Vatican Spokesman: Planned SSPX Ordination "Illegitimate"

Frederico Lombardi, S.J., the Vatican spokesperson, has called the planned upcoming priestly ordinations of members of the schismatic Society of St. Pius X,"illegitimate."  The order, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefevre (pictured here) in the wake of his rejection with many of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, has in recent months seen a thawing of the frosty relations that existed between it and the Vatican.  Cindy Wooden of CNS has the story:


--If the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X ordains new priests at the end of June as planned, the ordinations would be illegitimate, the Vatican said.  However, responding to reporters' questions about the planned ordinations, the Vatican spokesman June 17 did not mention the possibility of any penalties being imposed as a result of the ordinations.  A spokesman for the Diocese of Regensburg, Germany, had said in early June that if the ordinations occurred without Vatican permission the new priests and the ordaining bishop could be excommunicated.

The Society of St. Pius X has announced it will ordain three priests and three deacons at its seminary in Zaitzkofen, Germany, June 27, and that another 18 men will be ordained at its headquarters in Econe, Switzerland, and in Winona, Minn.  Bishop Gerhard Muller of Regensburg told Vatican Radio June 1 that he had warned the Zaitzkofen seminary the ordinations would violate canon law and create a "dangerous situation," adding that he had asked the Vatican to "prescribe how to proceed."But the rector of the Zaitzkofen seminary, Father Stefan Frey, issued a statement saying the Society of St. Pius X had "provisional legal status" in the Catholic Church pending a "definitive canonical ruling" on its future, and that it had not been told to "put a stop to ordinations."

In January Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of the society's four bishops, including controversial British-born Bishop Richard Williamson.

Commenting on the possible ordination of new priests, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, quoted from a March letter Pope Benedict had written to the world's bishops explaining his actions toward the traditionalist bishops and clarifying the current status of the Society of St. Pius X. Father Lombardi quoted the portion of the pope's letter that said, "Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the society has no canonical status in the church, and its ministers ... do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the church."

"Therefore, the ordinations are still to be considered illegitimate," Father Lombardi said.

The spokesman also said he expected the publication "soon" of the document the pope had promised to issue regulating how the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" would work under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The commission had operated as a separate office to care for followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve, founder of the Society of St. Pius X.

The new configuration of the commission, Father Lombardi said, would be an opportunity for "the beginning of a dialogue with the leaders of the Society of St. Pius X in view of a hoped-for clarification of doctrinal questions and, consequently, also of disciplinary questions, which still remain open."--CNS

The (London) Tablet had earlier reported on the ordinations here with this comment from the Society: "However, the SSPX communiqué argues that the ordinations will be taking place with the permission of the Holy See. "During the period in which convergence and understanding with Rome is being sought, the SSPX has a provisional legal status for an indefinite period of time until, after the theological talks are over, a definitive canonical ruling is found. That is what the ‘line of approach' which has been agreed to by the Vatican foresees. In none of the talks up to now has there ever been any mention of ‘putting a stop to ordinations' in general. On the contrary, the lifting of the excommunications was meant to show a willingness to cooperate without putting any restrictions on the life of the Society."

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9 years 7 months ago
Russia and the world have both been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by JPII and Piux XII, respectively.  Saying a Rosary to move the will of a living person is an inappropriate use of prayer.  Prayer is not used to fix other people, but to use for one's own discernment. I never knew so many SSPX fans read America.  Have we been trolled?
9 years 7 months ago
Pardon me Mr. Bindner.  It seemed to have worked for Saint Monica...  and God willing...  History will repeat itself. 
9 years 6 months ago
Since the Holy Father's 2007 motu proprio, I have been participating in an approved tradtional Roman Catholic congregation in my archdiocese.  For me, this has been a spiritual renewal.  Having participated in "progressive" parishes over many years, I have witnessed a decline in parish attendance; children who are ignorant of the Faith, and some priests who want to be priests  when it is beneficial to their emotional survival.  I have witnessed wines glasses being substituted for chalices ( and chalices are locked in the sacristy); the sacred altar being referred to as the "table."  I have witnessed ballet dancers performing in the aisles after the Gospel, "to assist us in realizing the significance of the Word."  Enough already.  At  my current traditional congregation, we are growing in numbers every week and are blessed with outstanding and exemplary priests.  Many of those in attendance are those with young children who are dressed in a manner that is suitable for Mass instead of jeans and sneakers. The spiritual atmosphere during the Mass is rewarding and uniting.  I pray that all can share in this experience.
9 years 7 months ago
Please help us say 12 million Rosarys to ask our Holy Father to Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  If we pray, make sacrifices, and attend faithfully to the Mass of all time... We will overcome the work of Satan and all his pomps. Pray for our Holy Father Benedict XVI. DEO GRATIAS
9 years 7 months ago
I doubt seriously that the SSPX poobahs will lose one moment of sleep over the Vatican's discomfort with this. They know that B16 et all want them back and are willing to string out their independence until many more of their demands are met. So far they have called the shots ... and quite cleverly, as well. Sooner of later the Vatican will have to fish or cut bait.
9 years 7 months ago
If the Vatican's goal is to bring the SSPX into the Church, I think this can only be done by allowing ordinations to continue.  If the Society is not permitted to continue to operate, it will crumble before any sort of agreement would feasibly be reached, which is not exactly helpful for unity in the Church. I have my questions about how the Holy Father expects to be able to reconcile the SSPX with Vatican II.  It seems like their liturgical objections could probably be worked out, and I could imagine them dropping their opposition to separation of Church and State since that seems like kind of a lost cause for them, anyway.  But, their opposition to V-II is so broad that I don't know how it can be settled.  Cardinal Levada is taking over the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, though.  I think he'll uphold the teachings of the Church, and, so, at this point, whatever our respective opinions of SSPX may be, I think it's important to support the Pope's goal of bringing them back into the Church.
9 years 7 months ago
I think I can speak for the majority of the SSPX faithful when I declare that the "thawing of the frosty relations" with the Vatican is not at the top of their list of priorities.  The Society did fairly well in a state of so-called "excommunication,"  all threats, anathemas, and warnings notwithstanding.  It's the Conciliar Church that needs to come around.  They are the ones who have created this crisis and continue to sustain it.  When the Pope and the Vatican begin seriously to clean out their own Augean stables, then, I'm sure, the Society will come back on board
9 years 7 months ago
21 Ordinations is fantastic!!  This is especially so when the size of the entire, world wide SSPX is only comparable to a large diocese in the USA. I can't understand why Rome is not supportive of the ordinations. They seem to be sending mixed messages to SSPX. These current ordinations are part of the natural growth of SSPX and were initiated seven years ago. I could understand Rome's actions if say....SSPX announced that all or most of the 21 priests would be conveniently sent to Los Angeles and would be engaging in uhmm..."missionary work" designed to undermine the authority of the progressive Cardinal Mahoney.      
9 years 7 months ago
I'm with you, John.  The SSPX is 2 million strong and growing.  The demand for the Latin Mass is highest among teens, and 20 somethings. Traditional is not going away or dying off with little old ladies.  This Pope strongly wants reconciliation.  His regular meetings with Bishop Fellay assure the SSPX that the Pope is on their side. Kyrie Eleision, Allison
9 years 7 months ago
is that the notion of the Pope that the ordinations of the new SSPX priest will be excommunicated? or it just the statement coming from  a mason cardinals, bishops or a priest to destroy the catholic churcH?Hos to say that the ordination is dangerous? maybe the new mass is very dangerous and a menace to our true catholic teachings of pope pius x and other previous popes. Look at the new mass now adays its no longer catholic but a protestant..


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