“Mercy” is for everyone!

Francis Grants Jurisdiction to SSPX Priests to Hear Confessions & Grant Absolution during “Holy Year of Mercy”

Breaking News from the Vatican this morning: The apostate Argentinian layman Mr. Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope” Francis), has announced that for the upcoming jubilee year, the “holy year of mercy”, he is “excluding no one” and therefore expressly granting faculties (ordinary jurisdiction) to priests and bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) to hear confessions and grant valid absolution.

Here are his exact words, taken from a translation of a letter he sent to the President of the “Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization” on Sept. 1, just released by the Vatican and published on their official web site:

A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity. In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.

(“Pope” Francis, “Letter of the Holy Father Francis to the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization at the approach of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy”, Sept. 1, 2015)

The Vatican has released this letter at the above link also in the original Italian, as well as in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish.

Initial Novus Ordo Watch Commentary

The repercussions of this move will be tremendous. The initial reactions of the various wings of the Novus Ordo Sect are easy to predict: The Society of St. Pius X will be cheering, claiming that Francis is beginning to officially recognize them as being Catholic “as they are”; those who left the SSPX to form their own Resistance will denounce the move as being another sign of evidence that the “mainstream SSPX” is about to join Modernist Rome; “conservative” Novus Ordo entities such as Catholic Answers, EWTN, and Catholic Culture will matter-of-factly announce the news and acknowledge it as a positive sign, without, however, getting too much into anything that could be construed as an endorsement of the SSPX; Michael Voris and his ChurchMilitant enterprise will have no choice but to share the news and then put a lot of emphasis on how this only applies to the year of mercy (roughly 2016-2017, true enough), and that before and after that year, people are not allowed to approach SSPX priests for confession, and how in any case this decision does not mean and cannot in any way be construed to mean that Francis believes the SSPX is Catholic or not in schism, that this is simply a pastoral move made out of genuine mercy. Mark Shea will point out that Francis is so nice to these evil traditionalists, and that the traddies should be thankful to him. The rest of the Vatican II Sect — think of the neo-pagan Richard Rohrs, for example — will basically not give a hoot about any of this and not really spend a whole lot of time dwelling on it.

Another bad day for Michael Voris, who once again has plenty of egg on his face

From his point of view, Francis’ decision to grant ordinary jurisdiction to SSPX priests and bishops to allow for a valid absolution is extremely clever. It will silence or weaken a lot of the opposition he’s been encountering from Lefebvrite laymen and those tending in the SSPX direction (think of the many journalists and commentators in the indult/resistance camp). They will now have cause to be grateful to him and to focus perhaps more on the “good” he has done, not just the bad.

The funny thing is that in reality, this move on Francis’ part does nothing for the Society of St. Pius X. They’ve been hearing confessions and “absolving” for decades, and they would have continued to do so, with or without Francis’ approval. Their idea of “submission to the Pope” — thoroughly heretical because at odds with Vatican I — is one of ignoring the man and doing their own thing on the side, regardless. So, in the practical order, this changes absolutely nothing for the SSPX. It does, however, change things in people’s minds, in their consciousness, because they now have reason to look upon Francis more kindly. Besides, it will cause a number of commentators or journalists in the resistance camp to proclaim that this is evidence that “the Pope supports Tradition” or some other silly such thing. It will also give people reason to suspend any investigation of Sedevacantism. But in reality, of course, this is simply nothing but the proverbial traditional side altar in the Modernist cathedral that Francis is offering them. “Diversity and equality” is all this is — “Traditional Catholicism” shall have its place too in the pantheon of all religions.

In our opinion, this is the first step to an official reconciliation between the Modernist Vatican and the Lefebvrists. Francis himself hints at this, writing: “I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity”. Recall also that the SSPX Superior, Bp. Bernard Fellay, was already appointed by the Vatican as a judge of the first instance for the Society. So, it is quite possible that the plan is to have the SSPX substantially united with Rome by the end of the jubilee year (Nov. 20, 2016). After all, envision the alternative: For one year the SSPX has been absolving with permission from Rome, and then, all of a sudden, we are to imagine that they are to stop because, “Hey, you! Mercy is over! You’re back to being naughty now!” What kind of a “mercy” is that, that comes with an expiration date?

Not going to happen. Expect this to be the beginning of the full regularization of the SSPX as just another indult order — like the Institute of Christ the King or the Fraternity of St. Peter — of the Modernist Vatican II Church.

First Reactions / Official Statements

Image sources: flickr.com / churchmilitant.com (screenshot, modified)
License: CC BY-SA 2.0 / fair use

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