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Francis to extend SSPX faculties for Confession? April 13, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, Interior Life, Sacraments, Spiritual Warfare, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.

Beats me.  Nothing would surprise me anymore.  It has long been said of Cardinal Mahony that while he is crazy liberal, he operated his diocese in a kind of “do what feels good” manner that also permitted some freedom of action even to orthodox Catholics.  Perhaps Pope Francis is the same.  While the below does not come from an unbiased source – it comes from the leader of the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay – it is now reported that Francis intends to extend the faculties of the SSPX for Confession beyond the scarifying Year of Mercy:

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the SSPX,  celebrated the Mass for Good Shepherd Sunday with his two Assistants General.

A few days earlier he had met with Pope Francis during a very positive meeting which strengthened ties between the Holy See and the Society founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Despite the publication of the Post-Synodal Exhortation, which “makes us cry,” he revealed some “happiness” from the interview

The Pope confirmed that the SSPX was Catholic in his eyes

He confirmed that he never would condemn it

He confided that he wishes to expand the faculties of the SSPX, starting with the authorization of its priests to validly hear confession.

Finally, during the talks in Rome, Bishop Fellay was encouraged to establish a seminary in Italy.

Are heads exploding among the SSPX-SO? I have no idea.  If Francis is succeeded by a similarly progressive pontiff, will he be as inclined to a go-go mentality?  The concern of the SSPX-SO has always been that any “deal” with “modernist Rome” would inevitably lead to an undermining of the SSPX’s mission and immediate attempts at co-opting by the forces of modernism.  Given the experience of Campos, that’s not a totally unfounded fear, but we’re still miles away from that.  I have heard from a number of folks, however, who wonder if it might not paradoxically take a very liberal pope, one not “hung up” on doctrinal definitions and issues of authority and mission, to bring about a reconciliation with the SSPX.

Wonders never cease, I suppose.  Or weird stuff happens.  h/t reader Tim


1. Joseph D'Hippolito - April 13, 2016

Perhaps this is Francis’ attempt to co-opt potential opposition. It would make sense: Give SSPX what it seeks and it’ll become more reluctant to bite the hand that feeds it. We saw what happened to Cardinal Burke.

2. sixupman - April 13, 2016

Meals, Devils and Long Spoons??

3. Dismas - April 13, 2016

As a long-time admirer of the SSPX I (and many who share the same outlook are) am guardedly optimistic.

The person who takes the potential for real harm lightly here is the person with less-than-adequate knowledge regarding the Priestly Fraternity of St. John Vianney.

The SSPX-SO folks have already made up their minds and history could prove them to be right. If the SSPX does what Campos did the SO will find lots of new adherents. I’m trusting Fellay until he gives me good reason not to – and the simple act of dealing with the Romans, however apostate they may be, does not constitute betrayal, at least in my poor mind.

If the SSPX thinks this thing through and covers itself for all foreseeable contingencies – and then sticks to their guns – they just might do a greater service for the Church than they have already done – which is considerable.

Like ’em or not, why not pray a whole lot for them?

4. c matt - April 13, 2016

Not knowing the details, hard to say if it is an opportunity or a trap. Still, the SSPX got into the situation it is in currently by not compromising. I don’t see why if things go awry, they could just not do what they did before, and simply keep being themselves. Seems they would be no worse off than they are now, and might actually make Rome look foolish if the SSPX had to go all 1980s on them again.

Dismas - April 13, 2016

Agree. They did not compromise and, boy, are we glad for it. So, yeah, like you say, why not go for it and if it goes south just pull back and wait for Catholics to inhabit Rome again?

Yep. I agree with you. At the same time I’m sure it is more complicated than this.

Tim - April 14, 2016

How does any serious Catholic compromise truth?

TLM - April 14, 2016

‘and wait for Catholics to inhabit Rome again’……….and I’m wondering how long that would be? I have thought so often that If in the near future, something would happen that the Cardinals would have to elect a new Pope, what would we get? Keep in mind that these would basically be the same Cardinals that elected Bergoglio………SCARY. I’m sure Bishop Fellay has thought about this too.

Dismas - April 14, 2016

TLM and Tim – I happen to see it your way as well…

5. Daze Inde - April 13, 2016

Thanks be to God Thank you for this uplifting news. Just when things were looking so bleak, and we seem so surrounded by evil and the enemy, the Angels swoop down with encouraging news, reminding us, as the Angel did at Fatima, “pray, pray much, for the Lord is attentive to your supplications.” “Nothing is impossible with God.”

6. c matt - April 14, 2016

There is some merit to the argument that regularization of the SSPX is more likely under a Pope like Francis than one like Benedict. Francis is less rigorous in doctrinal matters and seems to be ok with contradictory views within the Church – sort of a “why don’t we all just get along” type.

Deborah Cole - April 15, 2016

This was certainly true in our diocese. It was a very liberal bishop who invited in the FSSP. “Let a thousand flowers bloom.”

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