SSPX Bp. Fellay talks about relations with the Holy See

A reader steered me to videos of a talk given in August in New Zealand by SSPX Superior, Bp. Bernard Fellay. It is broken into 6 parts on YouTube and is, frankly, dull to watch. But you might want to listen to it. Therefore, I stripped out the audio, cleaned it up a little, and pumped up the volume a tad.

Bp. Fellay speaks about the state of the question with the Holy See. The last half might be of greater interest. Perhaps you readers can point to minute marks long the way.

I left brief breaks where one video ended and another began.

I, for one, hope for a swift reconciliation.

The first of the videos …

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16 Responses to SSPX Bp. Fellay talks about relations with the Holy See

  1. Papabile says:

    Ok, so here’s a conundrum.

    According to Rome, SSPX priests are latae sententiae suspended a divinis at the point of ordination.

    However, they have functional jurisdiction to offer absolution. Yet, Rome also holds that a suspended Priest also sins mortally each time he offers Mass.

    So, are the Priests Confessions considered valid by Rome since they would doubtfully confess sinning by offering Mass?

    Also, if they are valid confessions, is it because they are in error and do not properly understand Rome’s position?

    If the latter is the case, wouldn’t it also be the case that they just don’t truly understand the law viz. Suspension, and thus are not latae sententiae suspended a divinis at all?

  2. un-ionized says:

    papabile, what you say is what I think of as the best argument for regularization, or whatever it is called, the current situation as it is now produces questions like yours which just turn my little pea brain inside out. Anything that turns my little pea brain inside out like this I define as inherently bad.

  3. Potato2 says:

    I saw this and I don’t know why a bigger deal was made about it. Fellay seemed to be saying, here is the offer, here is what it means. While reassuring his priests that nothing will change for them. It really appeared to me like he was reading them for reconcilliation. That there is an offer and what the conditions of that offer are. Then pointing out that they will still have say in the appointment of a bishop.
    With all the reconcilliation drama getting so much attention anytime someone sneezes, it just shocked me that this was not seen as reconcilliation is expected and soon.
    Or am I hearing this wrong?

  4. Ave Crux says:

    @Papabile: If you listen to the talks you will see they have full permission to ordain priests, there is no such suspension.

    In fact, in their negotiations it was even suggested they consider a seminary in Rome.

    Also, the faithful have been told in the past they can fulfill their Sunday obligation at their Masses, and Pope Francis even helped them in Argentina when he was a Bishop there.

    I am often surprised at how misinformed people are about SSPX.

  5. JabbaPapa says:

    According to Rome, SSPX priests are latae sententiae suspended a divinis at the point of ordination

    … unless that ordination is individually authorised by the canonical Authority.

    The fact that the Holy See has now authorised the SSPX Bishops to provide those ordinations, from their own Authority, without a requirement of authorisation from the local Ordinary basically means that this suspension a divinis has been de facto revoked. Possibly even de iure, but I’m not personally competent to determine if that is the case.

  6. S.Armaticus says:

    I would suggest a good listening to the end of video 5/6 and beginning 6/6. +Fellay reads a letter he received from an diocesan ordinary. When listening, please keep in mind that the SSPX does not do snark and they take the 8th Commandment seriously.

  7. JabbaPapa says:

    This granting by the Holy See of faculties to the SSPX Bishops to freely ordain men into the priesthood is stunning news.

    IMO, not only are the penalties described in Canon 1383 no longer applicable, but also, given that the principal reason why the ordinary Faithful were prevented from attending SSPX Masses was precisely the suspension a divinis of their ordained clergy, as established by Canon 1383, it would seem, unless there were some other legal impediment (such as a local decision by a Bishop, or some more obscure doctrinal reasons unlikely to worry most of the Laity), that this basic impediment against attending SSPX Masses also de facto no longer exists.

  8. JabbaPapa says:

    Father Z asked for a time info — the news about the ordinations is at about 14’30” in Part 6.

  9. robtbrown says:

    What seems to be happening is that Rome is piece by piece granting the SSPX what would be the properties of a Personal Prelature.

    I was told within a year of the election of Francis that the strategy with the SSPX was going to change. Instead of proceeding top down from negotations in Rome, the MO would be from the bottom up.

  10. Papabile says:

    @Ave Crux

    I listened to the talks and understand they now are able to ordain. I was referencing the ones ordained before this. Unless the penalty was removed, it would still be in effect.

    I am fully aware the SSPX never recogniZed the penalties at all. I know where they are coming from.

    My post was to demonstrate the intellectual inconsistency of Rome.

  11. JabbaPapa says:

    Papabile :

    I listened to the talks and understand they now are able to ordain. I was referencing the ones ordained before this. Unless the penalty was removed, it would still be in effect.

    You may or may not be right in some manner, but this would depend on the precise wording of the letter in question, and it is not publicly available.

    It might — or it might not — establish faculties to ordain in a manner that is to be understood as retroactively including the Ordinations conferred beforehand ; or the Bishops of the SSPX may need to fulfil some legal procedure for those Ordinations to be fully recognised.

    But this is a bit of a hair-splitting way of looking at things, and one I think that is contrary to the very spirit of the Law. (though of course internally, the Bishops and the priests in question most certainly should seek an official clarification on this point, if they have not already been given one)

    Given the faculties of the SSPX Bishops to validly and licitly confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders, though, surely one could not seriously contemplate some categorisation of the Priests of the Fraternity according to how and when and under which conditions and authorisations they were ordained, as no justified reason for doing so seems any more to exist.

    It was important prior to this development to know if a priest had been ordained either prior to the excommunications, or with the authorisation of his proper Diocesan Ordinary — but I honestly cannot see why we should continue to consider it so.

  12. Papabile says:

    JabbaPappa:

    I may actually agree with you.

    Unknown is what the PCED thinks. There would have to be some formal revocation involved. I think any canonist would tell you that. In fact, it may well have happened. We don’t know.

    Regardless, less than two weeks ago, Clero was quoted in some German publication as saying the Priests of the fraternity were still suspended.

    The point I was making is that Rome is manifesting a serious case of an inability to think through what they are doing. My post was meant as a criticism of Rome, not the SSPX.

  13. JabbaPapa says:

    Regardless, less than two weeks ago, Clero was quoted in some German publication as saying the Priests of the fraternity were still suspended.

    The Fraternity still does not benefit from full Communion with the Catholic Church, so that local Bishops do still have powers to suspend its priests within their Diocese — but such local judgments have no universal effect. (just as some judgments allowing the attendance of SSPX Masses in particular cases had no universal effect either)

    And priests of the SSPX can of course appeal against any such judgments in the Ecclesial Courts.

    I agree anyway that there will continue to be some sort of tug of war between the priests of the SSPX and those hostile to them.

    But I think your statement “Rome is manifesting a serious case of an inability to think through what they are doing” is probably a bit confused — first, is this Rome or “Rome” ? Who there is doing the thinking ? Given the great likelihood IMO that this granting of the faculties comes from the Pope, directly or otherwise, do you really think that the very canny Holy Father might have done something “by mistake” because of “inability” to think things through ?

    I think instead that the granting of the faculties has been made in clear understanding that it must logically invalidate the penalties described in Canon 1383, and consequently invalidate the suspensions a divinis, and consequently make licit the Masses of the SSPX assuming no other particular legal causes otherwise.

    But yes, Bishop Fellay is right in his attitude of prudence and caution, even though I believe that the Law is now on the side of the SSPX.

  14. robtbrown says:

    JabbaPappa says,

    The Fraternity still does not benefit from full Communion with the Catholic Church, so that local Bishops do still have powers to suspend its priests within their Diocese — but such local judgments have no universal effect. (just as some judgments allowing the attendance of SSPX Masses in particular cases had no universal effect either)

    How could those bishops suspend SSPX priests when they are not incardinated in their dioceses? They could prohibit them from hearing Confessions or saying Mass publicly, but suspension goes beyond that.

    And in so far as Full Communion includes fidelity to Catholic doctrine, how many German bishops are in Full Communion?

  15. robtbrown says:

    I wrote to a German friend who knows the SSPX well, mentioning that Rome told the SSPX is it not necessary to have the permission of the Local Ordinary to ordain priests. His reply:

    Yes, But Rome asked the SSPX to “inform the local ordinaries” about the Ceremonies and to visit them.

    My local SSPX priest is now hearing confession in the local parish church. The parish priest is very glad. And the SSPX priest also. :-)

    NB: No national bishops have been more opposed to the SSPX than the Germans.

  16. JabbaPapa says:

    How could those bishops suspend SSPX priests when they are not incardinated in their dioceses?

    I may be wrong in my vocabulary, but a secular priest in a Diocese is subjected to the Bishop of that Diocese, apart from some exceptions that would only be applicable to the SSPX clergy if the Fraternity were regularised as a Personal Prelature, or Ordinariate, or similar canonically independent structure.

    — But looking it up, yes my vocabulary is wrong. A local Bishop can only pronounce an Interdict.

    Thanks for the correction.

    Yes, But Rome asked the SSPX to “inform the local ordinaries” about the Ceremonies and to visit them.

    This is normal — among Bishops, only the Pope (and I think to some extent the other Catholic Patriarchs, Eastern Catholic particularly) is dispensed in his acts from such requirements of informing the Ordinary in his Diocese, and yet even the Pope will typically do so.