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SSPX to get ordinariate? August 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass.

The SSPX are a Fraternity of very traditionally minded priests (with some associated) religious who were excommunicated in 1988 by Blessed Pope John Paul II.  The reason for the excommunication was due to the ordination of additional bishops for the order.  But, in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications but the canonical status of the SSPX remained unresolved.  However, ‘canonical discussions’ have been ongoing between the SSPX and the Holy See for the last year or more, and it now appears that the Holy See will make an offer of a separate Ordinariate – along the lines of the Anglican Ordinariate – meaning a canonical structure in which the SSPX will report directly to the Pope and not be under any diocesan bishops:

Now [that is, on the Sep. 14 meeting,] the Vatican should subject to Fellay [Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the SSPX] some memoranda of understanding, clarifying doctrinal points, as for the Council, on the interpretation of the continuity in the reform suggested since December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI as the more authentic interpretation of the texts of Vatican II.
A proposal for a canonical adjustment will be submitted to the Society only if doctrinal difficulties are overcome, and that will resolve the current situation, in which the Lefebvrist community finds itself now. …
The proposal which has been studied by the Vatican, would allow Lefebvrists the establishment of an ordinariate similar to that offered by the Pope has to Anglicans who wanted to come into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. In this way, the Fraternity would depend on the Holy See (and specifically on the Ecclesia Dei Commission) and could retain its characteristics without having to answer to the diocesan bishops.
The SSPX have rejected Vatican II, or the changes stemming from it, as invalid and disastrous prudential acts.  It remains to be seen whether SSPX will be required to accept the documents produced at Vatican II – something it has specifically rejected in the past.
Isn’t giving SSPX an Ordinariate a bit of a slap in the face to FSSP, however.  FSSP remained ‘loyal’ to Rome when SSPX was excommunicated – FSSP consists of priests who did not agree with the ordinations of 1988 and did not desire (or would not accept) separation from the Holy See.  But FSSP is an organization of Pontifical Right, with no bishop.  Giving SSPX an Ordinariate could be seen as an ‘elevation above’ FSSP – unless a similar structure will be provided for FSSP, or will FSSP and SSPX merge? 
Loads o’ speculation.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out. 


1. John - August 24, 2011

If I may ppoint out, the SSPX was never excommunicated. The SSPX have not rejected Vatican II in hat they view the Council as the 21st Council of the Church, legitimate but flawed.

“Isn’t giving SSPX an Ordinariate a bit of a slap in the face to FSSP, however.”

I don’t think so. Anglicans outside the Church were granted an Ordinariate. That wasn’t a slap to the FSSP who are, of course, inside the Church.



tantamergo - August 24, 2011

Bishop Lefevre and the other bishops were. Maybe it didn’t apply to the entire organization, but it was seen as schismatic, then, wasn’t it? I know it’s very complicated. I’d just be glad to have them back in.

FSSP has been wanting a bishop or at least canonical structure more formalized, from what I understand – or there are currents in FSSP (where we assist at Mass most days, BTW) that would favor that. Seeing as they never left……….not sure how they would react.

Just askin’ questions!

Thanks for your comment! God bless!

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