Please use the sharing buttons! Thanks!
I have been getting email from fans of the SSPX who object to my saying that the SSPX needs to be reconciled with the Roman Pontiff. They object to my claim that they do not have a clear status in the Church, that their unity with the Roman Pontiff needs to be clarified.
I respond with what Benedict XVI wrote in July 2009 in Ecclesiae Unitatem (my emphases and comments):
4. In the same spirit, and with the same commitment to favouring the repair of all fractures and divisions within the Church, and to healing a wound that is ever more painfully felt within the ecclesiastical structure, [They are, in the Pope’s mind, not clearly in union.] I decided to remit the excommunication of the four bishops illicitly ordained by Msgr. Lefebvre. In making that decision my intention was to remove an impediment that could hinder the opening of a door to dialogue and thus invite the four bishops and the Society of Saint Pius X to rediscover the path to full communion with the Church. [Again, they are, in the Pope’s mind, not clearly in union.] As I explained in my Letter to Catholic bishops of 10 March this year, the remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline, to free individuals from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. [That means that they are free to go to confession.] However it is clear that the doctrinal questions remain, and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.
I deeply desire and pray that the priests and bishops of the SSPX will be reconciled with the Roman Pontiff and, in so doing, obtain a clear canonical status and be able legitimately to exercise ministry within the Church.