Saturday, March 1, 2014

Reaction to Creative Minority Report on asking Pope Francis to regularize SSPX

I was watching a Mic'd Up episode on Church Militant TV this morning, where Michael Voris interviews Creative Minority Report blog administrator Patrick Archbold, who wrote an article asking for Pope Francis to regularize the Society of Saint Pius X. Voris did make a comment that they are outside the Church (apparently he doesn't attend Mass there). 

This complicated issue, while a valid Catholic topic for discussion, is actually not the main issue that the Church is facing today. There are more serious issues in morality and behavior of MOST Catholics who where baptized but then think that going to heaven is a walk in the park. The recent Vatican surveys in preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and Family scheduled for October state that there is global apostasy:

  • 78% (including 98% of the Novus Ordoians) are on or support the Pill
  • 65% (including 76% of American "Patriotic" Dolanists) support abortion in some way, shape, and form, even in limited circumstances
  • 54% of Dolanists support gay marriage
  • Almost half believe that divorced and remarried Catholics should be able to receive the Sacraments
  • 33% living in the Western world believe in an all-male priesthood, while 80% of Africans do!
Then we have the issue of two living popes, one who is acting as the "Bishop of Rome" as Francis wants to be known as (including unnecessarily renewing his Argentinian passport under Jorge Mario Bergoglio), and then one who did a lot for traditionalists and there are wonders whether Benedict was forced off the Chair of Peter (in this case, such an "abuction" or exile would not revoke his Petrine office and he would still be the canonically elected pope).

The SSPX issue has been in play for years, and I don't believe they will sit at the table for negotiations with the Vatican for regulation if the Synod recommends to give Holy Communion to everyone. It was noted that Cardinal Bergoglio did not offer a diocesan Traditional Latin Mass in Buenos Aires, but did not interfere in the business of the SSPX. This is the reason why Mr. Archbold thinks that Pope Francis will regularize them with a stroke of a pen and let them run like his own religious order (the Jesuits), that is autonomous without interference with the local ordinary.

This brings this to my main point of supplied jurisdiction in Canon Law. Supplied jurisdiction means that the Church exists everywhere, even without a priest. To put this in more of a perspective, every Catholic who is baptized belongs to the Universal Church, which is seated in Eternal Rome. If your child was baptized according to the Rituale Romanum, he is a Catholic of the Roman Rite. (Likewise, if he is baptized in an Eastern Rite, he is a member of that ritual church.) So he is to receive the Sacraments according to the Roman Rite for the rest of his life.

Any priest who is validly ordained may baptize, whether or not the parents are that priest's parishioners. In an event a priest or deacon cannot be contacted, or there is a clear and present danger of death (mostly for adult catechumens), any layperson, male or female, Catholic or not, may validly baptize, provided they pour water three times on the forehead and saying: "N., I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Every Catholic is a member of a parish and every parish is part of a diocese. Your parish is where you live. Ordinarily, you should be attending Sunday Mass in your residential parish. But if your parish doesn't offer the Traditional Latin Mass, you are not required to go there in accordance with Quo Primum Tempore of Saint Pius V (July 14, 1570).

There are also provisions in Canon Law that allow the Diocesan Bishop to establish a "personal parish" for a special apostolate. This began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States, when the Catholic Church was acting the way it should be. Often times the Church in America was the only organization that aided immigrants back then, and most of them where from several ethnic groups and did not speak English like the Irish and British, so in order to help these people, Bishops generally established "ethnic parishes", and you had to be of that descent to register in that parish (which today would be called racism). However, in Europe, this never happened.

However, when most American Catholics spoke English at home, the need for personal parish succumbed. This explains why in many major cities there could be two or three Catholic churches next to each other, and the seeking of indults of having Mass in several languages.

It is up to the Bishop to decide who belongs to which parish and where the boundaries lie. But also there is something called a "canonically-open" parish, where anyone can register regardless of where they live (which is my current situation).

Then there is the issue of fulfilling your Sunday obligation miles away from your residential parish. If the diocese you reside in does not offer a TLM, then you may attend Mass at the closest available church or oratory, even if it's outside your residential diocese (which is often the case). This includes attending Sunday Mass at a monastery, collegiate chapel, convent, abbey, military base, scout camp, hospital chapel, a rented hotel room or civic hall, or in rare cases a rented Protestant church. Provided the priest validly received Holy Orders, he can celebrate Mass privately.

In terms of the Sacrament of Penance, a priest ordinarily needs faculties from the Bishop to hear confessions and give absolution. But if a soul is at danger of death, any priest can give absolution. If the priest-confessor does not accept sins that are for what they are, or is known to break the seal of confession, DO NOT CONFESS TO A PRIEST WHO IS ABUSING THIS SACRAMENT.

Any priest can give a child his First Holy Communion either during Mass or as a Vitacum. No faculties are necessary to celebrate Mass even privately. The First Communion needs to be recorded in order to study for Confirmation.

The words of Confirmation in the Roman Rite are: "N., I sign you with the Sign of the Cross, and confirm you with the chrism of salvation, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

The use of olive oil consecrated by the Bishop on Holy Thursday is to be used, which is stored in the ambry of the parish church. Ordinarily, the local ordinary is the primary person who can confer the Sacrament of Confirmation, unless he designates his auxiliary to do so. If your bishop will not confirm you, or your diocese does not have a bishop, then the second person in line who can validly confirm is the metropolitan archbishop of the province. If he refuses to confirm, the next person in line is the Papal Nuncio, followed by any cardinal and the Pope. If they cannot be reached, then any bishop can confirm, including the SSPX bishops.

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is a tricky one, since a priest has to follow the civil requirements in addition to the Church requirements. For example, in Massachusetts, the priest must be in good standing and a resident of the Commonwealth. Otherwise, he must apply for a one-day license from the Secretary of State to legally officiate at a wedding.

Ordinarily, either the parish priest of the bride or the local ordinary are entitled to perform a marriage ceremony and celebrate the Nuptial Mass. This is provided that both the bride and groom are Latin-rite Catholics, otherwise, the rite of the groom is used. For example, John is a Latin-rite adherent by baptism, and Mary is a Byzantine Catholic. The Roman Rite must be used because John will become the head of the household and if they have children, must baptize their kids using the Roman Rite. Otherwise, if it were in reverse, where John was an Eastern Rite Catholic and Mary was a Roman, the rite of John's ritual church must be used, according to Canon Law.

Now, when one refers to the Bride's Parish, socially it means the parish where she grew up and where she received all her other sacraments, and her parents still go to Mass there. But Canon Law does not view it as such. The Bride's true parish is where she resides. For example, if she lives out of state attending college while residing off-campus, and decides to marry her boyfriend, they are required to approach her parish priest while at college, for that is her parish, not her parents' parish.

Now, if the girl and her fiancé approach her parish priest and they refuse to offer the TLM as part of the nuptials, then they are entitled to ask the Groom's true parish, which is where he resides, not his parents. If that parish priest says no, then both bishops should be consulted. If permission cannot be granted to holding the wedding in the dioceses of both the bride and groom, then any priest can validly marry, provided he meets the local civil requirements. This includes any priest: SSPX, FSSP, diocesan, Franciscan, Dominican, Jesuit, etc.

(Since civil requirements vary from state to state and nation to nation, a whole book of Canon Law scenerios needs to be written to spell this out by giving real life scenarios.)

Any priest can administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, as it can only be given in danger of death.

When a Catholic dies, whether or not he or she received Extreme Unction, provided he or she was not a public penitent or excommunicate, is entitled to the Traditional Requiem Mass. While Canon Law prefers that the Requiem Mass be said at the residential parish of where the person died, there is no requirement to do so. There is also no requirement of which priest can say the Requiem Mass, so this assumes any priest willing to do so can.

Now for the reasons why the SSPX exists: to assure the continuation of the Traditional Catholic Priesthood and Tridentine doctrines are taught.

So to that end, the 1983 Code of Canon Law allows for the consecration of bishops without a Papal mandate in the event of a state of emergency. Remember in the 1970's and '80's, only Great Britain had the Agatha Christie Indult, so with the exception of Campos, Brazil, no other diocese in the world allowed the TLM freely and lawfully. And since the Vatican did not appoint any traditional bishops, Archbishop Lefebvre knew that the Church was in crisis back then, so he had no choice but to consecrate the four bishops to ensure the ordination of priests in his order. And since the SSPX was canonically established lawfully on All Saints Day 1970 by the Bishop of Fribourg, they are considered a religious order approved by the Church!

To that end, if the new legislation was not passed, then Archbishop Lefebvre would not have consecrated bishops. But because the new legislation allowed for this controversial action and that faculties universally were re-issued in 1983 when the new Code was promulgated, Archbishop Lefebvre's actions were justified.

Finally, if you think only the SSPX has supplied jurisdiction, then think again. The Ecclesia Dei communities also exercise supplied jurisdiction, although they cannot set up shop in a diocese without permission of the local ordinary. Even diocesan priests have it too, if he is not your regular parish priest.  The SSPX are the only ones who talk about it.

Supplied Jurisdiction and Traditional Priests by Bishop Tissier de Mallerias
SSPX Question 9: "Do traditional priests have jurisdiction?"
SiSi NoNo, January 2009 edition (PDF)

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