Login Register

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1   [ 2 posts ]   
Author Message
 Post subject: "Canonical Irregularity" and the SSPX
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:49 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:44 pm
Posts: 14
Religion: Catholic
The term "canonical irregularity" has no basis in canonical tradition, and does not have a precise meaning. A Catholic institute either exists while possessing juridic personality, or it does not, and there is no middle option of ambiguous canonical standing. The SSPX, as an institute, either exists, or it does not; since an "irregular" status cannot exist as a juridical reality. Determining the canonical status of the SSPX hinges fundamentally upon the 1975 suppression, which occurred five years after it had been founded with full canonical approval. Events such as the 1976 ordinations, the censures applied to Abp. Lefebvre, and the 1988 consecrations, controversial as they might have been, have no bearing on the canonical status of the institute, because the consequences would apply to individuals.

Arguments concerning the validity of the 1975 suppression of the SSPX are well-rehearsed, and have been hashed out countless times in the last thirty to forty years. My intention is not to repeat any of these arguments, to initiate a debate here, or to choose sides. What I am interested in is examining just exactly how Rome views the suppression, especially in light of Pope Francis's exceptionally generous gestures toward the Society. And interestingly enough, it appears that Rome has already implicitly acknowledged that the suppression was invalid, because Rome treats the SSPX as a group which exists as a canonical entity, and which possesses juridic personality.

If the 1975 suppression were valid, then the SSPX would have ceased to exist juridically. However, in the various dialogues regarding “regularisation”, Rome has always acknowledged the existence of this entity known as the “Society of St. Pius X”; if not, the dialogues would simply be occurring between Vatican officials and a group of independent priests that do not belong to a specific, existing organisation. If this were the case, then it would have made no sense for Pope Francis to specify the SSPX as an institute when he granted all the members jurisdiction for hearing confessions, for example. If the suppression were valid, and the SSPX no longer existed as a juridical entity from that point onward, what institute was Pope Francis referring to when he declared he was granting jurisdiction to SSPX priests?

In addition, Rome recognizes that the SSPX has juridic personality; one priest I spoke to recalled a time in his seminary days in which several priests were excardinated from various religious orders and incardinated into the SSPX. One example of this is Fr. Urban Snyder, who was excardinated from the Trappist order and given permission by the Vatican to be incardinated into the SSPX. The institute must possess juridic personality for priests to be incardinated into the SSPX, but an institute which has been suppressed (and which technically no longer exists in the canonical sense), cannot have any juridic personality.

In other words, Rome recognises the existence of the SSPX as a canonical entity, as well as the fact that as an institute, it possesses juridic personality.

So why all the talk about “canonical irregularity”, even when it has been acknowledged that the SSPX was founded properly and approved in 1970, and its status has really not changed? My conjecture is that the reason behind the use of the word "irregularity" refers actually to the fact that the priests only possess ordinary jurisdiction for two sacraments, but celebrate all the sacraments anyway; however, this concerns the legitimacy of priestly ministry, and not the status of a canonical institute. (To make a comparison: if suddenly all the priests of another institute, or a religious order, found themselves suspended, they would lose their individual priestly faculties, but the canonical status of the institute they belong to would remain intact.)

If this is the reason behind the term "canonical irregularity", the logical conclusion would be that for the entire history of SSPX-Vatican negotiations up until the present day, there has been a failure to distinguish between individuals and institutes. If there is anything that is irregular, it would have to be the situation itself, rather than the canonical status. There may not be a way to stop this trend until what is already implicitly understood is explicitly and formally recognised, namely, that the canonical status of the SSPX has never changed since its founding, despite specific circumstances regarding certain individuals.

Welcoming a wide variety of thoughts here.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Canonical Irregularity" and the SSPX
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:25 pm 
Offline
Citizen
Citizen

Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:55 pm
Posts: 303
Religion: Catholic
shorter posts please


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1   [ 2 posts ]   


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


Jump to:  
cron