Interesting factoid from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Archbishop Wester has solemnly pronounced that the SSPX is “not Catholic” and that Catholics may not attend Mass or receive sacraments at the SSPX chapel in Albuquerque. HERE
“Not Catholic”… that goes beyond anything the Holy See has officially pronounced.
The statements says: “The following churches do not accept the Holy Father or meet this criteria.”
The problem is that the SSPX does accept the legitimately elected Popes from Paul VI onward. As far as unity with the local bishop is concerned, I’ll wager that the SSPX chapel went by the Archdiocese’s decrees concerning dispensation of Mass obligation during the COVID lockdown. I’ll bet that they’ve had recourse to their local tribunal.
The statement says: “It is not licit for Catholics to attend Mass or to receive sacraments at these churches, for the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize them as valid.”
What planet is the writer of the statement from? No one who has the slightest knowledge of the SSPX says that their ordinations, Masses and, without question now, their absolutions are invalid.
This statement from the Archdiocese directly contradicts what Francis stated, namely, the faithful may go to priests of the SSPX for sacramental confession and their priests can receive delegation to witness marriages and to celebrate the Nuptial Mass.
If the SSPX were schismatic, that could not have happened.
Hence, Wester – if this was Wester and not just some flunky on his own – has acted ultra vires in making this pronouncement. This is, surely, an error of an underling who didn’t understand what he was doing. Still, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe seems to stand in contradiction to Francis on many points. Surely that wasn’t their intention.
Also, we read: “Most Reverend John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, has not
appointed any pastors or priests to the churches, communities or organizations listed below:…”
So, another criterion is whether or not the Archbishop appointed the priest?
That means that if there were a Church of, say, the Ordinariate of St. Peter (Roman Catholics of the “Anglican” use with their own bishop and structures) there, in the eyes of the Archdiocese they wouldn’t be Catholic either, since Wester would not have appointed the priest there.
That’s pretty insulting.
Look. I think reasonable people will admit that public figures like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are really lousy Catholics, scandalously, so scandalously that bishops are obliged to apply can. 915 in their cases. They are bad Catholics, but they are still Catholics.
But the priests of the SSPX and the Latin Rite Roman Catholics of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter aren’t Catholics? Because Wester didn’t appoint them?
Who wrote this thing?
What I find really interesting is the large number of independent chapels people have set up there. That suggests to me that, had there been adequate pastoral care for these people, they might be in union with the local church.
One indication that pastoral care for these people is not of interest to them is in the fact that they admit that for one place they don’t have current information. You would think that before issuing a public statement like that they would have at least gotten the facts.
To be fair, this list does not go after only the traditionally minded Catholics, but also “Catholics for Choice Organization”. And there’s, “Bread of Life Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada” (I’m not making that up). Who knows what they get up to.
Still, the pronouncement about the SSPX chapel there is surely wrong. It is obvious that they are Catholic even from the consistent previous statements from the Holy See that people fulfill their Sunday obligation by attending their Masses (cf. can. 1248 §1)