Friday, April 14, 2017

More Progress Between Rome and SSPX

Letter of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” to the Ordinaries of the Episcopal Conferences concerned on the faculties for the celebration of marriages of the faithful of the Society Saint Pius X, 04.04.2017

Your Eminence,
Your Excellency,
As you are aware, for some time various meetings and other initiatives have been ongoing in order to bring the Society of St. Pius X into full communion. Recently, the Holy Father decided, for example, to grant all priests of said Society the faculty to validly administer the Sacrament of Penance to the faithful (Letter Misericordia et misera, n.12), such as to ensure the validity and liceity of the Sacrament and allay any concerns on the part of the faithful.
Following the same pastoral outlook which seeks to reassure the conscience of the faithful, despite the objective persistence of the canonical irregularity in which for the time being the Society of St. Pius X finds itself, the Holy Father, following a proposal by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has decided to authorize Local Ordinaries the possibility to grant faculties for the celebration of marriages of faithful who follow the pastoral activity of the Society, according to the following provisions.
Insofar as possible, the Local Ordinary is to grant the delegation to assist at the marriage to a priest of the Diocese (or in any event, to a fully regular priest), such that the priest may receive the consent of the parties during the marriage rite, followed, in keeping with the liturgy of the Vetus ordo, by the celebration of Mass, which may be celebrated by a priest of the Society.
Where the above is not possible, or if there are no priests in the Diocese able to receive the consent of the parties, the Ordinary may grant the necessary faculties to the priest of the Society who is also to celebrate the Holy Mass, reminding him of the duty to forward the relevant documents to the Diocesan Curia as soon as possible.
To the Ordinaries
of the Episcopal Conferences concerned
Certain that in this way any uneasiness of conscience on the part of the faithful who adhere to the Society of St. Pius X as well as any uncertainty regarding the validity of the sacrament of marriage may be alleviated, and at the same time that the process towards full institutional regularization may be facilitated, this Dicastery relies on Your cooperation.
The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei on 24 March 2017, confirmed his approval of the present letter and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 27 March 2017.

Gerhard Card. L. Müller

+ Guido Pozzo
Titular Archbishop of Bagnoregio 

1 comment:

  1. What is the bottom line here? Pope Francis, through this commission, is telling the bishops around the world (local ordinaries) to help alleviate the concerns of faithful who participate through SSPX when it comes to marriage. He told the bishops to send a witness from the diocese - BUT - also said the bishop may grant the SSPX priests the faculties to do so directly, no "need" for a diocesan priest to be there. The conditions for direct faculties are: 1) no diocesan priest is available -OR- 2) they cannot receive the "consent of the parties" for a diocesan priest. That sounds to me like if the party getting married does not consent to having diocesan priests there then the local ordinary (bishop) is obliged to give the faculties directly to the SSPX priest!

    Priests of SSPX have already been granted faculties for validly hearing confession and granting absolution (SSPX will argue that these faculties have always been open to them, but that's another discussion). This was granted for "The Year of Mercy" (2016), and has been extended indefinitely. So, with this latest move to "normalize" the situation of marriages performed at SSPX chapels, it would appear that we're almost there.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts.



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