defense or defense of another;'

It has been argued that the excommunication was null and void because Monseigneur and the others acted out of grave fear that the Faith was being attacked and they acted  'with due moderation against an unjust aggressor for the sake of legitimate self defense or defense of another (all the Catholic Faithul);'


Thank you for indulging my very truncated version of the events regarding canon law and expounding upon it. Well said.


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