Stop Talking About the SSPX’s Supposed ‘Schism’ and Focus on the Synod’s Proposed Schism
While I do not attend chapels of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), nor have I ever recommended anyone to visit one of their chapels, I admit that I have respect for this order of priests. They are unarguably some of the most Catholic priests out there. The SSPX is undoubtedly Catholic, but just in a state that is discussed by the Vatican as “canonically irregular”.
To make matters even more confusing, Pope Francis has given the priests of the SSPX the authority to absolve the sins of any penitent who comes to them for confession during the Year of Mercy. Since words have meaning, I feel it is important that we properly define words. Schism, as defined in the Concise Catholic Dictionary of 1943 is:
“Formal separation from the unity of the Church, a separation from communion with the Church; separation from the head of the Church or from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff. The movement of any person or group of persons of the Church who refuse to recognize the central authority of the Church; a denial of the authority of the Pope of Rome.”
Using the above definition of Schism, the one in which the Church uses to determine if a group is actually in schism, I will analyze the SSPX sentence by sentence to show how they are actually not in schism.
Formal separation from the unity of the Church, a separation from communion with the Church; separation from the head of the Church or from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff.”
The SSPX has never had a formal separation from the Church. They have articulated their disagreement with the Second Vatican Council, specifically the articles of faith that have changed or diverted course from Catholic doctrine. While Archbishop Lefebvre was excommunicated along with the four bishops he consecrated without approval from the Vatican, these excommunications on the four bishops were removed under Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2009. This does not justify any formal separation from the unity of the Church or separation from communion with the Church. They are also not separated from the head of the Church (the Pope), and report to the Pope when he calls them, much like they had done under the papacies of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope St. John Paul II, and Pope Paul VI.
The movement of any person or group of persons of the Church who refuse to recognize the central authority of the Church; a denial of the authority of the Pope of Rome.
As stated above, the SSPX does recognize the authority of the Pope. Pope Francis is recognized by the Society as a validly elected Pope. If Pope Francis was to ask the SSPX to meet him for an audience, they would submit to his request and meet with him. They also recognize the authority of the Church, and are faithful to the Magisterium. They have qualms with parts of the Second Vatican Council, but seeing as there are contradictory statements rooted in Modernist rhetoric, than it is perfectly acceptable to disagree. Bishop Athanasius Schneider has called for a Syllabus of Errors for the Second Vatican Council. He has also spent time with the Society and released a statement saying that “there are no weighty reasons in order to deny the clergy and faithful of the SSPX the official canonical recognition”. Thus, it is clear that the SSPX is not in formal or “objective” schism.
A particular Catholic media outlet is spending this entire week to discuss the supposed “schism” that the SSPX is in. Seeing as we just outlined what a schism actually is and demonstrate that the SSPX is not in schism, it seems like this is a complete waste of time, both for this Catholic media outlet, as well as their subscribers. With the Synod of the Family only two and a half weeks away, one is left wondering why the spotlight isn’t being pointed at the heretical Cardinals and bishops who are being invited personally by Pope Francis. Perhaps because this particular media outlet has taken the approach that they will not critique the Pope, or any of his actions. Since the Synod of the Family is Pope Francis’ baby, any heretics at the Synod will be ignored.
Seeing as this media outlet won’t point out who will be in attendance, I suggest you read Voice of the Family’s write up. Included are:
- Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri, the General Secretary of the Synod, who ordered the interception of copies of “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” sent to all Synod attendees.
- Reinhard Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising (Germany), who declared the German Catholic Church will separate from the Catholic Church (schism) if the Synod does not allow the divorced, remarried, and active homosexuals admittance to Holy Communion.
- Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster (England), who celebrated the “Soho Mass”, a Mass that “celebrated” homosexuality.
- Walter Cardinal Kasper, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, who has been handpicked personally be Pope Francis as having serene theology when Cardinal Kasper declared that the Church should change her teachings.
These are the prominent players at the Synod of the Family. These are the men who are proposing actual schism from the Catholic Church in two and a half weeks. These men and the Synod of the Family needs to kept under a close watch for the next month. Every move these prelates make should be held to the highest scrutiny during this unprecedented time in the history of the Church. The SSPX is not the enemy of the Church that we should be spending our energy on during this critical time, but the above men, the men mentioned in the linked Voice of the Family article, and Pope Francis, who invited most of these men personally.
Don’t waste your time with this SSPX nonsense. Focus on the Synod of the Family. All efforts to discredit the SSPX during this time are coming directly from Satan. The SSPX is not our enemy in this time of crisis, but rather, our ally.