Catholic Herald on recent SSPX developments

The editorial at the beginning of this week’s print edition of the Catholic Herald, the UK’s best Catholic weekly.

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29 Responses to Catholic Herald on recent SSPX developments

  1. Milton Friedman once said: “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.”

    Pope Francis is a most unlikely Pope to bring about the reconciliation of the SSPX. Yet Christ established a Church where it is possible for the wrong people to do the right thing.

  2. jlmorrell says:

    Is this the entire editorial? If so, it’s not a very good one. And when exactly did the rejection of the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ (which is what the acceptance of DH means) become an obligatory Catholic position? I’m a diocesan TLM attendee and will not recant of my rejection of DH as it’s been interpreted, and certainly pray the SSPX persevere in their adherence to Tradition.

  3. sirlouis says:

    And yet, the Society is not really regularised. I am deeply concerned that Francis, in allowing them to live their everyday ecclesial life with a Society that is still canonically removed from full communion, is pushing away exactly those persons who can keep the regular Church from going completely off the deep end. If all the good men go to the periphery, who will be left to hold together the core?

  4. zama202 says:

    In a strange way, what Pope Francis is doing to disrupt the Church may be undone in the long run – the very long run – by his reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X.

    The most significant growth in the Church (not the only growth – but the most significant) is from the Traditional Orders. That is where new vocations, new schools, new convents, new monasteries and new seminaries are coming from.

    The rightful place of the SSPX within Holy Mother Church will accelerate a process already underway and eventually return the Church (at least those who wish to remain in Her) to sanity and clarity in Holy teaching.

    Charles

  5. rmichaelj says:

    I have never seen a good explanation of how one can be in communion, but not “full communion”. An irregular situation, that I can understand, but this idea that communion within the church is in degrees, makes no sense, and has no historical precedent (unless your history begins in 1962 AD).

  6. Ben Yanke says:

    “Ascended but still present”

    An accurate description of Friday of the 6th week of easter in our American liturgical calendar

    ;)

  7. SundaySilence says:

    From your smartphone to God’s Ear.

    Lord, graciously hear us!

  8. Unwilling says:

    Timeo danaos et dona ferentes. The canonical accommodations are attractive. But, in cordially embracing and accepting them, what conceptual adjustments, what distractions from Truth — what beams broken of the gates — are implicitly demanded?

  9. robtbrown says:


    Anita Moore, O.P.(lay) says:

    Pope Francis is a most unlikely Pope to bring about the reconciliation of the SSPX. Yet Christ established a Church where it is possible for the wrong people to do the right thing.

    Very soon after he was elected, I wrote on here that Pope Francis was likely to regularize the SSPX.

  10. ncstevem says:

    rob – out of curiosity, what made you think Pope Francis would regularize the SSPX ?

  11. robtbrown says:

    ncstevem,

    1. Robt is an abbreviation for Robert. My middle initial is not T.

    2.
    a. The Bergoglio papacy was said from the beginning to be the Martini papacy. When Cardinal Martini was in Milan, he was very good to the SSPX.

    b. Regularizatin with the SSPX was very close under BXVI. What stopped it was that Mueller stepped in and insisted that the SSPX sign a document accepting Vat II (whatever that means). BXVI didn’t overrule him–Mueller was the only bishop between the SSPX and the Pope. Finally, Archbishop Pozzo was brought in, which freed Mueller for other things, like sticking out his tongue at Amoris Laetitia.

    c. Sometime after the election of Francis a German friend who is deeply involved with the SSPX told me of the new strategy: Instead of merely having centralized talks in Rome, dioceses run by bishops not hostile would be also encouraged to accept the SSPX. He was very, very optimistic about the possiblity of regularization.

  12. Grant M says:

    I know that people have argued elsewhere that as Pope Francis is famously adverse to rigid dogma, he is more than willing to see the Council as a purely pastoral affair, and so will not exact doctrinal concessions from the society on the basis of DH. Thus, by a paradox, he can reach an accommodation with the society, where his more conservative predecessors (who were active in the Council) reached an impasse.
    I don’t know how valid that argument is, but it is an interesting hypothesis.

  13. laurel says:

    If is it true that SPXX is ‘regularized’ with respect to ordination and as an official church representative of marriage, then SPXX administration of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, Eucharist, Holy Orders, Extreme Unction and Matrimony are valid. The Mass would have to be therefore valid. So, generally speaking – where’s the ‘irregular’ aspect for a sincere, traditional Catholic? Of course individual SPXX chapels may have ‘off-the-wall’ clergy but that’s the case everywhere, isn’t it? A call to prudence …..

  14. robtbrown says:

    Grant M,

    The are two Dogmatic Constitutions promulgated by Vat II–Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum. You’ll notice that Dignitatis Humanae is not one of them.

    If you’re referring to religious freedom, it’s a concept that admits of more than one interpretation, not all of which is good–or in harmony with previous Papal documents.

  15. Andrew_81 says:

    Robert,

    Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, neither can you judge the doctrinal weight of a document based on the title given it.

    What counts in what’s inside.

    A Dogmatic Constitution like an Apostolic Constitution doesn’t have some magically greater authority if the Pope (or Council approved by the Pope) is not trying to teach something with greater authority. Generally the more solemn declarations are called “Constitutions”, but that alone doesn’t make them any more binding than an Encyclical letter or even declaration of the CDF that has been specially approved.

    The real issue with the degree of authority in Vatican II comes from statements like Cardinal Pericle Felici, General Secretary of the Council who at the end of the Council when asked about the doctrinal note of the declarations declared that , “this holy synod defines only that as being binding for the Church what it declares explicitly to be such with regard to Faith and Morals.”

    That was confirmed by Paul VI in a later general audience (12 Jan 1966).

    What precisely was explicitly declared?

    That’s the $64,000 question … with inflation more like $578,713.41 these days.

  16. petrus69 says:

    “by the fruits of their labor, you shall know them”

  17. There seems to me to be a distinction between the ability to lawfully ordain priests, and the ability of those priests to function. A priest still requires faculties to function completely, and right now what we have is this sort of canonical limbo. An SSPX priest can (under provisions set by law) hear confessions and witness marriages, but at this point, nothing like an ordinariate or a personal prelature has been erected. Until that does, a priest cannot “free lance,” and the faithful cannot use an unlawful means (Mass on Sundays and Holidays of Obligation) to accomplish a lawful end (fulfilling said obligation).

    Like we used to say back home: “Almost ain’t good enough, expect in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

  18. albizzi says:

    Once the personal prelature is accepted by SSPX and the Vatican what’s next ?
    If Francis obliges Fellay to resign, no doubt that Fellay will comply out of full obedience to the Pope, like did Fra’ Festing.
    Then Cdl Maradiaga is called to lead the SSPX with all powers to reform it, and everything will be fine…
    The communion between the RCC and the SSPX has become full and irreversible.

  19. Imrahil says:

    Alas, I had posted a comment here which has been lost in technical nirwana. Maybe I’ll re-post that later. (And before anyone asks, no, it wasn’t moderated away, because in that case I wouldn’t refer to it.)

    In the meantime,

    Dear albizzi, that one may see a circumstance under which one would Need to disobey in the future doesn’t mean one should do so at present. They can always go back to, maybe not the present state, but at least the 1988-2009 state, if they would see it necessary.

    Dear manwithblackhat,

    forgive my saying so, but we are in the Church and not in Prussia. Hence, if we follow the law, we do it in a way that makes sense; not stubbornly following some latter. (I wish I could have expressed that in more friendly but equally brief manner; but anyway there was no offense intended.)

    So, I can understand one who said, in 2013, “they have no Office in Church; they are suspended; hence their Mass is forbidden; hence you cannot go there, or not for the Sunday Obligation” *. In fact I myself made a point of not fulfilling my Sunday obligation solely at the SSPX chapel; though I didn’t really think I had to.

    But to imagine that they can hear marriages and confessions – Things one does need faculties for – and it should still be forbidden or not obligation-fulfilling to hear a mere Mass there – “mere” because for a Mass you do not actually need faculties? And that priests who for decades and decades have said that it does suffice to fulfill the Sunday obligation at their chapels, and never changed that opinion, suddenly get Confession faculties and would now be expected (without even being at least once admonished in the direction) to treat it as a sin to fulfill the Sunday obligation only at their chapels?

    The very thought is absurd.

    [* That too would be wrong, though. If someone is a Catholic priest merely suspended, and no specific “to be avoided” has been attached by name to such a suspension, then it is not unlawful for a Catholic to ask him for a Mass, as granted by the Council of Constance; consequently, it is also not unlawful for him to offer it when asked, for otherwise charity would forbid the asking and the grant thus be void. (The Church happens to be gracious.) At least, that’s how the old manualists, in this case St. Alphonsus, judged on the matter.

    I didn’t find anything in St. Alphonsus about fulfilling the Sunday obligation at such Masses; but it is “in a Catholic rite”, and the responsible dicastery of Rome gave, while discouraging to do so, an “in itself yes” for an answer.]

  20. robtbrown says:

    Andrew 11,

    You’re partly right.

    1. A Constitution has the highest authority and signals something very important. That’s why both Marian definitions, Ineffablisis Deus and Munificentissimus Deus, were Apostolic Constitutions.

    2. It is not, however, limited to doctrine. Veterum Sapentia is an Apostolic Constitution.

    3. Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum are Dogmatic Constitutions because both deal with dogmatic questions: The nature of the Church and the nature of Divine Revelation. And LG does contain, as Cardinal Ratzinger noted, an expansion of the Infallible Authority of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium. Such an expansion is to be considered dogmatic.

    3. That notwithstanding, Dignitatis Humanae is neither Dogmatic nor a Constitution. Its text on religious liberty admits of various interpretations and so cannot be considered dogmatic.

  21. robtbrown says:

    albizzi,

    Nb: The SSPX has its own properties. If the Vatican tries to impose itself after the regularization, Msgr Velley can just say that it’s been a grin and say Ciao. Then the SSPX will return to its former situation.

  22. Gabriel Syme says:

    ncstevem,
    Further to robtbrown’s info:

    Its also known that Francis, when still plain old Cardinal Bergoglio, (Archbishop of Buenos Aires), had a good relationship with the SSPX in his Diocesan territory.

    This has been confirmed by both the Society and Francis himself. In Argentina, the Society had approached him for help in getting the Government to recognise them as a Catholic organisation; this recognition is needed to get visas for priests to work in the country. Francis did indeed help them, saying it was “evident” that they were genuinely Catholic.

    We know Francis has no time for formal liturgies / firm teaching etc, but it was the local pastoral work of the Society which impressed him. He saw that they “got their cassocks dirty”, as it were, in service of the less fortunate.

  23. Imrahil wrote:

    “[F]orgive my saying so, but we are in the Church and not in Prussia. Hence, if we follow the law, we do it in a way that makes sense; not stubbornly following some latter. (I wish I could have expressed that in more friendly but equally brief manner; but anyway there was no offense intended.)”

    I hope not.

    There are three issues touched on here. Before I’m accused of being a Pharasaic Neo-Pelagian, I’ll try to explain.

    1) There is the desire to comply “in a way that makes sense.” I would agree that the manner in which sanctions have been granted is without precedent. So we’re in some uncharted waters here. To the casual observer, the lawfulness of confessions and marriages, but not attending Mass, doesn’t make sense. Why not just meet in the middle, shake hands, and be done with it? It’s a good question. It doesn’t make sense to me either.

    2) My comments regarding licitness in fulfilling one’s Sunday obligation, is based on correspondence from Rome itself, in particular a 1996 letter from Msgr Perl of the Pontifical Commission. There have been various responses from him and others in his office before and since then, each giving a somewhat different degree of “yes” or “no” or “yet but.” Long story short, there are circumstances in which one’s Sunday obligation can be fulfilled at an SSPX chapel, but they really don’t recommend it.

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=130857
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cedsspx2.htm

    To have proper faculties is not some arbitrary penalty imposed on SSPX priests, to the exclusion of all others. A typical parish priest celebrating the Roman Mass in either form does so in communion with the whole Church, by way of faculties granted by his bishop, or other lawful jurisdiction (ordinariate, personal prelature, etc). No more would be asked of priests of the Society of Saint Pius X, hence no undue burden.

    3) There is also the matter of what constitutes a “catholic rite.” Attending an SSPX Mass to fulfill one’s obligation is said to be lawful because they use a “catholic rite.” So we set our definition as a particular set of books, employed by those who are precisely what they present themselves to be (that is, validly ordained Catholic priests). But while attending Divine Liturgy at an Eastern Rite church in communion with Rome fulfills one’s obligation, attending Divine Liturgy at an Eastern Orthodox church in formal schism does not, even as both use the same set of books. So do the Eastern churches use a “catholic rite” or not? And while we are quick to make a distinction between formal schism of the Orthodox, and some degree of “imperfect communion” with the Society of Saint Pius X, there is that warning by Msgr Perl of forming a “schismatic mentality” by way of the latter. Would he have said that if all was well?

    “It’ll all come out in the wash,” so they say. But until it does, there is more to adhering to Catholic tradition than a set of books and the right amount of ecclesiastical lace. “Where there is Peter, there is the Church. Where there is the Church, there is the Faith.”

    Sooner or later, almost still isn’t good enough.

  24. Gabriel Syme says:

    manwithblackhat,

    Long story short, there are circumstances in which one’s Sunday obligation can be fulfilled at an SSPX chapel, but they really don’t recommend it.

    A Catholic fulfills his/her Sunday obligation at an SSPX chapel in *all* circumstances.

    Canon law only requires that one attends mass in a Catholic rite. Church authorities have confirmed on several occasions that this is the case. The 1962 rite as used by the SSPX is a Catholic rite.

    True, when relations between the Vatican and SSPX were frostier than they are today, they would caution against it – but things have moved on. The authorities have even confirmed it is acceptable to financially support SSPX chapels.

    I think at one time, from the standpoint of the authorities, it was prudent to advise caution around the SSPX and specifically around certain individuals (who are now former members). I think its fair to say the circumstances have changed over time: in that the Society has never engaged in a formal schism, the modern authorities know the Society and its leadership better and the positive talks between Francis and +Fellay which have visibly been making slow but steady progress.

    The Ecclesia Dei letter you link to above is from ~20 years ago and so doesn’t reflect the “up to date” situation. There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

    For example, that letter from the 1990s talks of persons “formally adhering to the schism” while acknowledging that the Church never defined what that actually meant in the SSPX case. Nowadays the position of the Church is that there was never a formal SSPX schism, and so (of course) one could not have adhered to what has never existed.

    Today, thanks to the generosity of Pope Francis, it is beyond doubt that one can attend mass at an SSPX Chapel, go to confession there and (with the co-operation of the local diocese) even get married there.

    Although it is important that a formal reconciliation takes place, in the meantime the current status is essentially that of a de-facto recognition of the SSPX by the authorities.

    Personally I have always regarded it as absolutely remarkable that the authorities could have been concerned over the thought of today’s Catholics attending the mass of their forefathers, the saints and the martyrs. And this, at the same time as encouraging Catholic participation at ecumenical services – that is, empty events with groups who (to be brutally honest) are not Christian in any meaningful way (latest protestant news from the UK is that the Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church are preparing to conduct “gay marriages”).

    Cheers!

  25. Imrahil says:

    Dear manwithblackhat,

    Before I’m accused of being a Pharasaic Neo-Pelagian,

    You won’t be. The worst I would be saying, or at any rate intending to say, is that you’re wrong. No Need to throw around buzzwords (I did that above only for abbreviatory purposes).

    1) There is the desire to comply “in a way that makes sense.” I would agree that the manner in which sanctions have been granted is without precedent. […] To the casual observer, the lawfulness of confessions and marriages, but not attending Mass, doesn’t make sense. [emphasis mine]

    _Exactly_.

    I only add: not only to the casual observer. I also say that for a couple of reasons – including the fact that Confessions are included, and these now-Confessors won’t treat the thing as sinful – attending Mass is obviously taken to be implied in the grants, because otherwise they would make no sense.

    As for attending Mass, Sunday obligation set aside, that was of course always possible. They were not suspended by name with a “to be avoided” clause in the decree.

    So we’re in some uncharted waters here. […] Why not just meet in the middle, shake hands, and be done with it? It’s a good question. It doesn’t make sense to me either.

    Because the involved parties wished to make Things more clear before an institutionalization. But anyway, in unchartered waters the most favorable interpretation possible is to be applied.

    2) My comments regarding licitness in fulfilling one’s Sunday obligation, is based on correspondence from Rome itself, in particular a 1996 letter from Msgr Perl of the Pontifical Commission.

    May I remind you, first, that your chief reference is, as you say, a 1996 letter from Msgr Perl of the Pontifical Commission [Ecclesia Dei.]

    In 1996, the SSPX was a quasi-order the Holy See treated as legally non-existing, without communications with Rome, headed by excommunicated Bishops, and accused by some of schism. (I don’t think that accusation was justified, but admittedly it was shared by some of the most eager defenders of orthodoxy.)

    So, this was 1996.

    In 2017, the SSPX is a quasi-order not yet legally established but to all practical effects treated as such by Rome and anyone else, with the excommunications removed and the suspensions at least effectively removed likewise, in talks with Rome aiming at removal of remaining irregularities, whose General superior and the Pope regularly let themselves be quoted about their good personal understanding, and so on.

    So, this is 2017.

    If circumstances change, the answer to the circumstances may change likewise.

    Second, what did Msgr. Perl say?

    Long story short, there are circumstances in which one’s Sunday obligation can be fulfilled at an SSPX chapel, but they really don’t recommend it.

    Exactly.

    Now what they recommend is one Thing, and what they say about the technical Sunday obligation stuff quite another. I was only referring to the latter, and the answer to that has far as I am aware has always been “yes”.

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=130857

    This link has a headline “do not fulfil”, but what’s the actual quotes from Msgr. Perl:

    1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X.

    And that in 1996!

    We have already told you that we cannot recommend [emph. mine] your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why. If your primary [emph. mine]reason for attending were to manifest your desire to separate yourself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him, it would [obviously, not by me] be a sin. If your intention is [for example – note by me] simply to participate in a Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin.

    And all this in 1996!

    To have proper faculties is not some arbitrary penalty imposed on SSPX priests, to the exclusion of all others. A typical parish priest celebrating the Roman Mass in either form does so in communion with the whole Church, by way of faculties granted by his bishop, or other lawful jurisdiction (ordinariate, personal prelature, etc). No more would be asked of priests of the Society of Saint Pius X, hence no undue burden.

    No, you do not need “faculties” to celebrate Mass, period. You need faculties to hear Confessions and assist at Marriages. You actually need faculties to preach at Mass. But you do not Need faculties to celebrate Mass; you just Need to be a priest. And the SSPX priests were not forbidden to celebrate on account of “lack of faculties”, but on account of their suspension.

    3) […] while attending Divine Liturgy at an Eastern Rite church in communion with Rome fulfills one’s obligation, attending Divine Liturgy at an Eastern Orthodox church in formal schism does not, even as both use the same set of books. So do the Eastern churches use a “catholic rite” or not?

    I personally think that attending Divine Liturgy at an Eastern Orthodox church did fulfill the Sunday obligation from 1983, when the CIC with its “in a Catholic rite” Provision was given, until some time at the beginning of the 1990s, when I believe there was enacted an authentic Interpretation (that is, in effect, a new law) to the contrary. (I don’t have my quotes here ready, though.)

    And while we are quick to make a distinction between formal schism of the Orthodox, and some degree of “imperfect communion” with the Society of Saint Pius X, there is that warning by Msgr Perl of forming a “schismatic mentality” by way of the latter. Would he have said that if all was well?

    Still, the distinction is necessary. And while Msgr. Perl would not have said that if he had been thinking all was well, still let us note that he himself spoke about a danger of forming a schismatic mentality. That’s three relativizations in one sentence! And that in 1996.

    Where there is Peter, there is the Church.

    This implies that where there is the Church, there is Peter. So, as the SSPX are not schismatic, there sure is Peter among them – though it can’t be denied that there is still a “we need to talk” mode around.

    Sooner or later, almost still isn’t good enough.

    You quoted that from above as “like we used to say at home”. The attitude of Catholic countries seems different to me, but I digress. And what ever happened to the bruised reed and smoking flax?

  26. Imrahil says:

    By the way, forgive my wrong capitalizations.

    I tried to put off my auto-control, but couldn’t. No I try to fix these capitalizations that pop up here and there manually, but it seems I don’t get all of them.

    I could do better in English, not perfectly maybe, but better, if my computer only would let me. Long live Progress!

  27. Imrahil, thou hast writ:

    “No, you do not need ‘faculties’ to celebrate Mass, period.”

    Next you’ll be saying they can “ignore their bishops, period.”

    To celebrate privately, no. [Priests need to have the faculty to say Mass licitly, in private or in public.] To celebrate publicly, permission is required for lawfulness. This would take the form of a “celebret,” [No.] from the Latin meaning “may he celebrate” [No. “He may/Let him celebrate”]as a letter which a Roman Catholic bishop or major religious superior gives to a priest in order that the priest may obtain permission in another diocese to say Mass (which happens eventually anyway), and for this purpose bears testimony that he is free from canonical censures. [Not quite. A “celebret” is a document that, these days, takes different forms. Commonly, however, it states that the priest has the faculties to say Mass, to preach, and to receive sacramental confessions and absolve from his superior, such as a diocesan bishop or religious superior.] Now, if the history of licitness is to be this complicated (and your parsing of Perl bears this out), one should be loathe to take chances. To be a Roman Catholic is to be in full communion with Rome (and THAT warrants a “period”). If a priest of the Society is in a position to obtain a celebret (and it’s not unrealistic in itself at his point, as requirement for permission to validly oversee weddings), then there isn’t a problem. [A “celebret” itself is not the instrument by which faculties are conferred. It is a attestation that the priest has faculties in his place of incardination or where he exercises ministry, etc.]

    “You quoted that from above as ‘like we used to say at home’. The attitude of Catholic countries seems different to me, but I digress. And what ever happened to the bruised reed and smoking flax?”

    Now that reference is even more confusing (and we really did say that at home).

  28. Imrahil says:

    Dear manwiththeblackhat,

    no, I won’t be saying that they “can ignore the bishops, period”, I was just pointing out that your use of “faculties” is wrong. One does not need a faculty – if you insist: a faculty properly so-called.

    A celebret is not a delegation of (episcopal) powers (hence not a “faculty”). It is merely an attestation that he is a priest free from censures.

    As the SSPX priests are, undoubtedly, priests, and as the gracious Roman grants of the last months have to be taken as removing their suspenion in my view, SSPX priests should be able to get a celebret now; I don’t know if they would be. The situation is as you say confusing. But what makes a priest able to say Mass is “being a priest free from censures” and not the document that attests he is.

    Least of all you need faculties for “public Masses as opposed to private Masses”. The celebret is not addressed to pastors of parishes to let them help in pastoral work; it is addressed specifically to rectors of Churches to let them use altars, because the rectors of Churches have to take care that altars are not used by impostor-priests. Suspensions (where they exist) forbid private Masses just as well as public ones (and in fact, even more so, but let’s not digress with an explanation).

    As for “sooner or later, almost still isn’t good enough”, I didn’t doubt that you did say that at home. I just mentioned that to my ears this sounds suspiciously much like Val Kilmer’s Top Gun line “the medals for the second-placed are displayed in the toilets”, and that the attitude of Our Lord who as the Prophet said did not break the bruised reed and did not quench the smoked flax, rather than saying “the reed is bruised – off to defective ware” and “the flax merely smokes – no use, let’s quench it”, gives the impression of a different atmosphere.

  29. Father Z wrote:

    [A “celebret” is a document that, these days, takes different forms. Commonly, however, it states that the priest has the faculties to say Mass, to preach, and to receive sacramental confessions and absolve from his superior, such as a diocesan bishop or religious superior.]

    Okay, okay, you got me there — almost.

    With all due respect to the good Father, the point being made here (in the form of a sound premise) is that priests of the Society would be subject to the same oversight as any other priest, as opposed to just walking into a situation without “faculties to say Mass, to preach, and to receive sacramental confessions and absolve from his superior, such as a diocesan bishop or religious superior.” Up to now, such permissions have been granted piecemeal. [Right now, they are not being granted “piecemeal”. They are being granted by the Roman Pontiff directly.] It will be a great day when the Society returns to fully regular status within the Church (and if they already were, we wouldn’t be having this conversation). [Yes, we would. Just because a priest is in good canonical standing, that doesn’t mean that he automatically has the faculties to preach, to hear confessions, and to say Mass. It was once not uncommon for their to be “Mass priests”, who could say Mass but who could not preach or hear confessions. That can also be the case today.] However, nothing in this or any other venue (except for those of the SSPX, where they still insist they never needed these provisions in the first place) suggests that such a day has come.