In the past Cathy has published articles both in scholarly journals and on various popular Catholic websites, including Real Presence Communications and Catholic Exchange. As we saw in Part I, SSPX priests are able to celebrate validly the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist (because they can celebrate a valid Mass), and Anointing of the Sick. This was, of course, not an accident; Pope Benedict clearly intended the document to serve to begin healing the rift between the SSPX and its supporters, and the Church. With all that in mind, what is an ordinary lay-Catholic to do? One must have the greatest possible moral certitude, as … Refusing First Holy Communion to Children Who Are Ill-Prepared, Ecclesia Supplet: Making Invalid Sacraments Valid, Invalid Baptisms and Unaccountable Clergy. But did this retired priest really have the necessary delegated faculty to assist at a wedding in St. Elizabeth’s parish on August 31? A: It would have been marvelous to be able to respond to John that the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) were now fully united to Rome, and thus had a status comparable to the members of any other religious institute in the Church. Neal Webster consecrated Fr. The Virus and the Bishops: Twisting a Vatican Document to Further an Agenda. Many other scenarios could certainly be described in which canon 144 would apply; but the question we should ask now is, does it supply the necessary faculty to an SSPX priest who doesn’t have it? Can a Bishop Forbid a Priest to Say Mass? The priest in this case didn’t have the faculty (and in this imaginary situation, the priest himself knew that, too)—but for the spiritual wellbeing of the penitent(s), the Church supplied it. Maybe he is a former theology professor at the diocesan seminary, whose faculties were revoked by his bishop after he stubbornly persisted in teaching questionable moral theology to the seminarians. A priest who says Mass in your diocese, and administers the sacraments to the Catholics of your diocese, does so licitly only if he has the permission (which, in the case of visiting priests, is normally tacit) of the diocesan bishop. Re-post: Confession and General Absolution. The penitent takes it for granted that the priest must have the ability—i.e., the faculty—to forgive sins, or else he wouldn’t be sitting in the confessional in the first place! The Church supplies, in both the internal and external forum, the executive power of governance in common error, in positive and probable doubt, whether of fact or of law. Part II,” but in a nutshell, it’s possible sometimes that a sacrament is truly conferred (meaning that it’s valid), but it shouldn’t have been conferred (meaning it’s illicit). It remains true, however, that, if the faithful are genuinely ignorant that the priests of the Society of St. Pius X do not have proper faculty to absolve, the Church supplies these faculties so that the sacrament is valid … A fuller discussion of the distinction between validity and liceity can be found in “Are they Really Catholic? Even while they were still under excommunication, these true bishops in turn could validly ordain priests. Ordination. It follows logically that the SSPX priest who maintains such a church is not the pastor of the territorial parish—and thus he has no authority to celebrate weddings as per canon 1108.1, mentioned above. Part I – The SSPX Is Not in Schism With the recent coronavirus problem, many faithful Catholics are faced with a dilemma in their parish. This is exactly what needs to be done according to canon 1111: the pastor can delegate the faculty to assist at marriages within the parish territory, but it must be given to a specific person(s). SSPX sacraments are problematic. OTHER ARTICLES AND FILES RELEVANT TO THE SSPX: The Catholic Teaching that a heretic cannot be a valid pope [PDF file] The validity of the marriage hinges on the answer to this question. This means simply that they are doing something that they shouldn’t be doing! Nonetheless, Catholics should never abuse the Church’s generosity by pushing it to the limits: if possible, receiving sacraments at SSPX churches is to be avoided. This is a case of “common error,” as anybody walking into the church and seeing the priest in the confessional would reasonably assume that the priest can hear confessions. We can see that while the Church enforces its rules, there are loopholes in certain specific circumstances, thanks to canon 144. In the meantime, Pope Benedict’s 2007 motu proprio document Summorum pontificum inadvertently confused the issue in the minds of many Catholics even further. That’s why in many questionable situations, it steps in to supply what otherwise might be lacking. So did the Catholic who entered his confessional really receive absolution? Why Would a Catholic Cleric Desecrate an Altar? It seems absurd that Protestant ministers can officiate valid weddings but not SSPX priests. Why is Google hiding the posts on this website in its search results? We’ll look at what the Code of Canon Law has to say about validly celebrating the sacraments of Penance and Marriage in the next column. When a person is dying, any priest validly and licitly absolves him of sins, even if the priest has no faculties whatsoever, c. Why is it the Orthodox are considered to have faculties (valid sacraments) while completely in schism and the SSPX who are “floating” do not have such faculties (some valid sacraments others not)? Therefore the priests ordained by SSPX bishops are validly ordained priests, with the sacramental power—but not the authorization!—to administer the sacraments as already described above. You don’t need to be a priest, or a Catholic, or even a Christian to baptize someone! SSPX Marriages are Incontestable - District of Canada The confessions heard by SSPX priests, however, may be another matter. Marriages CAN be valid now IF the local bishop works with the SSPX to make sure they are; I don’t think this happens in most dioceses. Valid means, yes they work, but illicit means current Catholic authorities say you shouldn’t … As was noted in the abovementioned column, this excommunication applied only to these individual men, and not to the SSPX as a whole. Note that it doesn’t specify that it must be the diocesan bishop, in whose territory the confirmation takes place, because any bishop can validly confirm. None of the content of this website may be reproduced, either in whole or in part, without the advance written permission of the author. If the information on this website has helped you, please consider making a contribution so that it can continue to help others. But let’s say that in his haste, the pastor worded his written delegation very poorly, stating that the retired priest “is delegated to assist at all weddings in St. Elizabeth’s parish for the next couple of weeks.”  Of course the pastor meant the entire time of his vacation, which would include August 31; but if he dated the delegation August 16, it certainly isn’t clear whether August 31 should technically be included or not! Why is Google hiding the posts on this website in its search results? Readers who find this classic statement (often referred to simply by its first two words in Latin, Ecclesia supplet) completely mystifying aren’t alone. The law regarding the valid administration of this sacrament couldn’t be clearer: canon 1003.1 states that every priest can validly administer it. Website of the Society of Saint Pius X's USA District. Joseph Pfeiffer a bishop for the SSPX-resistance. Does a Catholic Wedding Have to be Held in a Catholic Church? This, in turn, means that these priests really do possess the power of orders, and consequently they are able to administer validly those sacraments which require nothing else. So without hesitation, he celebrates the wedding on August 31. In general, SSPX clergy certainly think so! With regard to Matrimony, the Ecclesia supplet provision can, in certain very circumscribed situations, make valid an otherwise invalid marriage.