The other night the Extraordinary Ordinary, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C Morlino, Bishop of Madison was on EWTN with Raymond Arroyo to discuss the recent changes made in Canon Law to the marriage tribunal process and matters concerning the SSPX.
BTW… the SSPX built a beautiful new church in Phoenix and the other day Bp. Fellay consecrated it. A video of the nearly 5 hour ceremony is HERE.
Recently Bp. Morlino issued a statement to his faithful in the Diocese of Madison about participation at chapels of the SSPX. HERE
The letter was well-balanced, showing a proper grasp of the challenges that the faithful have if they want to receive valid absolution as well as comprehension of the SSPX’s motives.
Remember, the priests of the SSPX do NOT have faculties validly to absolve sins – yet. They will (sort of) during the upcoming Year of Mercy. They cannot be witnesses for marriages because, again, they lack jurisdiction. No proper authority has given them the delegation to do so. That’s necessary. Their claims of emergency powers just don’t hold water.
Bp. Morlino’s main point was that going to the SSPX isn’t worth the spiritual risk when it comes to absolution and marriage. Also, he makes the point that by frequenting their chapels over time one can run the risk of distancing himself from the Holy Father and local bishop.
Reminder: In his letter, published in the diocesan newspaper, Bishop Morlino was addressing himself to the faithful in the Diocese of Madison, for whom he has the care of souls.
However, in Bp. Morlino’s letter there was one phrase which caused consternation. In the letter, as it was published, it was stated that the faithful should have nothing to do with the SSPX. Alas, that phrase, which was in earlier drafts of the letter slipped through even though it had been struck through.
That caused a kerfuffle among the followers of the SSPX.
With Arroyo, Bp. Morlino talks about what happened and he expresses his regret that that phrase was in the letter as it was published.
I know that Bp. Morlino didn’t – at the time of the letter – want to say that the faithful shouldn’t have anything to do with the SSPX. He warned about the lack of validity of absolution and the problem with marriages, but he didn’t want to say that. I didn’t jump in at the time, because it wasn’t my place to do so. To his great credit, the bishop has now set the record straight on his own. Everyone who is interested in this issue should watch the video and hear what the bishop says.
If you read Bp. Morlino’s letter carefully, even as it was published, you will see that that one problematic phrase (which ought to have been left out but wasn’t) is out of keeping with the tone and intent of the whole of the letter.
In the interview with EWTN he takes responsibility for the unfortunate phrase and apologies for it. He also says that a corrected letter was to be reissued.
In the wake of Pope Francis’ generous gesture to the faithful who attend SSPX chapels, that is, allowing that they can approach SSPX priests for confession and be validly absolved, Bp. Morlino explained himself more completely with Raymond Arroyo.
Here is the video. The part about the SSPX starts at about 16:00 into the video.
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