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What to Make of the Francis’ SSPX Marriage Imbroglio? April 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, cultural marxism, different religion, disaster, error, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, horror, persecution, Revolution, scandals, Society, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.

I chose the word imbroglio, because gambit felt a bit critical, and indult seemed off the mark, too.

For those who do not know, Francis, Bishop of Rome, extended another “indulgence,” or a faculty with no formal juridical structure, to the SSPX, this time concerning marriage.  Readers will know that since Advent 2015 the SSPX has had faculties to hear Confession granted from Francis himself.  Originally intended for the Year of Mercy, those faculties have been extended indefinitely.  A few days ago, Francis, through the CDF and Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, granted permission to local ordinaries to grant faculties for the Sacrament of Marriage, as well, under some rather odd circumstances.  The “normal” means of doing this would be to have a Novus Ordo priest perform the actual marriage sacrament, or to oversee it somehow?, with the nuptial Mass following according to the ancient Rite and conducted by a Society priest.  But in addition – since this would surely be a huge burden to already overtaxed (or so we are told) diocesan priests – there is also a caveat allowing faculties to simply be granted without the involvement of local clergy.

That’s admittedly a rough summation of a fairly complex initiative but you can read all the details at the Rorate link.  The point of this post is not to haggle over details of this initiative, or whatever it is, and to talk aboutits implications.

I have seen two general reactions to this, and they have followed in line with sentiments folks hold towards SSPX regularization overall.  Some, like Rorate, are convinced that both this latest indulgence by Francis, and the overall process of regularization that now seems coming close to fruition, are unalloyed goods and something every faithful soul should be really excited about.  I would like to present some text confirming this optimistic view, but Rorate seems to have shifted much of their focus to Twitter and while I’ve seen tweets confirming their excitement at this development, such as this: “This is clearly a final step towards full regularization that will go away when the papers are signed. It’s a good thing.”

Others, like Michael Matt below, are far more skeptical.  In fact, in my very narrow experience, it seems a lot of folks who have had a long time association with the Society of St. Pius X are among the most skeptical of both this latest grant of faculties and the overall process of regularization.  The Remnant video:

“They are wrecking the Church, they are enabling heretics everywhere……They are raping our kids, physically and spiritually, and then they have the audacity, to demand obedience.  Oh so pious.  To demand OBEDIENCE, and to hold the threat of schism over the heads of little old ladies to prevent them from in any way standing in opposition to their diabolical agenda.”  Great rant.

Former Catholics are now the second largest “denomination” in the country. 70% of those baptized in Catholics in the US have fallen away. 80% of even those remaining American Catholics never go to Mass (and I bet it’s at least slightly higher than that).  Even the vast majority of “practicing Catholics” are heretics of one form or another.  Almost all of them support the use of contraception, and a large majority do not believe in the Real Presence, the very core, the essence, of our Faith.  And these statistics from the US are much better than one would find in Europe and other locales, the Church’s ancient home.

Matt brings up a key point and one that I have gradually, over the years, come to accept, not as a metaphysical certitude but as being supported by the preponderance of the evidence: that “full communion” is a term much bandied about by those who have wrought the destruction of the Church in this world while demanding obedience from all to go along with a project they can easily see is causing nothing but devastation for souls.   I am not sure what meaning that term means when bishops “in full communion” can declare, with the full backing of the pope, that adulterers can freely receive the Blessed Sacrament, re-crucifying our Blessed Lord over and over and over again in a horrid sacrilege. Given what is going on in the Church and world, as evidence by those statistics above and what we see and read every day, the arguments over the canonical regularity of the SSPX seem like a tempest in a teacup.  Even worse, these same Church leaders who constantly appeal to obedience while snarling at and denigrating all those who strive to practice the Faith as it has always been practiced are the very ones who have placed the Church in the direst straits of her 2000 year history!

Not that the canonical status of the SSPX is a hill I’m prepared to die on, nor something I’m overly concerned about.  I know there are fervent partisans on both sides, and I’ve always struggled to stay out of those endless squabbles where partisans stack up enormous piles of books and quotes from Fathers, Doctors, and Saints to support their favored side.  It just seems to me, practically speaking, all this concern over and focus on the canonical status of the SSPX is just not a huge issue, compared to all else that is going on.  The Church has fallen into the worst crisis of her history and the ostensible imperfect canonical status of the 0.05% of the Church (nominally speaking) associated with the SSPX just doesn’t concern me that much.

I do continue to be very ambivalent regarding this apparently unstoppable ongoing process of regularization.  I’ve been catechized to believe that this must and has to be a very good thing, but something – my own lack of faith, the temptations of satan, worldly experience, natural cynicism, something – keeps shouting in my interior spaces that this is a grave, grave danger, not just to the SSPX but to all the Ecclesia Dei communities and the entire human aspect of the Church.  It is also an opportunity, yes, but given how easily communities like the Franciscans of the Immaculate have been completely crushed by the modernist powers, it seems like the opportunity is far outweighed by the dangers.

If regularization comes to pass part of me will be happy and I’ll pray like mad – as I already have been – that everything will turn out for the best.  In the grand, grand scheme of things I know it will, that the Church will be restored and Christ’s reign recognized by all, but I cannot get over my concern for the millions of souls who will continue to fall into hell so long as the Church persists in this disastrous crisis.  Whether SSPX regularization will ultimately be a massive turning point in the restoration of the Faith, or simply another grim milestone in the chronicle of the Church’s long demise prior to the parousia, I do not know. None of us does.  So I’ll just keep hoping and praying that God will have mercy on His Church and raise up the leadership and laity we so desperately need, and not that which we and the world deserve.

If you want an even more detailed critical take on this initiative, sent in by reader D, read this.  I am concerned that it seems like the leadership of the SSPX is giving evidence of an attitude of appeasement towards the overwhelmingly modernist hierarchy in the Church and not rocking the boat, which bodes ill, I think, for their role in the Church after regularization, but we shall see.



1. Baseballmomof8 - April 6, 2017

Great video… what I found most interesting was Matt’s claim that more and more Catholics are open to returning to tradition precisely BECAUSE of Pope Francis…. fascinating how our Good God can make lemonade out of lemons…

2. Baseballmomof8 - April 6, 2017

On a totally different note – may I ask all you good souls to offer a prayer for my son’s manager at work? He’s been with the company for 16 years and was laid off today in a huge, nationwide, layoff. He has a wife and four daughters to support. Please remember Bobby in your prayers. Thank you.

3. Tim - April 6, 2017

Major non-issue. The SSPX Confessions and Marriages have always been valid because of supplied jurisdiction.

Camper - April 7, 2017

Hey Tim. I would like to get ahold of you. There are very few smart souls in the SSPX, and I hope to make contact. I think it is very important. camper15@gmx.com.

Randy the Redneck - April 7, 2017

Tim, respectfully I take another view. For nigh on 20 years I have availed myself of the SSPX for all the Sacraments without scruple or compunction because my view is identical to your own – they are valid given the circumstances.

However this is simply my own (and your) considered opinion. Certainly we can cite certain authorities whose viewpoints would support our own view, but I cannot pretend that the matter is not open to question. I am not competent to render a definitive opinion on the question. The best I can do is to state my own opinion and offer what proof is out there for it.

It is for this reason that I do not consider the fact that the Holy Father (for all of his other obvious deficiencies) has publicly stated that the Sacrament of Penance is valid and licit when offered by a priest of the SSPX is a non-issue.

If it changes nothing for me or for you that is well and good. If it changes something for someone who has had scruples regarding Confession with the SSPX, that seems undoubtedly beneficial to all.

Regarding the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony I likewise regard this latest move as anything but a non-issue, with different reasoning. While the recognition of the Confessions was without strings, this one is not. It strikes me as quite bizarre and I would be other than truthful if I were to say that I do not find it troubling.

I find myself very circumspect regarding this whole issue of Rome cozying up to the SSPX. While I am guardedly optimistic about it, I also am quite familiar with the Campos situation and I know that the SSPX is no more immune to being neutralized than was the Priestly Fraternity of St. John Vianney. While I hope and pray that the “regularization” of the SSPX would serve to draw the entire Church in the direction of Authentic Catholicism, the experience of Campos is a constant reminder that that is by no means necessarily to be the case.

Tim - April 7, 2017

My initial reaction is that the Confession recognition was good or potentially good, I see no evidence that Neo-cons or soft trads are flocking to their confessionals. The Marriage thing is a monumental joke of beaurocratic nonsense. I wish your assessment was a reality on the ground, but thus far, the decades of anti-SSPX lies and kool-aid seem to be having their desired effect. Supplied juristiction still rules the day in this, the most grave crisis in the Church’s history.


Tim - April 7, 2017
Randy the Redneck - April 7, 2017

It seems, then, that we agree in most details because I must say that you are correct – the “regularization” of SSPX Confessions has not caused lines of neo-Catholics to form at the confessionals. You will not find me suggesting that it did. I maintain that it was, nonetheless, other than a non-issue and I am not basing my appraisal on numbers alone.

You and I certainly agree that the “Marriage thing is a monumental joke” and I am wary of the punch line.

I adhere to the “supplied jurisdiction” argument, but I have to allow that my adherence to it is not the same as my adherence to the Immaculate Conception. For all of my great arguments in favor of “supplied jurisdiction” they do not make the position infallible.

God bless you and your family.

Tim - April 8, 2017

I believe the overall position of supplied jurisdiction is infallible due to it being directly with the supreme law of the Church…
.the salvation of souls. I do not believe that every individual claim of it is infallible as then we get into the realm of human weakness and private judgement. I agree with you on the good on the Confession issue, I just don’t see it attracting the many souls that it could benefit immensely. The details of the Marriage decree make it untenable and a farce, however. Do you think the garden variety SSPXers would accept being married by a Novus Ordo priest, who at best doesn’t give a hoot about the SSPX or the couple’s reasons and covictions in the matter, and at worst is openly hostile to them and their traditional beliefs?
Overall, I think our ways of thinking are very close.

I do pray for the day that the SSPX, FSSP and the ICK become unnecessary. I doubt that I’ll live to see it.
No worries…..God is in charge and this crisis will pass as have past ones.

God blesd you, have a Blessed Holy Week and Eastertide!

Randy the Redneck - April 8, 2017

Dear Tim:

“Do you think the garden variety SSPXers would accept being married by a Novus Ordo priest?”

Not at all. Emphasizing that this is my opinion, I have long held that we are dealing with two completely different religions here.

This is only one of a number of factors that make this suggestion bizarre in my view. It reeks of that intrigue that follows novusordoism like a shadow.

Tim - April 8, 2017

2 different religions…..you nailed it.

4. Camper - April 7, 2017

My first thought when reading this article was to reply with the classic “Whatever it is, I’m against it.” Yet this is obviously good news for the SSPX. I am wholeheartedly glad that Rome is doing it, but frankly I think it is a bad sign for the state of the SSPX that there has not been far louder condemnation of the direction of Rome. Maybe then the final verdict is a double-edged sword.

As for what this is going to mean for the SSPX laity, it is up in the air. Why on earth would a novus ordo bishop approve of SSPX marriages in his diocese that pay no money to the bishop? It means paperwork for which a busy bishop (all of them) would have no motivation or time. This is really the key question, because according to the terms of the deal, the Ordinary has to approve the priest for Rome to consider it a valid marriage.

5. Richard Malcolm - April 7, 2017

“Rorate seems to have shifted much of their focus to Twitter.”

More to the point, the Twitter feed seems to be 70% politics, mainly Trump boosterism. (I am not sure why the blog is less active.)

Not that political stories are per illegitimate or not of interest, or that Trump support is out of bounds. It’s their feed and they’re not answerable to me. But it would be nice to see more focus on their core mission: coverage and commentary on restoring tradition in the Church, and its enemies.

Camper - April 8, 2017

It is important for the Church to have an active political voice. The trouble, as we all know, is that the US bishops are generally evil.

Camper - April 8, 2017

Furthermore, Trump, despite being disgusting, is mostly good for the American political system. He is promoting a more sustainable economy and all kinds of other good things, like the appointment of Neil Gorsuch.

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