Interesting SSPX development in Buenos Aires

I received some interesting email from one of you alert readers about something going on with the SSPX in, of all places, Buenos Aires.

This looks legit. From the website of the Argentinian Boletino, you can see the resolution. Using the search tool, select “resolutions” and then type 25 and 2015.  And for analysis HERE.

In a nutshell, seems that the Archbishop of Buenos Aires granted to an entity of the SSPX, the “Brotherhood of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary (Society of St. Pius X)” the status of a juridic person as an Association of Diocesan Right.

I am not sure what this means, in the short or long run, but it is not nothing.   I don’t grasp all the civil legal niceties involved in this, but the fact that this happened in Buenos Aires is also not nothing.

Also interesting is that the SSPX group did not simply, for civil law reasons, declare itself its own independent structure.  Rather, they sought the intermediary of the local bishop.

For this to have happened, it had to have been known in advance in the proper offices in both Rome and in Ecône.

I have opined in the past that, perhaps, Pope Francis might be the one to pull off a reconciliation of the SSPX.  At first glance, he is an unlikely candidate for such a move, but… hey!  What better way to manifest “mercy”, right?

St. Pope John II would, I think, be pleased.

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  1. magister63 says:

    “The Apostles of Jesus and Mary” is the name of the SSPX in its constitutions. It is not an entity of the SSPX, it is the SSPX.

  2. Magash says:

    Only Nixon could go to China.

  3. JARay says:

    Very interesting indeed.

  4. William Tighe says:

    I, too, assume that Pope John II would be pleased, although I’m not certain why:

  5. robtbrown says:

    I was told many months ago that this would be the new strategy of the Vatican for SSPX regularization. Instead of a centralized approach via a Vatican – SSPX agreement, they would work from the ground up. They would begin with those dioceses that are not opposed to the SSPX, where regularization would be fairly easy.

  6. Ann Malley says:

    “…What better way to manifest “mercy”, right?” And true justice. The SSPX is Catholic and always has been despite its irregular status. After all, it would be no mercy to call “Catholic” that which is not. That would be misleading, no?

    God bless the hierarchy of Argentina for corresponding to the motions of grace!!

  7. LA says:

    We certainly do not know all the details yet, but perhaps justice towards the SSPX is finally beginning to happen at a diocesan level for the first time since 1976? We shall soon find out.

  8. PA mom says:

    In a way, this makes perfect sense.
    As the Pope had allegedly encouraged his good friend, the evangelical bishop to stay within his formal evangelical structure and work toward and act in unity with Rome from there, why not the same for the SSPX? Why not allow formal unity everywhere that those directly involved can work it out?
    Let there be many such reconciliations, especially during this Year of Mercy!

  9. Liam says:

    Yup! What magister63 says above…the Fraternity of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary is the official name of the Society of St. Pius X in its constitutions, hence the emblem of the joined hearts, the emblem of the Vendee, as the seal of the fraternity.

  10. J_Cathelineau says:

    Some questions arise:
    1) If the FSSPX is recognized in Buenos Aires ¿Does it mean they have jurisdiction now? ¿Can their Priests celebrate marriages and hear confessions?
    2) ¿Can they now be intervened and commisariated?

  11. JBS says:


    Can you cite any sources for your claim? Is there an online link to the constitutions?

  12. Servant says:

    Deo Gratias! I had mentioned, in my comments to a previous SSPX related piece, that the bishops should begin working with the local SSPX priests and their superiors to give them the necessary faculties; a truly grassroots effort for the sake of souls. The development in Argentina is truly wonderful. I have love and respect for the SSPX and hope that more good bishops will do what the good Cardinal has done. Pax Christi.

  13. marcelus says:

    Long time Fr.:

    Here you go..

    A start? This is Argentina’s most important newspaper Clarin,, reporting today this interesting news, The SSPX in Argentina at least, is legally recognized as formal part of the RCC .That is I suspect , before the state. Archbsp Poli asked the State to include them formally in the national register of Catholics orders and congregations.: it reads: (my partial translation) Society 04.12.15

    The Lefebvrist are admitted again by the Argentina Church

    Resolution of the Secretary of Worship .

    “It is an ultraconservative community. Reintegrated into the country’s church (Argentina) and the Vatican encounters resistance.”

    In Argentina, members of the ultraconservative community founded by the French bishop Marcel Lefebvre -excommulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1988 along with four other bishops formally returned to the Catholic Church. This follows a decision by the Secretariat of Cult of the Nation-published in the Official Gazette at the end of this week- in which recognizes the Fraternity of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary or SSPX (the Lefebvrist) as a legal person –here is the key to this- and incorporates it into the Registry of Consecrated Life Institute, which make up all the congregations and Catholic orders.

    For that to happen, a formal request had to mediate, by and ecclesiastical authority, in this case, was made by the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Poli., in order to incorporate the order .

    The incorporation in the country of the Catholic Church Lefebvrist occurs while the Vatican maintains difficult negotiations with that community worldwide for his return to Rome. Discussions began in 2000 by the will of John Paul II. In 2009 Benedict XVI decided to lift the excommunication of the four bishops -Lefebvre died in 1991, one of the demands of the ultraconservative community.

    Joseph Ratzinger’s decision not lacking in controversy brought a big headache to the German Pope because one of the beneficiary bishops residing in Argentina, Richard Williamson, denied the Holocaust . Then the government led by Cristina Kirchner decided to deport him.

    As Williamson insisted, at least partially, with their opinions and put forward the most radical of the group Lefebvre, was expelled from the Society of St. Pius X in 2012.
    In turn, Benedict XVI suspended him “ad divinis” and in a letter to all bishops admitted being wrong, not learn about the history of Williamson .

    The return of the Lefebvrist to the Church in Argentina, which surely had the approval of Pope Francis is seen near the pontiff as an achievement because it implies that at least one sector of the followers of Lefebvre accepted the Council Vatican II. But surely it shall not be well with progressive sectors. After all, that was the desire of the immediate predecessor of Francis.

    In Brazil, some time ago that some of the Lefebvrist returned to communion with Rome, by becoming an Apostolic Prefecture, reporting directly to the Pope.


    Here is something from Fellay on Francis from Rorate. Wonder how many bishops would have dare dio this for them. Very interesting.
    “In a visit to the French city of Fabregues on May 11 (the day following this post), the Superior-General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bp. Bernard Fellay, spoke at length about various matters of relevance to his congregation. The most important part was that related to the personality of Pope Francis:
    With the current pope, as he is a practical man, he looks at people. What a person thinks, what he believes, is at the end a matter of indifference to him. What matters is that this person be sympathetic in his view, that he seems correct to him, one may say it like this.
    And therefore he read twice Bp. Tissier de Mallerais’ book on Abp. Lefebvre, and this book pleased him; he is against all that we represent, but, as a life, it pleased him. When, as a Cardinal, he was in South America, the District Superior [Fr. Christian Bouchacourt] came to ask him for an administrative favor with no relation to the Church; a visa problem, of permanent residency. The Argentine government, which is very leftwing, makes use of the concordat that was established to protect the Church to bother us quite seriously, and tells us, “you say you are Catholic, it is thus necessary for you to have the signature of the bishop in order to reside in the country.” The District Superior therefore went to him to present the problem: there was an easy solution, and that would be to declare ourselves an independent church [before Civil Law], but we did not want to do it because we are Catholic. And the Cardinal told us, “no, no, you are Catholic, that is evident; I will help you;” he wrote a letter in our favor to the government, that is so leftwing that they managed to find an opposing letter by the nuncio. Therefore, a 0-0 tie. Now he is the pope, and our lawyer had the opportunity of having a meeting with the Pope. He told him that the problem was still going on with the Society, and asked him to please designate a bishop in Argentina with whom we could sort out this problem. The Pope told him, “Yes, and this bishop is myself, I promised to help, and I will do ”

    Bsp Fellay said:

    “And the Cardinal(Bergoglio) told us, “no, no, you are Catholic, that is evident; I will help you;” he wrote a letter in our favor to the government,”

    Kind of leaves you thinking ah?

    Wonder how many cardinals would have dare do this if any at all.

    Either way, legally they are part of the RCC.

    Only in Argentina!!. Could be a way churches in some other countries copy as a beggining.

    Step by step

    Viva Il Papa.

  14. marcelus says:

    Cardinal Mario Poli is Francis’s replacement in Argentina.

  15. Andrew_81 says:

    Rorate has some coverage with more details here.

    Canonically, nothing has happened. We can all calm down.

    Rorate has more background, but by this, civilly-speaking, the Argentine government recognizes (thanks to a request of the Archbishop in Buenos Aires) the SSPX as equivalent to a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right, thus, a part of the Catholic Church.

    The local Ordinary has not canonically established the SSPX as such.

    Background in a few words:
    The SSPX had previously had problems because instead of declaring themselves a non-Catholic Church to secure civil recognition, they asserted they were part of the Catholic Church. The liberal government tried to make difficult the SSPX activities by refusing non-tourist visas except where the Church approved. Then-Cardinal Bergolio agreed to wrote a letter supporting the SSPX as Catholic, to facilitate this, but the Nuncio wrote against him. The problem continued.

    So two things happen with this, none Canonical.

    1. The Argentine government for civil purposes recognizes the SSPX as a part of the Catholic Church, and civilly allows the normal activities, rights, etc. that belong to such a group.

    2. The SSPX, in refusing to declare itself a non-Catholic sect, even for mere civil purposes, shows its intention to remain in so far as is possible, even in the face of greater difficulties, and even eyes of the State, as part of the Catholic Church.

  16. magister63 says:

    JBS, I was in the Society seminary for a few years and still have three copies of the constitutions.

  17. Matt Robare says:

    Magash beat me to the old Vulcan proverb.

  18. Andrew_81 says:

    Robtbrown said:

    I was told many months ago that this would be the new strategy of the Vatican for SSPX regularization. Instead of a centralized approach via a Vatican – SSPX agreement, they would work from the ground up. They would begin with those dioceses that are not opposed to the SSPX, where regularization would be fairly easy.

    I don’t have any inside knowledge of Vatican strategy, but I do know from many friends who are SSPX priests and members that this is not the general impression or plan of SSPX members. The exact same problems still remain, and since the CDF discussions never resolved anything, there have been (as publicly announced) various informal visits for informal discussions on theological topics related to the SSPX difficulties. This was done by Cardinal Brandmueller in Gernamy and Bishop Athanasius Schneider in France and the U.S. Obviously since mid-2013, on a formal level, everything is blocked up.

    This establish-it-in-several-places also doesn’t work well with Canon Law. A Society of Apostolic Life is either of diocesan right or of pontifical — subject to a bishop or to the Holy See. If diocesan it is established in one diocese, and allowed to work in others. This is why in 1976 the bishop of Lausanne-Geneva-Fribourg could claim to supress the SSPX, because it was, according to him, of diocesan right, and established in his diocese, despite it already working in many other dioceses.

    This was why so many were discussing a few years back an Ordinariate or Personal Prelature for an SSPX structure in the future.

    Any solution to the SSPX problem must come from the SSPX and Holy See. The matter stopped at that level, not at the local level, so it cannot be solved by local Ordinaries.

  19. Legisperitus says:

    J_Cathelineau: This is a recognition by the government (with the consent of the Archbishop) that they are Catholic, but no more. It doesn’t regularize the SSPX structurally within the Church or the archdiocese or grant them any jurisdiction they didn’t have before..

  20. Gabriel Syme says:

    Yes this is an encouraging and welcome development. Its not the end of the story, but I think (hope!) that its another step towards that.

    I think that this is the fruition of something which has been brewing in Buenos Aires for some time now – ever since Francis was still Archbishop of the City.

    Back then, the SSPX District Superior, Fr Christian Bouchacourt, had been told by the Argentine Government that he needed a local Catholic Bishop to vouch for the Society (as regards confirming their Catholic identity, with regard to getting visas and permissions to enter the country etc).

    It has been suggested that this requirement was malicious, with politicians expectant that the Society would not be able to produce a reference from a Bishop of an Argentine Diocese. It is true that the Society could have got around this potential obstacle by presenting themselves as a separate organisation, but no SSPX clergyman (or lay person!) would ever countenance the Society being described as anything other than part of the Catholic Church.

    In any case, Bouchacourt approached Francis (as Cardinal Bergoglio) who agreed to help, saying it was “evident” that the Society was Catholic – and so the SSPX got their letter of approval. And, after becoming Pope, Francis was quoted as saying he had promised to help the Society in Argentina and was still intent on doing that. I think this new development is connected to this back story.

    I have criticised Francis in the past but I must credit him here, as is only fair. I think it is to his credit that he has been open to helping to Society – at least in a local Argentine sense; most especially given Bouchacourt has been openly critical of the ecumenical services with Jews held in the Catholic Cathedral of Buenos Aires.

    Bouchacourt (rightly) made the mainstream prelates look like fools, by pointing out that the Encyclical Mortalium Animos of Pope Pius XI – as hosted on the Vaticans’ own website – expressly forbade such inter-religious services, most especially in Catholic Churches.

    Many a Prelate would have taken that personally and so refused to help the Society in retaliation; but credit to Francis that he has not taken it personally and has risen above any thought of “getting his own back”. Don’t get me wrong, Francis is no big fan of the Society – or the traditional mass – but I think it is undoubtedly to his credit that he has shown himself to be fair-minded here, even towards those he may have disagreements with.

    And while, yes, this isn’t the final resolution (as Archbishop Pozzo of Ecclesia Dei has confirmed, since the story broke) it is – surely (!) – the end of the talk of the SSPX being in Schism.

  21. jacobi says:

    I think it is very good but have some reservations.

    The SSXP are Catholic and should not be in any way separated from the rest of the orthodox Church and any restriction on Catholics attending freely their services is wrong.

    On the other hand if this is an initiative by the local bishop, without the consent and approval of the pope, then we have to be careful. There are already bishops in the Germanic areas threatening to go their own way on allowing those in an objective state of mortal sin and therefore not in state of grace to receive Holy Communion, a much more grave matter than that of the SSPX and this type of initiative cannot be condoned.

    Therefore , it is important that the Buenos Aires move is approved of by the pope and this should come out clearly and unambiguously into the open with a statement from the Vatican.

  22. Gabriel Syme says:


    I will disagree with Legisperitus; If the Archbishop recognises the society within his Diocese, then yes, the Society will have juristiction there, from the Bishops own authority.

    The info released says the Society is being treated as an Association of Diocesan Right, (until such a time that a universal resolution is found), which is a religious congregation, codified by the laws of the Catholic Church, under the Bishops own authority.

    If this recognition by the Bishops had no effect on the previous circumstances, then what would the point of it be?

    The recognition goes further than simply acknowledging that the SSPX are Catholic – after all, the previous Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Jorge Bergoglio) had already acknowledged that (as per my post above).

  23. Andrew says:


    Per the “Vatican Insider” The Secretary of the Pont. Comm. Ecclesia Dei gave the following answer:

    «Estoy contento de que en Argentina se haya podido encontrar esta solución, que, hay que precisar, no involucra a la Santa Sede. No se trata de un reconocimiento jurídico de la San Pío X como sociedad clerical, sigue pendiente la cuestión de la legitimidad del ejercicio del ministerio sacerdotal de sus sacerdotes. Pero, claramente es un signo más de benevolencia para con esta realidad por parte de la Iglesia católica».

    «Con su decisión -indicó Pozzo- el ordinario de Buenos Aires reconoce que los miembros de la Fraternidad son católicos, aunque todavía no estén en plena comunión con Roma. Nosotros seguimos trabajando para que se llegue a la plena comunión y para definir el marco jurídico de la Fraternidad en la Iglesia católica».

  24. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The “analysis” copy of the resolution is Google Translate.

    The important phrases at the beginning should be read as:

    “…. the Archbishop… requests that the “Fraternity of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary (Sacerdotal Society of St. Pius X) be held as an Association of Diocesan Right, until it should conflict with the definitive juridic framework in the Universal Church….”

    “encuentre” is third-person singular (he/she/Usted) present subjunctive. Google Translate is saying it’s the formal you, Usted, but it’s pretty clearly not being used that way.

  25. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “Hasta que” is definitely “until.” The verb “encontrar” usually means “to meet,” but in this case it seems to be more “to collide, to smash into, to conflict with.”

    But!! I could be wrong about that, and the archbishop might be saying he’s requesting it should be treated as an Association of Diocesan Right even though it doesn’t “meet” the full Church legal requirements, and “until” it does “meet” them (which probably makes more sense).

    It all seems to be some kind of formal legal phrasing, and I never took Legal Spanish, much less anything for the weirdness of Argentina. The only thing I can say for sure is that “encuentre” isn’t being used in an Usted sense.

  26. anilwang says:

    While it is tricky to have full communion at the local level but not the global level, it is not unheard of in the Catholic faith.

    I believe that the Armenian Catholic and Armenian Orthodox Churches allow intercommunion even though the Catholic and Orthodox Churches do not. I’d be curious to know the history of how this happened, but nonetheless it is a positive sign.

    So that might be an approach forward. There are several diocese where bishops have been friendly to SSPX seminaries and parishes, so if regularization were to start, it would be easiest in those dioceses.

  27. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Andrew’s quoting of the Ecclesia Dei guy:

    “I am pleased that in Argentina, this solution has been able to be found — which, one must specify, does not involve the Holy See. It is not to be treated as a juridical recognition of the St. Pius X [society] as a clerical society; the question of the legitimacy of its sacerdotes’ exercise of the sacerdotal ministry remains pending. But clearly it is a sign more about goodwill for [them] with this reality, as part of the Catholic Church.”

    “With this decision,” Pozzo indicated, “the Ordinary of Buenos Aires recognizes that the members of the Fraternity are Catholics, although they may not be in full communion with Rome. We continue working so that it may arrive at full communion and in order to define the juridical framing of the Fraternity in the Catholic Church.”

    Oh, and there’s a third potential translation of the Argentina document, which seems to go along better with what Pozzo is saying: “….until the definitive juridic framework in the Universal Church be found….” Sometimes the verb winds up ahead of the subject, especially with subjunctives. The Pope used that structure a lot in his stuff, so maybe it’s another Argentina thing.

  28. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “…. no estén en plena comunión con Roma” is another present subjunctive (2nd person plural). You could also translate this right out as “although they be not in full communion in Rome;” but there’d be no reason to use subjunctive if you were going to say straight out that the SSPX isn’t in full communion. So my instinct is to treat it as a very polite phrasing, and that the Ecclesia Dei guy is using the subjunctive to indicate murkiness of status versus clarity of status.

    I took a fair amount of Spanish in high school, but this stuff is over my head and the importance of the occasion makes me nervous. Native Spanish speakers and Vaticanologists, please feel free to jump in!

  29. Stephen D says:

    It seems obvious to me why the Pope would encourage the SSPX – he sees it as a convenient ‘home’ for such as ourselves. He is very unkind to trads. within the Church but very kind to those outside – there is a reason – he wants them all outside.

  30. RJHighland says:

    Definitely a move in the right direction, thanks be to God. I don’t understand the St. John Paul II would be pleased statement? Much of the suffering of the SSPX was put in place by St. John Paul II and his curia, forcing them to accept the new mass not allowing them to concecrate bishops from with-in, which the FSSP still has not been able to do to date. So why would St. John Paul II be happy about this diocesan validation of the SocietyFather when St. John Paul II excommunicated Arch Bishop Lefebvre and the four bishops? The Society hasn’t changed it’s stances a bit since it’s inception. Vatican II and the New Mass are valid just don’t make them follow anything that goes against that which has always been taught or force them to celebrate the new mass, pretty simple really. If it was valid prior to Vatican II why the trouble know? I think it is just another proof that St. John Paul II and the curia were wrong in their treatment of the bishops of the SSPX. Why Francis has no problems with Cardinals like Kasper and the like and the bizzare masses priests and bishops are allowed to offer and damaging catechisis going on through-out the Church, yet will not normalize the SSPX with a Peronal Prelature that simply want to teach that which has always been taught is baffling. If you like the new mass, the new catechisis, the new postures and ways of receiving communion, fine, just let us do things the way they were validly done and taught before the chaos of Vatican II, that is really all that is being asked for by the Society and leave us alone with all this modernist stuff. Let us see which branch of the Church flourishes and which whithers on the vine, level the playing field. The SSPX has been trying to run a marathon with it’s hands and feet tied and being beaten with clubs while the others have had free reign and few obstructions yet mass attendance has steadily dropped in progressive Novus Ordo parishes. The SSPX is still growing as is the FSSP but they too have had their own battles with the heirarchy and still no bishops. These two groups are often pitted against each other by the heirarchy as well, when they are truly brothers in Christ that should be allowed to work together in a needed true evagelization of the faith. Let the FSSP develope in areas where the local bishop is friendly to tradition and where the bishop is not let the SSPX work with a Personal Prelature. You get the SSPX and the FSSP working together again and that is what I call a real evangelization!

  31. Gerard Plourde says:

    This truly is an excellent development. If I understand the report correctly, the local SSPX group sought recognition under the authority of the local Ordinary. This follows the common and traditional practice employed for newly formed communities seeking recognition and mirrors the original status of the SSPX when it was first formed. While the knowledge and approval of Econe would be desirable it is now superfluous as the Argentine group is now subject to the local Ordinary in accordance with long-standing provisions of Canon Law. Perhaps if enough SSPX groups follow this example a logical step would be for them to jointly seek the same status that the Preistly Fraternity of St. Peter enjoys, that of a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, perhaps with the end result of Econe regaining licit status.

  32. govmatt says:

    This was an act of charity by the local Ordinary. The SSPX would have had a lot of trouble with the Argentinian government if the Church hadn’t stepped in.

    Hopefully this act of charity will foster a greater amount of dialogue and reconciliation.

  33. acricketchirps says:

    Matt, that was Vulcan? I thought it was Tamarian. “Nixon and Zhoo at Tanagra”.

  34. acricketchirps says:


  35. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear RJHighland,

    While it would be desirable for the SSPX and the FSSP to both be able to serve the Traditionalist community under the recognized authority of the Pope, this will not happen until the SSPX submits itself to that authority. Their current valid but illicit status is the natural result of Archbishop Lefebvre’s act in direct and wilfull disobedience of a legitimate Papal command. The action taken in Argentina, if the infrerences drawn from the report are correct, potentially represents a both good and necessary step in reconciling the Society with the Universal Church. Let us pray that the seed sown there bears abundant fruit.

  36. Legisperitus says:

    Gabriel Syme: Perhaps I was indeed mistaken.

  37. Elizabeth D says:

    See also this which has comment from the PCED clarifying that this does not mean the Church recognizes the SSPX or this subset of it as a a clerical society as such:

  38. DeGaulle says:

    Father Hunwicke’s comment of today, 13th of April is closely related to this subject and I would recommend it.

  39. Sonshine135 says:

    My thoughts exactly Father. Traditional Catholics need mercy too!

  40. Matt R says:

    It does clarify one thing, at least for those who insisted otherwise: the SSPX is not in schism.

  41. Uxixu says:

    I always thought a far bigger obstacle was the local bishops who do not want their presence more than with the Vatican, which had only to extend an offer to that of Campos (while many/most SSPX resent the idea of the PCED concessions willingly accepted by FSSP and ICKSP).

    What they will do with a bishop who refuses to come to an agreement is the rub. FSSP, for example, won’t go into a diocese where the bishop doesn’t invite them. SSPX has all but defied the authority of how many diocesan bishops for decades. Unless they’re willing to withdraw their apostolates from those diocese, hard to see how the Vatican could allow that openly.

    It goes into the problems of what exactly the SSPX is as a society of Apostolic Life. It’s not an Order. They’re not formal religious in status. They are technically at canonical level of a Rosary Confraternity IIRC…

  42. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Matt R,

    While it’s true that the SSPX is not formally schismatic, the fact that its members are functioning illicitly is an obstacle to their reintegration into the Universal Church. If they do not regularize their relationship with the Holy See, the likelihood of their drifting into schism and the danger of their drifitng into heresy as have many sects that trace their origin to the Old Catholic movement increases.

  43. Ann Malley says:

    Dear Gerard Plourde:

    The “likelihood and/or the danger of” is still no cause for maligning the Society as not “Catholic”. They are Catholic. The recognition of that reality, albeit brought about by a legal situation, is a tremendous grace all around. Perhaps now those well meaning Catholic souls will cease and desist in attempting to force a schism that doesn’t currently exist by way of fear mongering about what might happen instead of looking at what is.

  44. anilwang says:

    Uxixu says: I always thought a far bigger obstacle was the local bishops who do not want their presence more than with the Vatican,… Unless they’re willing to withdraw their apostolates from those diocese, hard to see how the Vatican could allow that openly.

    One big disagreement I have with Pope Benedict XVI is that TLM and NO are not two forms of the same liturgy. They are two separate rites. They have different prayers, different feast days, different liturgies, and different blessings. There’s little in common and many in TLM want to be under the care of their own TLM rather than their assigned NO parish for all their sacraments and catechesis. How is TLM different from an Eastern Rite or at least at least the Anglican Ordinariate?

    As such, TLM should be as freely available in all diocese as any Eastern Rite or Anglican Ordinariate, regardless of what the local bishop prefers since people of the Eastern Rite or Anglican Ordinariate are not under his care.

  45. marcelus says:

    The “analysis” copy of the resolution is Google Translate.

    The important phrases at the beginning should be read as:

    “…. the Archbishop… requests that the “Fraternity of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary (Sacerdotal Society of St. Pius X) be held as an Association of Diocesan Right, until it should conflict with the definitive juridic framework in the Universal Church….”

    I am a native Spanish speaker based in Argentina. what the resolution states Is quite simple;the archbishop of Argentina asked the Ministry of cult that the fraternity be included within the legislative framework and judical status of the Catholic Church in Argentina with all the benefitS this implies.

    This is to be done until the fraternity status within the Catholic Church or universal Church is defined.
    You may infer from It that when the fraternity’s situation with regard to the catholic church is finally resolved they will permanently be included and considered and treated as members of the RCC it is clear from this expression of will that there is an ongoing negotiation between the 2 and results are expected.

    That is all. Usted is not applicable here

    “Con su decisión -indicó Pozzo- el ordinario de Buenos Aires reconoce que los miembros de la Fraternidad son católicos, aunque todavía no estén en plena comunión con Roma. ED

    with his decision indicated Pozzo .the ordinary of buenos aires recognizes that the members of the fraternity are catholics even if they are still not in full communion with Rome.

    That is what it means.

  46. Hank Igitur says:

    “Dealing with the issue locally, not centrally” could lead to SSPX groups who accept and others who do not, setting up two camps and the potential for “divide and conquer” coming later. Caution should apply here.

  47. jhayes says:

    Gerade Plaudre wrote While it’s true that the SSPX is not formally schismatic, the fact that its members are functioning illicitly is an obstacle to their reintegration into the Universal Church.

    Cardinal Müller said:

    Asked about the position of the Society of St. Pius X, Archbishop Müller said that while “the canonical excommunication” was revoked, “the sacramental one remains, de facto, for the schism: because they have removed themselves from communion with the Church.”

  48. RJHighland says:

    Dear Gerard Plourde,
    You should talk to some of the priests in the FSSP and see how much they enjoy their current status, the one’s I have spoken with would much rather be under a Personnal Prelature and have their own bishops than fall under the authority of local bishops, and traditional Catholics in a Dioceses where the bishop is a flaming heretic that does not want the FSSP in his dioceses would be better served. This concept of blind obedience of every utterance of a fallible man that is only guaranteed infallibility when making a Universal Proclaimation on the faith doesn’t even make sense. I am required obedience only to those eternal teachings of the Church not what ever whim a local bishop or even an errent off the cuff statement by the Holy Father. The leadership in the Church today is mirroring the Jewish leadership at the time of Christ or the Church leadership at the time of the Rennaisance before the Council of Trent. So no I would rather the SSPX not blindly bow to the Vatican so they could be improved like the Vatican has improved the Franciscan Friar’s of the Immaculate. How are those membership numbers looking these days anyway? That work seems like the work of the grim reaper more than the Holy Ghost. Trick me once that is on you, trick me twice that is on me. I sometimes pray for the days of St. Athenasius when the faithful would rise up and run a heretical bishop out of town, and restore a true shepherd to the Cathedral, but we are much to civilized for that these days and the dwindling faithful to poorly catechised for evaluation of good leadership. Instead today the heretics are trying to run off good bishops like Archbishop Cordileone as they cheer on Cardinal Dolan. Just a humorous aside, I thought legend had it that St. Patrick chased the snakes into the sea, he didn’t lead them ashore. So I have awoken “only to find the Church to be Arian”.

  49. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Ann Maley,

    I apologize if my remarks appeared to imply that the SSPX is no longer Catholic. I believe that they are and hope and pray that they remain so. My worry is that the longer they remain in irregular status with the Univeral Church the greater the danger that they “go off the rails” so to speak. The history of the Old Catholic movement is a cautionary tale in this regard. Its members expressed serious reservations concerning the promulgation of the doctrine of Papal Infallibililty at the First Vatican Council. In the name of tradtional orthodoxy they removed themselves from the auspices of Universal Church. By the beginning of the current century many of these groups had embraced Creation Spirituality, the Ordination of women to the Priesthood and many Modernist positions in theology. I hope and pray that this kind of splintering and drfit from the Catholic Chuch does not befall the Society.

  50. Charles E Flynn says:

    Rorate Caeli has posted a clarification from the SSPX:

    IMPORTANT: SSPX clarification on the Argentine recognitions

  51. Gratias says:

    This is a wonderful development. In one blow Pope Francis has cut though the Gordian knot of the separation of the SSPX. Provided similar instructions are given to the Nuncios, this recognition could spread to other bishops of good will. Especially here in America where the Latin Mass is slowly but surely expanding. It costs the Vatican nothing and will bring peace among brothers. I have been very critical of Pope Francis but now will have to make penance.

    It is a brilliant move. The SSPX will be able to reach a modus vivendi with individual bishops and from there a more general arrangement can emerge in the future. A Personal Prelature may come later but for now all or nothing behavior is conterproductive. Now it is essential to seize this merciful moment and make an example of good behavior though the SSPX in Buenos Aires.

    I would have never thought a good outcome such as this was possible after the missed opportunity with Benedict XVI, who had made the reconciliation of the SSPX the centerpiece of his pontificate.


  52. RJHighland says:

    Gerard Plourdes comment on the Old Catholic Movement,
    I would have to agree whole heartedly with your comment on the Old Catholic movement, and yes those are conserns when a group gets cross ways with the Vatican but your explaination of how the Old Catholic movement has gone off the rails is more in line with the views of a number bishops and priests and the LCR that are in full communion with Rome rather than with the SSPX. The SSPX removed a bishop because of his wayward theology and they screen their seminarians much more thorouly than most Catholic Seminaries and those modernist positions on theology don’t make it onto SSPX seminary except to be decryed as heresy. While in most modern Catholic universities and seminaries these modernists ideas are promoted and encouraged. Who is more like the Old Catholic movement in their teaching and presentations of the faith Notre Dame, Georgetown or the SSPX? It is not te SSPX that needs to be feared here. Didn’t the Pope wash the feet of a transgender individual on Holy Thursday, is that what he wants the next generation of bishops to look like, the new apostles of the Church? The problems in the Church today are not because of the theology and practice of the SSPX, the SSPX is more like the cure than the disease. Those that reject the cure or antibiotic are typically the virus or infection itself.

  53. Gabriel Syme says:

    Here is the Societys own response to the news; it rather plays matters down, stating that this is a “strictly administrative procedure” in a “restricted context”.

    The statement acknowledges that:

    – this is a limited / local development, not a universal one
    – Cardinal Poli’s decision has no canonical authority (as he does not represent the Roman Authorities)
    – there is legitimate reason to believe that the decision was taken with the Cardinal having consulted Pope Francis himself

    I wonder if this minor, tentative step constitutes something of a trial; in terms of “lets see how this goes and then determine the way ahead from that”.

  54. Elizabeth D says:

    SSPX doesn’t bother to thank Cdl Poli, which would have bee cordial common courtesy.

  55. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Thank you, Marcelus!

  56. Imrahil says:

    Dear Elizabeth, I might suppose they did say thank-you, at least in private.

    That said, they may have thought that drawing a thanks-address which is neither discourteously triumphalist on the one hand, nor repenting their own attitudes on the other (though some might wish for that, it would in any case be an entirely different matter), might have seemed to difficult. A deep look in the eye with a hand-shake and a “thank you” might have done the trick better. Who knows.

    (In any case, the SSPX does seem to bother to thank local bishops whenever they, for instance, are allowed to celebrate at Churches other than their own chapels.)

  57. Ann Malley says:

    To: Gerard Plourde

    No worries about what you seem to infer regarding the SSPX potentially “going off the rails.” But the reality on the ground would demonstrate the “going off the rails” of a good deal of those who, on paper, are currently considered to be “in full communion.”

    That is why the fear mongering of “what could happen” regarding the SSPX is, at least in some circles, disingenuous in its assessments. But the “they’re not even Catholic” is an argument that is, sadly, used in many instances to divide those who truly adhere to the fullness of Catholic Faith, not just obedience to those who allow all manner of heterodoxy and synretism to infiltrate parishes to the real-time detriment of souls.

    This is why I personally applaud the admission that the Society is, in fact, Catholic. To say otherwise would not only be petty, but completely erroneous.

    To Elizabeth D:

    How do you know there was no cordial common courtesy shown to Cardinal Poli? Common courtesy doesn’t necessarily equate to a public pronouncement. That said, it is not courteous to assume the worst about situations in which one is not involved.

    That said, the Society is Catholic so the Cardinals admitting as much is justice. Much like someone admitting that you are female if questioned by the government would be a just response as it is the truth – not “just” a favor to you.

  58. Imrahil says:

    A note on the Old Catholic movement: the Old Catholic movement was heretic from the onset; it worked under the presumption that the Church had fallen into heresy when establishing the dogma of papal infallibility. It borrowed its episcopate from the on-the-whole merely-schismatic Church of Utrecht (which apparently continued to include the Pope in the Eucharistic Prayer for some time), but itself it was grounded in opposition to a dogma of the Church.

    As the SSPX does not oppose any dogma of the Church, the cases are different.

  59. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Imrahil,

    Thanks. Your observations concering the Old Catholic movement help to fill in the gaps, particularly concerning the heretical nature of the fall into heresy over papal infallibility. I also see no similar current danger with respect to the SSPX. My concern lies in a potential hardening of positions that would include a repudiation of the documentary statements of the Second Vatican Council by the SSPX. I think a distinction needs to be made. It is my belief that the documents themselves are able to be read in manner that is completely consistent with traditional Catholic teaching. Note that I am speaking of the official texts, not interpreations of the texts by theologians and religious scholars. It is for the magisterial teaching office of the Church, enunciated by the Pope or by the Curial bodies under the Pope’s direction, and only that by that means to definitively state their meaning. This acceptance of the licity of the official texts is, I believe, essentially what the doctrinal preamble offered under the auspices of Pope Benedict asked of the SSPX. It worries me that the Society could not agree to that.

  60. Gerard Plourde says:

    Please excuse the redundant “the heretical nature of the fall into heresy”. If edits were possible I would eliminate “the heretical nature of”.

  61. JesusFreak84 says:

    Pope Francis WOULD be familiar with the secular legal immigration issues involved. There may well be backstory to this going back to when he was still in that city, and this was just the end of that particular tale. Still, nothing to sneeze at!

  62. marcelus says:

    It is a welcomed start. We must see how it develops

    1)The SSPX came asking Crdl Bergoglio fot help

    He listened and said according to Fellay:

    “And the Cardinal(Bergoglio) told us, “no, no, you are Catholic, that is evident; I will help you;” he wrote a letter in our favor to the government,”

    I am not sure, but I do not remmeber another Bishop doing anything like it anywhere .

    2) Officially the SSPX in Argentina IS part the Catholic CHurch.

    3)Mario Poli DID NOT act on this own. (My choice fro next Pope BTW.Remember.)

    From Fellay also: “Now he is the pope, and our lawyer had the opportunity of having a meeting with the Pope. He told him that the problem was still going on with the Society, and asked him to please designate a bishop in Argentina with whom we could sort out this problem. The Pope told him, “Yes, and this bishop is myself, I promised to help, and I will do ”

    4)The SSPX “clarified” with joy as I think they wrote, that it was an official state recognition. Not possible without the signature of Poli.Definately

    The ball is in a way, on their side from now on

    I do bellieve they make great missionaries. A very important plus for Francis

  63. Ann Malley says:

    To: Gerard Plourde

    There is interpretative leeway in the documents as they stand, Gerard. So, much like one who writes a book cannot be ambiguous, expecting that each reader will follow the whispered inspirations of the traditional bird on one’s shoulder in order to come to the same conclusions, teaching documents must be clear. Otherwise the thrust of the story changes and hence the understanding of what is required and/or intended changes. Legal documents are the same. A lack of clarity within a document often makes that document void or unenforceable. In essence, an unclear teaching defeats itself.

    That said, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is calling for clarity in VII documents even as Cardinal Kasper seems to be making joyful use of the nuanced maybe, maybe not, could be to promote that which is new and very much against what the Church has always taught. (No traditional filter, I suppose.)

    I find it difficult to comprehend how those who love Holy Mother Church would be in any way opposed to clarifying these points of contention – especially when it is said that VII didn’t change anything…. or was merely pastoral in nature.

    For while, “It is my (your) belief that the documents themselves are able to be read in manner that is completely consistent with traditional Catholic teaching,” it is achingly apparent that the opposite can be said as well. And, as it would appear, those who do not wish to interpret the documents in a traditional manner (…or those who do not have a traditional mindset) are those in positions of power and influence – an influence that they are wielding to specifically change what the Church has always taught.

    So again, I am gladdened by the honest and truthful assessment from the hierarchy in Argentina acknowledging that the SSPX is Catholic.

  64. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Ann Malley,

    It would appear that we are in agreement that a clear teaching from Rome will ensure an accurate and orthodox understanding of the documents of the Second Vatican Council. I am confident this will occur over time since we are, after all, merely a half-century removed from its ajounment – practically an eye-blink in Church history. Ideally, the SSPX will regulatize its status within the Church so that it may contribute to this process. Let us hope that the action that occurred in Argentina is the first step.

  65. Ann Malley says:

    To: Gerard Plourde

    I am glad that you are not opposed to the need for the clarification of VII documents. That said, it is my belief that the SSPX may do her share to aid in the call for addressing the obvious disconnects precisely by remaining firm in not accepting the documents in total as they are currently written. For much like the Society did not want to sign on the dotted line in Argentina that they were anything but wholly Catholic for the sake of expediency, signing a document that accepts the whole of VII prior to it’s being clarified – something which needs to be done sooner, in my view, not later as the Church is bleeding out by way of these strategic wounds – would only be a matter of expedience.

    For how can one sign off on that which is admittedly unclear and already the source of much discord and novelty within the Church? While seeming like a quick fix, to do so would be disingenuous.

    Again, you may be confident that clarification will happen over time, but others are firmly of the mindset that the progressive approach will not only win the day, but “must” win the day. That is why standing firm for what the Church has always taught – be it inside the margin or out – is critical.

  66. robtbrown says:

    Andr ew81

    1 Although I agree that nothing has canonically changed, this is a fairly important first step toward granting faculties.

    2. The SSPX has a rather large presence in Argentina, including a seminary.

    3. The difference between a religious Institute of Pontifical Right and one of Diocesan Right is that the Ordinary of the diocese can suppress the latter

    4. Faculties for Confession can only be granted by the bishop. If an Institute of Pontifical right already exists within a diocese, the major superior can grant faculties for confession of those who live day and night in the house. Faculties for outside the house, however, must be given by the bishop

    5. it was agreed during discussions that the structure for a reunited SSPX would be a personal premature because of its transnational character

  67. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Ann Malley,

    It seems to me that accepting the documents as written is not and should not be an issue. After all, Archbishop Lefebvre did just that during the Council. He may have cast votes against the text of certain documents but, once they were accepted by the Council he did assent to them and sign them.

    Although the documents are not legislative in nature, a helpful analogy with regard to interpreataion might be the example of laws passed by Congress. Once a law is passed, if a disagreement about its meaning arises the matter is referred to the Courts so that a definitive interpretation can be promulgated. In the case of the Church, Our Lord established that St. Peter and his successors would have authority as His vicars to teach and legislate authoritatively on matters of faith and morals. Because of this and the Councils called to assist the Pope in his mission, we have the full Magisterium to act as a guide to the meaning of the documents.

    Finally, as to my confidence in the coming clarification, my faith tells me that Christ has promised not to abandon His Church, that He has sent the Holy Spirit to guide it and protect it so that it may be preserved to the end of time. The job of us sinners is to trust in that promise and live our llives in accordance with His Commandments.

  68. Ann Malley says:

    Again, Gerard, you revert to it not being an issue “for you”.

    …the analogy regarding laws passed in congress could also be made with regard to the Affordable Care Act which seemed to have been pushed through without reading and/or understanding what precisely it meant and/or what it was intended to create. The subsequent fallout and after-the-fact fixing is, in itself, causing untold problems, expense, and hardship for many.

    So while you assert that +Levebre signed off on documents and therefore there should be no problem for we have a magisterium to solve matters of interpretation – the reality is that there is an ongoing crisis of clarity – a lack thereof. And the “text” of certain documents is causing tangible problems. That is why giving them carte blanche assent, especially now in light of seeing those ill effects, would not be giving genuine consent.

    Having said as much, my Faith informs me that whereas Our Lord has promised His Spirit to guide and protect, Our Lord is not limited to that which “you” or “I” perceive as the right path to addressing/correcting problems. God makes use of all to effect the good. So the Society, by virtue of its not signing off on VII at present, may prove to be just such means. I would hope you wouldn’t consign those prelates who have stated their preparedness to fight against and/or resist any novelties issuing forth from the upcoming Synod as not trusting in the promises of Our Lord. (Indeed, such a defense of the actual Faith would be a proof of belief in God’s promises.)

    You state that, “…The job of us sinners is to trust in that promise and live our lives in accordance with His Commandments,” is very true. But as confirmed soldiers of Christ we are called with that mandate to suffer for Him, Gerard, and often that suffering comes at the hand of being marginalized and falsely accused.

    St. Joan of Arc was “officially” burned as a heretic. She was not.

  69. austrobrady says:

    Uxixu says:

    It goes into the problems of what exactly the SSPX is as a society of Apostolic Life. It’s not an Order. They’re not formal religious in status. They are technically at canonical level of a Rosary Confraternity IIRC…

    Which Roman Catholic Orders/Societies/Confraternities have their own bishops to consecrate priests? Surely the Jesuits do, but what other groups have a “right” to their own Bishops?

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