What is the Real Canonical Status of the SSPX…

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What is the Real Canonical Status of the SSPX…?

Indeed, it is made complex by the enemies so as to result in confusion, but it is not.

Here are the Facts:

From the Original Documents:
sspx.org/en/sspxs-founding-documents

August 18, 1970, ABL received written authorization to open a seminary.
November 1, 1970, ABL received a Decree of erection for the Priestly Society of St. Pius X.
February 18, 1971, ABL received the Official Canonical Approval from the Holy See (the Congregation of the Clergy) for the erection of the Society of St. Pius X from J Card. Wright, Praef.
• [Once a bishop has approved a religious congregation within his diocese, only the pope can suppress it; cf., 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 493 and the 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 616].

A short History of the SSPX and its “Illegal canonical suppression”: archives.sspx.org/SSPX_FAQs/q3_sspx_suppressed.htm

May 6, 1975, the SSPX is invalidly suppressed by a commission of cardinals. “The Secretary of State writes to all the bishops of the world, asking them to refuse incardination to the members of the Society. The trap is now set: Without incardination there will be no priestly work, and since the Society is supposedly suppressed Archbishop Lefebvre can no longer ordain priests for our institute.” (Sermon of ABL in Argentina on August 31, 1981). archives.sspx.org/SSPX_FAQs/a_short_history_of_the_sspx-part-1.htm
June 5, 1975, ABL submits an appeal to the Apostolic Signature in Rome: against all protocol, his appeal was illegally suppressed.
June 29, 1975, Pope Paul VI is convinced to write to Archbishop Lefebvre that he approved of all the actions of the commission of cardinals, however, it is impossible that mere papal approbation in June could empower this commission which had met the previous February [principle 10b. (sspx.org appeared to have removed this link when they updated their website)].
• On this whole process, Archbishop Lefebvre observes:
“...we have been condemned, without trial, without opportunity to defend ourselves, without due warning or written process and without appeal.” (Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p. 150)
• [Over and above the canonical question, there remains that of natural law. Must one observe a censure when no crime can be pointed out or when the very authority, not to mention the identity of the judge, is unsure? (Principle within the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas)]



Definitions: Canonical erection of a religious congregation; Ordinary Jurisdiction; and a Canonical mission of a religious congregation.

Canonical erection, is a valid entity and identity within the Constitutions of the Catholic Church; it can, or cannot upon its erection, be given to it at that time an Ordinary Jurisdiction for the rights of the Church to go outside of its boundaries; it can, or cannot upon its erection, be given to it at the time a Canonical mission to do the work of the Church outside of its congregation.

Ordinary Jurisdiction, it is an explicit mandate directly from a Bishop or the Pope to do the work of the Church within and without a religious congregation.

Canonical mission, is separate from an approved Canonical erection; but needed to exercise a ministry outside of its congregation.

Example: a religious congregation was approved, has an official canonical erection, by that canonical erection, it has ordinary jurisdiction to maintain its life to exist within its walls; but cannot exercise the ministry outside of that congregation until given an explicit mission of further jurisdiction to do so.

As shown above, ABL clearly had received all three: Canonical erection, Ordinary Jurisdiction starting within the Dioceses of Geneva and Fribourg, and a Canonical [international] mission to do the work of the Church.


The Canonical Situation after the illegal suppression of the SSPX when ABL was alive:

• As the SSPX’s officially recognized Canonical erection, and the Canonical mission within the Constitutions of the Church was Illegally suppressed by Pope Paul VI on June 29, 1975, which then became an anomaly, that by the Roman authorities censuring ABL, they have then regarded the SSPX as no longer approved to have the rights and the ministries of the Church. All Bishops throughout the world, ordered from the Secretary of State, revoked their allowance of Ordinary Jurisdiction within their Diocese.

[Hence, more of the recent condemnations from Mgr Guido Pozzo. SSPX Goes for a Full Reconciliation: Pastoral not Doctrinal and Bishop Marcello Semeraro in Italy cor-mariae.proboards.com/thread/2669/faithful-catholics-threatened-excommunication and of Bishop Sarlinga rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/11/another-bishop-excommunicates-faithful.html ]

• Because of the illegal suppression, and without due process within the Laws of the Church, ABL had continued on in realizing the intent of the [enemies] of the Church in which he was being targeted.

Because of this clever anomaly, how could ABL get around that problem; and how do you convince the rest of the world of this? He trusted in Divine Providence knowing that by Church Law, the illegal suppression was not in force, nor in effect. But Pressed by “legal” restrictions from these enemies, he therefore, continued to work for the good of the Church by stating his need that he still had the reason to exist for the life of his Society under the Church’s own Canonical admonition "Ecclesia supplet" —"the Church supplies." He therefore followed the Canon Law of State of Necessity / Supplied Jurisdiction: "Salus animarum suprema lex"—"The supreme law is the salvation of souls."

ABL followed to build Seminaries, Churches, Priories, Retreat Houses, etc, for the good of the Church; for when Rome would come back to Tradition, like St. Athanasius, it is the necessary work of Redemption to save souls; less the mission of Christ will be in vain.

In 1988, again without “approval” from [modernist] Rome, though he had tried in vain, ABL consecrated 4-Bishops for the Church to carry on in Her Traditions; ordain priests and give the Sacraments. He did this because of the original Canonical mandate he had received to attain its principal goal which is the formation of priests for the Church.

Bishop Tissier de Mallerais explains this in his conference in Paris on March 9-10, 1991, under the Title: Supplied jurisdiction & traditional priests. archives.sspx.org/miscellaneous/supplied_jurisdiction/supplied_jurisdiction.htm

The reality: even though there was an Illegal suppression, and one can say that ABL still had full rights and mission from the Church within the approval of the Canonical erection and Canonical mission to do what the Church does, despite the maneuvering of the illegal suppression; none the less, ABL resorted to the road for people to understand and used the State of necessity he was in, "Ecclesia supplet" —"the Church supplies", as shown above, he did this for the salvation of souls regardless of a perceived "canonical status" in the eyes of men; and God blessed him.

All of the SSPX priests and SSPX Bishops new this.

Between reality and the illusion of Vatican II, the Church provides regardless of the ill-intentions of men.

So what of the situation of the SSPX today (2014) under Bishop Fellay:

• Another illusion.
• As the reality still exists, as shown above, that the SSPX still works in these dioceses under the operation of "Ecclesia supplet" —"the Church supplies," for the salvation of souls, Bishop Fellay, with intent and a passion, chooses to disregard his founders fight, and wishes to have a marriage with the conciliar church; like the other fallen traditional communities have done.
• Contrary to the SSPX Statues, Bishop Fellay has taken a personal ambition to alter the reality of the “legal” situation, to cave in to pamper [modernist] Rome.
• Bishop Fellay, along with his other superiors, now “claims” within that anomaly to make his agenda easier, that there is "no Canonical erection and no Canonical mission" from the Church; he wants to be regularized by the “conciliarists” in the mind of the people to receive the world’s benevolence.
• A contradiction? Yes!

What to do?

Simple, do what St. Athanasius had done; maintain the Faith and Her Traditions in spite of any “legal” maneuver of the enemies of Christ; build Seminaries, Priories, Retreat houses, ordain priests, sanctify the faithful, and consecrate Bishops. This is what Frs. Hewko, Pfeiffer, Chazal, Ringrose, etc. are doing.

Life goes on.

Who can stop our Lord from His mission to save souls…?

It follows, what about the “canonical status” of the other religious communities within the same crisis we all face? No one really looks at the “irregularity” of them. If it is good for them to exist to form monks, priests, bothers and sisters, it is good for the SSPX, and these "expelled" [sspx] priests as well.

"Ecclesia supplet" —"the Church supplies".
 
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