Traditionalist SSPX sacraments approved

Pope Francis has set the scene for the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) to have the marriages it celebrates validated.

This is one of a number of  the Pope’s initiatives that aim to bring SSPX into full communion with the Church.

A letter from the Vatican to Catholic bishops said they will be allowed to appoint priests to assist at SSPX marriages.

These priests will formally receive the couples’ consent. The nuptial Mass then would be celebrated by the SSPX priest.

Francis has also allowed bishops to enable an SSPX priest to officiate validly over the marriage rite.

However, this would only be “if there are no priests in the diocese” available to do so.

The letter also mentions Pope Francis’s decision last December to grant all SSPX priests the faculty to validly administer the Sacrament of Penance to the faithful.

This was “to ensure the validity and liceity [i.e. lawfulness or legitimacy] of the Sacrament and allay any concerns on the part of the faithful.”

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who wrote the letter on Francis’s behalf, closes it by saying:

“In this way any uneasiness of conscience on the part of the faithful who adhere to [SSPX] as well as any uncertainty regarding the validity of the sacrament of marriage may be alleviated …

” …and at the same time that the process towards full institutional regularization may be facilitated”


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