A Catholic Canon Lawyer Explains: Are SSPX (Society of Saint Pius X) Sacraments Valid?

Q: What’s the canonical status of priests ordained by SSPX bishops, and what’s the canonical status of the sacraments they administer? –John

A: It would have been marvelous to be able to respond to John that the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) were now fully united to Rome, and thus had a status comparable to the members of any other religious institute in the Church.  Sadly, however, this is not the case!  While Pope Benedict was clearly hoping to reconcile the SSPX to the Church during his papacy, the fact is that this important item on his to-do list was left unfinished when he resigned in February.

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Go to part two


  1. “Still, it’s crucial to keep in mind that while aesthetics are undeniably important, they are not everything.”

    To reduce the huge differences between the Novus Ordo and the Mass of the Ages to mere aesthetics so grossly misses all the important points.

    Moreover, the licitness of celebrating the Tridentine rite should never have been in question. When it was banned, except by indult, the ban was illicit and the indult superfluous. Now that it is allowed universally, except when banned by the local ordinary, any such ban is equally illicit.

  2. Mark
    Do you suppose that the Novus Ordo is going to be reversed or ever declared invalid? Cause if you do you are an idiot! Fortunately I presume to imagine that is not so?
    You know that The SSPX are not valid nor – until they recognise FULL PAPAL AUTHORITY which means FULL COUNCIL AUTHORITY – are they likely to do so because their Master is Satan!
    The spirit of Pride refuses to accept anything Holy and Apostolic but instead spouts on about a past that I am afraid never existed! It is not that V2 broke the tradition of what had happened in all previous centuries it is rather that it continued that tradition. The idea that everything was just fine in the good old days (before the V2 spoilt it all) is conceited rubbish without any regard to the evidence or the way the Church moved in past times. Regardless of what we think has happened at a local level or not.
    The Tridentine mass is fine for some people and if they are allowed to celebrate it that’s fine as well; But the constant error that pipes on against the Council, its popes or its true function is a very big mistake and I am afraid that unchecked (as with the heretical SSPX scum) it will lead to a catastrophe in eternity.

    • What I do not presume is to know what the future will bring. What “sensible Catholic” would have predicted Vatican II?

      I do know that miracles can still happen. Which could bring a triumph of Hope over presumption.

      So call me an idiot; I don’t care.

      • Mark,
        anybody that has ever studied Church History and knows anything about the Church at all will understand that a new Council such as Vatican 2 was always to be expected. Indeed Pius 12 held no reserve in making sure that people whom may be interested knew that he was in favour of the Council.
        Pope John 23 called it in 1959 virtually as soon as he was Pope but it would take years for the call to function and become possible.

        I don’t call you an idiot . .but if the cap fits! 🙂
        Miracles do happen that is why the Majority of Catholics are still waiting for the rest of the slow comers to catch up! Its like being a race horse and followed by a mule!

  3. To the author of the article;

    The sad fact is that the SSPX and its leaders apart from denying the Holocaust etc and refusing to accept Papal Authority which is a mortal sin and denies the teaching of several Saints (Teresa, Bosco, Faustina, Pio, JP2) on such a matter, is also about their inability to accept the Magisterium. The Rightful declaration of the Bishops as given at The Council and now and forever in the future is something that all Catholics must accept or deny. If they accept they are retained if they deny they are loosed.
    In charity we shall pray for the SSPX (once a year at Christmas) that they and the evil they foster shall be destroyed and they shall renounce their stubbornness and pride in the True Catholic Faith before they are inevitably engulfed in their own misery.

    • “In charity we shall pray for the SSPX (once a year at Christmas)”

      Is that lower-case “charity” standing in for Caritas? Whatever, it’s a refreshing departure from the kind of venom that typically emanates from this commenter on this topic. Kind of like the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

      • I was being perhaps over duly intellectual?
        My comment that we pray “once a year” is in the notion that at Christmas (yes Christmas is everyday but I am keeping to the calendar concept here) we recall even the lamentably stupid! Those perhaps that are ignorant, distasteful and blindly stupid! We pray that they may be enlightened and that Christ will not foirget their sins but not hold these against them either.

        The lower case charity is not really in keeping with Caritas as doing charity. The venom that I am accused of emanating towards the SSPX is something I will take as an honour! (Although I understand that stupid persons will think it an insult)
        When we encounter evil in its most diabolical form, that is the sheer Pharisean homage to stupidity rather than grace then we are expected, indeed demanded to let rip! I make no apologies for “emanating” what some call venom but I call Truth!
        I am aware that those in darkness despise the light. I am aware that as Christians we are insulted and ridiculed for stating the Truth! So be it! I for my part am glad to do so!

        I am surprised that the replier to my article above should imagine that I was anything so mundane as vice paying tribute to virtue! It reminds me that in 1930s Germany The Nazis claimed that Lord Halifax was harming their rights to International protection because he stated that the regime was unjust in its treatment of certain minorities!
        A funny thing this idea game? One side is correct the other is horribly incorrect! I know I am correct even if the writer protests and sniggers . . .such was also given against Our Lord even when he spoke the truth against the Pharisee!

      • (Replying to scampy22, not to myself)

        “I know I am correct even if the writer protests and sniggers . . .such was also given against Our Lord even when he spoke the truth against the Pharisee!”

        The utter vanity of this comment speaks for itself.

    • Today’s Magisterium cannot licitly contradict the settled dogma of the Catholic Church, no matter how poorly they word their documents, how finely they try to mince their words, or how cleverly they attempt to justify their empty novelties. Corrupt, elitist clerics are making stuff up on the fly – much of which is contrary to the sacred deposit of faith, as well as church tradition. It’s almost as if they are ashamed of all who came before them – and only they know better – something which is extraordinarily arrogant, and which constitutes an extraordinary breach of faith, as well as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I can cite specific instances, if you like. But it will be pretty ugly.


      • I quite liked the article Doug. 🙂

        Anyway I would just add here that The Magisterium as led by the Pope may choose to interpret doctrine or Scripture as the age demands. That has always been its job.
        I shall also say (and some will be very surprised . .even the less then noble sentiments expressed against me above) something that I do agree that there are many clerics in the Church proper, not in the SSPX (which you know I simply do not recognise anyway) whom are frauds and very much against the Gospels and Holy Spirit.
        In the lives of the Saints that have encountered Hell, clerics and even prelates have been noticed in their foul state. I do not encourage the notion that all clerics are saints .. indeed I think we all have encountered far more devils than saints hiding behind fine words and liturgical garb! So no examples are required because we all have sad stories to tell of the people that failed their flocks. But we must always be careful that we do not throw the baby out with the dish water!
        We must also be careful of being arrogant ourselves because often modernity requires the Church to move with the times and to remain seated on past statements can be unwise and even offensive to modernity and its calculations. Of course we do not simply ride rough shod over history and the past because from that we learn and from that we understand where we travel to?

        I am away much of October so may not be able to reply in full to all the statements! I know that some such as our old friend Mark will jump with joy at the news but I shall try to get on as much as possible to correct errors where I see them. God bless you and look after yourself.

      • I hope your October will be fruitful and pleasant and I look forward to any comments you might be able to offer during that time. God bless you, too!


  4. In reply to Marks comment above concerning my own observations!

    (Replying to scampy22, not to myself)
    “I know I am correct even if the writer protests and sniggers . . .such was also given against Our Lord even when he spoke the truth against the Pharisee!”
    The utter vanity of this comment speaks for itself

    This commentator is a Master at corrupting one liners! taking what is said out of context and then representing it as if a greater truth underpinned their own critique!
    That this commentator has either not read the context or is a deliberate sham is open to question!
    If they ever bothered to read the context they would have seen the comparison was given over the Halifax-Goebbels discussion. Only one of them was right! Only one of them spoke the truth! Either the British Lord or the German Minister!
    In this Light my complaint is neither vanity or incorrect! However I note that Like The Pharisees that received Our Lords Utter and total condemnation this commentator has chosen to regard myself as vain! The absurdity of such an accusation issuing from this pumped up paragon of ignorance is utterly remarkable!
    I am appalled by his utter ignorance though in what he says and continues to say on most subjects I am not surprised that such insincere profanities are directed against me. I understand that the truth would not bear me a crown from such ignoble infants with neither care nor charity in their being!!!!

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