Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Portland Bishop Says SSPX Kids Can't Play

Edit: Portland Bishop says that the children of the SSPX are not welcome at the RC Challenge, a jeopardy style quiz game.


schmenz said...

Good grief. How petty can these Bishops get. Have they completely forgotten the virtue of charity?

JS said...

The name "Vlazny" means "lukewarm" in Czech. A certain priest of the Diocese of Winona who is a friend to Tradition told me this. Google Translate confirms it. It's very interesting...

Elizabeth D said...

I can see arguments both ways, but personally I am with the bishop. A children's event like that, meant for children of the parishes and schools of the diocese, normally isn't intended or equipped for dealing with relations with separated communities. SSPX chapel-goers believe they have all the Sacraments just as validly, which they do not because their priests, separated from full Communion with the local ordinary or the Pope, lack faculties. While this is extremely important, it is not fair to anyone to try to get into that at a children's event. Yet in conscience as a Catholic, one could not gloss over something so critical to the salvation of souls.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

Ha, its probably because the SSPX kids would win...

Dan said...


You are confusing the issue of "faculties" with the issue of "validity". You are also insinuating that the salvation of souls is at stake, which is a rather startling statement.

The SSPX offers valid Sacraments, which Rome recognizes, privately and publicly. If you receive Communion, Absolution, marriage, etc., from an SSPX priest you receive these Sacraments validly. Their Bishops, whatever you want to say about them, have the Apostolic Succession. Faculties, on the other hand, are something the local Ordinary grants to priests so that they can licitly administer Sacraments in his diocese. Licety and validity are two different issues.

As for your comment about the salvation of souls being at stake I hardly think getting together for a sporting event is going to endanger the souls of these people. Your concern for the salvation of souls, which is admirable, would be better addressed to those who suffer through the multitudinous interfaith jamborees, where Catholics are impudently lectured by Jews, for example, and Protestants, on the past "sins" of the Church.

Wouldn't it be really nice, Elizabeth, for these Catholics to get together on something as fun and harmless as these games? Would it not have the effect of lowering the tensions between them? Must we ostracize fellow Catholics who all accept the Pope as the Vicar of Christ on earth?

And shouldn't we, Elizabeth, have charity above all things?

Tancred said...

I'm sure the Bishop would have been more accommodating to Jehova's Witnesses.

Elizabeth D said...

Oh Dan, I am not confusing anything. There can be no valid absolution in the Sacrament of Penance without the priest having faculties, which unfortunately no SSPX priests have. There is a canonical exception supplying for validity if the penitent is in danger of death. Souls of SSPX adherents relying on the efficacy of "absolution" received through SSPX priests are in danger. Similarly, marriages witnessed by SSPX clergy are not valid and not sacramental. I am very concerned for the spiritual welfare of SSPX adherents. As St John of the Cross put it, a bird is just as much prevented from flying away if it is bound by a fine thread, as if it were a heavy rope. SSPX has so much good doctrine! So true! But these Sacramental problems break Communion just as surely as the apparently far grosser problems of such as Bishop Morris of Toowomba and for instance his routinely performing group absolution without individual confessions, in both cases the invalid attempts at absolution are a fundamental problem.

Tancred said...

Kind of hard to make a sound legal case for playing the jurisdiction card when Cardinal Hoyos has already said there's no penalty for attending SSPX chapels or getting married there.

Pope Benedict has already tacitly admitted that there's a state of emergency in Germany, and considering what the majority of the German Bishops are doing, it's a wonder he's not more explicit, but then, you don't have to go to Germany to find flagrant disobedience and heretical utterance from Bishops.

Dan said...


I appreciate your response but I'm not sure you read what I said. Allow me to repeat: Rome recognizes the validity of Sacraments performed by the SSPX, just as Rome can accept the validity of sacraments performed by some groups of Orthodox schismatics. If you disagree with that don't take it up with me, but with Rome.

One of the reasons why Rome is justifiably concerned about schismatic movements is because these people have valid orders and can, therefore, lead people to the heresy of denying the supremecy of the Pope. That is a heresy because it has been infallibly defined, ex cathedra, that in order to save your soul you must be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

I respectfully suggest you do more study on this point to avoid the danger of sowing confusion among the Faithful. The troubles in the Church are extremely serious and they demand a careful, thoughtful response. Telling people that SSPX does not provide valid sacraments, in contradiction to Rome, is not very helpful.

Elizabeth D said...

Dan, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei says: "Masses offered by the priests of the Society of St. Pius X are valid, but illicit, i.e., contrary to Canon Law. The Sacraments of Penance and Matrimony, however, require that the priest enjoys the faculties of the diocese or has proper delegation. Since that is not the case with these priests, these sacraments are invalid." from: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/07/guest-contribution-qa-with-the-pont-comm-ecclesia-dei-about-sspx-schism-and-sacraments/

I believe the PCED. What I quote above is what I have consistently heard from trustworthy sources.

Regarding the validity of Orthodox Sacraments, I would like to understand that better but apparently under certain conditions we could approach an Orthodox priest for Penance even if not in danger of death and this has something to do with the major Orthodox churches being true churches (even if not in perfect Communion). What I know is SSPX are Roman Rite Catholics subject to the discipline of the Code of Canon Law. They are able to absolve only if the penitent is in danger of death.

Tancred said...

Elizabeth, you really should be careful about misinforming people.

Ecclesia Dei has clearly informed Catholics about the status of the SSPX and they don't deserve to be misinformed by a layman, who quite frankly, seems to me to be possessed by a spirit of malice.

I say this because you seem unmoved by Cardinal Hoyos' clear statement on the matter.

Tancred said...

Cardinal Hoyos' clear statements on the matter, and he oughta know, it's his job:


Elizabeth D said...

Tancred, I read your link, and says a variety of things such as about them not being in schism (which I didn't claim) but does NOT contradict what I quoted above, that SSPX celebrates Mass validly but illicitly, but Penance and Matrimony invalidly (because of lack of faculties). If the faithful know this, they must not seek these Sacraments from the SSPX (if genuinely ignorant, that is another matter, the faculty may be supplied). I cannot find any support for the position of those who are not in danger of death and who acknowledge they know SSPX are suspended and lack faculties, and who do have access to priests with faculties, but they think they can be validly absolved by SSPX priests anyway.

I do see a real need for SSPX to be regularized.

If SSPX was regularized and had faculties I WOULD probably rather attend an SSPX parish than the relatively good OF (with Sunday EF) parishes I now attend. I am in favor of SSPX, I think they can be so good for the Church, in full Communion. I am interested precisely because I do like them.

Tancred said...

Most Novus Ordo liturgies are illicit due to various defects, but that is no longer the case, if it ever was, with the SSPX, since the SSPX liturgies are permissible for Catholics to attend without any canonical penalty.

Cardinal Hoyos explicitly states that Catholics who attend chapels and are married at them are validly married.

There is nothing wrong with participating in parish life there and even tithing, so I really don't understand your objections at all.

Dan said...

Dear Elizabeth:

One of the unfortunate things going on in the Church today, and has been going on for decades (yes, even during Pius XII's time and before) is a lack of governance. The Church is not being governed. What I mean by that is that many dissidents, heretics and schismatics are not being disciplined by the competent ecclesiastical authority, doctrinal opinions of the wildest sort are allowed to go on and on without a peep from Rome, conflicting statements come from various Roman dicasteries, etc. It is a mess. You know this, I am sure, so I won't belabor the point.

But the last example is extremely critical: conflicting statements by different bodies in the Vatican. Think about how serious that is and what horrible confusion that leads to. It is frightening. Now, you have quoted (via Father Z) a statement by Msgr Perl of Ecclesia Dei. Well and good. But, neither Msgr Perl nor the Ecclesia Dei Commission is the competent authority to pass judgment on the issue of sacramental validity. So, while their opinion is interesting, it cannot be definitive. Only the proper Roman Congregation, with the approval of the Pope, can make the definitive statement here. They have thus far not done this, which is also interesting (and, in my view, stupid). You can offer all kinds of reasons why the competent authority has neglected to act in this matter but the fact is they have not acted.

Again licitness, or licety, is a different matter than validity. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the SSPX sacraments are illicit, due to a lack of faculties. Fine. But lack of licitness or licety does not also mean invalidity. Indeed the Masses of the SSPX are clearly valid and that being so does it not make sense that the bread and wine at their Masses are indeed validly confected?

This may all look like hair-splitting to you. I believe the simplest action you can take is to not attend SSPX Masses until such time as they come to an agreement with Rome, though I wouldn't recommend holding your breath for that day to come any time soon.

I should also stress that I am not an SSPX booster. I believe they have their problems which include but are not limited to a certain arrogance and a "petite Eglise" mentality (Of course, other traditional orders, like the ICKSP, have these same problems, and they are in "communion" with Rome). But I sympathize with them, admire them in many ways and hope they prove to be a force for good in the Church.

Let us also pray that the malaise which has seemingly engulfed the Church in recent decades will soon be blown away by calm winds and level heads.

esterhase said...

I'm a simple man not that well versed in Catholic Theology or the "inside baseball" aspects of the Church. That being said, I have noticed that the SSPX does not seem to have trouble with faggy social workers pretending to be priests. Also, the SSPX Schools don't seem to have the problem of being culturally marxist. Just a thought.