Could Pope Francis reconcile SSPX TOMORROW, Monday after Year of Mercy’s closure?

I, as many others, have over the last couple weeks wondered whether or not Pope Francis would extend beyond the Year of Mercy the opportunity for penitents to seek out priests of the SSPX for sacramental confession and valid absolution.  There have been rumors – rumors – to that effect but nothing concrete.

That was an opportunity extended during the Year of Mercy.

The Year of Mercy is now over.

That opportunity for confession, as far as I know, is now over as well.

Hope springs eternal.

Today, however, I see a different of story, which is even better than the mere chance to go to confession (as great as that is).

Today I read at the German site Katholisches that Pope Francis may – may – regularize the SSPX in the structure of a Personal Prelature, similar to Opus Dei.  He may – may – do this on Monday.  That’s tomorrow.

Wouldn’t that be a fine and concrete manifestation of the mercy, accompaniment, and concern for peripheries that we hear so much about?

Keep in mind that this, too, is no more than a rumor.  It would, however, explain why there has been no statement about confessions to SSPX priests beyond the Year of Mercy, if it was ever the Pope’s intention to extend such a grant.   That in itself was a rumor.

Nixon went to China.  Francis could unite the SSPX.

Lots of rumor and hearsay!  It would be best to take this all with icy reserve. Do NOT get all worked up about it.

To anyone who is even slightly interested in traditional expressions or our Faith, and to anyone who is even slightly interested in matters of unity in Holy Church, I suggest that some time be spent today in prayer for this outcome: that Pope Francis establish the SSPX as a Personal Prelature, if that is deemed to be the best route to greater manifest unity and fruitful service to Holy Church.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SSPX, Year of Mercy. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Could Pope Francis reconcile SSPX TOMORROW, Monday after Year of Mercy’s closure?

  1. Cornelius says:

    Regularize it so he can control it and silence it.

  2. Joseph-Mary says:

    While schism is never a good thing, our Precious God brings good out of evil. And the SSPX has been able to preserve the Traditions and Teachings of Holy Mother Church in a way that may not have happened otherwise. I have some small concern about them united to modernist Rome but to be somehow united in a canonical way would pave the way for their growth. That would surprise me to be allowed considering what is happening to those prelates and orders that love the traditional ways. How much authority would ‘Rome’ have over them? Could they then be suppressed? Etc. I guess I do not trust what is happening in high places in the Church at the present time.

  3. Gabriel Syme says:

    I suggest that some time be spent today in prayer for this outcome

    Thats is a very apt suggestion Father, let us all take note!

    I note that Rorate Caeli has now confirmed that the apostolic letter will indeed contain something regarding the SSPX. [They can guess, but they can’t “confirm” anything. Only the documents that are issued will “confirm” things.]

    But we should still pray, in the hope that there are no last minute surprises and that any reference to the Society is a positive one, the one we all desire in our hearts.

  4. Gabriel Syme says:

    Joseph-Mary,

    How much authority would ‘Rome’ have over them?

    Well, if the Society was regularised then the Roman authorities would have the same authority over the Society as they do over the rest of the Universal Church.

    I understand the proposed regularisation would mean that the SSPX would be independent of the authority of Diocesan bishops, but that does not mean the Society would be a law unto itself.

    Could they then be suppressed?

    Yes, as the SSPX would be subject to the power of the Roman authorities.

    However, I daresay that if a suppression was unjust, or invalid in canon law, then the Society would just ignore it and carry on as usual (as has already happened once, in 1975, when an irregular suppression of the SSPX was attempted, driven by the French Episcopate and Cardinal Villot in particular).

    However, if a regularisation indeed comes about then everyone should take it at face value and seek to move forward together in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. We should not doubt one another’s charity or motives and instead take heart that the situation today has been arrived at via a lot of discussion, reflection and prayer.

  5. Eliane says:

    The pope has recently offered the personal opinion — just his, of course — that those who seek pre-Vatican II liturgical ways are somehow simply neurotic 0r mentally disordered. I find it peculiar that SSPX would want to subject itself to that kind of gratuitous disdain and abuse. But I find it more peculiar that the current pope would want to bring them into a regularized situation. What are his intentions toward these people, who are in open disagreement with him on so many fronts? And would he use the Personal Prelature as his excuse to toss out Summorum Pontificum?

  6. jhayes says:

    The Vatican Press Office reports that Pope Francis signed an Apostolic Letter on Saturday.

    Al termine della recita dell’Angelus, il Santo Padre Francesco ha firmato la sua Lettera Apostolica Misericordia et misera indirizzata a tutta la Chiesa per continuare a vivere la misericordia sperimentata durante l’intero Giubileo straordinario.

    It seems likely that it will be published sometime soon, perhaps as early as next Monday.

    However, establishing the SSPX as a personal prelature would probably be done by an Apostolic Constitution, as in the case of Opus Dei, not by an Apostolic Letter.

    The Letter might extend the faculties of SSPX priests to hear confessions.

  7. jbosco88 says:

    Let us not forget this was set in motion by Pope Benedict XVI, the Pope of Christian Unity.

  8. Pingback: Misericordia Et Misera: SSPX Regularised? | Mundabor's Blog

  9. Benedict Joseph says:

    The purpose of such an action in the context of the current pontificate is highly suspect. It is inconceivable unless it is yet another manifestation of cognitive dissonance or a bold move to control and suppress.

  10. Geoffrey says:

    “To anyone who is even slightly interested in traditional expressions or our Faith, and to anyone who is even slightly interested in matters of unity in Holy Church, I suggest that some time be spent today in prayer for this outcome…”

    I will continue to pray for the conversion of the SSPX.

  11. Jackie L says:

    It’s been a while, I guess we were due….now here we go again.

  12. JamesM says:

    I have on occasion attended Masses celebrated by priests of the SSPX. I have never seen anything other than faithful Catholicism.

    I really struggle with the concept that my local parish priest, who frequently preaches heresy, is in some way in fuller communion with the Church than the SSPX.

  13. zama202 says:

    JamesM says:

    “I have on occasion attended Masses celebrated by priests of the SSPX. I have never seen anything other than faithful Catholicism.

    I really struggle with the concept that my local parish priest, who frequently preaches heresy, is in some way in fuller communion with the Church than the SSPX.”

    James, it is a difficult to understand.

    The way I see it is that the SSPX is in full communion with our Holy Faith – but are under some legal impediments. Many “progressive” priests and religious Orders are in the opposite condition – NOT in communion with our Holy Faith but also not under any legal impediments.

    Disclaimer (for those who need one) I do not, and never have, attended a SSPX chapel – but I do pray for them often.

    Charles

  14. S.Armaticus says:

    Regularizing the SSPX would not be an act of Mercy but rather and act of Justice.

    Just because the neo-Mods corrupt our language, doesn’t mean we have to follow suit.

    Just sayin…

  15. jbpolhamus says:

    And how is that going to make a difference? With a pope actively creating concrete circumstances of falshood and contradition in Catholic magisterial teaching and received doctrine, everything that he does is soon going to be called into question of validity, and they will find themselves just as isolated and marginalized as they ever were, and somewhat less protected. The only solution is biological. The SSPX and everyone else are better off with them remaining exactly where they are. They are undeniably un-schismatic, capable of self-determination, and absolutely valid. From where they are they will avoid the carnage that is about to afflict the Novus Ordo NewChurch in the coming schism.

  16. Tom A. says:

    Their conversion to what? Modernism? Conciliorism? I pray the whole Church converts to the faith the SSPX professes.

  17. Tom A. says:

    You should stop by and check them out. They dont bite.

  18. Tom A. says:

    Thats not how Francis rolls. He doesnt consider himself bound by tradition. Little t nor big T.

  19. LeeF says:

    So now apparently Rorate has updated and said their sources only indicate an extension on confessions and nothing else.

    Also as I have previously opined, I would think the better structure would be an ordinariate that included SSPX, FSSP and the ICKSP, maybe with the laity belonging canonically to the ordinariate with each of the priestly societies/orders continuing as they are for priests. This is the only way I see to avoid being dependent on the goodwill of diocesan ordinaries.

  20. Ben Kenobi says:

    I’d love to see a personal prelature, headed by someone other than Fellay. I will pray for his soul that he will reconcile with the Catholic church.

  21. Ben Kenobi says:

    “The SSPX and everyone else are better off with them remaining exactly where they are.”
    @jbpolhamus.

    I have a question, sir. What would you have told me? I was a Mennonite years ago. Would you have advised me to “stay where I was”?

  22. Grant M says:

    It would be nice. The only TLM available here in Jakarta, as far as I can find out, is offered by the SSPX, who fly in from Singapore once a month.

    I did do a google search for Masses here in the EF according to SP, but found only a Facebook page with photos of a TLM from June 2015, and no indication of any subsequent or future celebrations, as well as a link back to this very blog in 2007. Apparently the then Archbishop of Jakarta stated that SP did not apply to Jakarta. OK, that’s about what I was expecting. Needless to say, neither Fr Z nor the combox contributors were much impressed with the Cardinal’s comments. I don’t know if our present Archbishop is much more sympathetic.

  23. Pingback: Morning Catholic must-reads: 21/11/16 | CHRONICA

  24. Potato2 says:

    Ok, after so much up and down I just don’t believe it. I think that the statement tomorrow will in a short segment mention the sspx, it will address the confessions and extend it. I think some outlets hear announcement and sspx and think automatically that it is the personal prelature. I think that an actual announcement would be a stand alone announcement and that it would be accompanied by much explanation and timetables.

    I also think that the “Pope of mercy” after just concluding the year of mercy, and is turning 80 next month will indeed abdicate before Christmas. He has been a busy pope the last couple years with movement to the left that is significant. He has appointed some cardinals, concluded his signature year of mercy and has hinted at a short papacy. It kind of looks like he is “getting his house in order” to me.

    [He would wait at least until the centenary of Aparecida.]

  25. Pingback: MONDAY EDITION | Big Pulpit